Common Qs Pt. 2

Your Common TOEFL Speaking Questions back to top

 

Question 4:

 

11) What if I can't catch the definition in the reading passage?

12) How do I read the passage more quickly?

13) How do I connect the definition to the example?

14) How do I know what's important?

15) Do I have to take notes; if so, how do I improve note-taking?

16) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?

 

Question 5:

 

17) Do I have to talk about both solutions?

18) What do I do if I'm having trouble with pronouns?

19) Does verb tense matter? What verb tense should I use?

20) Can I provide my own opinion?

21) Do I have to take notes; if so, how do I improve note-taking?

22) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?

 

Question 6:

 

23) What if I can't catch the definition or difficult words throughout the lecture?

24) How do I know what's important?

25) Do I have to say everything?

26) Do I have to take notes; if so, how do I improve note-taking?

27) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?

 

Your Questions Answered back to top

 

11) What if I can't catch the definition in the reading passage?

 

Our answer to this question is short and simple: Skip it. Start with your title and then move on to the example from there. It's much better for you to speak clearly and with confidence, but missing a few details, than it is to speak unclearly with pauses and little confidence. Don't sacrifice your speech for incomplete, misunderstood details.

 

To improve this ability over time, keep practicing. This is a great system to start with: Complete TOEFL Mastery

 


  

12) How do I read the passage more quickly?

 

If you're unable to catch the definition entirely, then this may mean that you need much more practice and reading comprehension improvement. It's true; the passages can be tough and when we're feeling stressed, it can be difficult to absorb the content that the reading passage is presenting. Remember, use the title as a guide to find your definition. This should be your first key word to help you scan the text quickly. Don't read the entire passage from start to finish; this will be a waste of time. Learning to read quickly and efficiently is crucial. We hope this helps!

 


  

13) How do I connect the definition to the example?

 

For all registered students, if you review Step One and Top Content of Step Three carefully, you'll find your answer. Please write in if you need clarification; we're always here to guide you through the process

 

If you're not registered, NoteFull recommends that you consider registration, because this will require more instruction and practice. Here's a link to register today:   Complete TOEFL Mastery 

 

As a quick tip, think about how the definition and the keywords (nouns and verbs) in the definition connect to the example you just heard. We hope this helps!

 


  

14) How do I know what's important?

 

Again, for all registered students, if you review Step One and Top Content of Step Three carefully, you'll find your answer. Please write in if you'd like help with a specific question in your NoteFull practice tests.

 

This skill requires some instruction and practice. If you're not registered, this is one great reason to consider going for it. Here's a link to register today: Complete TOEFL Mastery.

 

The answer to this question is similar, though, to the previous one. The definition should function as your guide. Use what you read there to help you listen more intelligently. Good luck!

 


  

15) Do I have to take notes; if so, how do I improve note-taking?

 

Note-taking is probably one of the most difficult tasks to improve quickly because there are so many different elements involved:

 

With note-taking we are using our comprehension skills.

We have to learn to write fast, but also write clearly.

We must write down meaningful words and content that will help us answer the questions.

We also have to be careful with how we organize and structure our notes. 

 

These are probably some of the major reasons why students often write in to let us know that they prefer NOT taking notes. However, if you hope to get the highest score possible, you should learn to master effective note-taking (if you're taking the TOEFL to get into any sort of academic program--consider this as preparation for your university classroom, too!).

 

To improve, we strongly urge you to register for a system that includes our awesome "Great Notes" cycle of improvement. Any system that includes 3-steps of listening, speaking, or writing will come equipped with this powerful improvement tool. Here is a great system to help you get started:  Complete TOEFL Mastery

 

If you're registered and you're still struggling, please let us know what step of the "Great Notes" cycle has been giving you the greatest difficulty. We'd be glad to clarify it for you. You may also consider tutoring; in a session, our instructors are trained to help you find the precise reason you're struggling with note-taking. We'll be here to help you every step of the way!

 


   

16) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?


This is a great question. Knowing what to say can be a great source of confusion for students. 


We, at NoteFull, recommend that you avoid paraphrasing your content. In an academic setting, we usually have the time and freedom to show our originality and creativity. Also, we also learn to be cautious about using someone else's words without citations; plagiarism is a big concern in academia. However, with the TOEFL, this is not something you should worry about. Here, it's important to apply strategies that will help you maintain accuracy and precision in your spoken and written English, under tight timed conditions. Therefore, you should always use the lectures and conversations you hear as a direct source when writing your notes. And you should use those notes as a direct source to build your spoken responses. This will not hurt your score, but will instead help you maintain accuracy. The TOEFL raters will not be looking for originality, and so it is our recommendation that you simply use the subjects, verbs, and objects you hear and read to create your responses.  

