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TOEFL iBT Listening

Overview
Section
Listening

Content
46 lectures
(5 minutes)
6 questions
each
23
conversation
s
(3 minutes)
5 questions
each

Time
6090
minutes (in
total)

35 seconds
to answer
each
question

Score
/30

2. Language Level
More informal language than in Reading
section
based on speech samples from North American
colleges and universities

Easier than Reading section


lectures: 8th grade difficulty level
conversations: 4th or 5th grade difficulty level

Lectures
more difficult than conversations because of
academic content

3. Types of Listening
Passages

Lectures

professor speaks all or most of the time

Classroom discussions
professor and students discuss an academic topic

Conversations
office hours with a student visit to a professor
service encounters with support staf

Taking notes is allowed and encouraged.

4. Lecture Visuals
Screen with course name
Context visual: professor in class
with students
Types of graphic screens
content image: explains content
with photograph or illustration
blackboard image with key
terminology

5. Conversation Visuals
Context visual sets the scene.
Visual appears when narrator introduces
the conversation.

6. Question Sets
Each set
two lectures and one conversation
each set of passages has 17 questions

Time
10 minutes to answer 17 questions

Lecture questions are more difficult than


conversation questions.
four minutes for questions on each lecture and
two minutes for the conversation questions

Question order usually follows order of


information in passage.

7. Listening Toolbar
NEXT to see the next question.
OK to confirm the answer.
After clicking OK, you cannot change your
answer.

VOLUME to increase or decrease volume.

8. Multiple Choice
Questions

Most have four choices and one correct answer


Gist: purpose for a conversation
Inference: draw conclusion from stated facts
Detail: main supporting details

may have two or three correct answers


if two correct answers, then four answer choices; if three
correct answers, then five answer choices.

Organization: underlying organization of


lecture or relationships between two parts

9. Connecting Content
Questions

Drag and drop answer choices to the


correct category.
Place checkmarks in the correct boxes.

10. Replay Questions


Attitude
ask about speakers feelings,
opinion, or certainty

Function
ask about meaning behind
speakers words

Include headphone icon


Listen again to portion of lecture
or conversation.

11. Common Distractors


Common distractors (incorrect answers) in
the Listening section:
repeat words and phrases from passage, but
incorrectly answer the question
contain similar sounding words
do not answer the question
are not mentioned in the passage
contradict passage

Gist Questions
Incorrect answers may be too broad or too narrow.

12. Helpful Tips


Correct answers are usually restatements of
information from the listening passage.
Guess if youre unsure of an answer
Eliminate the definitely wrong answers.
Choose the answer that is most consistent with
the main idea.

13. More Helpful Tips


Work quickly.
You only have 35 seconds to answer each
question.
Maintain a balance between speed and accuracy.

If time is running out,


guess the answers to the remaining questions.

You do not lose points for incorrect


answers.