The TOEFL Listening section is no walk in the park.

That’s why we’ve created our very own TST Prep TOEFL Listening Practice Questions that our students can access for free!

The best part?

Each answer also comes with a detailed explanation to help you understand why each response is correct. That’s something you won’t find anywhere else.

So what makes our Listening practice for the TOEFL special?

Here’s an example:

Listen to this TOEFL practice passage transcript below here:

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is based on the idea that people experience their world through their language, and that they therefore understand their world through the culture embedded in their language. The hypothesis, which has also been called linguistic relativity, states that language shapes thought. Studies have shown, for instance, that unless people have access to the word ‘ambivalent’ they don’t recognize an experience of uncertainty due to conflicting positive and negative feelings about one issue which is the definition of ambivalent. Essentially, the hypothesis argues, if a person can’t describe the experience, the person is not having the experience.

1. What is the topic of the lecture?

a. If certain words don’t exist in your language, there’s a reason
b. The idea that language affects our experiences
c. How linguistic relativity shapes the way we think
d. You can predict what someone is thinking based on their language

2. Why does the professor talk about the word ‘ambivalent’?

a. To prove that linguistic relativity is a viable hypothesis
b. To provide an example of linguistic relativity
c. To argue that linguistic relativity is not an accurate hypothesis
d. To further explain the concept of linguistic relativity

1. B

Although C seems correct at first, it is actually not correct because linguistic relativity does not shape the way we think, rather linguistic relativity is the name of the hypothesis that states language shapes the way we think. The main idea is clearly stated in the beginning of the passage and the rest of the passage is an example to build upon the idea.

2. A

The key word here in the answer here is to prove. The lecturer is providing an example of linguistic relativity to an extent, but mainly the lecturer is showing proof that linguistic relativity has evidence for it. The key word to listen for in the lecture is studies show, which generally introduces proof for something. “Studies have shown, for instance, that unless people have access to the word ambivalent, they don’t recognize an experience of uncertainty due to conflicting positive and negative feelings about one issue.” 

Cover of TOEFL Listening Practice Questions
Cover of TOEFL Listening Practice Questions PDF
Tired of reading and want to get started already? Your free collection of 100 TOEFL Listening practice questions is available now.

But if you have another minute, I will explain what these passages are and show you exactly how they can help you boost your TOEFL Listening score.

Get the 100 Practice Questions for the TOEFL Listening Section PDF  or practice your TOEFL Listening Online

First of all…

Notice anything different about the passage above?

Our TOEFL Listening Practice passages have two distinct features:

1. Each lecture is short!
2. There are only two questions!

Cover of the TOEFL Listening Practice Questions PDF

You may be wondering: “Shouldn’t we be practicing like the real TOEFL?” Sometimes, but not always. We have designed these TOEFL Listening practice questions to help build your listening skills so you can answer questions quickly and correctly.

With short lecture passages, you won’t feel overwhelmed by so much information. When you focus on a narrow set of content, it’s easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses in listening. If you went to other TOEFL Listening practice sites online, you would make the same mistakes over and over again without understanding why you were wrong.

What you need to know
about the TOEFL Listening

The TOEFL Listening section consists of both campus conversations and academic lectures.

But our TOEFL Listening practice only focuses on academic lectures.

Why?

Because academic lectures are more challenging to comprehend than conversations.

If you think about it, a conversation between two people is more interesting than listening to a professor drone on about some academic topic you’re not very interested in.

Also, there are four academic lectures and only two conversations in the TOEFL Listening. We believe that if you can master the academic lectures, the conversation passages will be a breeze.

Makes sense, right?

Still, if you want to practice just like the TOEFL test, you can download our free complete TOEFL test.

You’re still here… awesome!

Because we want to share with you some tips on how to get the most out of your TOEFL Listening Practice so you can improve your score.

TOEFL Listening Practice Step 1:
TAKE NOTES

These passages may be short, but that doesn’t mean you get to skip out on taking notes. Students often decide not to take notes because they prefer to rely on their memory for answers. However, the most common type of question in the TOEFL Listening is a detail question, and these are particularly hard to answer if you rely on your memory alone. To learn more, check out our TOEFL Listening Notetaking Guide

TOEFL Listening Practice Step 2:
REFLECT ON EACH PASSAGE

These short listening passages were specifically designed to help you improve your TOEFL Listening skills.

