(Question type: Task 2)
You will now read a short passage and then listen to a conversation on the same topic. You will then be asked a question about them. After you hear the question, you will have 30 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.
A university has announced a new scholarship opportunity on its website. You will have 45 seconds to read the announcement. Begin reading now.
New Scholarship Offers Opportunity to Study in Rome
The university is pleased to offer an exciting new opportunity for students in the Romance Languages department. The prestigious Buonocore Scholarship allows students to study tuition-free for two semesters in Rome. Students must submit an essay exploring a specific aspect of Italian culture to the selection committee. They must also submit a detailed plan explaining how a year in Italy would provide the opportunity to further research and improve the essay. Please note that students in departments other than Romance Languages are ineligible for this opportunity.
The female student expresses her opinion about why she disagrees with the university’s new policy. State her opinion and explain the reasons she gives for holding that opinion.
Preparation time: 30 seconds
Response time: 60 seconds
This text offers notable detail that you can definitely expect the student to disagree with: the scholarship is only for specific people. Other students aren’t allowed. That is very likely a problem for some students, so listen for a reaction to that in the conversation.
And when you do hear the student speak, both of the reasons she’s unhappy are related to the restriction of the scholarship to one department. She thinks other students can benefit from the scholarship (she says this: “It’s a matter of principle. First of all, there are students in other departments, like History and Classics and Renaissance studies, all of whom… all of whom would definitely benefit from a year in Italy. Why shouldn’t THEY get a chance to submit their work to the committee?”).
And she also thinks that winning the scholarship feels less important if few people compete. She wants the winner to be honored because of talent, not because of exclusion—she says this at the end, very quickly. It’s good to note that, because on the TOEFL, the two student’s reasons for disagreeing don’t always take an equal length of time. Sometimes they spend more time talking about one reason, then talk quickly about the second reason.
The female student thinks that it’s unfair that the… Buono…uhh, that the scholarship to study in Rome is only being offered to students in the Romance Languages department. Instead of that, she thinks that the application should be open to all students. She mentions students in the History, Classics, and Renaissance Studies departments, especially. Uhh…the male points out… he says the lesser… the fewer people apply for the scholarship, the easier it will be to get it. But the female says that the scholarship will lose meaning to her unless she competes against the very best that the school has to offer. She also believes it is wrong for a very small department to monopolize the money. It should benefit everybody at the—