 


   

17) Do I have to talk about both solutions?

 

You don't have to do this, but we strongly recommend it. Students who struggle with the structure tend to experiment with the format in order to develop a method that works for them. Ultimately, this is okay--you should deliver using a structure that works for you, but keep in mind that if you don't talk about both solutions, you will have to come up with a lot more content on your own. When you discuss both solution one and two, you will be much better able to fill the time. So, our goal for you is that you keep working hard to master the strategy.

 

With that said, you may find that you'd like to modify the amount of content you say for each solution--especially if you're struggling to manage your time. One of our key tips to follow is to skip the "even though" statement for the first solution. This should help you focus on the most important points and still manage to finish before the time is up.

 

Keep working hard to develop a consistent pattern that works for you. No matter what, we're here to help if you're still struggling. 

  


  

18) What do I do if I'm having trouble with pronouns?

 

Pronouns can be tough to remember, especially if your native language doesn't use them in the same way we use them in English. 

 

To get over this difficulty, try using "the student" as your subject rather than "he/she." Also, when in doubt, just keep going. One little inaccurate pronoun won't kill you, so don't stop and try to correct yourself if you make a mistake here and there. 

 

Finally, if you're having a big problem with pronouns and other grammatical rules, NoteFull encourages that you take a look at our ESL Power system. This is a great way to break old habits and improve your grammar overall. Here's a link for further details:  ESL Power

 


  

19) Does verb tense matter? What verb tense should I use?

 

Yes; tense matters and whenever possible, you should be as precise as you can. However, does it have to be perfect? No. Just keep in mind that with Question 5, the students will often be discussing past or on-going problems and they'll be considering the consequences of past and future experiences. Therefore, the best way to stay precise is to take notes that mirror the tense used by the students. 

 

If you're having a big problem mastering verb tenses and any other grammatical rules, NoteFull encourages that you take a look at our ESL Power system. This is a great way to break old habits and improve your grammar overall. Here's a link for further details:  ESL Power

 


  

20) Can I provide my own opinion?

 

NoteFull provides a template that will allow you to form an opinion using the points and examples from the talk. It makes the task of answering this question a bit easier and smoother. However, some students prefer to provide their own opinions. This is fine; there are many students who succeed with this method. However, keep in mind, that if you incorporate your own opinion, you may find that you lose your fluency a bit. Transitioning from reading your notes to speaking from your mind will create a natural shift in your delivery. This may, as a result, have a negative effect on your score--which is the most important point! 

 

In short, it's up to you to decide how you'd like to deliver your responses--whether you choose to use templates or not--choose a method that you can repeat consistently and use to speak fluently. Good luck!

 


  

21) Do I have to take notes; if so, how can I improve my note-taking?

 

Note-taking is probably one of the most difficult tasks to improve quickly because there are so many different elements involved:

 

With note-taking we are using our comprehension skills.

We have to learn to write fast, but also write clearly. 

We must write down meaningful words and content that will help us answer the questions. 

We also have to be careful with how we organize and structure our notes. 

 

These are probably some of the major reasons why students often write in to let us know that they prefer NOT taking notes. However, if you hope to get the highest score possible, you should learn to master effective note-taking (if you're taking the TOEFL to get into any sort of academic program--consider this as preparation for your university classroom, too!).

 

To improve, we strongly urge you to register for a system that includes our awesome "Great Notes" cycle of improvement. Any system that includes 3-steps of listening, speaking, or writing will come equipped with this powerful improvement tool. Here is a great system to help you get started: Complete TOEFL Mastery

 

If you're registered and you're still struggling, please let us know what step of the "Great Notes" cycle has been giving you the greatest difficulty. We'd be glad to clarify it for you. You may also consider tutoring; in a session, our instructors are trained to help you find the precise reason you're struggling with note-taking. We'll be here to help you every step of the way!

 


   

22) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?


This is a great question. Knowing what to say can be a great source of confusion for students. 


We, at NoteFull, recommend that you avoid paraphrasing your content. In an academic setting, we usually have the time and freedom to show our originality and creativity. Also, we also learn to be cautious about using someone else's words without citations; plagiarism is a big concern in academia. However, with the TOEFL, this is not something you should worry about. Here, it's important to apply strategies that will help you maintain accuracy and precision in your spoken and written English, under tight timed conditions. Therefore, you should always use the lectures and conversations you hear as a direct source when writing your notes. And you should use those notes as a direct source to build your spoken responses. This will not hurt your score, but will instead help you maintain accuracy. The TOEFL raters will not be looking for originality, and so it is our recommendation that you simply use the subjects, verbs, and objects you hear and read to create your responses.  

