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TOEFL IBT Speaking Practice #92

Task 1

The question:

"Teenagers should work while they go to school, so they can learn how to be more responsible."

My Answer:

As a matter of fact, I do agree that teenagers should work in order to learn more about personal

responsibility. For example, when I was in high school, I worked as a custodian at another school in our

district. In the summer, I worked from 7 am to 3 pm five days a week with a bunch of blue-collar

middle-aged men who had worked hard their entire lives. Not only did I have to lift heavy objects and work

with complicated machinery, but I also spent time with rugged men who encouraged me to focus on my

studies and get a college degree. That’s why I think working as a student is a great way to learn about the

value of both hard work and a good education.

Please do Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development):

Certainly! Based on your provided answer and keeping in mind the TOEFL iBT rubrics, here's an assessment:

1. **Delivery (Out of 10):** 8

   - Your response is clear and easy to understand. The personal experience adds a strong connection to the prompt, making your argument more persuasive. There's a smooth flow in the narrative. The reason I didn't give a full score is that delivery in a written context can be a bit subjective, and there could be room for further engagement with the reader.

2. **Language Use (Out of 10):** 8

   - You have demonstrated a good command of English with varied sentence structure and appropriate word choice. There are no glaring grammatical errors. However, a higher level of complexity or refinement in language could enhance this part further.

3. **Topic Development (Out of 10):** 9

   - You have well addressed the prompt and provided detailed examples from personal experience to support your point of view. The connection between work, responsibility, and education is clear and well-argued. There could be a slight room for improvement by considering or acknowledging potential counter-arguments or limitations to provide a more comprehensive perspective.

Please note that this assessment is made based on the provided text and the general guidelines of TOEFL iBT. Different examiners might have slight variations in their assessment, but this should give you a fair idea of how your response measures up.


Task 2

Reading Passage:

More Flexible Meal Plans

As of right now, the school offers only one meal plan to students, which permits them to

eat at the cafeteria once per day for the entire school year. The problem with this is that

there are students who are busy with part-time jobs away from campus and don’t have

time to eat at the cafeteria on a daily basis. Since these students still want to eat at the

cafeteria occasionally I believe it would be best if the school started to sell meal plans that

provide a specific number of meals which students can eat whenever they want. Not only

will this be more convenient, but it will also increase the cafeteria’s income as a greater

number of students will consider taking advantage of its services.


Johnny B. Goode

Listening Passage:

Man: Hey Lisa, did you read Johnny's letter in the school paper?

Woman: Yeah, I'm just finishing it now, actually. I can't believe he finally complained about it.

Man: Yeah, and I think it's great. Almost everyone I talk to agrees that the cafeteria should be more flexible when

it comes to meal plans. I mean, I'm not crazy about the cafeteria food, but I like to go there to meet up

with friends and hang out. I'd buy a 50-meal plan, for example, but I would never get the yearly meal plan.

Woman: Yes, I guess you have a point, but, won't this make the meals more expensive? I am on the school's

meal plan right now and the one thing I love about it is the price. It's so cheap.

Man: I don't see why a new meal plan structure would affect the price of the current system. It's basically just

adding more options. Even though I might have to pay more per meal for my plan, it fits my schedule

better. This type of structure is going to make everyone happy, both the students who don't plan on eating

at the cafeteria every day, and the school, which can make a bit more money from the variety of options.

And even students like you who are already on the meal plan won't be affected by this change

Woman: I guess you're right. Maybe Johnny will get what he wants after all.

The question:

The man expresses his opinion on cafeteria meal plans. State his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for

holding that opinion.

My Answer:

According to the letter, the school’s meal plan is too strict and should be more flexible. The man in

the conversation completely agrees with this proposal. Even though he’s not a big fan of the cafeteria’s

food, he likes to go there to hang out sometimes. He’s not on the school meal plan right now, but if they

had a flexible 50-meal plan, for example, he would take advantage of it. On top of that, he believes adding

this option will satisfy everyone. Students can still go to the cafeteria once in a while for the occasional

meal, and the school can earn a bit more revenue with the increase in school lunch purchases. The prices

wouldn’t change, only the number of options. This basically sums up why the man likes the idea of

changing the school’s meal plan.

