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



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Styles of Questions Used in Speaking Question Two

As of 2017, there are two main "styles" of questions that appear in part one of the speaking section.  They are:

Style One: Pure Preference (most common)

“Do you prefer to eat meals in restaurants, or in your own home? Use specific reasons and details in your response."

“Some students prefer to study online, while others prefer to take classes on campus.  Which do you prefer and why? Use specific details and reasons in your response.”

Style Two:  Agree/Disagree

"Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:  “Sometimes it is better to not tell the truth to our friends.  Use specific details and reasons in your response.”

"Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: 'It should be mandatory for children to attend school until they are 18 years old'  Use specific details and reasons in your response."

Answer Template

No matter which style is used, you can almost always use the same type of template, which should look something like this:

Main point

    “I agree/disagree with the idea that…”
    “I prefer…”
    “I think it is better to…”


      “I feel this way for two reasons.” 

First reason

      “First…”  + “To be more specific…”

Second reason

      “Second…” + “For example…”

Sample Answer

("Some students prefer to study online,while others prefer to take classes on campus.  Which do you prefer and why? Use details and examples to support your opinion.")

"I prefer to study in person instead of online.  I feel this way for two main reasons.  First of all, attending lectures gives me a chance to form beneficial relationships with other students. To be specific,  my classmates have the same professional goals as me, and talking directly to them creates a social network that will come in handy after my graduation.   Secondly, I am often confused about issues related to my field, but when I am in a classroom I can easily ask my teacher to clarify them. For example, I was bewildered by a formula in my calculus seminar last semester, but when I lingered after class for a few moments the professor quickly cleared up my confusion.  Consequently, I scored well on my next test."

General Notes

In the same answer above, I have underlined instances where I deliberately used conjunctions to create compound sentences.  This is a practice which is rewarded by the grader.  I have used bold to indicate where I used a transitional phrase.  This is also rewarded.

Note, also, that I included a personal experience at the end of the answer.  You should try to include such an example in your answer.

Finally, I did my best to avoid repeating the same words too often. This is another technique that will help you get a high score.

Video Version

Read on for help with all of the other speaking questions.