Types of conversation structure - TOEFL Listening 

Conversations on the TOEFL fall into some predictable pattern. Try to identify the pattern when listening to the people speak.


Conversation structure 1: Problem/Solution

This is a typical conversation type on the TOEFL. One student has a problem and another student offers advice or a possible solution. Listen for the first student to introduce the problem by mentioning one of the following:
  • Problem
  • Issue
  • Difficulty
  • Trouble
After describing a problem the other person will offer some sort of advice or solution. Listen for the following phrases:
  • “why don’t you…”
  • “if I were you I would..”
  • “maybe you should ….”
  • “have you tried/thought of…”
Image alt
Image alt

Conversation structure 2: Service encounter

Another common conversation on the TOEFL is a service encounter. In this encounter, a student will discuss a problem with a professional – usually with a professor, a librarian, or an office worker. The problem will be introduced in the same way as in the previous conversation type, but the response may differ. The service professional will explain exactly what the student needs to do to solve the problem. The solution may involve several parts. If so, listen for the following words to indicate the steps the student must take:
  • “requirement”
  • “application”
  • “form”
  • “recommendation”
  • “prohibited”

Conversation Structure 3: Significant event:

Some conversation on the TOEFL revolve around a significant event. This could be a meeting, an announcement or a social event. Usually the first speaker will introduce the event with one of the following phrases:
  • “have you heard about…”
  • “did you see…”
  • “let you know about…”
  • “program/event/opportunity/chance”
After noting an event, listen to any details about it. Also, note what the speaker’s plans are concerning the event. Listen for the following key words:
  • “participate”
  • “plans”
  • “open to”
  • “free” or ”busy”

Image alt

TOEFL Practice tests

Материал для самостоятель­­ной работы на все разделы TOEFL  

В данном разделе представлен полезный материал по всем разделам экзамена TOEFL: Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing,