Jane Birkenhead, July 26 2022

Stress in TOEFL Speaking

Use stress to your advantage in speaking practice

The speaking section is normally the section of the exam that students feel the most stress about. That’s totally understandable. You have a short period of time to talk about unfamiliar subjects in another language while you’re being recorded. That would cause stress for anybody!

If you are feeling a lot of stress about the speaking section, it can be helpful to identify what is really causing the stress. Then you can work out how to reduce it.

Here are some examples of areas that commonly cause stress.

1. Timing

If you feel stressed about the timing:

2. Recording

If being recorded makes you stressed:

It doesn’t matter if you immediately delete your recording, you’ll get used to being recorded.

3. Pronunciation

If you’re nervous about the pronunciation of certain words or combinations of words like “the university has announced” at the start of T2:

4. Difficult Topics

If you’re worried about certain difficult topics:

Don’t hope they won’t come up. Hope is not a good strategy for TOEFL.

5. Automated Speaking

If you hate speaking to a computer screen:

By focusing on the things that cause you stress, you can find ways to reduce it.

Written by

Jane Birkenhead

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