August 13th, 2013 in TOEFL
The Listening section of the TOEFL iBT is designed to measure your ability to understand lectures and conversations in English. You can encounter both informal and formal types of English in the listening section. For example, campus conversations between two students are more likely to be in informal, non-academic English. Lectures will usually be in formal, academic English. As with the reading section, no special subject knowledge is necessary to do well in the listening section.
The TOEFL iBT Listening section takes about 40 – 60 minutes. You will have to listen to 2-3 conversational passages and 4-6 lectures during the listening test. You will hear the conversations and lectures only once, but you are allowed to take notes.
You will not only hear the questions, but also see them on the screen. The questions will measure your ability to comprehend, understand, connect and synthesize ideas.
TOEFL Listening section: overview
Throughout the Listening section students have to wear headphones. You can adjust the volume before the test begins. The volume can also be adjusted after the test begins by clicking on the Volume Button at the top of the screen.
You can move through the Listening section by clicking on the Next button at the top of the screen. After answering a question, you have to confirm it as your final answer. Before confirming the answer, you can change the selection if you want. Note that after you have confirmed your answer, the next question begins right away. You cannot go back to any question in the Listening section.
You have to stay very alert during the entire Listening section. If your attention shifts to something else even for a second, you will find it difficult to keep pace with the conversation. As the conversations and lectures play, photos of people in academic settings will appear on the computer screen. These might offer a small clue to the location of the conversation. However, students must not rely too much on these visuals. Instead listen to the tape.