TOEFL Tuesday: TOEFL Speaking Sample, Task 1

Since today’s TOEFL Tuesday video is mostly a sample of an answer to a speaking question, I won’t write too much here. It’s hearing the answer that’s most important!





The question I’m answering is a typical example of the first speaking task on the TOEFL. This type of question requires you to choose something from many possibilities, then explain why you chose it. For instance, you might be asked about an event in your life, a person you know, or a place you have been. It’s like a “what’s your favorite color” type of question, but about something a bit more unusual.

Here’s this week’s sample question:

What qualities are important to you in clothing, and why? Give reasons and examples to explain your answer.

In my answer, I follow an important structure. First, I give my main point. Then, I start explaining that main point. I give a clear reason for my choice, and then start to explain that reason with concrete, real-world details. Then, because I still have time, I give another reason. I start to explain that second reason with more concrete details, but I’m cut off.

And that is an important point to note. It’s okay to be cut off. If your opinion is clear, your language is (mostly) correct, and your pace and pronunciation are comfortable and understandable, you don’t need to time your answer perfectly. You can be cut off and still receive a perfect score.

Try answering the same question yourself. Give yourself 45 seconds to answer it, and use the structure that I explain our lesson this week. Be sure to give clear, specific reasons, and have fun with it!

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  • Lucas Fink

    Lucas is the teacher behind Magoosh TOEFL. He’s been teaching TOEFL preparation and more general English since 2009, and the SAT since 2008. Between his time at Bard College and teaching abroad, he has studied Japanese, Czech, and Korean. None of them come in handy, nowadays.

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