Discourse Coherence (TOEFL® Speaking)

Learning Objectives

Discourse Coherence (SpeechRater™ Dimension)

In the context of the TOEFL® speaking section, Discourse Coherence refers your ability to express your ideas in a clear and logical manner. This means that you should use cohesive devices, such as pronouns and conjunctions, to connect your ideas and create a clear flow of thought.

Additionally, you should organize your ideas into a logical structure that is easy for the listener to follow. A speaker with good Discourse Coherence will be able to effectively communicate their ideas and make their speech easy to understand.

What is Discourse Coherence in TOEFL® Speaking?​

Discourse Coherence (DC) in TOEFL® Speaking is the only SpeechRater™ indicator of your topic development skills.

DC is a measure of how how well the ideas in your responses are connected to each other.

Stronger speakers tend to

  • Have coherence in their speech.
  • Present ideas and supporting details that are relevant to each other.

Your Discourse Coherence Score​

Your Discourse Coherence score is calculated based on the coherence between your statements.

DC is scored out of 100. Your score is indicated by the “You are here” line.

Discourse Coherence (TOEFL® Speaking)
  • This response outscored 12% of the test takers in ETS’s database.
  • 88% of the responses scored higher in this one dimension.
  • This response is consistent with other TOEFL Speaking responses in the 0-9 range.

Tip: Learn more about how to read My Speaking Score charts, including the Impact score and what the coloured bars mean, in our knowledge base.

Why You Should Care

  • Those who score 26+ on TOEFL Speaking have an average DC score of 78.45.
  • DC is one of the mild predictors of your overall TOEFL speaking score.

Increase Your Score

Make sure your statements are relevant to each other and there are no information gaps and irrelevant propositions.

On My Speaking Score, remember to check your transcript to see if your statements are relevant to each other.

Discourse Coherence (TOEFL® Speaking)

Remember, Discourse Coherence is the only measure of your topic development skills, and it has a mild impact on your overall SpeechRater score.

Check out our blog to learn more about how to improve your score in other dimensions! 

John Healy

John Healy

Accelerating TOEFL® Speaking Success | Founder of My Speaking Score | AI-Powered Test-Prep Innovator
Talks about #ai, #saas, #testprep, #toeflspeaking, and #toeflpreparation

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