TOEFL IBT - Speaking Topics

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    List of Independent Speaking Prompts

    By: TFB06 EQuest Academy

    * * *

    North Star Intermediate and High Intermediate

    I. Free- choice

    1. Talk about a specific time when you did something obsessively. For example, did

    you go to extremes playing video games, worrying about an exam, or practicing a

    sport or music? What did you do? What were the good and bad results? Explain.

    2. Tell a story about yourself. What animal, plant, or other nonhuman thing would you

    be? Describe your abilities and traits. You may choose to speak about a person you

    know well, instead of your self.

    3. Do you think tourists should visit the long-necked women of the Padaung tribe?

    4. Compare and contrast your views on marriage with the views of a partner.

    Highlight some of the similarities and differences.

    5. Describe a difficult experience and how you overcome it. Include details and

    examples in your explanation.

    6. Describe a time when you experienced a natural disaster or unusual weather event.

    Explain what happened and how it affected you.

    7. Should people donate money and volunteer time to help others? Why or why not?

    8. What is the most memorable meal you have had? Describe the experience of eating

    this meal. Use details.

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    II. Pair-choices

    1. When a new technology is released, some people like to try it right away, while

    others prefer to wait until the technology becomes more established and popular. How

    do you feel about new technology? Explain your answer with details and examples.

    2. Some schools, usually elementary through high school, have dress codes or require

    students to wear uniforms. (This is not very common in colleges and universities,

    except at military schools) What do you think of elementary schools or high schools

    having a dress code or uniform policy? Include details and examples in your

    explanation.

    Barrons I) Free-Choice: 1) Describe an ideal marriage partner. What qualities do you think are most

    important for a husband or wife?

    2) Explain how birthdays are celebrated in your country?

    3) Where would you like to study in The United States?

    4) A possession is an object that you own. If you were asked to choose one

    possession that you prize highly, which on would you choose? Why? What makes

    this possession especially valuable to you?

    5) Which city in the world would you like to visit?

    6) If you were asked to choose one place in your country where would you take a

    tourist, which one would you choose? Why? What is especially impressive about

    the place?

    7) In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good son or daughter in a

    family?

    8) Think about a book that you have enjoyed reading. Why did you like it? What

    was especially interesting about the book?

    II) Paired-Choice:

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    1) Some people like to watch the news on the television. Other people prefer to

    read the news in a newspaper. Still others use computers to get the news. How do

    you prefer to be informed about the news and why?

    2) Some students would rather write a paper than take a test. Other students

    would rather take a test instead of writing a paper. Which option do you prefer and

    why?

    3) Some students live in dormitories on campus. Other live in apartments off

    campus. Which living situation do you think is better and why?

    4) Some people enjoy living in a location that has a warm climate all year. Other

    people like to live in a place where the seasons change. Which type of climate do

    you prefer and why?

    5) Some people believe that the best way to succeed is to set goals and work hard

    to achieve them. Other people think that hard work is not as important as good luck.

    Which point of view do you think is true and why?

    6) Some people attracted to jobs that include a great deal of travel. Other people

    prefer jobs that allow them to return to their homes every evening. Which type of

    job opportunity would you prefer and why?

    7) Some people think that it is better to travel as part of a tour group when they

    are visiting foreign country. Other people prefer to make their own travel plans so

    that they can independently. Which approach do you think is better and why?

    8) Some students prefer to attend a school that provides education for women

    only or men only. Other students prefer to attend a co-educational school for both

    women and men. Which environment do you think is better and why? Use specific

    reasons and examples to support your opinion.

    Michigan I. Free choice

    1. If your school planned to offer an additional class, what class would you want it

    to be and why?

    2. What is the best way to build school spirit and why?

    3. Think about a helpful classmate. Give three reasons to explain what features

    make this person so helpful.

    4. What was your most rewarding class?

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    5. Summarize the homework and major school projects that you did last week.

    6. Talk about the best sports coach or other team leader you ever had

    7. Explain how you recently chose to read a specific book

    8. Summarize the process of applying for college in your country

    9. What is your favorite type of reading material, and why?

    10. Explain where you would like to go during vacation from school, and why

    11. What was your most challenging class?

    12. What is the most difficult sport, and why?

    13. At some schools, students can design their own class and study independently,

    getting college credit for their work. What do you think of this?

    14. Most students use the Internet to study. Some do research on the Internet.

    Some post questions or join discussion groups. What are the most useful ways for

    students to use the Internet?

    15. What is your favorite school club, and why?

    16. Summarize how to prepare for a test

    17. Teachers can gain a reputation for being just, or fair, with students. What

    features make a teacher seem fair to students?

    18. Think of a day from your childhood that was particularly happy. Explain what

    happened and what made it so happy.

    II. Pair-choice

    1. If you planned to become an elementary school teacher, would you take an

    elective course on child psychology or on physical education?

    2. Are college athletics a valuable part of a schools offerings or not? Why?

    3. Which do you like better, sciences and humanities, and why?

    4. Do you prefer to take handwritten notes during a lecture or to type your notes

    directly into a laptop computer? Why?

    5. In most parts of the United States, the driving age is 16 years, but in some rural

    areas, it is 14 years. Give your opinion of this situation.

