Time Management of 3 hours in the TOEFL

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TOEFL  is one of the tests in which you need to score as high as you can to get admission to international universities. To score well you have to plan the test duration very effectively not wasting much time. So here we are going to discuss the time management of  3 Hours in the TOEFL. We will mention the tips to cover each section on time.

Duration of the different sections of TOEFL

Section Time Limit Questions
Reading 54–72 minutes 30–40 questions
Listening 41–57 minutes 28–39 questions
Break 10 minutes -
Speaking 17 minutes 4 tasks
Writing 50 minutes 2 tasks


TOEFL Reading Time Management Tips

You have to carefully read the given passages in order to write the answers correctly which requires effective time management skills.

  • The Reading section consists of 3 or 4 passages which have 30-50 questions, designed to test a wide range of reading skills within 54–72 minutes. 
  • A dedicated 20 minutes for each passage is enough to complete the 3 paragraphs and their related questions in the Reading section.
  • So, it should be kept in mind that you can use approximately 1.5-2 minutes for answering each question.
  • If you devote more time to 1 passage then you will be left with less time to read the other passages and to solve the pending questions.
  • You should give enough and equivalent time to each of the modules. You can skip a little in need to appear the questions onward which can be answered correctly within the time. You will be given options to review and answer the question later.
  • Each reading section has usually 10-14 questions and you should try to answer them within 20 minutes.
  • You should give 1 minute to read the question rapidly before dealing with the passage.
  • Then you have to skim the passage by means of active reading for 5-7 minutes.
  • The questions are given in order on the basis of the information structured in the given passage.
  • So it is advised to read the questions consecutively keeping the order sustained to save time and score smartly.
  • It is possible to finish each section within 15 minutes and if so, then you should start using that extra time to questions need more time and to double- and triple-check your answers, For example, the question ‘vocabulary in context’ needs 20-25 seconds and so you can provide the left over time to other questions which need time more than 1.5-2 minutes like the summary question.
  • You should design the way of reading to spend no more than 16-17 minutes for each passage and answering its questions so that you have time to go back over answers before the time finishes.

TOEFL Listening Time  Management tips

  • One will listen to recordings with 28–39 questions for 41–57 minutes where the task is to listen to speakers and lectures, conversations, classroom discussions, academics, dialogues, and then write the answers to the asked questions.
  • There are 2 types of listening items in the Speaking section — lectures and conversations. Both use the language used on campus:
  1. 3 to 4 lectures, each 3–5 minutes long, with 6 questions per lecture
  2. 2 to 3 conversations with 2 speakers, each 3 minutes long, with 5 questions per conversation
  • You can take notes on any audio item throughout the test to help you answer questions.
  • Examiners will be looking for the ability in you to understand the main ideas and detailed factual information, the attitudes and opinions of speakers, and evidence of one’s ability to follow the development of ideas.
  • You can not go back and listen again, unlike the reading, which allows you to re-read the passage. So the listening questions force you to be fast to answer.
  • It is a vital strategy to take notes while you listen.
  • Only the important  points should be noted, so one should avoid writing down every detail otherwise you will be wasting your time
  • It is highly suggested practicing to read, listen, and write together.
  • You will listen to the passage only once, and then answer the asked questions after each is finished.
  • You have to keep headphones on for the entire Listening section because there is audio for the questions too, they are not just seen on the screen.

TOEFL Writing Time Management Tips

In the writing section candidates have to write essay responses for which you will be given a total 50 minutes:

  • In the writing section of the TOEFL exam, there are two types of questions: Integrated question and Independent question. The integrated section includes Reading, Listening and Writing for which 20 minutes will be given. In an Independent task, you have to write an essay on a given topic or situation for which 30 minutes will be given.
  • Firstly you should divide the time to organize and plan within the first 4-5 minutes. 
  • In the 4-5 minutes, you should create an outline that follows the proper TOEFL essay structure.
  • Then you should utilize the next 20-22 minutes to write the essay and use the written outline as a guide to put your collected ideas into complete sentences.
  • You should leave at least 4-5 minutes to review the essay before submitting it on the basis of the correct form of spelling and grammar.
  • Each essay will be graded from 0-5. Then, these scores will be summed up and scaled to a score from 0-30, which will be your official Writing score. The Writing section includes 25% of your total TOEFL score which is from 0-120.

TOEFL Speaking Time Management Tips

  • You will be given 17 minutes to complete the Speaking section of TOEFL.
  • The first question is of "independent speaking task" which requires you to present entirely your own ideas, opinions and experiences when you respond.
  • Next Questions from 2–4 are of "integrated speaking tasks" which require you to combine your skills of English language — listening and speaking, or listening, reading and speaking to present your response.
  • You will get 15–30 seconds of time to prepare your response before you present it. So you have to take organized notes and points to make the speech oriented, organized, clear and comprehensive, maintaining the links and lucidity. 
  • Your response should be of 45 or 60 seconds long. The responses are always recorded to evaluate within the ongoing timer to stop. So you should speak swiftly and clearly in a clarified way providing coherent pronunciation within the given time.
  • One should try to make the keynotes to aid speaking and make a raw speech in the brain before the first step to record.

As a final note of dealing with time management, remember that the stress and pressure you feel about each timed section can be completely controlled by you. Whenever you feel that you are losing your concentration, instead of worrying over how long you have just taken to answer one question, take a deep breath and remain calm. Remember that you have prepared well for this test and you will be just fine if you stick with your plan.