Studying for the TOEFL test - TOEFL listening section

How can I practice for TOEFL?

The computer-based TOEFL test was introduced in 1998. It is a mixture of question types from the traditional paper-based test and new question types.

The Computer-Based TOEFL Test has 4 sections: Listening, Structure, Reading and Writing. The listening and structure sections are "computer adaptive." This means the first question is of medium difficulty. If you answer it correctly, the next item will be of similar or greater difficulty. If you answer a question incorrectly, the next one will be easier. TOEFL is very flexible in terms of structure. The length of each section and the time allocated varies. At the beginning of the section, the length and the number of questions is given.

Our online listening exercises can help you learn English and practice for English tests like TOEFL.


The listening section usually has 30 questions in 40 minutes or 50 questions in 60 minutes. There are two parts (A and B). You will listen to recorded information and see images on your computer screen. You may hear dialogues, short conversations, academic discussions, and mini-lectures, and you�ll be tested on comprehension of main ideas, the order of a process, supporting ideas, important details, and inferences, as well as the ability to categorise topics/objects.

There are 4 types of questions in the Listening section: multiple-choice questions with four answer choices, questions in which you must click on a figure, graph, or map, questions where you must select two choices, usually out of four and questions in which steps 1,2,3,4 need to be ordered.

In part A of the listening section, there are dialogues and short conversations. You may hear between 11 to 17 dialogues and there is one question per dialogue. There could be 2 or 3 short conversations with 2 or 3 questions each. In this section, you see a picture on the computer screen, listen to a short conversation while looking at the picture, read a question about the conversation, and then choose the correct answer.

In part B there is usually at least one long academic conversation, and a number of mini-talks. All of these are academic in content. The long academic conversation is normally a professor talking to a class, discussing a subject and answer questions about it. The conversation has more than one speaker. Each minitalk is normally a professor lecturing to a class.

Our online listening exercises can help you learn English and practice for English tests like TOEFL.

  • Many students find the listening section challenging; therefore we use a variety of English accents used in the recordings.
  • We provide lectures and talks on a huge range of themes.
  • Our exercises and recordings are based on current news topics and use English speakers from all around the world.
  • Our English lessons uses monologues or texts involving interacting speakers.

English learners often feel the longer talks on the listening part are the hardest part of the TOEFL test. These are similar to academic listening that you would have to do if you study at a university. Our listening exercises are perfect for TOEFL preparation.

Try our free English exercises and free TOEFL lessons.

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Find out more about ESL, TESOL and EFL English as a second language exams

Our online English lessons will help your TOEFL preparation!

Abbreviations on
ESL = English as a second language
TESL = teaching English as a second language
NESB = Non-English speaking background
EFL = English as a foreign language
TEFL = Teaching English as a foreign language
TESOL = Teaching English to speakers of other languages
FCE = Cambridge University First Certificate English
TOEIC = Test of English for International Communication
IELTS = The International English Language Testing System
TOEFL = Test of English as a foreign language
CALL = Computer assisted language learning

  • Learn English when and where you want with - all you need is a computer, the Internet and headphones or speakers so you can hear the online listening exercises.