The PTE Academic provides the qualifications needed to gain entry into English speaking universities. For this reason the test is designed to fully assess a student’s ability to speak, read and write in English. The numbers of international students applying for English speaking universities is growing whilst more and more institutions, even in China, are only accepting English speakers. As the competition grows fiercer, preparing for the PTE Academic is now more important than ever.
The Pearson PTE English test consists of 4 sections: Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening. The aim of this article is to help prepare for the test by describing some of the features and explaining what to expect from the questions in the “Speaking” section of the test. The information provided will go alongside the practice test which can be found here.
Speak clearly and concentrate on your diction. Use punctuation in the sentences to help figure out when to pause and take a breath. Correctly using pauses will help convey the full meaning of the text, help read fluently and help with rhythm. Certain words carry more importance, so add a stress on these when you speak them. Do this by adding emphasis to key syllables and speaking louder on key words. Show that ideas are linked or coming to an end by using slight rises and falls in the intonation patterns. This also helps form a rhythm.
Scoring for this section is based on producing correct word sequences; understanding more phrases will lead to a better reproduction of the sentence. Listen for words which are stressed as these belong to the more meaningful phrases and will allow you to repeat what you hear more accurately.
An image will be displayed that must be described. Organise all points which need to be said first before speaking out loud, as this will lead to a better score. An organised answer has a better chance of covering the main information and additional details; it will highlight implications and draw conclusions based on the information.
An image will be displayed followed by a recording. Take a look at the image before the recording is played. This will give a general idea of the topic of the lecture. The time given to repeat the main points of the lecture is 40 seconds. Make good use of this time. Do not repeat ideas, make corrections or hesitate as this will waste valuable time and lose points. Keep talking and do not worry about any mistakes made.
Answer Short Question
Highest scores are awarded for short accurate answers. Do not say more than needs to be said; long answers are not wanted. When speaking, do not pause for too long; otherwise the recording will end. After the question is played, the recording will start; start speaking immediately. If a pause lasts longer than 3 seconds, then the recording will end and the status will change to completed. If you did not finish, then the answer will still be classed as completed, and the “Next” button will need to be clicked.
Speaking the English language can be the hardest of the 4 values to learn and put into practice. This is because we do not have as much time to think about what we are about to say before we say it, unlike when writing. Preparation for the speaking element is very important because in everyday life, speech is what we come to rely on most when trying to communicate with others.
This guest post was written on behalf of Pearson PTE by author and researcher Keir McCarton.