 


  

23) What if I can't catch the definition or difficult words throughout the lecture?

 

Our answer to this question is short and simple: Skip it. Start with your title and then move on to the first subtopic from there. If you can't catch a few technical terms as you're taking notes, try to mention the subject in simpler terms if possible, but keep moving forward. Don't let doubt stop you. It's much better for you to speak clearly and with confidence, but missing a few details, than it is to speak without clarity, with pauses, and little confidence. Don't sacrifice your speech for incomplete, misunderstood details.

 


  

24) How do I know what's important?

 

Again, for all registered students, if you review Step One and "Top Content" of Step Three carefully, you'll find your answer. Please write in if you need clarification.

 

If you're not registered, be sure to register, because this will require some instruction and practice. Here's a link to register today: Complete TOEFL Mastery

 

The answer to this question is similar, though, to what we mentioned about Question 4. The definition should function as your guide. Use what you heard in the beginning to help you listen more intelligently throughout. Good luck!

 


  

25) Do I have to say everything?

 

For Question 6, we recommend that you do not try to say everything. Many of you look at the TOEFL Speaking section as a listening test--in other words, a test of your ability to listen and catch all the details and then present them in your speech. However, this should not be your goal. Here are some tips to remember:

 

1) Above all else, this is a speaking test! Remember, that if you try to say every detail and in the process sacrifice your speaking ability, quality, or intelligibility--your grader will not be able to understand all of the detail you're trying to pack in anyway! 

 

2) This is a summary question. What does this mean? This means that one of the skills you're being tested on here is your ability to summarize a large amount of content and detail. So, keep in mind, if you try to hear, write down, and say every point this will not only be difficult, but it will also be foolish! Summarizing is the key to doing well on this question.

 

3) Use your "magic number." Those of you who are registered should know to find this strategy in Step Three, "Timing Mastery." Keep practicing and let us know if you're struggling with this skill. However, if you're not registered and you are unfamiliar with the "magic number," we urge you to register. Here's a great system to check out to improve: Complete TOEFL Mastery

 


  

26) Do I have to take notes; if so, how do I improve my note-taking?

 

Note-taking is probably one of the most difficult tasks to improve quickly because there are so many different elements involved:

 

With note-taking we are using our comprehension skills.

We have to learn to write fast, but also write clearly.

We must write down meaningful words and content that will help us answer the questions.

We also have to be careful with how we organize and structure our notes. 

 

These are probably some of the major reasons why students often write in to let us know that they prefer NOT taking notes. However, if you hope to get the highest score possible, you should learn to master effective note-taking (if you're taking the TOEFL to get into any sort of academic program--consider this as preparation for your university classroom, too!).

 

To improve, we strongly urge you to register for a system that includes our awesome "Great Notes" cycle of improvement. Any system that includes 3-steps of listening, speaking, or writing will come equipped with this powerful improvement tool. Here is a great system to help you get started:  Complete TOEFL Mastery

 

If you're registered and you're still struggling, please let us know what step of the "Great Notes" cycle has been giving you the greatest difficulty. We'd be glad to clarify it for you. You may also consider tutoring; in a session, our instructors are trained to help you find the precise reason you're struggling with note-taking. We'll be here to help you every step of the way!

 


   

27) Can/Should I paraphrase the materials in my responses?


This is a great question. Knowing what to say can be a great source of confusion for students. 


We, at NoteFull, recommend that you avoid paraphrasing your content. In an academic setting, we usually have the time and freedom to show our originality and creativity. Also, we also learn to be cautious about using someone else's words without citations; plagiarism is a big concern in academia. However, with the TOEFL, this is not something you should worry about. Here, it's important to apply strategies that will help you maintain accuracy and precision in your spoken and written English, under tight timed conditions. Therefore, you should always use the lectures and conversations you hear as a direct source when writing your notes. And you should use those notes as a direct source to build your spoken responses. This will not hurt your score, but will instead help you maintain accuracy. The TOEFL raters will not be looking for originality, and so it is our recommendation that you simply use the subjects, verbs, and objects you hear and read to create your responses.  

 

Want more help? back to top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 entries
Zeev wrote on Saturday July 18, 2015 4:28am
To your attention ! Your answers to Common Qs P.1 & 2 are almost the same.