An overview of the TOEFL iBT Listening and tips to score high

An overview of the TOEFL iBT Listening and tips to score high











The TOEFL iBT listening section can seem very hard because you have to listen to multiple lectures and conversations and answer questions based on them.

The best way to score high on the TOEFL iBT is to take TOEFL iBT listening practice through various audio clips available on the internet and on CDs and even over the radio or TV.Get used to the American accent, their way of speaking English and commonly used phrases and idioms.

Why Avigna Learning Academy?

It is best to join a coaching class like Avigna learning Academy that gives you plenty of TOEFL iBT practice sessions with TOEFL iBT notetaking tips and TOEFL iBT Listening strategies.

Practice from lots of study materials.

Take several mock tests and get genuine feedback before the actual test.

The experienced trainers at Avigna Learning Academy will make sure that you will score high.

What to expect in the TOEFL iBT Listening Section

The TOEFL Listening section has academic lectures and casual conversations of 3-6 minutes length each and the listening section will last between 60-90 minutes.The candidate is judged on the ability to understand and comprehend the information in the listening task.

Several audio clips are played. Some are lectures and some conversations.

Many times, the challenge is that the lecture is on unfamiliar topics. You therefore have to listen to unfamiliar words and to an audio clip that you are not interested in.

Conversations between two people discuss a problem and a possible solution. These are short and real life scenarios—so usually there is no major problem answering questions on these.

For the listening task, the main challenge is taking down notes and while taking down note, choose which points to note down and which to ignore.

The scoring is between 0-30 points

  1. Academic Lectures
  • There would be 4-6 academic lecturesthat last for 4-6 minutes. It could be a monologue or an interactive session followed by 6multiple choice questions
  • The topics are generally related to life sciences, arts, physical sciences and social sciences
  • A teacher or professor will greet the class and start a lecture. The topic for the lecture will be announced. During the lecture, a student often asks a question or makes a comment. The speaker’s purpose is reinforced through the responses to these questions.
  • For some questions clips of the conversation or lecture will be replayed but other than that you will be able to hear an audio recording only once.
  • You will have to respond to multiple choice questions
  • For some question clips of the conversation a part of the lecture will be replayed but mostly, you will listen to the audio clip only once
  1. Conversations
  • 2–3 conversations, about 3 minuteseach
  • 5 multiple choice questions per conversation
  • 2 exchange greetigs,discuss a problem and after a suggestion, the conversation closes with a resolution to the problem
  • Some audio clips are replayed before a question


Question types in the listening task


  • Identifying the main idea—this is usually stated at the beginning of the lecture or conversation.

A typical question would look like this:


  • What is the discussion mainly about?
  • What is the lecture mainly about?
  • What is the man’s problem? (in a conversation)


  • Specific facts and details—these questions will ask you about certain key points in the lecture or conversation


  • How does dopamine contribute to cigarette addiction?
  • What is an ingot?


  • Questions that ask about the purpose of the lecture. Questions usually ask why the professor mentions some facts. In a conversation you may be asked what the problem is.


  • According to the professor, why was trade with non-essential goods difficult?
  • Why is the woman speaking to the man?


  • Straight forward definition questions. The question asks specifically how a professor identified certain objects/ideas/theories in the lecture. Sometimes you have to fill up a table and put in facts from the lecture.


  • What do biologists use to divide the body into layers?
  • How did gold specialists indicate the value of gold they received?
  • What has the man been using to create white noise?


  • Inference or suggestion questions. Usually a part of the audio clip is replayed herein a conversation or lecture, the tone or attitude of the speaker will give you a clue to the right answer.
  • What did the professor mean by this?
  • What will the professor discuss next?
  • What did the woman mean by this?


  • 2 answer choices questions—you have to select two answers.

Why is only a small amount of nicotine ingested in smoking?

Click on 2 answers

  • The processing of tobacco removes a lot of nicotine
  • The body does not absorb nicotine easily
  • Most of the nicotine is destroyed by burning
  • The tobacco plant contains little nicotine

Tips to score well on the Listening task

  • As the lecture plays out, take down notes. Do not take down everything, but only the main points:
  • Topic—this is given at the beginning of the lecture
  • Structure—usually the lecture gives a few examples, compares and contrasts with other ideas, and sometimes gives a conclusion
  • Note down definitions, some facts that are reinforced
  • In a conversations, identify the problem, suggestion and solution
  • Be familiar with all the question types
  • Practice notes taking while listening to different audio clips
  • Determine the tone of a speaker’s voice—assertive/passive, is he/she upset, undecided. Is this a formal conversation or informal?
  • Take full length mock tests before the actual test.
  • Listen to various English accents from the internet,CD and TV
  • Familiarize yourself with the technicalities of the listening test.Pay attention to when the audio starts and stops.
  • Pay attention to the questions, especially the 2 answer questions. Make sure you follow the instructions.
  • Time yourself. The computer screen will show you how much time is remaining.Manage your time to finish on time
  • Answer all questions







November 16, 2017

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