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TOEFL Listening


The TOEFL listening section contains 4 to 6 lectures with 6 questions each, and 2 or 3 conversations with 5 questions each. To do well on the listening section, it’s important to be familiar with unrehearsed speech and natural conversation. Follow the links below for lots of tips to help you beat TOEFL listening. You can also study online with Magoosh TOEFL if want a realistic TOEFL listening experience!

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TOEFL listening hub


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12 Responses to TOEFL Listening

  1. DV June 23, 2015 at 12:31 pm #


    I am preparing for my TOEFL. I would like to know if the questions would be displayed as we are listening to the audio for the Listening section. Or is it that the questions will be displayed only after the audio.


    • Lucas Fink
      Lucas Fink June 26, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      Good question. The audio plays first, only once, and then you see the questions after. You cannot see the questions while you listen. This is important, because it means you need to listen carefully and take notes!

      • Ilhom May 21, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

        Hello Lucas,

        I have 4 months to prepare for the TOEFL IBT, which schedule would you recommend. My weaknesses are writing, speaking and reading.

        Could you please help me?

        • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
          Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 24, 2019 at 8:50 am #

          Hi Ilhom,

          I would recommend that you take your time with the 2 month study plan. . You can do half of the scheduled activities for each day, and spend the rest of your time practicing English in various ways (reading, speaking, writing, listening). This will give you plenty of time to focus on your weaknesses and improve in all areas of the TOEFL! If you become a Premium student, you will get automatic access to our comprehensive study program and we can help you to adapt this study schedule to fit your needs 🙂

  2. Mattia October 16, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Hello Lucas, I hope I’m writing in the right place. I have a question for you as my girlfriend and I took the TOEFL test this morning. I was one of the first to be admitted into the class and my test went OK I guess, but my girlfriend was the last; she began her test one full hour after most of us had started, and as a result she took her listening section while the rest of the class was already speaking.
    The class was rather crowded and everybody spoke quite loudly, and she had strong difficulties hearing the listening sections; she also could not take notes, because she had to keep her hands on her earphones in order to catch at least a few words of the audio files. To top it off, some of the audio files only started a few seconds after the video, so that she missed the first few seconds of a lecture; a minor problem perhaps, but it did contribute to ruin her section.

    Both my girlfriend and I are postgraduate English students and the actual test was not a problem at all (she did OK in the other three sections), but since she couldn’t hear the audio files she had to guess most of the answers in the listening.

    In your experience, is there something we can do now? Can we perhaps explain the situation to ETS and request a refund for her, or the chance to take the test again for free?
    Thank you so much – and sorry for the longish post! Awesome blog 🙂

    • David Recine October 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      I can take this one, Lucas.

      Mattia, sorry to hear about what happened to your girlfriend. That sounds very frustrating. Ideally, TOEFL testing sites are able to take measures to prevent loud background noise and other distractions. Unfortunately in reality, good testing conditions can never be 100% guaranteed.

      I’m sorry to tell you that it’s unlikely that your girlfriend can do anything about the situation now, other than simply retake the entire exam. The TOEFL doesn’t let test-takers retake just one section of the exam. And ETS’s refund policy only covers fees for tests that were cancelled before test day, not exams that were actually completed.

      That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to call ETS and ask their advice. You can find the TOEFL customer service contact information for your country here: .

      If you explain the situation to them, they may be able to help, especially if you can somehow document what happened. (The individual test site itself may be able to help you with that.) At the very least, letting ETS know what happened at the test location can help them improve the conditions at the place where you tested, so that these problems are less likely to happen again for other students in the future.

  3. Erdenejargal March 26, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

    I took your TOEFL 1month access. In the listening section,How can I see subtitles on listening practices(lecture, conversation)?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 27, 2018 at 9:20 am #

      Hi Erdenejargal,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have closed captions for our lesson or explanation videos. However, we do have interactive transcripts for all of our lesson videos, i.e. an exact script that automatically scrolls with the video and you can click text to move to that part in the video. While we don’t have the interactive transcripts for our question explanation videos, we do have text explanations in addition to the videos. Though the wording of the text explanation and the video explanation for any individual question may differ, the information in each is the same, so you won’t be missing out on actual content by reading the text explanation only.

      As a Premium Magoosh student, remember that you can always send these questions to for a quicker and more personalized response 🙂

  4. Fahim Omar June 26, 2019 at 12:42 am #

    I am Fahim Omar from Afghanistan,
    I am preparing for my TOEFL, I listen to VOA English learning programm, would you recommand this programm for improving the listening skill?

  5. radha limbu February 24, 2020 at 10:19 pm #


    Does Magoosh provide TOEFL practice test online material? If it costs then I am ready to pay it. If so, please provide be the details for it. It is so hard to get this answer. Your site is so ridiculous. Please give me the link or information which guides me how could i buy TOEFL practice test online material?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 26, 2020 at 6:29 pm #

      Hi Radha!

      You can read more about our TOEFL Prep Program Here:

      Magoosh TOEFL Plans

      Our TOEFL Prep includes over 450 practice problems and explanation videos for all of them! You can sign-up for our free 1-week TOEFL trial to try out Magoosh. Our free 1-week trial will let you try out Magoosh’s website and try some of our lesson videos and practice questions.

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