Rhythm: Mastering the natural rhythm and pace of your speech

Modified on Sat, 20 May 2023 at 08:40 AM

Rhythm in TOEFL Speaking is like the beat or the music in your speaking. Imagine you are playing a drum. Rhythm is how you hit the drum in a steady and smooth way.

When you speak with good rhythm, it means your words flow smoothly and evenly, just like the beats of a drum. It's like dancing to a song where your movements match the rhythm of the music.

Having a good rhythm in your speaking helps make your words sound pleasant and easy to listen to. It's like singing a song that has a nice melody and makes people want to listen.

So, when you speak in the TOEFL Speaking test, try to have a nice rhythm in your voice. Speak your words in a smooth and even way, just like playing a drum or dancing to a song. This will make your speaking sound more enjoyable and engaging to the person listening to you.

Technical Explanation

DimensionModelConstructImpact on OverallDefinition
RhythmDeliveryPronunciationMildHow closely your syllable stress resembles a native speaker.

Responses with a higher Rhythm score (i.e. natural sounding syllable stress) correlates mildly with high TOEFL Speaking scores.

Overall Score

  • Good: 26-30
  • Fair: 18-25
  • Limited: 10-17
  • Weak: 0-9

What this chart tells us

For the Rhythm dimension, there is a relationship between how effectively you stress syllables in your response and your overall TOEFL Speaking score. To earn a high overall TOEFL Speaking score, you probably need to produce a more "natural-sounding" rhythm (i.e. correctly placed stresses) than most other test takers.

  • the Rhythm for this response is 30 (i.e. it scored in the 30th percentile)
  • 70% of all responses scored higher; 30% of all responses scored lower
  • responses with a Rhythm score of 30 are consistent with an overall TOEFL Speaking score in the Limited to Fair range
  • responses with a Rhythm score between 59 and 75 scored in the Fair and the High ranges (i.e. where the blue/green bars overlap)
  • the Impact of this dimension is 2/4, meaning there is a mild correlation between Rhythm and your overall TOEFL Speaking score


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