Here is an introduction to the Toefl listening section format with exercises.
Introducing the toefl listening section format as a Table.
This type is a table with options related to the question asked. For each option, you have decide which of 2-3 columns is where it correctly belongs. If you get a 3 column table, the value of the question is 2 points instead of 1 point.
This question type can test many different kinds of skills: ability to understand relationships between ideas which may be said explicitly or are only implied, ability to organize information differently than the way it was given in the passage, ability to classify items into categories, ability to make comparisons, ability to identify cause and effect, ability to recognize the steps in a process. You could easily spend a lot of time on answering this question! It can be challenging, but taking notes as you listen to the passage should really help.
Example: Transcript of the passage you would HEAR:
Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation between a professor and a student.
Student: Hi Professor Mills. Do you have a few minutes to talk with me?
Professor: Sure Martin. I have a little time before my next appointment. Come in.
Student: I was wondering if you could give me some advice. Last week in class you were talking about research funding opportunities in the history department for graduate students. I am really interested in doing my Master’s degree. Could you give me some more information?
Professor: Well. You know the research opportunities that I told you about were for graduate students writing their thesis projects. That would be at the end of their programs.
Student: That’s what I want to ask you about. You mentioned that students who are writing their theses on Mexican history could apply for a travel grant to visit some of the historical sites in Mexico.
Professor: Yes. But….
Student: I think that’s what I want to do!
Professor: Martin, are you aware that you will need to commit to two years of a Master’s program before you can apply for graduate funding?
Student: Yes, I know. A Master’s degree is a two-year program.
Professor: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You will need to apply and be accepted to the graduate program at this university first.
Student: That’s what I want to ask you about. What do I need to do to apply?
Professor: O.K. I think I understand. So you want to apply to do a Master’s degree in history. Then, near the end of your program, you want to try to get funding to do research in Mexico.
Professor: O.K. I got it. Well, have you visited the graduate department website yet?
Student: No. I haven’t.
Professor: That’s a good place to start. You can download the application forms that you need from the website. It also has a lot of important information about the application deadlines. Make sure you check those because I think the deadline is coming up soon.
Student: I will. So, I download the form, then what?
Professor: Well, you will have to fill out the form and include it in your application package.
Student: O.K. That sounds easy enough.
Professor: You will also need two letters of reference from professors who know your work. Wait a minute… I think that policy has changed. That’s right. You will actually need three letters of reference, but one of them can be non-academic.
Student: What do you mean non-academic?
Professor: I mean that if you choose, one of the letters can be work related. If you have a job, your employer can write a reference letter for you, or if you have had an internship position during your studies your supervisor can recommend you for the graduate program based on the quality of your work.
Student: Oh, I see. So I will need three letters in total, but one of them can be from someone who knows me professionally rather than academically. Or I can choose to have all three of the letters be academic references.
Professor: Yes. That’s a good way of putting it.
Student: Is there anything else that I need to do?
Professor: Yes, you will also have to write an essay that explains your academic background as well as your research interests in the graduate program. It is really important that you explain why you want to become a graduate student in history, and what your goals are.
Student: Wow. That’s a lot to think about. I’d better get started. Professor Mills, would you be willing to write a reference letter for me? I have taken three of your courses, and my marks were pretty high. Could you recommend me?
Professor: I’d be happy to Martin.
Student: Thank you. I appreciate your help.
Professor: Good luck with your application.
That’s all on the toefl listening section format for today but please do the exercises.
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Some Toefl listening section format Exam Questions for the TOEFL Test.
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