Speaking and Writing in PTE - Section Overview

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Part 1: Speaking & Writing (77 – 93 minutes)

In PTE Academic, your writing skills will be tested during Part 1 of the test (Speaking & Writing).

To assess speaking, your skills will be tested by asking you to repeat sentences, respond to questions and summarise passages.
Speaking section 1 contains the Personal introductionSpeaking section 2 contains a number of item types where you first listen to an audio, then respond into the microphone.
TIP: You must finish before the progress bar reaches the right hand side. If you remain silent for longer than 3 seconds, the recording will stop. You will not be able to re-record.

Section Overview:

Item TaskSkills assessedPrompt lengthTime to answer
Read aloudA text appears on screen. Read the text aloud.reading and speakingtext up to 60 wordsvaries by item, depending on the length of text
Repeat sentenceAfter listening to a recording of a sentence, repeat the sentencelistening and speaking3-9 seconds15 seconds
Describe imageAn image appears on screen. Describe the image in detail.speakingN/A40 seconds
Re-tell lectureAfter listening to or watching a lecture, re-tell the lecture in your own words.listening and speakingup to 90 seconds40 seconds
Answer short questionAfter listening to a question, answer with a single word or a few words.listening and speaking3-9 seconds10 seconds
Summarize written textAfter reading a text, write a one-sentence summary of the passage.reading and writingtext up to 300 words10 minutes
Write essayWrite a 200–300 word essay on a given topic.writing2-3 sentences20 minutes

Speaking: Personal introduction

Speaking: Personal introduction
This is an opportunity to give your selected institutions some information about yourself. This item is not scored.
The recording status box displays a countdown until the microphone opens. You have 25 seconds to prepare. After the tone, start speaking immediately. Do not start speaking before the microphone opens because your voice will not be recorded.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
You have 30 seconds to record your response. Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed’’.
You are only able to record your answer once.
Your response will be sent together with your score report to the institutions selected by you.

Speaking: Read aloud

For this item type you need to read a written text aloud.
The recording status box displays a countdown until the microphone opens. You have 30-40 seconds to prepare, depending on the length of the passage. You hear a short tone. After the tone, start speaking immediately. Do not start speaking before the microphone opens because your voice will not be recorded.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.
You are only able to record your response once.

Speaking: Repeat sentence

For this item type you need to repeat the sentence you hear.
The audio begins to plays automatically. When the audio finishes, the microphone opens and the recording status box shows “Recording”. Speak into the microphone immediately (there is no short tone) and repeat exactly what you heard.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.
You are not able to replay the audio. You are only able to record your response once.

Speaking: Describe image

For this item type you need to describe an image.
The recording status box displays a countdown until the microphone opens. You have 25 seconds to study the image and prepare your response. You hear a short tone. After the tone, start speaking immediately. Do not start speaking before the microphone opens because your voice will not be recorded.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed’’.
You are only able to record your response once.

Speaking: Re-tell lecture

For this item type you need to re-tell what you heard.
The audio begins to play automatically. You may also see an image related to the audio. After the audio finishes, you have 10 seconds to prepare.
The recording status box displays a countdown until the microphone opens. You hear a short tone. After the tone, start speaking immediately. Do not start speaking before the microphone opens because your voice will not be recorded.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed’’.
You are only able to record your response once.
Note: While the audio is playing, you can take notes on the erasable noteboard provided.

Speaking: Answer short question

For this item type you need to reply to the question in one or a few words.
The audio begins to play automatically. You may also see an image.
When the audio finishes, the microphone opens and the recording status box shows “Recording”. Speak into the microphone immediately (there is no short tone) and answer the question with one or a few words.
You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.
Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.
You are not able to replay the audio. You are only able to record your response once.


Writing: Summarize written text

For this item type you need to write a summary of the text in one sentence.
You have 10 minutes to write your summary. Make sure to include the main points of the reading passage in a full, single sentence of no more than 75 words.
The Word Count at the bottom of the screen counts the number of words you write. There are also cut, copy and paste buttons which you may use while constructing your summary.
Cut: Select text from your answer that you wish to remove and left-click “Cut”.
Copy: Select text from your answer that you wish to copy and left-click “Copy”.
Paste: Place the cursor where you wish to paste the cut/copied text and left-click “Paste”.

Write Essay

For this item type you need to write a 200-300 word argumentative essay in response to a prompt.
You have 20 minutes to write your essay.
The Word Count at the bottom of the screen counts the number of words you write. Make sure to write a minimum of 200 words, but no more than 300 words.
There are also cut, copy and paste buttons which you may choose to use while constructing your response.
Cut: Select text from your answer that you wish to remove and left-click “Cut”.
Copy: Select text from your answer that you wish to copy and left-click “Copy”.
Paste: Place the cursor where you wish to paste the cut/copied text and left-click “Paste”.
                                                                                                                              source:pearsonpte.com

click here for LISTENING AND READING OVERVIEW.

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