TOEFL Speaking Question 1: Template and Guide

I’ve just finished my new video guide and complete template for the first TOEFL speaking question.

First of all, here’s a video that describes the various question types and provides a template that works every time:

Next, if you want to read a long article that describes the question, check this page out.  Most people coming here are looking for speaking templates, though, so if you just want those you can read on:

-Main point
“A time when I…”
“In my opinion…”
“I would advise my friend to…”
“I think that…”
-Transition
“I feel this way for two reasons.”
“This was ——- for two main reasons.”
“I would make this suggestion for two main reasons.”
-First reason
“First…”  + “To be more specific…”
-Second reason
“Second…” + “For example…”

That template works just about every time.  The article I linked to above (as well as the video) contains a sample answer that makes use of this template.  They also describe the various question “types” in part one (pure experience, three reasons, giving advice and opinion) but note that the template is basically the same for each one.

If you have any questions just leave a comment below.

TOEFL Writing Type 2 Video

And, finally, I have updated our guide to the independent TOEFL essay.  This version reflects everything I have learned over the past 14 months about writing solid essays and about which strategies are easiest for students to grasp.  Next, I plan to update all of my videos about the speaking section.  Stay tuned!

TOEFL Writing Type 2 Templates

These have been on our main site forever, but I thought our blog readers might like to see our Type 2 Essay structures.  So here they are!

Paragraph 1 (introduction):

  • Sentence one:  A “hook.”  This is an interesting sentence that describes the topic of the essay without yet stating your main opinion.  Example:  “Children have a variety of interests and so there are many possible gifts to give them on their birthday.”
  • Sentence two:  Your main point/opinion.  Example:  “In my opinion, the very best gift to give to a child is…”
  • Sentence three:  A transitional sentence.  Example:  “I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.”
  • Sentence Four:  “First…..” (quickly summarize your first reason) // Optional
  • Sentence Five:  “Second….” (quickly summarize your second reason) // Optional

(Leave out the last two sentences if you are running out of time)

Paragraph 2 (body paragraph 1):

  • “First of all… FIRST REASON.”
  • One or two sentences that give general information about this reason
  • “For example…” (a personal example from your life that proves this reason)
  •  Three or four sentences that talk about this example

Paragraph 3 (body paragraph 2):

  • “Secondly… SECOND REASON.”
  • One or two sentences that give general information about this reason
  • “My own experience is a good example of this.”
  •  Three or four sentences that talk about this example

Paragraph 4 (conclusion):

  • In conclusion… MAIN POINT.”
  • “This is because REASON ONE and REASON TWO.”

You can see these in action by visiting our collection of sample essays.

TOEFL Resources


This blog complements TOEFL Resources, a collection of guides to the TOEFL iBT.

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