Please do Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development):

Certainly! Based on the provided reading and listening passages, along with your answer, here's an assessment according to the TOEFL iBT rubrics:

Delivery (Out of 10): 8

Your delivery is clear and conveys the main points of the conversation. You succinctly summarize the man's opinion and the reasoning behind it. However, a more engaging presentation or synthesis could provide further clarity.

Language Use (Out of 10): 7

Your language use is generally correct, with proper grammar and vocabulary. However, there are some minor issues in the flow and coherence of the sentences. The phrase "According to the letter" might be slightly confusing since it seems to refer to the reading passage, while the question asks specifically for the man's opinion from the listening passage. A more refined choice of words and varied sentence structure might improve this aspect.

Topic Development (Out of 10): 8

You have done a good job of identifying the man's opinion and the reasons behind it. You provided an overview of his perspective, including the importance of flexibility, his personal preferences, and his views on the potential benefits. However, some specific details from the listening passage that could have strengthened the explanation are missing, such as the man's insight that the change won't affect current meal plan users, and his reasoning that the new structure fits his schedule better.

These scores should give you a reasonable evaluation of how your response fits within the TOEFL iBT guidelines. As always, assessments can vary slightly based on individual interpretations of the rubrics, but this should serve as a helpful guide.


Task 3

Reading Passage:

Types of Leadership

Every day we come across leaders in school, business, and life, and each has their own

unique approach to managing others. The way people use their power and authority

differs from person to person, but there are some recurring patterns. In business theory,

there are two main types of leaders: instrumental and expressive. Instrumental leaders are

very demanding individuals. Leaders of this type expect their employees to be professional

and focused on work rather than on relationships with their colleagues. In contrast,

expressive leaders are concerned about employee well-being. They believe strong

relationships and a positive work environment improve a group’s overall productivity.

Listening Passage:

“Okay, so, you may have never heard of the terms instrumental and expressive before when it comes to

leadership, but I bet you could think of a couple of people who fit these descriptions.

Now, I used to have a part-time job working as a waiter at a restaurant. I had a boss named Bill who was a

typical instrumental leader. Not only was he good at managing his business, but he also had extensive

experience as a waiter. He had high standards in the way we treated customers and he expected all of us to do

the same. The waiters were almost completely forbidden to speak with one another while at work, even when we

didn't have any customers. He felt that if we focused on our tasks and the customers, not on each other, we

wouldn't get distracted or become lazy. He did have a successful restaurant, but there were certainly other

approaches he could have taken that weren't so strict.

You know, my boss right now is Professor Green, the head of my department. She really knows how to treat the

university staff with respect. While there are rules we have to follow and deadlines we must meet, she hardly ever

pressures us. She treats us like adults and we, the teaching staff, all do our jobs to the best of our abilities

because we don't want to disappoint or upset her. She holds weekly staff meetings, so we can communicate

about problems in class and even holds parties at her home once a month. We all feel like part of an open and

honest team, and that would not be possible without her expressive type of leadership.”

The question:

Using the examples from the lecture, describe two types of leadership.

My Answer:

This is a fascinating topic. According to the author, there are two main types of leaders: instrumental

and expressive. The lecturer provides two excellent, and personal examples of each type to further

illustrate this idea. First, she talks about her old boss Bill who was a typical instrumental leader. Bill was

very professional and kept the staff focused on their work and customers of course. Some employees

didn’t like Bill because they thought he was too strict though. In contrast, the lecturer now works under

Professor Green, and she is an expressive type of leader. She is respectful of the staff and holds weekly

meetings for them to communicate about their problems. The professor seems to prefer expressive

leadership because everyone feels more like a part of the team. So, there you have it, those are the two

types of leadership discussed in the passages.

Please do Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development):

Certainly! Here's an evaluation of your response based on the TOEFL iBT rubrics:

Delivery (Out of 10): 8

You have managed to convey the core ideas from the lecture effectively. Your answer is well-structured, and the transition between the two leadership styles is clear. However, a more detailed articulation of how these leadership styles impacted the people under them could further enhance your delivery.