    6. Some universities hold classes Monday through Thursday, while others hold

    them from Monday through Friday. Which do you prefer, and why?

    7. Some schools have shorter academic quarters around 8 weeks while others

    are longer 10 to 20 weeks. Which would you prefer, and why?

    8. Some students save their textbooks. Others sell them back to the schools

    bookstore. Which would you do?

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    9. Most schools support extra-curricular activities, such as clubs and sports teams.

    Some schools pay for these activities, some require that students pay, and some

    use a mix of school funds and student payments. Which do you think is preferable,

    and why?

    10. Do you prefer to learn through hands-on experiences or through reading and

    examining others experiences? Why?

    11. A sociology class requires that students expose themselves to day-to-day work

    in a local social service agency. To do this, students can choose to volunteer at

    one specific agency, or they can choose to visit two or three agencies and write up

    their observations. Which would you choose, and why?

    12. When students go to a university, many of them take a job for the first time.

    Some people say that this teaches them responsibility and prepares them to enter

    the workforce. Others say that working distracts them from their most important

    task: studying. Do you think it is better to work when going to university or to

    wait until graduation?

    13. After college, some students decline to enter the working world right away.

    Some travel to see the world while others volunteer for an organization like the

    Peace Corps. Which do you think is better going right to work or seeing the

    world/volunteering and why?

    Kaplan I. Free-choice

    1. Describe your countrys national anthem or national flag. Explain how it is used

    in modern society. Include details and examples.

    2. Describe an important place in your life. Tell what the place is like and explain

    why it is important to you. Include details and examples to support your

    explanation.

    3. Describe an important issue in your field of study

    4. Describe an important festival in your country

    5. Describe an important issue in choosing a university at which to study. Include

    details and examples to support your explanation.

    II. Pair-choice

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    1. Some people think that wildlife does not belong outside of its natural habitat.

    They do not think that zoos should exist. Others believe that zoos serve an

    educational purpose that is more important than the rights of the wild animals.

    Which side of this argument do you support and why? Include details and

    examples in your explanation.

    Princeton Reviews I. Free choice

    1. Describe the house that you live in

    2. If you had an entire month to do whatever you would like to do, what would it

    be? Include details and examples to support your explanation.

    3. Describe an academic subject that interests you, and explain why you find the

    subject interesting. Include details and examples to support your explanation.

    II. Pair choice

    1. Some universities have large, lecture-based classes, whereas others have

    smaller, discussion-based classes. Which do you think is better and why? Include

    details and examples to support your explanation.

    2. Some people believe that same-sex schools are more effective, whereas other

    people believe that schools with both boys and girls are better. Which approach do

    you think is better and why? Include details and examples to support your

    explanation.

    Longman I. Free choice

    1. What are the characteristics of a good neighbor? Use reasons and details to support

    your response.

    2. What is your favorite holiday? Use reasons and details to support your response.

    3. Which person has helped you the most to get where you are today, and how has he

    or she helped you? Use example to support your response.

    4. If you suddenly got $10 million, what would you spend it on? Use details to

    support your response.

    5. What does your dream house look like? Use details to support your response.

    6. What is your favorite food? Use reasons and details to support your response.

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    7. What are the good characteristics of a good parent? Use reasons and details to

    support your response.

    8. If you can live any where, where would you live? Use details to support your

    response.

    9. What person who is alive today would you most like to meet? Use reasons and

    details to support your response.

    10. Why are you preparing to take the TOEFL test? Use reasons to support your

    response.

    11. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Use details to support

    response.

    12. At what age should a person be allowed to drive? Use reasons to support response.

    13. What is the best excuse to give your teacher when you have not done the

    homework? Use reasons to support response.

    14. What is your favorite day of the year? Use reasons to support response.

    15. What change would you like your government to make? Use reasons to support

    response.

    II. Pair choice

    1. Do you prefer to be in a large or a small class? Use reasons to support your

    response.

    2. Would you prefer to go out to dinner or stay home and cook a meal? Use reasons to

    support your response.

    3. Do you think it is better to marry before or after the age of 30? Use reasons to

    support your response.

    4. Do you prefer to take essay exams or multiple-choice exams? Use reasons to

    support your response.

    5. Would you prefer to take a trip by plane or by train? Use reasons to support

    response.

    6. Would you like to live in a big city or a small town? Use reasons to support

    response.

    7. Do you think it is better to study a lone or study with friends? Use reasons to

    support response.

    8. Do you prefer to play sports or watch sports? Use reasons to support response.

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    9. Would you prefer to go to the opera or to a football game? Use reasons and details

    to support response.

    10. Would you prefer to take the TOEFL test or a math test? Use reasons and details

    to support response.

    11. If your teacher makes a mistake, it is better to correct the teacher or ignore the

    mistake? Use reasons to support response.

    12. Is it better to take changes in life or play it safe?

    13. Is it better to have a career that pay a lot of money but keeps you away from your

    family or a career that does not play so much but allows you time with your family?

    Use reasons to support response.

    14. Do you make decisions quickly or take your time making them? Use reasons to

    support response.

    15. Do you think children should always obey their parents, or are there times when it

    is not necessary for children to obey?

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