PTE Speaking- Format and Questions
When it comes to language abilities, speaking skills are the most frequently used. Thus, when individuals are required to prove their competency in communicating in a certain language, speaking abilities are a mandatory aspect of the evaluation.
The PTE Speaking test is clubbed together with the Writing test in the first segment of the Pearson Test of English, yet, this segment focuses majorly on assessing the speaking skills of a candidate. Speaking is one of the primary communicative skills of the English language used regularly in our daily lives. Therefore, the PTE exam puts substantial emphasis on comprehensively assessing this particular language skill. That being said, speaking is one of the toughest language skills to master; thus, candidates should put extra effort into excelling in this segment of the PTE exam.
The combined Speaking and Writing section is the first segment of the PTE exam and consists of seven different question types. Out of these seven question types in the PTE Speaking and Writing section, five question types assess the candidate’s speaking ability. Since PTE is an integrated language proficiency test, other fundamental language skills like reading and listening are also evaluated in this section
If a person wishes to travel to a major English speaking country for higher education, better employment opportunities or ways of living, they must pass an English language proficiency test to prove their level of skill in English. Language barriers may create unforeseen hindrances in the daily life of immigrants by restricting them from performing routine tasks with ease due to a lack of proper and smooth communication. There are various English language proficiency tests available today, one of the most popular of which is the PTE exam.
The PTE exam or the Pearson Test of English is an English language proficiency test that ascertains an individual’s capabilities in the English language according to the Global Scale of English. It employs a unique approach to assessing students to holistically evaluate the core communicative skills of a candidate in the English language.
The test is divided into 3 parts, namely Speaking and Writing together, Reading and Listening. Due to the changed format of the PTE exam which has been implemented to shorten the length of the test, the duration of the Speaking and Writing section has been reduced to 54-67 minutes since November 16, 2021.
The Speaking and Writing section of the PTE exam begins with the Personal Introduction part. In this part, candidates are required to provide some information about their life. The Personal Introduction is relevant to the candidate’s preferred institutions as a part of their application along with the PTE test scores.
PTE Speaking Question Types
Although the Speaking and Writing section of the PTE exam consists of seven different types of questions, the speaking assessment only involves five different question types. All these questions evaluate a candidate’s speaking ability in different contexts. The primary focus of the speaking test in the PTE exam is to ascertain whether the candidate will be able to communicate in various academic and social situations. Given below is a detailed description of each question type that assesses the speaking skills of a candidate in PTE
|PTE Speaking Question Types||Number of Questions||Duration Per Question|
|Personal Introduction||1||Prompt Length: 25 seconds, Time to Answer: 30 seconds|
|Read Aloud||6 – 7||Prompt Length: Upto 60 words, Time to Answer: Depends on text length|
|Repeat Sentence||10 – 12||Prompt Length: 3-9 seconds, Time to Answer: 15 seconds|
|Describe Image||3 – 4||Prompt Length: NA, Time to Answer: 40 seconds|
|Retell Lecture||1 – 2||Prompt Length: 90 seconds, Time to Answer: 40 seconds|
|Answer Short Question||5 – 6||Prompt Length: 3-9 seconds, Time to Answer: 10 seconds|
Detailed Information of the Questions in the Reading section
In this section, the candidates will be asked to read certain sentences presented to them. Candidates need to go through every part of the given sentences clearly in the microphone. There are 6-7 questions included in this category.
This section will involve an audio recording and the test takers are required to listen to the recording carefully and then repeat the sentence spoken clearly and exactly as it was said in the audio recording. There are usually 10-12 questions in this question type.
An image is provided to the test-takers in this question item type and candidates are required to describe the image to the best of their ability. There are 3-4 questions included in this category.
In this section, an audio recording of a lecture is played and even an image related to the lecture may be provided. Candidates are required to repeat the lecture as accurately as possible in the given time frame. There are 1-2 questions included in this category.
Answer Short Question
This section requires the test takers to only answer certain questions in one word or a few words. The candidates are given 5-6 questions in this category.
Prior knowledge of the exam pattern can immensely improve the preparation of a potential exam candidate and also help them devise their preparation strategies based on their personal requirements depending on the kind of questions asked in exams like the PTE. Hopefully, the information provided on the Speaking part of the PTE exam will be helpful to the candidates.
PTE Speaking Tips
The Speaking section of the PTE exam can be a tough nut to crack if a candidate is not confident in their speaking capabilities. Speaking is a communicative skill that is quite tough to master and test-takers may often face problems when utilizing this skill during an exam like the PTE. However, the knowledge of certain techniques can enhance an individual’s performance and enable them to tackle questions requiring speaking knacks. Given below are some useful tips for the PTE Speaking section.
- One of the most important things to remember during the PTE Speaking section is to speak confidently. Therefore, practice speaking in a manner that is comfortable and easy.
- Strictly avoid repeating yourself and taking unnecessary pauses while your answer is being recorded.
- Listen carefully for the short tone that is played before the microphone activates to record your answer. If you speak before the microphone is activated, parts of your answer will not be recorded.
- Make use of proper punctuation while speaking. Proper phrasing and intonations are taken into account when calculating your PTE speaking score.
- When taking notes for questions like ‘Retell Lecture’, try to document only vital information instead of copying entire sentences. This will help in saving time and also focusing on keywords and phrases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the PTE Speaking difficult?
Does content matter in PTE speaking?
What are the types of questions included in PTE Speaking?
Is the Personal Introduction scored?
Does my accent affect my score during PTE Speaking?