Rhythm (SpeechRater™ Dimension)

Rhythm (TOEFL® Speaking)

Learning Objectives

Rhythm in TOEFL speaking refers to the flow and cadence of your speech. In the TOEFL speaking section, you are assessed on your ability to use appropriate rhythm and pacing in your responses. This means using pauses, emphasis, and other techniques to create a natural and engaging flow in your speech. A speaker with good rhythm in their speech will be able to hold the

listener’s attention and convey their ideas effectively. However, it is important to note that the TOEFL speaking section does not assess your ability to use rhythm in the same way that a music or dance performance would be assessed. Instead, it assesses your ability to use rhythm and pacing to effectively communicate their ideas in English.

What is Rhythm in TOEFL® Speaking?​

Rhythm (Rh) in TOEFL® Speaking is a SpeechRater™ indicator of your pronunciation.

Rh is a measure of how closely your syllable stress resembles a native speaker.

Stronger speakers tend to stress syllables in a way that resembles a native speaker, which makes it easy for the listeners to understand them.

Your Rhythm Score​

Your Rhythm score is calculated based on the average distance between stressed syllables.

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

Rhythm (TOEFL® Speaking)
  • This response outscored 30% of the test takers in ETS’s database.
  • 70% of the responses scored higher in this one dimension.
  • This response is consistent with other TOEFL Speaking responses in the 10-17 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 Rh score of 92.13.
  • Rh is one of the mild predictors of your overall TOEFL speaking score.

Increase Your Score

Make sure you stress syllables accurately. If you think you should improve your rhythm score, you should listen to the native pronunciation of words, especially when you are not completely sure about how you should stress them. You can also use an app or tool that can help you compare your pronunciation to that of a native speaker and realize differences in stress.

On My Speaking Score, remember to listen to your recording again to see if you stressed some syllables incorrectly. You may need to get support from an expert who can give you feedback on your stress and intonation.

Remember, Rhythm is a measure of your pronunciation, 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! 

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