Language Use (Out of 10): 7

Your language is generally clear, with suitable vocabulary and correct grammar. However, there is room for improvement in terms of complexity and variation in sentence structure. Some phrases like "of course" in the context used seem a bit misplaced, and the use of the term "author" might be confusing as the question pertains to the lecture.

Topic Development (Out of 10): 8

You did well in identifying and explaining the two types of leadership as described in the lecture, and you provided examples to illustrate each type. However, you could enhance this part by including more specific details from the lecture to enrich the explanation. For example, you could discuss how Bill's instrumental leadership style led to success in his restaurant but was perceived as too strict, or how Professor Green's expressive leadership fostered a sense of community among her staff.

Overall, your answer is coherent and aligns well with the information provided in the reading and listening passages. Some minor refinements in language use and deeper exploration of the topic could lead to an even more robust response.


Task 4

Listening Passage:

“We spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping. Given that the average life expectancy for most of us

falls between 73 and 79 years old, we can expect to spend approximately 25 years of our lives sleeping.

Surprisingly, the reason why we humans sleep is still mostly a mystery, but there are a few theories that attempt

to explain the function of sleep.

One popular hypothesis argues that sleep is essential in order for us humans to restore the resources we use

throughout the day. The same way that bears hibernate in the winter when resources are scarce, perhaps people

sleep at night to reduce the amount of energy they use. It has recently become fashionable to argue that people

need to sleep at least eight hours a night in order to function at their optimal physical and mental capacity. I'm

sure all of you have felt pretty sluggish after a late night with just a few hours of sleep, so this theory makes

sense, intuitively.

However, there are others who are not convinced by this simplistic explanation of why we sleep and have

proposed other explanations.

Another popular theory proposes that sleep is an adaptive response to predatory risk. In other words, our great

ancestors were more likely to be hunted and killed at night by other animals, so a desire to sleep in a safe,

comfortable area was an evolutionary mechanism that helped shield us from harm. As I'm sure you are all

aware, there are more risks at night time since visibility is so low. We haven't adapted our senses in the same

way other creatures have to survive throughout the night. Accordingly, it makes sense to believe that sleep is a

biological response to our environmental conditions, but, just like the theory involving energy conservation, there

are some who disagree.”

The question:

Using points and examples from the talk, describe the two theories that explain why humans sleep.

My Answer:

So, the professor is talking about sleep, and more specifically, he is describing two main theories

about why we sleep. One idea is that we need to sleep in order to restore the resources we use

throughout the day. Similar to a hibernating bear, people need sleep to restore their energy. The common

thought is that eight hours is needed for people to function at their best. But there is another theory that

says people sleep because of evolution. Our eyes were never adapted to being active at night. So, the idea

is that long ago, finding a safe place for shelter at night time was a way to avoid predators and stay alive.

After continuing this practice, over time, sleeping became something of a biological response to our

environment. These are the two theories the professor uses to explain why humans sleep.

Please do Assessment, based on TOEFL iBT rubrics in scale out of 10 for each rubric (Delivery, Language Use, Topic Development):

Certainly! Here's an assessment of your response based on the TOEFL iBT rubrics:

1. **Delivery (Out of 10):** 8

   - Your answer is coherent and concise, summarizing the two main theories with clarity. The delivery is smooth, with a good transition between the two theories. Including more specific examples or elaborations from the listening passage could have made it even stronger.

2. **Language Use (Out of 10):** 8

   - The language used is clear and generally well-chosen, with mostly correct grammar and vocabulary. The sentences flow well, and you've used suitable terminology related to the topic. However, some minor improvements in word choices and sentence variety could enhance this aspect further.

3. **Topic Development (Out of 10):** 8

   - You have adequately covered the two main theories explained in the passage, providing an overview of both the restoration and adaptive response theories. The information is relevant and directly aligned with the content of the lecture. Further elaboration on specific details, such as the recent trend of advocating for eight hours of sleep or the counterarguments to the theories, might have enriched the response.

Overall, your answer does an effective job of summarizing the two theories about why humans sleep as described in the lecture. It captures the main points but could be further enhanced by diving deeper into the details and nuances of the theories.


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