I have a new sample question up on TOEFL iBTv, demonstrating question 2 from the speaking section:
Hope it helps!
I have a new sample question up on TOEFL iBTv, demonstrating question 2 from the speaking section:
Hope it helps!
The samples for test 3 and 5 actually feature the new topic style recently introduced by ETS for question 1 – asking you to focus on a negative impression of something (rather than a positive).
I have just posted a new TOEFL iBTv tutorial for the speaking section of the test. This one gives an example response for Question 1 on Test 2 (in the TOEFL Speaking Mentor system), breaking the answer into sections and showing you some simple tips and strategies to improve your spoken response.
Hope it gives you some good pointers!
Sorry I haven't posted notifications of new tutorials for TOEFL iBTv here for a while... There are actually three new tutorials there for the speaking section of TOEFL in particular, and the latest one focuses on a simple 5-step process for you to improve your speaking performance fully on your own (no matter which particular question type it is).
Check out the new tutorial here:
All the best to you all,
Posted by Jason Renshaw on February 08, 2010 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Well, it's been a busy couple of weeks, first with a record number of new subscribers in January (I thought it was going to be a little quieter and I might even get a chance to take a quick break - not to be!).
Second, I've finally finished formatting two new complete speaking tests for the TOEFL Speaking Mentor service. That brings the total number of tests available to FIVE, or more than 30 TOEFL speaking tasks for students to try each week (plus another 80 mega-list topics for the independent question types).
Of course, increasing the volume of tests and questions by such a volume meant I had to increase the subscription price, but - aware that many students are on a tight budget - I created a new type of subscription for people who just want access to all the practice tests, tutorials and bonus topics. It means you need to be willing to practice on your own without direct scoring from me, but the good news is that you can get more speaking material and tips than I've seen on any other site or in any published TOEFL guidebook for only $15 per month.
BUSY BUSY BUSY! But BUSY means HAPPY of course...!
All the best,
Just finished putting together this video covering some of the most common mistakes I encounter in TOEFL test-taker's speaking when they are trying to focus on the right content to include in their answers. Hope it helps and gives you some ideas!
One of the genuinely thrilling aspects of the work I do with TOEFL speaking and writing online has to do with the real difference a good TOEFL speaking and/or writing score can make for people's lives.
I see this most commonly with the people I help achieve the (very challenging) scores they need to attain entry into good university programs abroad, but also with professional licenses to practice things like pharmacy and physiotherapy in English-speaking countries (especially the US). A TOEFL speaking score of 26 can mean the barriers to getting an internship and green card are finally overcome. Qualifications of this kind are absolutely life-changing for the students involved, and knowing I played even a small part in that is thrilling and humbling at the same time. There are some examples of what a profound difference this can make here.
However, now and then I get news from students and teachers that makes what I do feel even more special. I got an early Christmas present today in the form of an email from a teacher in Brazil who has been using my TOEFL Speaking Mentor program to help her students there:
Actually, I'm an ESL teacher here in Brazil, and have used your site to help prepare a couple students for their TOEFL tests. I'm proud to share that they earned a 97 and a 100 on their tests- 26 and 23 on the speaking sections, respectively. Just so you know how much deeper your website goes than just helping earn a certain score- the first student, Gustavo, is a surgeon here, who is now able to go to Canada to study in a fellowship there and then return to the Northeast of Brazil as the only lung transplant surgeon in the whole region.... until he does this, many lung patients who cannot travel have no other choice but to succumb to their illnesses. It should be an honor to play a role in such an important development in this country!
I really appreciate the services your website offers, and will definitely be a returning customer in the future. Merry Christmas to you too!
Wow! I've just helped a Brazilian surgeon get the score he needs to study in Canada, so that he can then return and become Northeast Brazil's only lung transplant surgeon! The thought that helping a student like this can actually save lives and make a real difference in the world is - well, it makes me realize what an honor teaching can be as a profession!
My heartfelt congratulations to Gustavo and his dedicated teacher Rebecca, and thank you for giving me such an awesome early Christmas present!
How do you pass the TOEFL and get the speaking and writing scores you need? The answer is clear...
More good news has arrived about people using my TOEFL Mentor services and getting the scores they require for professional licensing purposes!
SHERYL (TOEFL Speaking score 27 and successful visa screening as Physical Therapist!)
JULIANA (TOEFL Speaking score 26 plus overall score of 113 - successful license qualification!)
VENUS (TOEFL Speaking score 26 and Writing score 25 - successful license qualification!)
SARRA (TOEFL Speaking score 26, after trying the test many times and working really hard!)
My very best wishes to these TOEFL Mentor members and all the best for a bright and successful future!
:-) :-) :-)
Having problems with Question 6 (the scary lecture task) in the TOEFL Speaking section?
