revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test: Listening Section

Note: These sample questions allow you to experience the types of tasks presented in the revised TOEFL® Paper-delivered Test. They are not intended to represent the way test questions are presented in the test booklets or mimic the testing experience.

The Listening section measures your ability to understand conversations and lectures in English.

On this page, you will listen to a conversation and answer questions about it.

In the actual test, you will hear the conversation only once. While you listen, you may take notes. You may use your notes to help you answer the questions. In the actual test, your notes will not be scored. Transcripts are available in this practice test, but not on the actual test. Listen to the conversation by clicking the player under the word "Listen."

The questions about the conversation are written below and should also be listened to by clicking the player above the question. In the actual test, you will have 30 seconds to mark your answer(s) after each question is read.

The questions typically ask about the main idea and supporting details. Some questions ask about a speaker's purpose or attitude. Answer the questions based on what is stated or implied by the speakers. As you're going through the questions, select the appropriate answer or answers for each. When you're finished, click "Show all answers" at the end of the page to highlight the correct answer for each question.

Some questions have special directions:

  • Some questions require 2 answers to get 1 point. If you choose only 1 answer, you will not get any points. For these questions, you will see: Choose 2 answers.
  • In some questions, you will hear part of the conversation again.

Sample Questions

Listen:

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor.

[1 second pause]

Student: Hi, Professor Mason. Do you have a minute?

Professor: Yes, of course, Eric. [thinking aloud] I think there was something I wanted to talk to you about, too.

Student: Probably my late essay.

Professor: Ah, that must have been it. I thought maybe [upspeak] I'd lost it…

Student: No, I'm sorry. Actually, it was my computer that lost it, the first draft of it, and...Well anyway, I finally put it in your mailbox yesterday.

Oh, and I haven't checked the mailbox yet today. Well, I'm glad it's there... I'll read it this weekend.

Student: Well, sorry again. Say, I can send it to you by email too, if you like.

Professor: Great, I'll be interested to see how it all came out.

Student: Right. Now, uh, [questioning] I just overheard some graduate students talking...

[upspeak] something about a party for Dean Adams?

Professor: Retirement party, yes… all students are invited. Wasn't there a notice on the anthropology department's bulletin board?

Student: Uh, I don't know. But... I wanted to offer to help out with it. You know, whatever you need. Dean Adams, well, I took a few anthropology classes with her, and they were great. Inspiring. And, well, I just wanted to pitch in.

Professor: Oh, that's very thoughtful of you, Eric, but it'll be pretty low-key. Nothing flashy. That's not her style.

Student: So there's nothing?

Professor: No, we'll have coffee and cookies,… maybe a cake. But actually, a couple of the administrative assistants are working on that. You could ask them, but I think they've got it covered.

Student: OK.

Professor: [a bit hesitantly, new idea] Actually [changes mind]… no, never mind…

Student: [anxious to help] What is it?

Professor: Well… It's nothing to do with the party, and I'm sure there are more exciting ways you could spend your time, but we do need some help with something. We're compiling a database of articles the anthropology faculty has published. There's not much glory in it, but we're looking for someone with some knowledge of anthropology who can enter the articles…I hesitate to mention it, but I don't suppose this is something you would...

Student: [enthusiastic, accepting] No, that sounds kinda cool. I'd like to see what they're writing about.

Professor: Wonderful... and there are also some unpublished studies. Did you know Dean Adams did a lot of field research in Indonesia? Most of it hasn't been published yet.

Student: No, like what?

Professor: Well, she's really versatile. She just spent several months studying social interactions in Indonesia, and she's been influential in ethnology. [remembering, excited] Oh, and she's also done work in South America that's closer to biology—especially with speciation [SPEE shee A shun].

Student: Uh, not to seem uninformed…

Professor: Well, how species form… you know, how two distinct species form from one—like when populations of the same species are isolated from each other and then develop in two different directions, and end up as two distinct species.

Student: Interesting.

Professor: Yes, and while she was there in South America, she collected a lot of linguistic information, and songs…really fascinating.

Student: Well, I hate to see her leave.

Professor: Don't worry. She'll still be around. She's got lots of projects that she's still in the middle of.

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

For each question, choose 1 answer unless there are special directions.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: Why does the man go to see the professor?

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

  1. Why does the man go to see the professor?
    1. To hand in a late assignment
    2. To find out about jobs in the department
    3. To discuss Dean Adams' current research
    4. To volunteer to help organize an event

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: How did the man learn about Dean Adams' retirement?

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

  1. How did the man learn about Dean Adams' retirement?
    1. He read about it in an email message.
    2. It was posted on a bulletin board.
    3. He heard other students discussing it.
    4. Dean Adams announced it in her class.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: Why does the professor refuse the man's offer to help with a party?

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

  1. Why does the professor refuse the man's offer to help with a party? Choose 2 answers.
    1. Two people are already working on it.
    2. She prefers that he spend his time on another project.
    3. The party does not require much preparation.
    4. Dean Adams is not permanently leaving the department.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: Why does the professor talk about speciation?

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

  1. Why does the professor talk about speciation?
    1. To describe the main focus of the work she needs help with
    2. To tell the man about a new research area in ethnology
    3. To explain what Dean Adams chose to work on in Indonesia
    4. To demonstrate how varied Dean Adams' research has been

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

Narrator: Listen again to part of the conversation. Then answer the question.

Professor: There's not much glory in it, but we're looking for someone with some knowledge of anthropology who can enter the articles…I hesitate to mention it, but I don't suppose this is something you would...

Narrator: Why does the professor say this?

Professor: I hesitate to mention it, but I don't suppose this is something you would...

END TRANSCRIPT CONTENT

  1. Listen again to part of the conversation. Then answer the question.

    Why does the professor say this?

    1. To express doubt about the man's qualifications for the project
    2. To ask the man if he would be willing to work on the project
    3. To ask the man to recommend someone for the project
    4. To apologize for not being able to offer the project to the man

Answers

  1. D
  2. C
  3. A, C
  4. D
  5. B

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