TOEFL Speaking & How You’re Graded

How your speaking response is graded.Task Fulfillment

Pronunciation & Intonation
Flow & Speech
Correct Grammar Usage
Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range)
Support & Development
Connections & Coherence
Task Fulfillment (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Task fulfillment is about how well you respond to the question you are given. TOEFL raters are looking for a response that answers the question directly, with relevant ideas that are fully developed. Fulfilling the task means answering all parts of the question completely.Score:
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 The response is unconnected or minimally connected to the given task

2 is mostly connected to the given task/question, but presents some ideas and information that are not directly related to the task/question may focus more on the reading passage than the listening

3 is connected to the given task/question, but may not be fully developed generally focuses on listening passage but may include a few unnecessary details from the reading passage

4 directly addresses the task/question and is fully developed focuses exactly on the points from the listening that satisfy the requirements of the task
Pronunciation & Intonation (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Pronunciation and intonation is about how you form English sounds and how you use natural English intonation. Your pronunciation and intonation can damage your score if it is difficult for the raters to understand what you are saying.
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 The response requires significant effort by listener because speech is mostly unclear, due to errors with: individual sounds and clusters word and sentence stress final intonation

2 The response requires some listener effort because speech is sometimes unclear, due to some unnatural use of: individual sounds and clusters word and sentence stress final and non-final intonation

3 The response may require effort by listener at times, though speech is generally clear, with: some sound and cluster pronunciation mistakes unnatural word and sentence stress some unnatural intonation

4 The response requires almost no effort by listener because speech is clear, including: natural sound and cluster pronunciation mostly natural intonation natural word and sentence stress, which may be used to convey subtle meanings
Flow & Speech (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Flow and speech is about how quickly you can speak and how much pausing and hesitation you use. You don’t have to speak quickly, but just quickly enough to sound natural and explain all of your ideas. Raters want to hear natural rhythm and flow.Score: 2 / 4
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 has disconnected speech that does not flow naturally has mostly short and overly basic utterances includes many unnatural pauses and hesitations that may make the listener uncomfortable

2 attempts but has some difficulties maintaining natural rhythm and fluid speech attempts more than just basic utterances, though stops frequently to prepare ideas or self-correct may contain some long pauses and unnatural hesitations

3 sustains mostly natural rhythm, though at times breaks it with unnatural linking or stress has some unnatural pausing and hesitation

4 has mostly natural rhythm is generally quite fluid and sustained has minimal unnatural pausing and hesitation
Correct Grammar Usage (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Correct grammar usage is about how you use English grammar and sentence structure. Raters want to see that you can use what you know correctly. Your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect to score high, but mistakes shouldn’t interfere with your meaning.Score: 2 / 4
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 Meaning is often difficult to understand because of significant and frequent errors with: nouns verb tenses adverbs and adjectives, including some phrases word order articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions gerunds

2 Meaning is sometimes obscured because of errors with: noun and noun phrases verb (tenses and modals) adverbs and adjectives (including phrases) word order articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions gerunds

3 Meaning is generally clear despite some errors with: noun phrases and clauses verb (tenses, modals, and passives) adverbs and adjectives (including phrases and clauses) word order articles, pronouns, quantifiers, prepositions

4 Meaning is not affected by grammatical errors, though there may still be minor errors with: noun phrases and clauses verb (tenses, modals, and passives) adverbs and adjectives (including phrases and clauses) word order art
Vocabulary Usage (Appropriacy and Range) (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Vocabulary usage is about how you use English words. Raters are looking for responses that use different words correctly and accurately, and that use a wide range of words that help listeners understand.Score: 2 / 4
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 includes mistakes with basic word form includes limited vocabulary, with repetition and reliance on vocabulary from the question prompt often uses inappropriate or incorrect words or wording

2 may include some incorrect word forms attempts to use a range of words and phrases but may make errors that confuse the listener makes somewhat accurate word choice but at times leaves the listener guessing

3 uses mostly correct word forms uses a range of words and phrases that is mostly appropriate, possibly including some idiomatic language makes generally accurate word choice with only some effort by the listener

4 uses generally correct word forms with only minimal errors effectively uses a wide range of words and phrases, which may include phrasal verbs and idioms includes generally accurate word choice and at times demonstrates sophistication
Support & Development (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
Support and development is about the content of your speaking response. Your content should be related directly to the topic, and you should have several main ideas that support your opinion or position. These ideas should be persuasive or compelling.Score: 2 / 4
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 does not include much relevant information has no or very little detail or explanation

2 includes some important information but not all key ideas presents several ideas or some information incorrectly or imprecisely may show lack of understanding of key ideas from listening and reading

3 includes most important information or key ideas may include some inaccuracies or imprecise ideas shows generally good understanding of key ideas but may not describe them specifically

4 includes all key ideas required by the question may have slight errors shows very good understanding of key ideas and the ability to explain them well includes all key ideas required by the question may have slight errors < 
Connections & Coherence (Sample)
Criteria DescriptionScore
connections and coherence are about how you put your ideas together and link different sentences to each other. Raters want to see speaking that flows naturally from idea to idea without confusing the listener.Score: 2 / 4
Score TOEFL Report 0 doesn’t address the task or no response was given

1 has little or no connection between ideas, making the logic difficult to follow includes no effective words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion

2 has some connection between ideas but may jump between some topics, causing some listener confusion includes some brief or simple words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion

3 has generally good connection between ideas includes generally good range of words or expressions of transition, introduction, or conclusion but may not feel wholly unified

4 has very good connection between ideas that are logically and effectively ordered includes a range of words or expressions of transition, introduction, and conclusion which conveys a feeling of unity and completeness

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