01. Introduction
02. Grammar/Activities:
03. Reading Section
04 Listening Section:
05. Speaking Section:
06. Writing Section:
07 Final TOEFL tests

Speaking practice test 2.09

(Question type: Task 3)

You will now read a short passage and then listen to a talk on the same academic 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.

Now read a passage from a psychology textbook. You will have 45 seconds to read the passage. Begin reading now.


Hypnotherapy, or the use of hypnosis in clinical psychiatric contexts, while once commonly used, has fallen out of favor. The practice involves coaxing patients into a dreamlike state and encouraging them to follow the orders of the authoritative clinician. Under conditions of extreme relaxation, patients have little trouble volunteering information about their deepest memories in an environment free of judgment and inhibitions. This open communication led to the popularity of the practice. However, it is likely that the information gathered from the patient during hypnosis is not reliable.

Using the points and examples given in the lecture, explain why hypnotherapy has proven to be a controversial form of treatment.

Preparation time: 30 seconds

Response time: 60 seconds

Text Explanation

The text tells us what hypnotherapy is, first, but then there’s some more important information: how people regard hypnotherapy today. It has “fallen out of favor” because the information is “not reliable.”

If we note that message of the text, the lecture’s structure becomes very clear. The professor gives two reasons why hypnosis is not reliable, and uses an example to explain one of those reasons. We want to note those reasons and, of course, any examples that we do hear. Then, when summarizing, we’ll focus on using the reasons/examples to explain the bigger idea, that hypnotherapy is decreasing in popularity.

Sample notes


  • Hypnotherapy
    • not pop. now
    • relax → give info
    • unreliable


  • Why controv?
    • ppl can’t be
      • pretend
      • false info
    • false probs
      • split pers. dis.
      • psych created
        • excuse

Sample response #2

Hypnotherapy is basically, uhh, hypnotizing patients to try to get them to deal with traumatic memories. It’s controversial because first, not everyone can actually be hypnotized. Like, it doesn’t work for everyone. And also, patients…people who aren’t hypnotized sometimes pretend to be hypnotized, just to please their doctors. But it also can create new psychiatric diseases. Fake ones, though. Like, therapists themselves… psychiatrists themselves… they might have implanted the idea of split personalities in their patients. Their patients basically made up all these different personalities, and used the disorder to excuse committing crimes in some situations. If it weren’t for hypnotism, that disease might never have…