Question Styles in TOEFL Speaking Part Two
As of 2018, there are three main styles of questions that appear in part two of the speaking section. They are, with examples:
Style One: Pure Preference
“Do you prefer to study for tests in a group, or alone? Include details and examples to support your explanation.”
“Some people like to watch TV news programs every day, while others like to watch them only now and then. Which do you prefer? Include details and examples to support your explanation.”
Style Two: Agree/Disagree
“State whether you agree or disagree with the following statement. Then explain your reasons using specific details in your explanation. Teachers should not assign homework to students.”
“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should help their parents with housework as soon as they are old enough. Use details and examples in your response.”
Style Three: Advantages and Disadvantages (new)
“Some people like to take classes online instead of attending them in person. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? What do you prefer? Use details and examples in your response.”
“Your university is planning to make class attendance optional. What is your opinion and why? What are some advantages and disadvantages? Use details and examples in your response.”
Answer Template for Styles 1 and 2
For the first two styles, you can almost always use the same type of template, which should look something like this:
Main Point (pick one)
- “I agree/disagree with the idea that…”
- “I prefer…”
- “I think it is preferable to…”
- “I feel this way for two reasons”
- “First…” + “For example…” (and a personal example)
- “Second…” + “To be more specific…” (and an elaboration without a personal example)
Sample Answer for Styles 1 and 2
(“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should help their parents with housework as soon as they are old enough.”)
I agree with the idea that kids should help with chores right away.
I feel this way for two reasons.
First, doing a bit of housework will teach them really valuable skills. For example, I was required to prepare breakfast for my little brother before school, so when I grew up and moved away to college I had no problem putting together healthy meals for myself. As a result, I stayed really strong and fit when I was a student.
Second, shared tasks can create bonds between family members. To be specific, kids are sometimes shy, but if they spend long periods of time with their parents doing chores they might open up a bit. Accordingly, they will be more likely to talk about their feelings.
Answer Template for Advantages and Disadvantages Questions
For the third style, your template should look something like this:
- “There are certainly both benefits and drawbacks of _____.”
- “First of all, one advantage is _____.” (+1-3 sentences of elaboration)
- “However, a disadvantage is _____.” (+1-3 sentences of elaboration)
- “Overall, though, I guess it’s better to _____.”
Sample Answer for Advantages and Disadvantages Questions
(“Some people like to take classes online instead of attending them in person. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this trend? Use details and examples in your response.”)
There are certainly both benefits and drawbacks of choosing to study online instead of taking classes on campus.
First of all, an advantage is that we can get an education even if we have a full-time job. Usually, classes on campus occur during the daytime, which makes it impossible to balance both employment and a busy academic schedule. In contrast, if we study online we can complete them when we get home from work in the evening.
However, a possible disadvantage is that we won't interact with classmates. Sharing our ideas and viewpoints with like-minded peers is a big part of an education, but this obviously won't happen if we don't go to a university in person.
“Overall, though, I guess it is better to take online classes.”
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Read on for help with all of the other speaking questions.