Well, my latest TOEFL iBTv tutorial might be able to provide you with some simple but helpful tips, especially when it comes to managing the information you need to talk about, but also managing the time limit!
You can access the tutorial here:
Hope it helps you out!
While it's not strictly TOEFL, my recent video tutorial for TOEIC speaking will give you some good ideas about pace, rhythm and stress when you record answers to test questions online...
Posted by Jason Renshaw on November 07, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
The latest TOEFL iBTv tutorial is up on the site, this one with more focus on using EMPHASIS in your spoken response to make you easier to understand and to also ensure the test assessor catches on to the fact that you are covering key information in your response to a particular question.
The examples of emphasis here are framed within an example response to a Question 5 style task from the TOEFL speaking section.
If you're preparing for the TOEFL, you've most probably already found Michael Buckhoff's great Better TOEFL Scores website and collection of materials. If you haven't, then it's about time you checked it out!
Well, we're two of the better-known resources known around the Internet when it comes to improving your TOEFL test performance, so it appeared logical to us to join forces and enhance each other's offerings to TOEFL test takers.
As a result, my TOEFL Speaking and Writing Mentor services have been added to Michael Buckhoff's great S.T.E.A.L.T.H 7-step coursework system for passing the TOEFL!
Check out Michael's announcement here, and I hope you'll go ahead and benefit from the great stuff both Michael and I offer to our TOEFL students.
Hundreds of students are joining, and reporting big improvements in their scores!
If you're preparing for TOEFL Speaking, and haven't joined this service - then you're already falling behind...
Make sure you sign up and give yourself the very best opportunity to get the TOEFL speaking score you need for your future!
Posted by Jason Renshaw on October 29, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice, Teaching Activities and Tips for iBT Classrooms | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Well, this (TOEFL speaking question 4) appears to be the question in the speaking section that causes the most grief to test-takers. Hopefully the video tutorial below will help make things a little clearer and more manageable!
For more helpful tutorials like this for TOEFL speaking and writing, make sure you visit my TOEFL iBTv page!
Well done, Charmaine! A TOEFL Speaking score of 28 and 102 overall for the test!
Another success for TOEFL Speaking Mentor!
All the best,
I noticed recently that my forum for TOEFL gets most of visits (by far actually - 70,000 referrals to date!) from Facebook.
That reminded me that I haven't really done much about a TOEFL presence on Facebook, so I went ahead and created a TOEFL Mentor page there. If you're on Facebook, why don't you become a "fan" and get instant updates on what I'm doing for TOEFL?
To get things rolling, I started a discussion thread there about:
Yet another RISE TOEFL Speaking Mentor success story to make my day!
This email just came to me from another of my students - Danae from Greece:
I just got my TOEFL scores! I got 28 in the speaking section and a total of 115!!
Your tips and tricks were very helpful! I was really worried about the speaking section, but thanks to your advice I became more confident. Your comments on our recordings were very useful to me, because they gave me the opportunity to understand the flaws in our answers and identify my mistakes. Therefore, I could focus on these aspects and try to give more accurate answers.
I have recommended your website to all my friends, it is outstanding!
Thank you very much for the help! :)
Well, you're most welcome Danae! Congratulations on such a fine result - 28 for speaking and 115 overall is an outstanding effort.
Best wishes for a bright future,
Another TOEFL success story - congratulations to Rosemary!
I always get a real thrill when I hear about another student reaching their professional goal in English.
I just got this wonderful news from one of my first TOEFL Speaking Mentor subscribers:
Hi Jason, this is Rosemary, one of the first set of people who subscribed to your Toefl mentor programme. My name in this forum is RANYANWU if you can remember. I took toefl on the 10th of October, and the result was just released today. I made 26 in Speaking. Since I met your website, I knew that I have found an answer to toefl. I had written toefl severally without hope or even knowing what the raters wanted. Thanks a lot Jason. My family and I are very grateful. This is a huge success to me in the ladder of my professional career as a pharmacists here in the U.S. After knowing your website, I incorporated your template in my practice and also used it in the exam. I made good in familiar topic/ fair in campus situation /good in academic based content. I am particularly happy making good in Quest 4& 6 which are the ones I used to be nervous about. It really showed that your templete for integrating in Q4 really works. Thanks a thousand time. I am sure that intending toeflers should not hesitate to consult your site for toefl preparation. Bye.
Wonderful stuff, and my sincerest congratulations to Rosemary!
All the best,
~ Jason Renshaw
Just uploaded a new tutorial to TOEFL iBTv giving you some ideas about good expressions to use when answering Question 3 in the TOEFL speaking section.
Check it out!
Best wishes to you all,
I just posted about this issue over on Erin's Test Magic Forum in the TOEFL Speaking section there.