First, let’s consider why these short passages are so helpful. For starters, you don’t have to focus on so much material at once. It’s much easier to sort through small bursts of information.

Secondly, these short listening passages allow you to reflect on your answers. If you don’t understand why A, B, C, or D is correct, how will you be able to choose the correct answer in the future?

When you take time to reflect on your answer, you are taking time to make sure you completely understand why you got a question wrong (or right). Just because you got a question correct doesn’t mean you understand it. This is why each question includes a detailed explanation of the correct answer.

TOEFL Listening Practice Step 3:
LEARN THE STRUCTURE

An important fact about the TOEFL Listening section is that you can’t jump around to answer questions like in the reading. You can’t go back to an answer you skipped. You must choose an answer then move on to the next question no matter what.

If you want to know how many reading passages are on the TOEFL and how many questions there are in total, you need to remember this:

  • Conversations are followed by five questions, lectures by six 
  • Contains two parts, three passages in each part for a total of six passages
  • Four academic passages and two conversations 
  • Conversations are between a student and a campus worker (usually a professor) 
  • Lectures will last at least four minutes (and it will feel like an eternity) 
  • Expect 34 questions in total 

TOEFL Listening Practice Step 4:
GET TO KNOW THE
TOEFL LISTENING QUESTION TYPES

How many questions are there in the TOEFL Listening?

The TOEFL Listening consists of two parts, and each part includes one conversation and at least one academic lecture. One part will consist of one campus conversation and one academic lecture, while the other will include three passages, one campus conversation and two academic lectures.

The TOEFL Listening section has eight different question types.

  • gist – content (like a main idea question) 
  • gist – purpose (only in the conversations, not lectures) 
  • detail (most popular) 
  • understanding the speaker’s attitude
  • understanding the function
  • making inferences
  • understanding organization
  • connecting content

In the chart below, all of the question types have been laid out and separated based on frequency, common lexical structure, and the question point value.

"There is a table here. Please rotate your phone to landscape in order to see it."

The Listening Section Question Types

Question Type Question
Frequency
(per section)
Question Value Question Phrasing
1. gist - content 3-5 1 “What is the topic of the discussion?”
“What is the professor mainly discussing?”
2. gist - purpose 1-2 1 “Why does the student visit the professor?”
“Why does the professor mention…?”
3. detail 6-10 1 “What is stated in the passage about…”
"According to the speaker,…”
4. understanding the
speaker's attitude
1-4 1 “What’s the professor’s opinion of…?”
“What can be inferred about the student?”
5. understanding
the function
3-6 1 “What does the speaker mean when he says…”
“Why does the professor say this…”
6. making inferences 1-4 1 “What can be inferred about …?”
“What does the speaker imply about…?”
7. understanding
organization
2-5 1 “How does the professor organize the information about…”
8. connecting content 1-4 1 This is a question where you must fill out a table and indicate the correct information.
“What does the professor imply about X?”
Why does this matter?

If you can recognize the type of question you have to answer, you’ve already won part of the battle. Understanding the question type will give you hints and clues as to what to look for and which responses to eliminate.

If you’re still getting questions wrong, you may have…

  1. Heard some challenging vocabulary words
  2. Misunderstood the topic of the lecture (or conversation)
  3. Misinterpreted the tone of the lecturer (or speaker)

It’s not always about strategy when it comes to getting these questions correct. That’s why it’s important to always look up words you don’t know, and practice, practice, practice.

When I say practice, I don’t mean just taking practice exam after practice exam. Practice your listening skills in every way possible. Watch shows, listen to podcasts and download music in English. Increased exposure is one of the best remedies for a limited vocabulary.

And, of course, use our complete TOEFL Listening Practice Pack.

TOEFL Listening Practice Step 5:
SET A TIMER

It’s one thing to sit down and take a few practice exams, it’s another to feel confident under the pressure of the clock.

Here’s the deal.

On the TOEFL exam, you won’t be able to think about a question for 5 minutes. In reality, you have about 30 seconds to answer each question in the allotted amount of time.

