In this video, Lucas from Magoosh gives very useful advice on how to make the most of your time during the Speaking section of your TOEFL exam.
Lucas’ quick and useful tip is providing a TLDNR. SO, what is TLDNR? Sometimes in online forums and blogs when people write long explanations or comments at the beginning they provide TLDNR – “Too Long Did Not Read”.
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So if that comment is very long sometimes they provide a short summary for people who do not want to read the whole long content. So as Lucas is talking about the Speaking, and not the Writing section, TLDNR is not appropriate because it is not about reading. He is talking about speaking. The advice, however, is to use that same idea.
At the end of your response in the speaking section, sometimes you have a bit of extra time and it is awkward. You feel uncomfortable, because you sit there and start to wonder what else you can say to fill the remaining time. Summarising what you just talked about is a way to avoid that problem.
“Basically” is a good word to start your summary, because it shows that you are about to repeat your answer in a short, simple version. You could do this for every single question of your Speaking section. If you do not want to be so informal, you could also use the word “essentially” instead.
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Especially if you are explaining something. There are a number of other summary words, but “basically” is probably the most common and conversational one. You are free to look up and try other words like it. Use this any time you run out of ideas or don’t have enough to say at the end of your response in the Speaking section.