If you're stuck in the 22-24 bracket for TOEFL Speaking and can't work out why your score isn't improving (no matter how much you practice or take the actual test), then you might like to read that post!
All the best,
I've just added four new sample topics and model answers to my free TOEFL Speaking Topics page. Find out about:
The topic mega lists available exclusively to TOEFL Speaking Mentor subscribers feature these plus another four example topics and model answers, describing:
There are of course many MANY more topics and example answers available to TOEFL Speaking Mentor subscribers, but these are just some of the latest updates!
Good luck to you all in your TOEFL speaking preparation!
Posted by Jason Renshaw on October 03, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The latest speaking-related tutorial has just been uploaded to Jason's TOEFL iBTv:
I get a lot of questions about this one - how to take quick notes in just 45 seconds of reading time, so it's a good one to watch and think about!
It's really important in Question 2 in the iBT TOEFL Speaking Section that you are able to indicate your personal preference quickly, clearly, but also a little elegantly - with good language use and emphasis/intonation.
Find out how it can be done with my latest addition to Jason's TOEFL iBTv:
All the best,
Just a quick update to let blog visitors know that 4 new questions for the TOEFL iBT Independent speaking topics have been added to my site, along with my recorded example answers.
Access them here:
All the best,
This is the latest TOEFL iBTv tutorial, and you can access it at the link below:
Hope it helps somebody out there!
Well, it took a while, but finally I've completed and released the brand new TOEFL Writing Mentor service.
You can take a sneak-peek at the service by watching the screencast below:
With 5 complete writing tests (10 writing questions - 5 integrated and 5 independent), 25 professional tutorials, and the chance to submit your writing and get scores from me, it has to be one of the premier TOEFL writing services you'll find anywhere on the Net!
I've also been making some great updates to the existing TOEFL Speaking Mentor service as well!
The available complete speaking tests have been increased from 1 to 3 (meaning 18 practice speaking tasks rather than 6), and I am now checking and scoring all responses to speaking tasks on Tuesday of each week.
I am also in the process of adding more example answers, broken down into sections so test takers can see how much time and what sort of content I dedicate to each 'part' of one response.
So TOEFL Speaking and Writing continue to develop and improve on my site. If you're getting ready for the test and aren't a member yet - you're falling behind!
I've made a new version of TOEFL Speaking Mentor, which you can preview on the screencast below:
I'm amazed and delighted to see how many people have been posting that these special TOEFL speaking tips have helped them to get scores of 26-29 out of 30 in the speaking section.
Obviously, the tips work!
If you're looking for a good example of how answers to the various TOEFL speaking tasks ought to be organized and expressed, I recommend looking at Sharh's responses in my TOEFL Speaking Mentor program:
Although Sharh rehearsed her answers and did some additional preparation (hence, getting an advantage over the usual "super pressure" time limits), her tactical and organizational approaches to expressing the correct content in appropriate ways serves as an excellent model.
Technically, if someone were to answer the actual test the way Sharh has, they would be looking at a TOEFL speaking score of 28.
Well done, Sharh - an excellent model framework!
Well, I'm back on home soil now, and happily getting back into my online learning materials!
I've just finished updating the TOEFL Speaking Mentor service so that subscribers get a great new interface with the test materials, my video tips for the different question types, and a personal Voxopop recording thread all in the one page.
So that means everything in one place without having to open multiple browsers and click around all the time!
Other than that, I've finished creating a new IELTS Speaking talkgroup, and a TOEFL Writing Mentor service is in development and will be launched soon (sometime late April, I'm guessing).
Time now for the third tutorial in my new series of TOEFL speaking study aids - this is Tutorial 1.3, explaining how to provide a contextual description to add to the general topic you have identified for your response.
Hope these tutorials are helping!
I posted an analysis of the speaking section of the TOEFLa while back, including my concerns and criticims about the format and direction of the tasks.
Of course, I'm not alone in finding things wrong with the TOEFL iBT, and I recently read some interesting comments on Alex Case's TEFLtastic blog. It was particularly interesting to read the quotes from an expert from the Humanizing English Teaching movement who tried the test to see what it was like.
Worth a read!
Here's the second tutorial in my latest series - this one also concentrates on question 1 and follows up from the tutorial on note-taking preparation, this time with the focus on stating your main idea in response to the topic:
Good luck with your practice!
Proof is in the pudding, as they say. Thanks to the following people for letting me know about their TOEFL results, and how the various tips and help materials I've placed on the Internet helped them achieve their goals!
