Vocabulary Depth

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Vocabulary Depth (TOEFL® Speaking)
Vocabulary Depth in TOEFL® Speaking is a SpeechRater™ indicator of your language use. It is one of 12 dimensions measured on My Speaking Score.

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Vocabulary Depth in TOEFL® Speaking refers to the range and complexity of the words that you use while speaking during the speaking section of the TOEFL® test. The speaking section of the TOEFL® assesses your ability to speak English clearly and accurately, and vocabulary depth is one factor that is considered when evaluating your performance. A good Vocabulary Depth is one that is appropriate for the content being spoken and

demonstrates the ability to use a wide range of words to express ideas clearly and effectively. A person with a deep vocabulary is able to use a variety of words, including more advanced and sophisticated terms, to convey their ideas in a precise and nuanced way. This can help to improve the clarity and effectiveness of their speech.

What is Vocabulary Depth in TOEFL® Speaking?​

Vocabulary Depth (VDe) in TOEFL® Speaking is a SpeechRater™ indicator of your language use.

VDe is a measure of how how accurately and frequently you use uncommon words in your response.

Your Vocabulary Depth Score​

Your Vocabulary Depth score is calculated based on the comparison of vocabulary items and word types you used with a reference corpus consisting of input from learners of English.

  • Higher Repetitions score = few words repeated

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

Vocabulary Depth (TOEFL® Speaking)
  • This response outscored 26% of the test takers in ETS’s database.
  • 74% 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 VDe score of 84.81.
  • VDe is not one of the stronger predictors of your overall TOEFL speaking score, but this does not mean that it has no effect on your score.

Increase Your Score

Make sure that you use a variety of vocabulary items accurately in your speech. Try to include more specific vocabulary items to describe characters and actions. For example, when referring to a medical doctor, it might be a better idea to use physician instead of doctor. Stronger speakers

  • Use field-specific terminology accurately.
  • Use a wide variety of words in their speech.

On My Speaking Score, remember to check your transcription to see if there were specific terms that you could have used instead of more common words.If you are not sure, you may look up a thesaurus.

Vocabulary Depth (TOEFL® Speaking)

Remember, Vocabulary Depth is a measure of your language use. It does not have a high impact on your speaking score, but a low Vocabulary Depth score can decrease your overall SpeechRater score.

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

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