TOEFL iBT Listening Overview - Oxford Preparation Course for the

TOEFL iBT Listening Overview
4─6 lectures
(5 minutes)
6 questions
60─90 minutes
(in total)
(3 minutes)
5 questions
35 seconds to
answer each
2. Language Level
• More informal language than in Reading section
 based on speech samples from North American colleges and
• Easier than Reading section
 lectures: 8th grade difficulty level
 conversations: 4th or 5th grade difficulty level
• Lectures
 more difficult than conversations because of academic
3. Types of Listening Passages
• Lectures
 professor speaks all or most of the time
• Classroom discussions
 professor and students discuss an academic topic
• Conversations
 office hours with a student visit to a professor
 service encounters with support staff
• Taking notes is allowed and encouraged.
4. Lecture Visuals
• Screen with course name
• Context visual: professor in class
with students
• Types of graphic screens
 content image: explains content
with photograph or illustration
 blackboard image with key
5. Conversation Visuals
• Context visual sets the scene.
• Visual appears when narrator introduces the
6. Question Sets
• Each set
 two lectures and one conversation
 each set of passages has 17 questions
• Time
 10 minutes to answer 17 questions
• Lecture questions are more difficult than conversation
 four minutes for questions on each lecture and two minutes
for the conversation questions
• Question order usually follows order of information in
7. Listening Toolbar
• NEXT to see the next question.
• OK to confirm the answer.
 After clicking OK, you cannot change your answer.
• VOLUME to increase or decrease volume.
8. Multiple Choice Questions
Most have four choices and one correct answer
Gist: purpose for a conversation
Inference: draw conclusion from stated facts
Detail: main supporting details
 may have two or three correct answers
 if two correct answers, then four answer choices; if three
correct answers, then five answer choices.
• Organization: underlying organization of lecture or
relationships between two parts
9. Connecting Content Questions
• Drag and drop answer choices to the correct category.
• Place checkmarks in the correct boxes.
10. Replay Questions
• Attitude
 ask about speaker’s feelings,
opinion, or certainty
• Function
 ask about meaning behind
speaker’s words
• Include headphone icon
 Listen again to portion of lecture
or conversation.
11. Common Distractors
• Common distractors (incorrect answers) in the
Listening section:
 repeat words and phrases from passage, but incorrectly
answer the question
 contain similar sounding words
 do not answer the question
 are not mentioned in the passage
 contradict passage
• Gist Questions
 Incorrect answers may be too broad or too narrow.
12. Helpful Tips
• Correct answers are usually restatements of
information from the listening passage.
• Guess if you’re unsure of an answer
 Eliminate the definitely wrong answers.
 Choose the answer that is most consistent with the main
13. More Helpful Tips
• Work quickly.
 You only have 35 seconds to answer each question.
 Maintain a balance between speed and accuracy.
• If time is running out,
 guess the answers to the remaining questions.
• You do not lose points for incorrect answers.

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