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TOEFL iBT Listening Guide (2023)

The TOEFL iBT Listening section is the 2nd area that appears in the TOEFL Exam, it is designed to determine your capability to comprehend conversations and lectures in English. The core purpose of this section is to evaluate how well you can understand and listen lectures or discussions on academic-style topics in English. It likewise checks your capability to connect and manufacture information in a logical way.

In this article, we will look at different question types covered under TOEFL Listening and techniques to resolve them efficiently.

Table of contents

TOEFL Listening Test Questions: Campus Conversations, Academic Presentations

The TOEFL Listening test is designed to measure a candidate’s English listening skills in a college campus environment, so the test questions are related to campus life. There are two main types of test content.

One is the Campus Conversation, which consists of one-on-one conversations between professors and students or between students and campus service organizations (e.g., dormitory units).

The other is academic lectures, which are usually given by professors in classrooms and cover topics such as humanities, arts, and science.

For both of these topics, the questions require you to be able to understand the main idea, the details, the speaker’s point of view or attitude, and even to infer from listening to the content that the correct information is not obvious. There will be two to three campus conversations and three to four academic presentations.

Overview of TOEFL Listening Section

Listening section TasksAnswer questions about brief lectures or classroom discussions
Total Number of Questions28-39 questions
Time Duration41-57 minutes
Score Range0 – 30 (Scaled Score) 0 – 34 (Raw Score)

The section consists of listening for:

  • fundamental comprehension
  • understanding/comprehending the speaker’s attitude and degree of certainty
  • linking/ connecting information

Listening questions

You’ll hear lectures and discussions in this area. Both utilize campus-based language.

  • 3– 4 lectures, some with classroom conversation, each 3– 5 minutes; 6 questions per lecture
  • 2– 3 discussions, each 3 minutes; 5 questions per discussion

How are the questions provided in TOEFL Listening section?

In the TOEFL Listening Section, the questions are delivered through an audio recording. In addition to the audio, you will see a photo on the screen that shows the context of the question and the variety of speakers.

You are required to listen to the audio clip and address the questions that follow. Considering that you will be allowed to listen to the audio clip only when, you will have to remember the appropriate chunks of info. A great way to do this is to focus entirely on the audio with an uncluttered mind and write down fast notes.

As somebody attempting the TOEFL listening section, do not fret about comprehending the audio and bearing in mind at the same time. Factor being, the speakers in the listening excerpts talk gradually and you will be easily able to understand the details.

So, it is possible for you to make notes of the essential words or expressions and write them down all at once. You may get a chance to hear snippets duplicated in the questions, but you should focus on the recording in the very first hearing itself. Also, do not panic if you miss something or don’t comprehend the meaning of a word or sentence. Just note down what you remain and hear focused.


You can take notes on any audio product throughout the test to assist you address questions.

Test time: You have 41 to 57 minutes to complete the section.

Accents

The Listening section includes native English-speaking accents from North America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia to better reflect the diversity of accents you could meet while studying in other countries.

Our TOEFL test prep courses and TOEFL practice questions, all audio sections are recorded by teachers with the accents listed above. Sign up FREE and try out our study materials now!

Extra test questions

Some test takers may be asked additional questions in the Reading and Listening sections of your test. These questions will not count towards your score. However you may not know which questions are no-score value extra questions, therefore please answer ALL questions seriously.

The reason for the Extra questions is to help ETS to:

  • Test scores should be comparable between administrations
  • Determine how these questions work under real testing conditions