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TOEFL iBT® Listening Section

What Is In the Listening Section?

The TOEFL iBT® Listening section is designed to measure your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English. It includes listening for:

  • basic comprehension
  • pragmatic understanding (speaker's attitude and degree of certainty) and connecting and synthesizing information

There are 2 types of listening items in the Speaking section — lectures and conversations. Both use campus-based language.

  • 3–4 lectures, each 3–5 minutes long, with 6 questions per lecture
  • 2–3 conversations with 2 speakers, each 3 minutes long, with 5 questions per conversation

You can take notes on any audio item throughout the test to help you answer questions. You have 41 to 57 minutes to complete the section.

Inside the TOEFL® Test

These Inside the TOEFL® Test videos describe the types of questions you will find in the Listening section, plus helpful tips.

Extra Questions

The test you take may include extra questions in the Reading or Listening sections that don't count toward your score. These questions help ETS to:

  • make test scores comparable across administrations
  • determine how such questions function under actual testing conditions

Accents

The Listening section includes native-speaker English accents from North America, the U.K., New Zealand or Australia to better reflect the variety of accents you might encounter while studying abroad. For example, listen to this talk about the greenhouse effect (MP3). The lecturer is from the U.K.