Vocabulary Depth: Expanding your range of vocabulary in speech

Modified on Sat, 20 May 2023 at 08:42 AM

Vocabulary depth in TOEFL Speaking is like being a painter who carefully selects the right colors to convey different aspects of their artwork.

Imagine you have a magical paint palette with many colors. Each color represents a different word you can use when you speak.

In TOEFL Speaking, vocabulary depth is like having a wide range of colors to paint your ideas. The more colors you have, the more vibrant and detailed your painting becomes.

Having good vocabulary depth means you know and use a variety of words to express yourself. It's like having a diverse selection of colors to create beautiful and meaningful artwork.

Using vocabulary with depth allows you to choose the right word for each situation, just like selecting the perfect color from your palette to bring your painting to life.

Having a rich vocabulary depth helps you describe things more precisely and add depth to your speech. It's like using different colors to add texture and richness to your artwork.

So, when you speak in the TOEFL Speaking test, let your vocabulary depth shine. Use a wide range of words to express your thoughts, just like painting with different colors. This will make your speech more vivid and engaging, allowing you to communicate your ideas effectively.

Technical Explanation 

DimensionModelConstructImpact on OverallDefinition
Vocabulary DepthDeliveryLanguage UseWeakHow well you use uncommon words in your response.

Responses with a higher Vocabulary Depth score correlate weakly 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 Vocabulary Depth dimension, there is a relationship between occurrence of low-frequency words in your response and your overall TOEFL Speaking score. To earn a high overall TOEFL Speaking score, you probably need to use more "sophisticated" (i.e. low-frequency) words than about 75% of other test takers.

  • the Vocabulary Depth score for this response is 26 (i.e. it scored in the 26th percentile)
  • 74% of all responses scored higher; 26% of all responses scored lower
  • responses with a Vocabulary Depth score of 26 are (weakly) consistent with an overall TOEFL Speaking score in the Limited range
  • responses with a Vocabulary Depth score between the 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 1/4, meaning there is a weak correlation between Vocabulary Depth and your overall TOEFL Speaking score


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