Listening Part A or Short Dialogue is the first part of Listening Comprehension Section. There are thirty questions in this part. For each of the thirty questions in Part A of the Listening Comprehension section of the TOEFL test, you will hear a short conversation between two speakers followed by a question. The conversations and questions are not written in your test book. After you listen to the conversation and question, you must choose the best answer to the question from your test book.


On the recording, you hear:
          (man)          I need a car to drive to Arizona, and I don’t have one.
          (woman)     Why not rent one?
          (narrator)    What does the woman suggest?

In your test book, you read:
          (A) Getting a red car.
          (B) Renting an apartment in Arizona.
          (C) Not driving to Arizona.
          (D) Renting a car for the trip.

Answer (D) is the best answer to the question. Why not rent one? is a suggestion that he rent a car for his trip to Arizona.


1.  As you listen to each short conversation, focus on the second line of the conversation. The answer to the question is generally found in the second line of the conversation.


2.    Keep in mind that the correct answer is probably a restatement of a key word or idea in the second line of the conversation. Think of possible restatements of the second line of the conversation.

3.  Keep in mind that certain structures and expressions are tested regularly in Listening Part A. Listen for these structures and expressions:
  • restatements
  • negatives
  • suggestions
  • passives
  • conclusions about who and where 
  • expressions of agreement

4.     Keep in mind that these questions generally progress from easy to difficult. This means that questions 1 through 5 will be the easiest questions and questions 26 through 30 will be the hardest questions.

5.     Read the answers and choose the best answer to each question. Remember to answer each question even if you are not sure of the correct response. Never leave any answers blank.

6.     Even if you do not understand the complete conversation, you can find the correct answer.

  • If you only understood a few words or ideas in the second line, choose the answer that contains a restatement of those words or ideas.
  • If you did not understand anything at all in the second line of the conversation, choose the answer that sounds the most different from what you heard.
  • Never choose an answer because it sounds like what you heard in the conversation.

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