TOEFL practice: How to prepare for the practical part of the test

The TOEFL test is challenging but not impossible, if you get enough practice. These exercises will help you achieve your goals

TOEFL practice: Examples and exercises

Probably, if you have studied English at some point in your life, the phrase "Think in English" has resonated in some way. This isn't only a teachers cliché but it has a reason.

At the moment in which one learns to speak in the mother tongue, the mind assimilates it in an "automatic" way and tends to formulate the sentence first in the brain in the native language and then in English.

This can be exhausting in the long term, so doing the thinking exercise without translating our sentences helps the language to become something natural as well.

This is a series of examples and exercises to implement in the practical part of the TOEFL and thus help optimize the score obtained:

TOEFL Speaking Sample Questions and Responses

Agree/Disagree Style Questions 

Question One Template (Personal Choice)

Main Point (pick one)

  • “I agree with the idea that…”
  • “I think it is better to…”
  • “I think it is a great/terrible idea to…”

Transition (optional)

  • “I feel this way for several reasons.”

First Reason

  • “First…” + “For example…” (and a personal example)

Second Reason

  • “Second…” + “To be more specific…” (and a few more details)

 “State whether you agree or disagree with the following statement. Then explain your reasons using specific details in your argument. Teachers should assign daily homework to students.”


I agree with the idea of giving children homework on a daily basis.  I feel this way for two reasons. 

First of all, I think that it will help children to retain what they learn for a much longer period of time.  The only real way for kids to absorb a lesson is to actually go home and repeat it as much as they possibly can.  And in the long run this kind of thing will lead to a lot more academic success.

Secondly, I believe that homework can actually give children an opportunity to bond with their parents.  For example, I got a lot of daily homework when I was in elementary school. And I’d go home and do it with my mom and dad, and I’d ask them questions whenever I was having trouble. And in time we actually became really close.


“Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should help their parents with household chores as soon as they are old enough. Use details and examples in your response.”

I think it’s a great idea for kids to do household chores as soon as they’re old enough.  

First of all, this can teach children some really valuable skills that will come in handy later in life.  For instance, I was responsible for cooking breakfast for my little brother every day before we went to school when we were both kids.  As a result, when I went away to college as a teenager I stayed really healthy because I could cook my own meals instead of always going out for fast food like my friends and classmates.

Secondly, parents and children can do household chores together and this gives them a chance to bond.  You know, as they work on things like cleaning dishes or cooking food they can chat, and the kids might open up about what’s going on in their lives.

Paired Choice Style Questions (Independent)

“There are many different approaches to academic studies, and all of them have specific benefits. Do you prefer to study for tests in a group, or to study alone? Include details and examples to support your explanation.”

Some teachers encourage their students to work alone on projects and compete with each other. Other teachers encourage to collaborate and work in groups. Which approach do you think is better?”

I think teachers should encourage their students to collaborate on assignments.

First of all, this teaches students skills that are useful in the workforce.  For example, in my senior year I had a history class where I worked on a major assignment with five different students.  While working on the assignment, I had to handle scheduling and I even had to deal with interpersonal-conflict between different members of the group.  Both of these things taught me skills that I use almost every day in my career now.

Secondly, group projects simply have better outcomes.  Group projects benefit from the expertise of many different people.  As a result, the final project is usually of a higher quality than a student would complete on their own.


Good Idea Style (Independent)

“Some companies have rules that forbid employees from using personal cell phones during working hours. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.”

I think it’s a really terrible idea to tell employees that they can’t use their phones during working hours. 

First of all, our personal phones are the only way for us to hear about emergencies affecting our loved ones.  And this is something we want to hear about as soon as humanly possible.  You know, if a worker feels nervous about being out of touch with his loved ones during the day, he might actually start looking around for a job that lets him use his phone and this would be really bad for business.

Secondly, I think personal phones can maybe improve our morale at work.  We can relieve our stress by making a quick phone call or looking at a social media post.  And if we feel happier we’ll probably performer a lot better.


