TOEFL iBT Listening Overview SectionContentTimeScore Listening4─6 lectures (5 minutes) 6 questions each 2─3 conversations (3 minutes) 5 questions each 60─90 minutes (in total) 35 seconds to answer each question /30
2. Language Level More informal language than in Reading section based on speech samples from North American colleges and universities Easier than Reading section lectures: 8 th grade difficulty level conversations: 4 th or 5 th grade difficulty level Lectures more difficult than conversations because of academic content
3. Types of Listening Passages Lectures professor speaks all or most of the time Classroom discussions professor and students discuss an academic topic Conversations office hours with a student visit to a professor service encounters with support staff Taking notes is allowed and encouraged.
4. Lecture Visuals Screen with course name Context visual: professor in class with students Types of graphic screens content image: explains content with photograph or illustration blackboard image with key terminology
5. Conversation Visuals Context visual sets the scene. Visual appears when narrator introduces the conversation.
6. Question Sets Each set two lectures and one conversation each set of passages has 17 questions Time 10 minutes to answer 17 questions Lecture questions are more difficult than conversation questions. four minutes for questions on each lecture and two minutes for the conversation questions Question order usually follows order of information in passage.
7. Listening Toolbar NEXT to see the next question. OK to confirm the answer. After clicking OK, you cannot change your answer. VOLUME to increase or decrease volume.
8. Multiple Choice Questions Most have four choices and one correct answer Gist: purpose for a conversation Inference: draw conclusion from stated facts Detail: main supporting details may have two or three correct answers if two correct answers, then four answer choices; if three correct answers, then five answer choices. Organization: underlying organization of lecture or relationships between two parts
9. Connecting Content Questions Drag and drop answer choices to the correct category. Place checkmarks in the correct boxes.
10. Replay Questions Attitude ask about speaker’s feelings, opinion, or certainty Function ask about meaning behind speaker’s words Include headphone icon Listen again to portion of lecture or conversation.
11. Common Distractors Common distractors (incorrect answers) in the Listening section: repeat words and phrases from passage, but incorrectly answer the question contain similar sounding words do not answer the question are not mentioned in the passage contradict passage Gist Questions Incorrect answers may be too broad or too narrow.
12. Helpful Tips Correct answers are usually restatements of information from the listening passage. Guess if you’re unsure of an answer Eliminate the definitely wrong answers. Choose the answer that is most consistent with the main idea.
13. More Helpful Tips Work quickly. You only have 35 seconds to answer each question. Maintain a balance between speed and accuracy. If time is running out, guess the answers to the remaining questions. You do not lose points for incorrect answers.