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PTE Speaking Test - How to Ace It?

Updated on 06 November, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

pte speaking test

The PTE Academic examination is one of the universally accepted tests of English language proficiency, especially for admission into leading universities globally. The test time for PTE Academic is two hours, and it is a computer-based examination that also requires a headset. This examination will assess your actual English language skills. You will have to handle more than 20 types of questions. The examination takes place at nearby test centers for candidates.

Parts of PTE

PTE Speaking & Writing is only a single section of the examination. Here are its three parts: 

Speaking & WritingReadingListening
54-67 minutes29-30 minutes30-43 minutes


PTE Speaking Section in Detail

You should carefully understand the aspects involved in the PTE speaking test. Note that the section takes 54-67 minutes on average, and it contains seven types of questions. The PTE Speaking marking criteria should be understood carefully in order to perform well in this section. 

Here’s looking at the section in detail. It contains the following types of questions: 

  1. Personal Introduction- The question does not influence your score and only helps you increase your familiarity with the section. You will get 25 seconds to read the prompt and prepare the answer. You will have 30 seconds to record the same. Ensure that your introduction in the PTE Speaking is impactful. 
  2. Read Aloud- The text will be given on the screen and you have to read the same aloud. Follow some PTE speaking read-aloud tips and tricks to score well in this section. Be confident while reading and read loudly with every word understandable to the examiner. You will only get 30-40 seconds to read the text and prepare your response. You should speak only after hearing a tone. 
  3. Repeat Sentence- You should repeat the sentence you heard in the recording. You will have 15 seconds to answer. You have to speak into the microphone instantly. 
  4. Describe Image- You will have to talk about the image appearing on your screen. You will have 40 seconds to answer. You will have 25 seconds to observe the image and prepare your response. 
  5. Re-tell Lecture- After watching/listening to any lecture, you will have to talk about the same using your own words. You will have 40 seconds to answer and 10 seconds to prepare. 
  6. Answer Short Question- The PTE academic speaking short questions are answered with one word or a few words after listening to the questions. You have only 10 seconds to answer. You will have to record the answer immediately. 
  7. Summarize Written Text- You will have to write a single sentence summary of the passage that you read. You will get 10 minutes to answer this question, including the key points. The maximum word length of the sentence is 75 words. 
  8. Essay- You will have to write an essay of 200-300 words on the topic that is given. You will get 20 minutes to write this essay. 

Recommended Reads:

PTE EligibilitySyllabus For PTE ExamPTE Exam Dates
PTE Test Centers in IndiaPTE Scores & PTE ResultsPTE Accepted Universities in USA

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Guide for PTE Speaking Section 

Here are some tips that you should always keep in mind: 

  • Speaking with confidence is essential for this section. Aim for a pattern that is not excessively slow or rapid. 
  • You should not repeat yourself or pause all of a sudden. 
  • Only speak after the recording begins. 
  • Do not fall prey to false starts
  • Remember that you should finish before the progress bar touches the finish line for the personal introduction section. 
  • For the Read Aloud section, vary your tone to avoid monotony and keep speaking even if you have made a mistake. 
  • For the repeat sentence, memorize the sentence with closed eyes. There is no short tone or beep so speak immediately after the clip concludes. 
  • For the Describe Image section, use words like elucidating, illustrate, depict, and so on. Check whether it is a pie chart, line graph, or bar chart. Use background, foreground, below, above, at the bottom, on the left-hand side, right-hand side, etc. You should try to finish within 30-35 sentences. 
  • For the Retell Lecture section, find the keywords first for understanding the topic. You should try to remember the few main sentences. They should be sufficient for retelling what you heard. 
  • For short questions, use articles like the or an before words. Repeat the words given in the question if you do not know the answer. 
  • Watch pronunciation videos on YouTube and other platforms. Listen to native English speakers, podcasts, watch movies, and so on. It should be a part of your preparation for the PTE speaking section.

Related Reads:

PTE Exam DurationPTE Exam Preparation
PTE Exam Accepted CountriesHow to prepare PTE exam at home


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Find PTE Exam Dates in or near by Your City

PTE Exam Dates DelhiPTE Exam Dates JalandharPTE Exam Dates Hyderabad
PTE Exam Dates MumbaiPTE Exam Dates AmritsarPTE Exam Dates Mohali
PTE Exam Dates in ChennaiPTE Exam Dates ChandigarhPTE Exam Dates Patiala
PTE Exam Dates in LudhianaPTE Exam Dates BangalorePTE Exam Dates Bathinda

Frequently Asked Questions

How to improve pronunciation in PTE Speaking?

For PTE Academic, you will not have to sound like a native English speaker. However, you should make sure that what you pronounce is understandable to the examiner. You should use vowels and consonants correctly and speak them correctly. Use suitable words that show your command of the language.

How to speak in the PTE exam?

Ensure that you are not leaving out any word in your speech. You should speak into the microphone after the recording starts. Read and speak with confidence and naturally. Use a proper rhythm and vary your tone whenever needed. You should not hesitate or repeat your words since it will only lead to a loss of points.

How is PTE Speaking scored?

The scoring pattern is as follows: 

  1. Read Aloud- 22.2
  2. Repeat Sentence- 32.1
  3. Describe Image- 22.2
  4. Re-tell Lecture- 11.1
  5. Answer Short Questions- 2.4

The total marks are 90 for this portion of the PTE Academic.

How to get 90 in PTE Speaking?

It is very difficult to get 90 out of 90 in PTE Speaking. However, it is not impossible, provided you manage to ace the scoring sections like re-tell lecture, answering short questions, reading aloud, and repeating sentences. Describing images is also important. You will have to be flawless with your answers and speech and make sure that you do not miss any points.

How to improve PTE Speaking score?

You should never take repeat sentence questions lightly. You should make sure that you score smoothly in this question type. Practice reading aloud, and you should time yourself at the same time. Practice describing images with the right vocabulary. Prepare to tackle pie charts, bar graphs, etc. Be attentive and make sure that you make the most of the repeat sentence section and the describe image and read-aloud parts since they carry the highest marks.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.