Tania- 111 (R-28, L-28, S-28, W-27)
Jakub- 113 (R-30, L-30, S-26, W-27)
Simmi- 112 (R-29, L-29, S-26, W-28)
Hishoeb- 110 (R-26, L-28, S-27, W-29)
Iccotdis- 114 (R 29, L 29, S 27, W 29)
sm_55- 114 (30-R, 30-L, 26-S, 28-W)
Sonutulsiani- 106 (R-24, L-27, S-26, W-29)
Tofela- (Speaking 27)
Cou- 103 (27 R, 28 L,24 S and 24 W), needed 21 in each section of the test...
So there you have it... People who follow my advice and practice strategies get the scores they need!
Here is a tutorial to help you practice for speaking question 1. This focuses on what to do in your preparation and what you might like to do for note-taking.
Give it a try - hope it helps in your preparation!
I recently came across a whole stash of free TOEFL test practice materials at this link.
I only really had time to check out some of the speaking tests. The positive is that the creator of this site has managed to very accurately replicate the actual TOEFL test browser format, including the automatic timer function (so it will be good for you in terms of getting a great feel for the actual test experience.
On the negative side, many of the actual recordings for the listening sections come out quite muted and difficult to hear without turning your volume settings up ultra high. Even then, it's distracting because the narration sections are clear and set at a higher volume - so one minute you'll be straining to hear the speakers in a dialogue, and then the narrator will come on and blast your eardrums out! Also, despite the great timing functions, you can't actually record your performance or listen to yourself afterwards.
Still, as I said, it can still be great practice, on account of the close resemblance to the actual TOEFL browser and automatic timing functions. There are also a lot of tests and practice items to go through, including all the other parts of the test (reading, listening and writing as well as speaking).
One note of caution: I don't know how long these materials can/will stay available up on the web. The site maker has not documented where the original materials came from - so there is a good chance they have been burned, copied and uploaded illegally using some other source. Maybe (hopefully) I'm wrong there, but generally speaking I would expect to see rights/copyright asserted if the site owner had made or organized the making of all these materials privately...
Posted by Jason Renshaw on February 09, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), iBT Writing in General, iBT Writing Qu. 1 (Int R-L-W), iBT Writing Qu. 2 (Ind-Essay), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
There are a lot of ways you can improve your chances of performing well in the TOEFL speaking section. It depends a lot on your personal learning style, self-discipline, and the time available to you before you take the actual test.
If you aren’t making a lot of progress, it could be time to consider getting a professional tutor to help you.
It isn’t cheap, but it is infinitely less expensive than paying the US$150 to take the TOEFL iBT time after time in the vague hope you’ll get that magical score. I’ve heard from students who took the TOEFL test more than 10 times looking for a specific score of 26 or more in the speaking section. 10 times! That’s US$1500! What was more staggering to me was hearing that some of these same students weren’t willing to pay for a professional tutor or pay for good quality test preparation materials… So, some people are willing to pay more than a thousand dollars to keep taking the test again and again, but not willing to pay less than one hundred dollars to get some professional tuition and some decent materials. Unbelievable! It just doesn’t make sense.
Considering even $100-$200 in top quality tuition could make all the difference in getting the score you need on your next test, you actually stand to SAVE a huge amount of money by not needing to keep take the test.
In any case, I have a speaking tuition program available that can really help you improve your performance – it’s called TOEFL Speaking Mentor and it’s available at this link:
The basic program is available for as little as US$12 per subscription. Doing the math, you could actually practice taking the speaking test 12 times with professional support and feedback for the price it costs you to take one official TOEFL test. Using the PLUS program (at US$27 per subscription), which gives much more detailed feedback and advice, you could still do this sort of practice 5-6 times at the same cost as the official test.
So it’s up to you – harder or smarter!
Posted by Jason Renshaw on January 21, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I've been wondering about this for some time - do TOEFL test takers actually understand what they need to do in order to score well in the speaking section? I started a poll to find out:
Cast your own vote as a test taker, or just take a look at the results. Interesting...
Now you can embed a full iBT speaking test directly into your webpage or blog posting!
Go to this link to find out how:
All the best,
Posted by Jason Renshaw on January 14, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice, Teaching Activities and Tips for iBT Classrooms | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
I've just completed a brand new iBT TOEFL speaking test, fully browser-based, with all-new question items covering all 6 parts of the speaking test. (Please note: this is a new test and different to the full test referenced in this blog earlier)
You can access it at this link:
So there's some more free practice for test-takers to take advantage of!
All the best,
Posted by Jason Renshaw on January 08, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Now you can try a full TOEFL speaking practice test entirely for free, record your answers online, and compare them to the hundreds of example answers already submitted:
Posted by Jason Renshaw on January 02, 2009 in iBT Speaking in General, iBT Speaking Qu. 1 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 2 (Ind), iBT Speaking Qu. 3 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 4 (Int R-L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 5 (Int L-S), iBT Speaking Qu. 6 (Int L-S), News and General Gossip, Online Practice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)