Understanding the New TOEFL Speaking – the four question types

ETS has changed the TOEFL format to bring a better test experience to test takers. In this article, we will be introducing the 4 types of New TOEFL Speaking questions. 

TOEFL Speaking question changed after August 1, 2019

Before August 1, 2019 (OLD VERSION)

TOEFL Speaking used to have 6 question task, 2 independent questions, and 4 integrated questions. 

If you are wondering what the NEW TOEFL Speaking questions look like in a real test, check out this article. We are giving away out lastest paid-course material for FREE – revealing the new Speaking questions from a test on August 10, 2019.

6 Speaking tasks (20 minutes)

  • Speaking Independent Task 1 (Familiar Topic)
  • Speaking Independent Task 2 (Paired Choice)
  • Speaking integrated Task 3 (Campus Announcement)
  • Speaking integrated Task 4 (General to Specific)
  • Speaking integrated Task 5 (Problem and Solution)
  • Speaking integrated Task 6 (Academic Lecture)

After August 1, 2019 (NEW VERSION)

ETS shorten the Speaking section of the TOEFL test by removing Task 1 and Task 5.  Now there are only 4 speaking tasks. ( Questions are renumbered accordingly, what used to be Question Task 2 is now Task 1 in the new TOEFL speaking section)

4 TOEFL Speaking Tasks (17 minutes)

  • Speaking Independent Task 1(Personal Choice)
  • Speaking integrated Task 2 (Campus Announcement)
  • Speaking integrated Task 3 (General to Specific)
  • Speaking integrated Task 4 (Academic Lecture)


Let’s go into details, starting with the new Task 1 questions:

NEW TOEFL Speaking Task 1

Task 1 questions are an independent question, very straight forward. 
You will see a question itself, then you will provide reasons for the choice you make. Some possibilities of this type of question:

  • Personal preference
  • Paired Choice or Multiple Choices
  • Advantage/Disadvantage
  • Agree/Disagree
  • If/Imagine
  • Description/Explanation
TOEFL Speaking Task 1 question type explained
TOEFL Speaking Task 1 question type - Multiple choices

TOEFL Speaking Task 1 question type – Multiple choices
TOEFL Speaking Task 1 question type - Personal Choice
TOEFL Speaking Task 1 question type – Personal Choice

Speaking Question – Task 2

Task 2 questions are integrated speaking task with reading & listening material. You will read a short text, usually a campus announcement. Listen to two people discussing it, then you will be asked to restate what you have read and heard.

NEW TOEFL Speaking Task 2 question type explained
NEW TOEFL Speaking Task 2 question type explained

Speaking Question – Task 3

Task 3 questions are integrated with reading and listening materials. You will read a short text, usually about a term or a concept. Listen to a recording of a professor giving a lecture, with a student asking and/or answering questions. Then you will explain it.

New TOEFL Speaking Task 3 question type explained
New TOEFL Speaking Task 3 question type explained

Speaking Question – Task 4

Task 4 is the last question task of the TOEFL Speaking section. It is integrated with a listening material ( Academic lecture). You will listen to a lecture and summarize it.

New TOEFL Speaking Task 4 question type explained
New TOEFL Speaking Task 4 question type explained