TOEFL Speaking Type Five Questions

Type five questions 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 student and a female student. It always relates to university life. One student has a problem, and the other student suggests two possible solutions to the problem. Neither of the suggestions are perfect, though, and the student with the problem will hesitate to accept them. The conversation will be between 60 and 90 seconds long.

The problems commonly relate to:

  • Projects and assignments
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Scheduling

In rare cases, the following have variations been observed:

  • The student with the problem will suggest one of the solutions himself/herself.
  • One or both of the speakers are professors.

The structure of the conversation goes something like this:

  • Greetings (introduction of the problem, necessary background information)
  • First possible solution is suggested
  • Hesitant response to the suggestion
  • Second possible solution is suggested
  • Hesitant response to the solution

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

Note that this structure will not be expressed in five lines! It will be spread over as many as a dozen lines of dialog.

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 woman's problem is...
  • She says that...
  • Her friend suggests two possible solutions
  • First of all he suggests...
  • Secondly, he says that she could ...
  • In my opinion, the woman really ought to...
  • I feel this way for two main reasons.
  • First...
  • Secondly...

Video Lesson (Including a Sample Answer)