TOEFL Speaking Type Five Questions

This guide will show you how to perfectly answer the fifth TOEFL speaking question.

Type five question includes only a listening part, which takes the form of a conversation. There is no reading part.

The Listening

The listening is a conversation between a male and a female.  Usually the speakers are both students, but sometimes it is between a student and a professor. One speaker has a problem, and the other st suggests two possible solutions to the problem. Neither of the suggestions are perfect, though, and the student with the problem will express why this is.  The conversation will be between 60 and 90 seconds long.

The problems commonly relate to:

  • Projects and assignments
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Scheduling

The student will not choose one of the suggestions at the end of the conversation.

How to Answer

Briefly describe the problem, summarize the solutions and describe which solution you think is preferable.  Advanced students can also include the responses to the provided solutions.

Answer Template

  • The man’s problem is...
  • Two possible solutions are suggested.
  • First of all, the man could...
  • Secondly, it is mentioned that he could...
  • In my opinion, the man really ought to…
  • I feel this way for two reasons.
  • First…
  • Moreover...

Sample Answer

This is the answer to a question contained in TOEFL Quick Prep Volume 3.

The man’s problem is that he needs to complete two more classes before graduation, but they are scheduled for the same time.  Two possible solutions are suggested.  First of all, the man could replace one of the classes with an independent study project.  Secondly, it is mentioned that he could take one of the classes at a different campus.  In my opinion, the man really ought to do the independent study.  I feel this way for two reasons.  First of all, he would form a meaningful relationship with a professor. Meeting regularly on a one-on-one basis would bring them very close together.  This relationship would be very beneficial even after his graduation and therefore he would stay motivated.  Moreover, it is foolish to waste money driving to another campus.  University is very expensive, and he should spend his money on things like books, seminars and associations.  These will help him to have an enjoyable academic life.

Video Lesson (Including a Sample Answer)