The first and most important step in the independent paired-choice task in the Speaking section of the iBT TOEFL test is to decode the question to determine what the intended outline is. Independent paired-choice questions generally give clear clues about how your answer should be constructed. It is important to follow the clues that are given in the topic when you are planning your answer. You will probably not be given too much credit for a response that does not cover the question in the way that is intended.
The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about planning the response.
|PLANNING THE RESPONSE|
|HOW TO DECODE THE QUESTION||
Each question in the independent paired-choice task shows you what you discuss and how you should organize your response. You must decode the topic carefully to determine the intended way of organizing your response. You must include a topic statement and support.
|HOW TO DEVELOP SUPPORTING IDEAS||
Support your topic statement with the kinds of support that the question asks for (such as reasons, details, or examples), and try to personalize your response as much as possible. The more support you have, the better your response will be.
Study the following question.
Question: Do you like to try new kinds of food or eat the same kind of food all the time? Use details and examples to support your response.
As you read this topic, you should quickly determine that you should state clearly whether you like to try new kinds of food or eat the same kind of food and support that statement with details and examples. You will have a little bit of time before you speak to plan your ideas. Study the following plan for the response to the question.
Topic Statement: I think I am the kind of person who tries new food, but I am not
Support: I think I am adventurous, but not about food
Details: I like to meet new people, go to new places, try new things
I don't like to try new food
Example: time last week when I went to new restaurant but didn't try new food
In this plan, there is a topic statement about the kind of person I am and supporting details and an example about what I really like.