Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hi, this is Jackie. Welcome to PrepScholar TOEFL! Today I'm going to give you a few tips on how to do better on the TOEFL Speaking section. The Speaking section is all about timing. We only have 45 or 60 seconds to give our answer; that's not a lot of time. So one of the most important skills you need on this section is the ability to pace your speech correctly. Pacing your speech correctly is key to getting a good score. If you speak too slowly, you may not be able to finish your answer. And if you speak too quickly, it may be difficult to understand what you're saying. So you want your pace to be just right: not too slow, and not too fast. So, how do you do that? Well, that's what this lesson is all about! To begin, let's see how fast you're speaking. Let's look at a few sentences in fact, exactly 40 words of the kind of passage you might encounter on the TOEFL. Here's the passage: First, I'll read it at an average pace: "Scientists have extensively studied several of the species of mammals that are native to New Guinea and have learned how these species adapt to their environments. "The western wombat occupies the highland forests, and its diet consists primarily of earthworms." Now, you read it, and compare your time to mine. Start...now. How'd that go? Did you speak more slowly? More quickly? Either way, we will give you some tips on how to adjust your speaking pace. For some students, their problem is that they are speaking too slowly. There are two problems with doing this. The first problem is simple. If you speak too slowly, you may not be able to even finish your answer! And, if your answer is incomplete, that will result in a significantly lower score on the speaking section. The second problem is that, if you speak too slowly, your speech will typically be filled with lots of hesitations and pauses. But that makes it sound like you don't know what to say, which will also result in a lower speaking score. So how do you speed up your delivery, if you are speaking too slowly? In two ways: preparation and practice. The main reason students speak too slowly is that they are not prepared. So, for each question, remember to prepare a brief outline of what you're going to say. The rest of the PrepScholar course gives you detailed guidelines about how to do that. Another reason that students speak too slowly is that they haven't practiced enough. So practice speaking English quickly. Listen to podcasts in English, and try speaking along as you listen. Don't worry if you don't understand everything; just try to match the pace. So that is how we avoid speaking too slowly. Now, we don't want to speak too quickly on the speaking section either. If we speak too quickly, we will be very difficult to understand. For that reason, speaking quickly can be even worse than speaking too slowly. So why do students speak too quickly? It is almost always for the same reason: they get nervous. When we get nervous, we try to do too much at once, and we speak too much. And then we become very difficult to understand even if our pronunciation is perfect! So what do we need to do, if we're speaking too quickly? Well, if we're speaking too quickly because we're nervous, then, to slow down, we need to relax. So, how do we relax? Actually, we should do the same two things we discussed above. We should prepare. If we're prepared, then we won't be worried about what to say next so we can relax. And we should practice. If we have a lot of practice answering questions in English, we can relax. So let's review! We've said that pace is very important on the Speaking section. And it is a problem for many students. Some students speak too quickly, while other students speak too slowly. We want to speak at good pace, not too slow and not too quick. How do we do that? Prepare and practice. If we prepare and practice answering questions, we will know what to say, and we can relax and deliver our answers at a steady pace. Let's try that passage again from earlier. Try reading it again. Start...now. How'd that go? Did your pace change? Remember, the more you practice, the better your pace will be. Want to learn more about how to improve your score on the TOEFL? Try our complete PrepScholar course at toefl.prepscholar.com. And remember to subscribe to get our next lesson!