Read Aloud

What to expect

In this section, you are given a text on screen. You get 40 seconds to read through the text and understand the content before the time starts. You then have another 40 seconds to read aloud as naturally and clearly as possible.

You can expect around 7 texts for this section. Each text will usually be a single paragraph between 50-65 words.

How you are scored

Content: Each replacement, omission or insertion of a word counts as one error
Maximum score depends on the length of the item prompt
Pronunciation: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English
Oral fluency: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited, 0 Disfluent

  • This finding is understandable in certain cases in spite of its high significance; that is because energy efficiency of building operation just represents a single aspect of sustainability.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • The numbers on US student debt, after all, are truly staggering. The average 2015 US university graduate who took out loans to help pay for tuition enters the workforce with $35,000 in student debt.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. This trend began in the middle of the 20th century and is one of the major environmental concerns of scientists and governmental officials worldwide. The changes in temperature result mostly from the effect of increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • Akimbo, this must be one of the odder-looking words in the language and puzzles us in part because it doesn’t seem to have any relatives. What’s more, it is now virtually a fossil word, until recently almost invariably found in arms akimbo, a posture in which a person stands with hands on hips and elbows sharply bent outward, one that signals impatience, hostility or contempt.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • Domestication is an evolutionary, rather than a political, development. They were more likely to survive and prosper in an alliance with humans than on their own. Humans provided the animals with food and protection, in exchange for which the animals provided the humans their milk and eggs and their flesh.

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  • The insults and criticism were not unexpected. What was surprising was people’s enthusiasm about the competition. Thousands have participated in the discussion.

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  • Who do you think is the most glamorous person? A biotechnologist who led his company in international research, an ordinary welder who gained international fame through his work, or a photographer complimented widely for a series of photos?

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  • Modern buildings have to achieve certain performance requirements, at least to satisfy those of building codes, to provide a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment. However, these conditioned environments demand resources in energy and materials, which are both limited in supply, to build and operate.

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  • The Office of Personnel Management was the target of the attack, but data from nearly every government agency was stolen. U.S. investigators say they believe Chinese hackers were behind the breach.

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  • In the photo, the wild cat’s huge paws are clamped onto the side of the white safari Jeep in which Chappell was a passenger. Almost as tall as the Jeep on her hind legs, she appears to be forcing her muzzle into the back window.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • As far as politics go, the responses are just as varied. Mitigation is common and calls for a reduction of emissions and less reliance on fossil fuels. Coal burning power plants are now replaced with hydraulic power plants and electrical cars are replacing some gasoline efficient cars. Many people, however, feel that this is not enough.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • A smoking ban is a public policy that includes criminal laws and health regulations that prohibit smoking in certain public places and workspaces. There are varying definitions of smoking employed in this legislation. The strictest definitions define smoking as being the inhalation of any tobacco substance while the loosest define smoking as possessing any lit tobacco product.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • Another administration option is to bake marijuana at a relatively low temperature to kill any dangerous microorganisms and then allow that patient to eat it or drink it. Both of these methods of administration make smoking the drug unnecessary. However, criticism of medical marijuana has also been raised because as a natural plant, it cannot be patented and marketed by pharmaceutical companies and is unlikely to win widespread medical acceptance.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • Welfare has a special political meaning to the United States because it refers to how the poor receives financial aid. In comparison, welfare services are regarded as a universal right in other regions like Europe, where it is believed that all citizens should be able to obtain a minimal level of social support and well-being.

    Answer (score 79+):
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  • The problem begins with the alphabet itself. Building a spelling system for English using letters that come from Latin – despite the two languages not sharing exactly the same set of sounds – is like building a playroom using an IKEA office set.

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