Here's what you need to know about the TOEFL Type 3 Speaking question

TOEFL Speaking Part Three

Type three questions consist of a reading (announcement or letter) part and a listening (conversation) part.  

The Reading

The reading part is about 100 words long, and students are given 45 or 50 seconds to read it and take notes. It usually takes the form of:

  • An article in a campus newspaper
  • A letter to the editor published in a campus newspaper
  • An announcement from the university administration

The topic of this reading is usually a change or a suggested change. For example:

  • A change in a university policy or the introduction of a new policy
  • Changes to the requirements of a class or major or the introduction of a new requirement
  • Changes related to the university facilities or the introduction of a new facility.

The structure of the reading is usually:

  • Introduction: 2-3 sentences, broadly introducing the topic
  • Details: 2-5 sentences, which cover two main features (two effects of the change, two reasons for the change, two problems with the change, etc)

The Listening (Conversation)

The conversation is always between a male student and a female student. It is about 60 to 80 seconds in length. One of the students (just one) has a strong opinion on the topic of the reading part. The other is more passive but sometimes responds to the points made by the stronger student.

The structure of the conversation is usually:

  • Introduction of the topic (something like “Hey, did you see this…”)
  • First reason for the strong opinion
  • Reaction from the other speaker
  • Second reason for the strong opinion
  • Reaction from the second speaker

Note, however, that the conversation will not just have five lines. Each of the parts may be revealed in several lines. Each student might speak as many as six lines.

Your Answer

You must quickly paraphrase the announcement and then summarize the opinion of one of the students.  The question will be something like this:

“The man expresses his opinion of the announcement made by the campus library.  State his opinion and the reasons he gives for that opinion.”

Answer Template

  • The announcement is about... // The letter is about...
  • It states that...
  • The man agrees with the plan // The man disagrees with the plan
  • He feels this way for two reasons.
  • First of all...
  • Secondly...

Video Lecture (Including a Sample Answer)