Speaking Section of PTE

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In the Speaking section of PTE, your speaking skills will be judged by the way you answer by speaking for the questions you are asked such as repeating the sentences you heard in an audio clip, respond to the questions asked, describe the image, etc. This section of the PTE exam starts with the Personal Introduction where you are asked to introduce yourself to the institutions. It takes around 30-35 minutes to complete this section. In this guide, we will discuss each task of the speaking section and also will provide you with some useful tips at the end.

Tasks of speaking section of PTE

In the speaking section of PTE, there are 5 tasks included other than personal introduction which is not counted for the score but is sent to the institutions. The below table describes the tasks in brief:

Tasks Description Duration
Personal Introduction You need to introduce yourself 25 seconds to read the prompt and 30 seconds to record your response
Read aloud You are asked to read aloud the text displayed on the screen. 30-40 seconds to prepare
Repeat sentence You have to listen to the sentence played then you need to repeat the same 3-9 seconds to Prepare
15 seconds to Record
Describe image You are asked to describe an image that is displayed. 25 seconds to Study the Image and Respond 
Re-tell lecture You need to memorize what all is told in the lecture. Then, you need to describe the content in your own words. 40 to 90 seconds to Answer
Answer short question You need to answer the question in one word or a few. 20 seconds (10 to Answer)


The above tasks are discussed in detail below:

1. Personal introduction

In the personal introduction, you are expected to give some information about yourself to your chosen institutions. You will be given 25 seconds to read the prompt and prepare your response after that 30 seconds will be given to record your response. This part is not counted in the scoring task but the recording will be sent together with your score report to the institutions. You will be allowed to record your introduction only once.

2. Read aloud

This is the first task of the speaking section of the PTE, and here you have to read a paragraph or a few sentences displayed on the screen with the correct pronunciation and good fluency. You should not hesitate while speaking and pay close attention to commas and full stops. You will also come across a few words which are considered difficult to speak for non-native speakers of English. Try to identify and practice reading those words in the given preparation time of 30-40 seconds.

3. Repeat sentences

In this task, you have to repeat a sentence after 3 seconds of the audio. Pay full attention to the computer screen and repeat the sentence without omitting or replacing it with any other word. Also, be attentive to the phrases and repeat sentences with grammatical continuity. If you repeat 100% words correctly in the sentence you will gain 3 points, more than 50% in the correct order will give you 2 points and less than 50% is correct, you will gain only 1 point. You will not be given any points if you stay quiet.

4. Describe Image

Here, you are supposed to describe an image after examining it closely for 25 seconds. You will be given 40 seconds to complete the task. Certain types of questions such as bar diagrams, line graphs, pie charts, process or flow charts, or maps keep repeating in the test. Ensure that you have enough vocabulary to describe all these questions. Always focus more on the key features of the diagram and try to make a perfect conclusion at the end, for effective description. You should follow this: How to improve PTE academic score? Tips and Strategies

5. Retell lecture

Here you need to memorize what all is told in the lecture. Then, you need to describe the content in your own words. You must listen to the recording of the lecture and speak on it for 40 seconds. The recordings would be 80 to 120 seconds long. Besides testing your speaking skills, retell lectures will also need you to be good in your note-taking and listening skills. You should note down the keywords which might include, important nouns, verbs, and numbers from the recording. 

6. Answer short questions

This is the last task in the PTE speaking section. There will be about ten short questions, and you are asked to answer them in one or a few words. This task evaluates your speaking and listening skills. Questions are simple, but the most complicated part is to understand them and give the right answer promptly.

Check this to know the mistakes you should not do for scoring high: 10 Common PTE Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Tips and advice for PTE speaking section

Here are some tips that are given according to each task to help you score well in the speaking section of the PTE exam.

1. Read Aloud

  • Do not speak before the microphone gets ‘on’ otherwise your voice will not be recorded. You will be able to record your voice only once. 
  • Speak calmly but it must be clear. You should not hurry while speaking. You will be given half a minute to record your response.
  • If you realize you have made any mistake, don't stop and continue speaking.
  • Start practicing with different tongue-twisters words of English every day from day 1 of your preparation.

2. Repeat Sentence

  • If you are not able to concentrate then listen with closed eyes and try to memorize the sentence.
  • When the clip is over, the microphone gets ‘on’ and the recording begins, so just start speaking after the clip ends.
  • If you are not able to remember the whole sentence, at least pay full attention to the keywords and repeat those.

3. Describe Image

  • Start your response with words like illustrate, depicts, elucidates, etc.
  • Notice whether the image is of line-graph, pie-chart, or bar-chart. Line graphs have 'timeline', pie charts have 'slices', and bar charts compare, so prepare your response accordingly.
  • Use proper words in your response to the image such as on the right-hand side, on the left side, next to, below, bottom, at the top, above, foreground, at the background, etc.
  • Try to complete your response within 30–35 seconds and don’t leave any incomplete recorded sentences.

4. Retell Lecture

  • Pay attention to the keywords, they can help you to understand the context of the topic. 
  • Instead of using full names, you can use titles such as” Dr. Says” or “the professor mentions” etc. 
  • Try to express the best 3-5 sentences. They should be enough to retell the lecture.

5. Answer short question

  • Add articles like “a, an, the” before some words.
  • If you don’t know what to answer then just repeat the words in the question.

6. Overall Tips

  • You will have to listen and watch Youtube pronunciation videos to achieve desired oral fluency.
  • Try to imitate native English speakers with either American, British, or Australian accents.
  • For better pronunciation take the help of Google or YouTube IPA and phonemes.
  • Concentrate on mimicking tone as each word has ups and downs for each alphabet.

So, now you are totally informed about the speaking section of the PTE, and also we have mentioned all the tips and tricks you can take advantage of and crack the speaking module well and score high.

All the best..!!

Here is the guide for other PTE sections

Listening section of the PTE

Writing section of PTE

Reading section of PTE