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Flowcharts and Note-Taking, Part 2: Speaking Section Conversations

Announcement! As of August 1, 2019, the TOEFL Reading, Listening and Speaking sections will be shortened. The TOEFL will also make changes to its prep materials and scoring system. Because of this, some of the info in our blog posts may not yet reflect the new exam format. We cover all the changes here.

Flowcharts are common kind of visual in the business world. They’re often used to illustrate the processes for making decisions (figure 1 below), and completing tasks (figure 2).



Flowcharts are also useful In TOEFL Speaking, because Integrated Speaking conversations can also be seen in terms of processes, tasks, and decisions. In Speaking Task 3, one student gives an opinion and supports it. A flow chart can be created to show the process behind the student’s argument—the opinion he or she has arrived at, and the ideas given to justify the opinion. In Speaking Task 5, two students are faced with a problem; they must work to find two possible solutions. In this case, the flow chart can branch out in two directions: one for each solution. Taking your notes down in flowchart form can help you really visualize the solutions and decide which one is best.

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Below are two examples of flowcharts for TOEFL Integrated Speaking conversations. Figure 3 is a flowchart for Speaking Task 3 on page 18 of Quick Prep Volume 3 (transcript on pages 37-38, audio here). Figure 4 is a flowchart for Speaking Task 5 in Quick Prep Volume 4, page 23 (transcript on pages 42-43, audio here).




Note the way that flowcharts can simplify TOEFL Speaking Notes, giving them direction and focus. This works for conversations in TOEFL Listening too.


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