How to Predict Your TOEFL Score: Speaking

In my last few posts, we’ve looked at the math behind predicting your TOEFL score. How to predict your TOEFL score varies from section to section. Previously, we looked at how to predict your TOEFL score in the Reading section, and in TOEFL Listening. Today, we’ll look at how to predict your TOEFL score for Speaking.

predict TOEFL speaking score

How to predict your TOEFL score for TOEFL Speaking: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Get your TOEFL Speaking responses scored.

This is the trickiest part. In TOEFL Reading and Listening, you can measure your performance and predict your score just by checking an answer key. In the Speaking Section, however, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Instead, your answers are graded based on a rubric.

The rubrics that TOEFL reviewers use to score your Speaking responses are available on the ETS website. One way to unofficially score your practice TOEFL speeches is to consult these official rubrics for TOEFL Speaking.

Of course, “self-scoring” your own speaking can be pretty difficult. And you won’t always get accurate results. It can help to get feedback from someone else. To do this, you’ll probably need to hire a tutor. You may also be able to submit recordings to an online TOEFL message board and get feedback from other forum users. There are also other possible ways to get feedback and unofficial scores on your Speaking Tasks.

Right here on the Magoosh TOEFL Blog, we have a number of resources to help you get feedback on your English speaking. Here are some articles you can check out as you work on step 1 of predicting your TOEFL Speaking scores:

Step 2: Average the scores of all your tasks.

The TOEFL Speaking Section has 4 tasks. All the tasks are equally weighted. This is to say that each task is worth an equal amount of points, and takes up an equal percentage of your section score.

Suppose you do a practice TOEFL Speaking Section, and get the following unofficial scores for each task:

  • Task 1: 4
  • Task 2: 3.5
  • Task 3: 3
  • Task 4: 4

To get the average of your task scores, add all the scores together and divide them by the number of tasks.

4 + 3.5 + 3 + 4 equals 14.5. There are 4 tasks, so next you calculate 14.5/4. Rounded to the nearest hundredth, this equals 3.63. That’s the average task score for this practice Speaking section.

Step 3: Convert your average task scores into percentage scores.

From here, you need to know what percentage score you got on your practice section for TOEFL Speaking.

To do this, divide your average task score by the maximum possible task score. According to the official TOEFL Speaking rubric, the maximum number of points you can get on a Speaking task is 4. The Speaking Task average above is 3.63. 3.63 is about 91% of 4. This means a 91% score on the hypothetical TOEFL Speaking Section described above.

Step 4: Convert your percentage scores into scaled TOEFL scores.

Every TOEFL section is scored on a scale of 0-30. Your approximate scaled score will be a percentage of 30. Multiply the decimal form of your percentage score to get your TOEFL scaled score. Using the Speaking scores above, 91% of 30 = 0.91*30 = 27.3, which rounds down to a possible 27 in TOEFL Speaking.

Other factors

Your performance on a single practice Speaking section can give you some idea of the TOEFL score you’d get on test day. But you really need to go through multiple TOEFL Speaking Sections to get an accurate sample of practice scores. One score alone may or may not be an accurate predictor of your test day score.

Also, bear in mind that TOEFL scores may be slightly adjusted for the relative difficulty of a question or task. Even if your test day TOEFL Speaking performance is exactly the same as your average practice scores, you may not be able to predict your TOEFL score with complete accuracy. Still, with consistent practice and the right math, you can get a pretty good estimate of what your real TOEFL Speaking score will be.

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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