“Nowadays, some people use extreme methods, including surgery, to change their appearance. They do this because they want to look more attractive. Do you think this is a good idea? Support your answer with details and examples.”

I think it’s a really fantastic idea to get surgery to change your appearance.  I feel this way for two reasons.

First of all, it can make us feel a lot more self-confident.  If we really like our appearance, we can feel a lot less shy when talking to people.  And it will be easier to interact and therefore we’ll achieve more success in our personal and professional lives.

Secondly, if we don’t like the result of our surgery, we can always change it back.  I mean, plastic surgery is really affordable these days, so if you get some surgery and it looks bad… you can just get another procedure done.  For instance, I’ve changed my nose about six times already, and the expense to me has been pretty minimal.


The Reading (45 seconds)

If used properly, TOEFL speaking templates can increase your score in all four of the TOEFL speaking questions.  Use templates by inserting the required information from your notes.

Question One Template (Personal Choice)

Main Point (pick one)

  • “I agree with the idea that…”
  • “I think it is better to…”
  • “I think it is a great/terrible idea to…”

Transition (optional)

  • “I feel this way for several reasons.”

First Reason

  • “First…” + “For example…” (and a personal example)

Second Reason

  • “Second…” + “To be more specific…” (and a few more details)

Question Two Template (Campus Announcement)

Reading Main Point

  • “According to the announcement/article/letter…”

Reasons from Reading

  • “This is because ___ and ___.”


  • “There are two reasons why the man supports/opposes this change.”
  • “The man has a mixed opinion of this change.” (only for mixed-opinion conversations)

First Reason

  • “First of all, he argues that…”

Second Reason

  • “Moreover, he mentions that…”

Campus Fitness Center to Close

The campus fitness center will permanently close at the end of this semester. This decision was made by the university administration in coordination with representatives of the student’s association. Unfortunately, the building currently housing the center is very old and the university can no longer afford the cost of maintaining it or providing heat and air conditioning as required. Furthermore, the popularity of the center has declined since the university formed partnerships with several private fitness centers in the city. These partnerships mean that all full and part time students can access five privately owned gyms across the city at no cost.

Sample answer

The man opposes this.

To begin with, he points out that the university will still have to maintain the building even if the fitness center closes because it could become a dangerous fire hazard. On top of that, it will be very expensive to hire construction workers to tear down the building and replace it with something else. Moreover, he argues that all of the gyms in the city are quite far from the university, so it could be hard for students to reach them if they don’t have their own vehicle. The closest one is more than thirty minutes away by car. Additionally, it can be quite hard to find a taxi from campus into the city late at night.

TOEFL practice: How to prepare online

Preparing online has become one of the fundamental pillars since the exam began to be carried out remotely. That's why choosing a native teacher has all the advantages to successfully pass this section of the test.

Speakingathome allows its students to be supported in didactic conversational exercises with native teachers, who encourage the precise use of pronunciation and diction. You can check for them at this link.

Practice makes perfect, but it also proves the student. Working on TOEFL exercises with time provides better results

How difficult is the TOEFL practice test?

As we mentioned earlier, areview TOEFL is not passed or failed, It's based on a score ranging from 0 to 120. Depending on what type of score is sought, the difficulty of the test.

The greater the search for scores, the greater the complexity of solving it, and therefore, the greater the need to obtain knowledge of the English language.

It is vitally important to understand that exams are challenging in themselves, they will always have some degree of difficulty even with proper preparation, so acknowledging and transcending limitations is also part of preparing for a test.

Preparation time: Is a month enough?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about testing in general. Here, regardless of the score sought, the preparation in a month will depend purely and exclusively on the availability of material time to study.

The answer to the question also depends on how often you study. When working on a habit that perhaps hasn't been done for a long time, a month will most likely be insufficient, while another person accustomed to study rhythms will be able to solve it without problems.

In any case, various sites, and Speakingathome in particular, recommend a period ranging from 8 to 10 weeks, to help maximum assimilation, and to comfortably reinforce previous knowledge, if necessary.