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Question 3

Question 3 is the first of the four Integrated Tasks in the Speaking section. For this question, you will read a short reading passage on your computer screen about a topic of campus-related interest. You will then listen to two people (or in some cases, one person) discussing that topic and expressing an opinion about the topic from the reading. Then you will be asked a question based on what you have read and what you have heard. You will have 60 seconds to speak your response.

The general areas from which these topics are typically drawn include university policies, rules or procedures; university plans; campus facilities or quality of life on campus. The topics are designed to be accessible to all test takers and will be presented to you in a way that does not require that you have prior firsthand experience of college or university life in North America.

The reading passage could take various forms. For example, it could be a bulletin from the administration of a university regarding a new parking rule, or a letter to the editor of a campus newspaper responding to a new university policy restricting the use of radios in dormitory rooms, or an article from the campus newspaper discussing a proposal to build a new football stadium. In addition to describing the proposal, the reading passage will usually present two reasons either for or against the proposal. The reading passage is brief, usually between 75 and 100 words long. You will be given sufficient time to read the passage.

In the dialogue (or monologue) that will be played after you have read the reading passage, you will hear one or two speakers—usually students—speaking about the same article (or letter or announcement) that you have just read. If there are two speakers, one of them will have a strong opinion about the proposed change— either in favor of it or against it—and will give reasons to support that opinion. The discussion is brief and typically lasts between 60 and 80 seconds.

After you have read the passage and then listened to the discussion, you will be asked a question about what you have read and heard. For example, there may be a reading passage that describes plans to make a new university rule and a conversation in which a professor and a student are discussing the rule. If in the conversation the student thinks the new rule is a bad idea, you would be asked to state what the student s opinion is and to explain the reasons the student gives for holding that opinion using information from both the reading and the listening.

This task tests your ability to integrate information from two sources—the reading passage and the listening—and to summarize some aspect of what you have heard. The reading passage provides the context that allows you to understand what the speakers are talking about. The speakers will generally refer to the reading passage only indirectly. Therefore, as you read the reading passage, you should pay attention to a number of things: the description of the proposal (what has been proposed, planned, changed, etc.), and the reasons that are given for or against the proposal. This will help you understand what it is that the two speakers are discussing as you listen to their conversation.

In some cases, a speaker will object to the position taken in the reading and will give information that challenges the reasons offered in the reading for that position. In other cases, a speaker will agree with the position from the reading and will give information that supports those reasons. It is therefore important, as you listen to the discussion, to determine the speaker's opinions toward the proposal and to under stand the relationship between what the speakers say and what you have learned from the reading passage.

To answer question 3, it is important to understand not only what the question asks you to do, but also what the question does not ask you to do. This type of Integrated Speaking task does not ask for your own opinion; rather, it asks you to state the opinion of one of the speakers and to summarize the speaker\'s reasons for having that opinion.

You will be given between 40 and 45 seconds to read the passage, depending on its length, after which you will listen to the discussion. Then you will be given 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to respond. As with all the other questions, you may take notes while reading, listening, and preparing your answer, and you may refer to your notes while answering the question.

Remember that taking notes on the reading and listening material in the integrated
Speaking tasks on the TOEFL iBT test is allowed.
The following sample question consists of an announcement of a university's decision to increase tuition and a discussion between students about whether the increase is justified. This example shows how a question of this type will be presented to you on your computer.

You will hear:
In this question you will read a short passage about a campus situation and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will then answer a question using information from both the reading passage and the talk. After you hear the question, you will have 30 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Then you will hear this:
City University is planning to increase tuition and fees. Read the announcement about the increase from the president of City University. You will have 45 seconds to read the announcement. Begin reading now.

Announcement from the President
The university has decided to increase tuition and fees for all students by approximately 8%next semester. For the past 5 years, the tuition and fees have remained the same, but it is necessary to increase them now for several reasons. The university has many more students than we had five years ago, and we must hire additional professors to teach these students. We have also made a new commitment to research and technology and will be renovating and upgrading our laboratory facilities to better meet our students' needs.
The reading passage will appear on the screen:

When the passage appears, a clock at the top of your computer screen will begin counting down the time you have to read. When reading time has ended, the passage will disappear from the screen and will be replaced by a picture of two students engaged in conversation.

You will then hear:
Now listen to two students as they discuss the announcement.
Then the dialogue will begin.

Oh great, now we have to come up with more money for next semester.
Yeah, I know, but I can see why. When I first started here, classes were so much smaller than they are now. With this many students, it\'s hard to get the personal attention you need ...
Yeah, I guess you\'re right. You know, in some classes I can't even get a seat. And I couldn't take the math course I wanted to because it was already full when I signed up.
And the other thing is, well, I am kind of worried about not being able to get a job after I graduate.
Why? I mean you\'re doing really well in your classes, aren't you?

I'm doing ok, but the facilities here are so limited. There are some great new experiments in microbiology that we can\'t even do here… there isn't enough equipment in the laboratories, and the equipment they have is out of date. How am I going to compete for jobs with people who have practical research experience? I think the extra tuition will be a good investment.
When the dialogue has ended, the picture of the students will be replaced by the following:

Now get ready to answer the question.

The question will then appear on your computer screen and will also be read aloud by the narrator.
3. The woman expresses her opinion of the announcement by the university president. State her opinion and explain the reasons she gives for holding that opinion.
Preparation Time: 30 Seconds

Response Time: 60 Seconds
After you hear the question, you will be told when to begin to prepare your response and when to begin speaking. A "Preparation Time" clock will appear below the question and begin to count down from 30 seconds (00:00:30). At the end of 30 seconds you will hear a short beep. After the beep, the clock will change to read "Response Time" and will begin counting down from 60 seconds (00:00:60). When the response time has ended, recording will stop and a new screen will appear alerting you that the response time has ended.

In giving your response to this question, you should state what the woman's opinion about the tuition increase is, and then explain her reasons for holding that opinion. You will probably have noticed as you listened to the conversation that the woman's reasons are essentially the same as those of the university president but are drawn from her own experience as a student, so in your answer you would probably want to connect information from the two sources. You could perhaps begin by saying that the woman agrees with the announcement and thinks that the university is right to increase its fees.

In describing her reasons, you might say that she thinks the tuition increase is necessary because the university can then hire more teachers. She feels that classes are getting too crowded and more teachers are needed. You might also want to mention that she has found it hard to get personal attention from her professors. You could also point out that she agrees that the money should be spent to improve laboratory facilities because they are out of date, and that this has made it hard for her to get the practical laboratory experience she feels she needs to get a good job.

Your response should be complete enough that someone listening to your response who has not read the announcement or heard the conversation would understand what the new policy is, what the woman\'s opinion about it is, and the reasons she has for her opinion. There is a great deal of information in the reading passage and the conversation, and you are not expected to summarize all of the information in giving your response.

Recognize the attitude of the speaker through intonation, stress, and word choice. This
helps you understand his or her point of view and plan an appropriate response.

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