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

Speaking practice test 3.02

(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 history textbook. You will have 45 seconds to read the passage. Begin reading now.

Cultural Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change is not a modern phenomenon. In fact, new evidence shows that throughout history, variations in weather patterns and long-term transformations of the environment were responsible for some of the greatest revolutions in world culture. Because climate is so closely tied to productivity and the fertility of the land, even subtle variations in long-term weather patterns could have profound effects on fragile societies. Today, archeologists, geologists, historians, and meteorologists are working in close cooperation to investigate the repercussions of climate change since the dawn of human civilization.

Explain how the lecturer’s claims give a concrete example of climate change’s effect on culture.

Preparation time: 30 seconds

Response time: 60 seconds

Text Explanation

The text is very general, and most of the information isn’t important. What’s most important is that you hear the main idea: changes in weather create changes to societies. Based on that and knowledge of speaking task 4, you know that the lecture will give an example of a culture that was affected by climate change.

When the professor starts speaking, we hear him mention Egypt very early. That specific country will be the example of the text’s topic. So we should listen for two pieces of information: how the climate changed and what the effect was.

When speaking, organize your response in that way. Talk mostly about Egypt, not about climate change in general or how climate change and culture are linked. Focus on the example, and explain the connection between climate change and culture by talking about the Nile valley.

Sample notes


  • Cult & clim. change
    • clim → land prod.
    • sm change → EFFECT


  • Egypt - des. vs riv.
    • was farm
    • change → ppl move
    • fought
      • walls → cities

Sample response #2

When the landscape of an area changes, the text and the lecture both say that, umm, that the culture of the people in that area is affected, too. The professor gives as an example Egypt… I mean, the Nile valley, really, and how people had to migrate when the climate shifted. Once, like, in ancient history, the desert in the area was actually fertile, and there were people living there, but when it changed, the, uhhh…those inhabitants had to adapt. They moved nearer to the river, and that created conflict with the people already living there, in the valley. So walls were created…and cities in those walls, and so both the cultures of the people who lived in the desert before and the people who lived in the valley—both changed.