An easy way to get a high score on the TOEFL independent speaking tasks is to think of your answer as a mini essay. Of course, you have only 45 seconds in total, so your introduction and conclusion may be only one line each. Even so, by including them, you provide a complete answer.
The introduction should immediately answer the question asked in the task. State clearly what you are going to speak about or what you prefer. This is like the thesis statement in an essay.
The body is where you provide the reasons, details or examples to explain or support your answer.
Your last sentence allows you to conclude in a logical, powerful and convincing way.
Let’s look at some sample TOEFL speaking tasks below. You can practice for your exam by reading the answers aloud. In this way, you’ll have a better idea how to structure your own answer on exam day.
Describe something that you do to reduce stress. Explain why it is helpful. Include details and examples to support your answer.
Reading books helps me to relieve stress like nothing else can.
This is true for several reasons. First, when I read a book I mentally enter the world of ideas. I can forget my day-to-day worries.
Second, from an emotional angle, reading is a solitary act. It enables me to spend time alone, away from others. This helps me feel more peaceful.
Third, from a physical perspective, reading allows me to stop working and relax my body. At home, I like to read while lying in bed or on the sofa.
The act of reading transports me to another world. That’s why books are good friends and why reading is such an effective way of reducing my level of stress.
TOEFL Speaking Sample-1.. Analysis
The response above would get a high score for several reasons:
It answered the question fully.
It was grammatically correct.
It used simple, clear vocabulary.
It spoke about the actual topic, and not some other topic.
It proceeded logically, from introduction to body to conclusion.
It used transition words, such as first, second and third.
It gave three reasons: mental, emotional and physical
It gave three details /examples: to forget worries, to feel more peaceful, to lie on bed / sofa
The conclusion reinforced the fact that the speaker had understood the task clearly.