How long is the TOEFL Listening?
Since August 2019 it takes 41-57 minutes and has 28-39 questions.

Since our TST Prep TOEFL Listening Practice has short passages and only 2 questions, we suggest trying to answer both in less than a minute.

After you have mastered answering in less than 60 seconds, try to do it in less than 45 seconds. This will help you sharpen your skills and reduce your anxiety about the clock on test day.

To feel confident, rather than time restricted, it’s important to start training yourself to stay calm and answer questions when under pressure. That’s why you should start out giving yourself plenty of time. Focus on improving your listening skills first, then worry about time.

Conclusion

Phew!

That was a lot to take in…

I’m sure you’re ready to dive right in and start practicing right now!

Cover of the TOEFL Listening Practice Questions PDF
Cover of the TOEFL Listening Practice Questions PDF
What you need to remember is:

  • Take notes
  • Reflect on each passage
  • Learn the structure
  • Get to know the question types
  • Use a timer

These 100 questions are an excerpt from our 500 TOEFL Listening Practice Questions and Answers.

For those of you who are ready to jump in and get started, here is your 100 listening practice questions

TST Prep TOEFL Listening Practice 100 Questions
Practice your TOEFL Listening Online
Complete TOEFL Practice Test

Cover of the TOEFL Listening Practice Questions PDF

Did we miss anything? Any more advice you would like to add about the TOEFL Listening?

Let us know in the space below.

Thanks for reading!

20 Comments

  1. Moving English

    TOEFL listening practice: I am a teacher and want to do some extra TOEFL listening practice with my student. If I pay for the listening for 19$, could we both login and do it at the same time? How does this owrk for teachers?

    Reply
    • Josh

      Hi there and yes, that’s fine. I appreciate you asking first. If you were teaching a class or more than 1-2 students, however, then I would say that each student should individually purchase their own login. I hope you and your student find these resources helpful.

      Reply
  2. Somtochukwu

    Hi Josh, just want to thank you for this wonderful piece. I took your TOEFL emergence course, practiced all the hundred listening questions, and learned a lot. I got 30 in the Toefl iBT listening section, just thought I should put this out here ’cause you really deserve the credit.

    Reply
    • Josh

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Reply
  3. Sreymoch

    Thank you so much for this lesson.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thank you for sharing. Happy to hear you found some value in the lesson.

      Reply
  4. Christina

    Josh, The way you explain makes it so much easier to learn and understand each task. Thank you so much. Just like it helped me better in my learning journey, I am sure it will help many aspiring students as well. Keep up the amazing work that you do. You’re a gem. God bless you abundantly.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Wow, this comment made my day 🙂 (and that is quite a compliment). Thank you!

      Reply
  5. Abdul Wasi

    Hi Josh, thank you so much for perfect materials for the TOEFL preparation, and it’s highly appreciated,

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Thank you Abdul for commenting. Much appreciated.

      Reply
  6. Saeed MN

    Josh, this training is so helpful. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Hi Saeed and thank you for letting me know! I’m happy to hear you found it helpful.

      Reply
  7. Bianca

    Josh, just wanna say thank you! Your tips have helped me a lot on the test. Got the score I needed. So thank you very very much!

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      That’s great news Bianca! We’re always happy to hear when a student can finally put this test in their past. Good luck and spread the word 🙂

      Reply
  8. MIMI

    Hello josh,i really appreciate your efforts for making TOEFL EXAM really easy to comprehend …. can’t wait for your. APP on IOS and ANDRIOD

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Ha! No app in the works right now but thank you for your support. Maybe we can make one in the near future 🙂

      Reply
  9. Yilian

    This is amazing! Thank you so much! ???
    Do you have something similar for the reading section?

    Reply
  10. Amira

    Thank you for the listening practice but if you can provide speaking practice with answers that will be great.

    Reply
    • Josh MacPherson

      Hi Amira and thanks for the comment. I will definitely keep that in mind in the future. These questions do take quite a long time to make though, so it won’t be for a while. However, all of our complete tests include an answer key with sample responses, so you might be interested in taking a look at those in the TOEFL store.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or comments 🙂

      Reply

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