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TOEFL Listening Practice Questions

Similar to the practice reading I posted a bit over a month ago, this post is a sample of the practice material we’re working on here at Magoosh. Please give the questions a try and tell us what you think! Leave your comments at the bottom of the page or email us at

First, you will listen to part of a lecture from a university classroom. Don’t read the questions before listening! Be sure to take notes while you listen. Get a pen and paper, and when you’re ready, click the link below.

Five-minute lecture


Question 1

What is the main topic of the lecture?

  1. The technical definition of EMDR
  2. Differences between different types of therapy
  3. Various non-traditional treatments for trauma
  4. The value and usefulness of EMDR treatment

Question 2

According to the professor, what does “processing” mean?

Practice for your TOEFL exam with Magoosh.
  1. Explaining the complicated way that EMDR works
  2. Mentally revisiting a traumatic event
  3. Understanding an experience via a healthy state of mind
  4. Talking about a painful experience through EMDR

Question 3

What is the speaker’s attitude toward EMDR?

  1. She believes it is a unique form of therapy with a proven track record and promising future.
  2. She thinks it will require time before EMDR’s benefits can be fully understood by psychologists.
  3. She is unsure of whether or not the results achieved by the method are long-term.
  4. She believes it will one day be considered the preferred form of treatment for most victims of trauma.

Question 4

The professor describes various features of EMDR compared to other forms of therapy. For each of the following, indicate whether it is a feature of EMDR or of another form of therapy.

For each item, check the appropriate box.

EMDR Other Therapy
Focuses more on the mental state of patients than on bodily responses    
May be slow in cases of multiple levels of trauma    
Involves moving the eyes back and forth while looking at a beam of light  


Question 5

Listen again to part of the lecture. Then answer the question.

  1. Traumatic experiences feel like they take a long time to reach completion.
  2. Traumatic experiences can haunt the memory and never leave a person’s mind.
  3. Traumatic experiences sometimes occur in repetitious patterns in people’s lives.
  4. Traumatic experiences can seem more debilitating than they really are.

Question 6

Why does the professor say this?

  1. To caution against hurrying through treatment to obtain fast results
  2. To clarify why EMDR is a time-limited treatment approach
  3. To suggest that other forms of therapy are slower and less effective
  4. To warn her students against using EMDR with patients whom they do not know well


Watch our explanation videos for the answers and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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9 Responses to TOEFL Listening Practice Questions

  1. Harshul September 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Hi Lucas,

    I would like to inform that the link to the recording for the last question isn’t accurate. Its repeating the same recording of ques 5. Also , I would want to know that how can I go about taking notes because I found the lecture recording to be fast enough for me to jot down. Should I expect same level of speed in exam? I am having difficulty in jotting down points inspite of going through the tips mentioned in your blog. Also, I managed to score 4/6 in this test but I still want to improve.


    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      That link is fixed now—thanks! Note taking is definitely difficult. It’s one of the most important skills to improve for the TOEFL and one of the toughest, too. You should expect a similar speed on the real test, yes. Keep practicing, and keep trying to make your notes shorter and shorter without losing information!

  2. Rohit September 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Hi Lucas,

    I attempted this listening exercise without any prior practice with listening sections, and without even going through the Magoosh TOEFL blog.

    I found the lecture to be too fast, and I was unable to take sufficient notes. I also found this exercise to be tough – I got only 2/6 questions correct. I found the video explanations very detailed and really helpful. Thank you for posting this exercise. I guess I need to practice more listening exercises

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Thank you for your thoughts, Rohit! I’m really happy to hear the video explanations were helpful. I hope other students feel the same way. One of the biggest challenges on the TOEFL is taking the right amount of notes, so that’s a great lesson to learn. Happy studying!

  3. Nakul September 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    I think that the questions were pretty easy. I could easily get all the 6 answers correct. Please, improve the quality of the questions.

    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas September 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Nakul,

      Thank you for your feedback! That’s awesome for you if you felt the questions were easy—it’s a good sign for your test! Do you think they were easier than official ETS material, or just easy for you personally? Our goal is not simply to make difficult questions; we want to make questions that are as similar as possible to the real TOEFL. That is what quality means to us. 🙂

  4. Ayush Joshi July 10, 2016 at 12:50 am #

    lucas im having problem in making notes . As i note something, i miss something important

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 12, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      This is a very common problem. it’s important to keep your notes as simple as possible. Only write down what you absolutely need to. Because writing a lot can distract you from actual listening. It’s also important to be able to listen fast enough. Be sure you are listening at a fast enough pace. To better understand speech at the TOEFL pace, it can also help to study the “rise and fall” tones in English that are used to emphasize words in connected speech.

  5. soe pyae aung August 8, 2017 at 7:31 am #

    The lecture is so long for me and difficult to understand because i am start learning first.But i will try the best.

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