Rachel Wisuri

TOEFL Speaking Template

Speaker faces an auditorium of adult students representing the TOEFL speaking template - image by Magoosh

The Contents of the Magoosh TOEFL Speaking Templates

If you’re not sure how to structure your Speaking response, these TOEFL Speaking section templates will help. In the PDF at the bottom of this post, you will find a template for each Speaking task, as well as sample responses, created by our TOEFL expert Lucas. These are meant to give examples of the kinds of phrases native English speakers might use in simialr academic tasks. We hope you find them helpful for both Independent Speaking and Integrated Speaking!

TOEFL Speaking Templates

How to Use TOEFL iBT Speaking Templates

Memorizing Templates Won’t Help You

First, a note on the word “template.” You may be looking for a full response that you can memorize, simply adding in small details as you speak. Unfortunately, that’s not a good idea. The first reason not to memorize whole answers is that if you memorize whole sentences that other test takers also memorized and used, you will get a 0 on the Speaking section for plagiarism. Not only that, but there is an important second reason not to do this: the different types of tasks on the test have varying levels of complexity, and feature specific questions you won’t get to see in any prep materials. You cannot simply give a whole answer from memory, because you don’t know exactly which academic topic you’ll be dealing with.

Use Specific Words and Phrases to Improve Your Answers

But you can use specific words and phrases to structure your answers on the TOEFL test– this is the third reason to do something other than simply memorizing a whole answer! If you know a few phrases to start your response, a few to move on to the next idea, and a few to end the response, then you can better organize your answers. Well, organized answers are more likely to get you a high score because they’re easier to understand. Not only that, but using the same kinds of common phrases that native speakers use can help you feel more fluent and confident in English, even if for you English is a foreign language. In short, using a template like this is simply a far better choice than memorizing whole responses and hoping that the real test has familiar topics that match what you’ve memorized.

So, learn the words and phrases we provide you and start applying this language use in your TOEFL Speaking practice. The more you practice using them, the easier they will be to remember and use on test day. And these phrases can work well across the entire TOEFL Speaking section: the Independent task and the Integrated Speaking tasks. Whether you’re discussing personal experience and personal preference, summarizing ideas from a reading passage or audio clips, describing campus situations, or explaining an academic lecture, this template can help. Best of all, once you know these structural words and phrases for your responses, you don’t have to think about them very much. Instead, you can use your preparation time to focus on other aspects of your response.

Switch Up Your Structure

But be careful not to use the same phrases for every task. If you always use the same structure, the graders will think you have a limited vocabulary. Pick different introductions and transitions for each task. Then put them together in full responses with the specific details. And remember to put a healthy dose of your ideas into your response. The main reasons and specific examples you give should be your original words.

After the template for each task, there is a sample answer that shows one way TOEFL test takers could use the phrases. That will help show the overall structure of your answers. And remember to pay attention not only to the structure of these sample answers, but also the length of each model response. Aiming for the right length will help you give answers that fit within the time limit. (And of course, the time frame is very important on any timed test.)

Other Resources on the Magoosh Web Site

Magoosh offers many other free or affordable ways to prepare for the TOEFL Speaking test, so you may not need to hire a private tutor just yet! Here are some possible solutions for your TOEFL Speaking study needs.

Download TOEFL speaking templates - magoosh


  • Rachel Wisuri

    Rachel helps eager students find out about Magoosh. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a super helpful double major in History and French. In her free time she can be found eating peanut butter, drinking five cups of tea per day, and playing with cats.

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