Section 2: Listening

Questions: 34-51
Timing: 60-90 minutes
Testing format: Computerized

The TOEFL listening section tests how well you can understand spoken English. You will be tested on both short and long conversations that resemble what you might hear if you were with a group of people in an English-speaking environment.


There are between 6 and 9 total listening passages in this section of the TOEFL exam. The passages are either lectures or conversations.

  • Lectures - Passages used to resemble a classroom lecture. Each lecture is 3-5 minutes in length and involves either just the professor speaking or a discussion between both the professor and students. There are anywhere from 4-6 lectures in this section followed by 6 questions per passage.

  • Conversations - Passages used to resemble conversations you might have in an English-speaking environment. There are 2-3 conversations in this section of the exam that last about 3 minutes each and are followed by 5 questions.

TIP: The most important strategy you can utilize during the TOEFL listening section is to TAKE NOTES! This will enable you to go back on what you've heard and more confidently answer the questions after the audio has finished playing.

Question Types

Listening for Comprehension: Examines whether you can comprehend basic information from the passage

Listening for Attitude:Tests whether you are able to understand how the speaker feels about the subject matter

Listening for Connections:Tests how well you are able to connect different parts of the passage to draw conclusions