PTE Speaking: Practice Tips, Test Format, Mock Tests & More

pte speaking practice tips

PTE speaking is one of the four main parts of the PTE exam.

It requires not only your speaking skills but also your listening and writing skills.

The total time to complete this section is 1 to 1 hour and a half.

It includes five modules in which you are required to deliver a fluent speech.

While doing the test, you need to focus on your stress intonation and pronunciation to make the listeners understand your content.

And there are more aspects that you need to pay attention to.

Let’s learn some PTE speaking tips from PTE Magic to achieve your high score goal!

Key Takeaways

  • The PTE speaking test consists of five different modules. There is a personal introduction in PTE, but it won’t contribute to your overall score.
  • By taking the PTE speaking mock tests by PTE Magic, you can get used to the test pattern, improve your skills, and enhance your confidence.
  • See below for more tips and strategies to improve your speaking in the PTE test.

See more:

PTE Speaking Test Format & Modules

pte speaking practice tips

The PTE speaking test consists of five different modules.

Besides, there is a personal introduction in PTE, but it won’t contribute to your overall score.

Let’s look at the table below to understand its general format, and then we’ll go to each item type to understand them in detail.

Number of questions
Skills scores 
Read aloud
6 – 7
Reading and speaking
Partial credit
Reading and speaking, overall fluency, pronunciation, content
Repeat sentence
10 – 12
15 seconds
Listening and speaking
Partial credit
Reading and speaking, overall fluency, pronunciation, content
Describe image
6 – 7
40 seconds
Partial credit
Speaking, overall fluency, pronunciation, content
Retail lecture
2 – 4
40 seconds
Listening and speaking
Partial credit
Listening and speaking, overall fluency, pronunciation, content
Answer short question
10 – 12
10 seconds
Reading and writing
Correct/ incorrect
Listening and speaking, vocabulary

Read Aloud

In this part, you should read aloud the written text.

You will have around 40 seconds to read the text and then prepare to read it. After the countdown, the recording box appears, and the microphone is opened.

You need to speak after the short tone; otherwise, your voice will not be recorded.

Repeat Sentence

The PTE repeat sentence section in the speaking test requires students to repeat what is played in the audio with high accuracy.

You need to speak right after you see the recording symbol, as there is no sound indicating the starting time.

Clear voice without hesitation is highly recommended.

You can only record once.

Describe Image

The system will display an image; you have 25 seconds to study it and prepare.

After a short tone, you should start describing the image immediately.

You can use the erasable note board booklet to run down the key points from the picture, organize your ideas, and deliver a smooth speech.

Retell Lecture

The PTE retell lecture section will provide audio with an image.

After listening to the lecture, you will have 10 seconds to prepare your answer.

Then, you will have 40 seconds to respond based on what you hear from the speech.

You should mention the main points and finish your conclusion within the given time; otherwise, your answer will be incomplete.

Answer Short Question

With this PTE answer short question section, you will see an audio automatically play with an image.

When it is over, the microphone status will be on, and record your voice.

You should reply to the question in one or a few words.

Your answer should be clear, and there is no rush while responding. You must finish answering before the progress bar changes to “Completed.”

PTE Speaking Scoring Guides 

In general, the Pronunciation and Oral Fluency criteria are marked from 0 to 5:

  • 0: Non-English
  • 1: Intrusive
  • 2: Intermediate
  • 3: Good
  • 4: Advanced
  • 5: Native like


The Content criterion will be evaluated slightly differently in each PTE speaking format.

PTE Read Aloud: Depending on the length of the text.

Repeat Sentence: Any omission, insertion, replacement, hesitation, or incorrect pause will be counted as an error. Your performance will be judged from 0 to 3:

  • 0: Repeat almost nothing
  • 1: Less than 50% of the content is mentioned in the correct sequence.
  • 2: 50% of the content or more is mentioned in the correct sequence.
  • 3: All responses are given in correct order.

PTE Describe Image: The content is marked from 0 to 5

  • 0: Mention irrelevant information about the image
  • 1: Talk about some elements from the image but without a conclusion
  • 2: Describe one key element
  • 3: Mention most of the elements with conclusions
  • 4: Identify all key elements and their relation
  • 5: Mention all key elements, relations, conclusion, and impact

Retell Lecture: Your response is scored from 0 to 5

  • 0: Talk about disjointed points
  • 1: Mention basic elements
  • 2: Describe only one key point
  • 3: Mention most of the key points
  • 4: Deal with key points and give a conclusion
  • 5: Mention all key points and complete a full conclusion

Answer Short Question: This module will require your range of vocabulary:

  • 0: Use inappropriate words
  • 1: Answer with appropriate word choice 

PTE Speaking Practice Tips 

If you want to know how to improve speaking in PTE, let’s follow our tips and strategies below.

By practicing, you will see better results day by day.

Read Aloud

  • During 40 seconds of preparation before responding, you should speak out gently. Don’t only speak in your mind as you may fumble in the real-time test. Practice pronouncing difficult words a couple of times. 
  • It’s advisable to complete your answer within 20 or 25 seconds. 
  • Don’t give unnecessary pauses. 

Repeat Sentence

  • Focus on listening and try to remember as many words as you can in the correct order.
  • Divide the sentences into parts for easy memorization.
  • Don’t correct yourself if you know you spoke wrong.
  • Copy the intonation of the speaker as much as possible.

Describe Image

  • Templates are an important PTE speaking material you can use for practicing. Learn by heart and write the template (at least a few beginning words) in the real test so you can speak fluently.
  • Practice how to describe different diagrams.
  • Pay attention to the decreasing or increasing tendency of the bars, numbers, colors, etc.
  • You should start by mentioning words like the picture, illustration, diagram, etc. 
  • Try to capture the main points, but don’t speak for over 40 seconds.

Retell Lecture

  • Read the instructions carefully in order not to be confused with the Describe Image section.
  • Using templates helps you not miss any key information and organize your speech so it will not exceed 40 seconds.
  • This PTE speaking practice requires taking notes skills. You should ensure you can understand your handwriting.

Answer Short Questions

  • Besides listening and speaking skills, you also should focus on your vocabulary and knowledge.
  • Give only one or a couple of words to answer as required. Don’t speak more, as it will not make your mark higher.
  • If you don’t know the answer, just speak anything in your mind or repeat the question so it can somehow rescue you with a score of responding.

Other Useful Tips

  • Prepare your headphones and microphone carefully before the test to avoid unnecessary technical issues.
  • Speak loudly and clearly so the computer can hear you well.
  • Don’t speak too slowly or too fast. Keep a moderate and natural pace.
  • Speak without hesitation, repetition, or pause.
  • Do not speak before you hear a tone. But with the Repeat Sentence and Answer Short Question sections, you must start immediately when the audio box says “recording.”
  • Practice a lot with the PTE speaking mock tests to get used to the types of questions and understand what you need to do. At the same time, practicing will improve all your skills. 
  • Relax while in the exam room. If stressed, you can’t listen, think, and speak well. Be confident in yourself.

5 Common Mistakes in PTE Speaking You Must Avoid

5 Common Mistakes in PTE Speaking You Must Avoid

Speaking unnaturally

The PTE Academic Speaking test requires you to be fluent in your speech.

However, fluency does not mean speaking fast.

Although, there is a time limit in which you have to complete, don’t make the mistake of rushing to finish your speech and making errors or not being clear.

Contrary to speaking too fast, speaking too slow and deliberately also breaks the rhythm of your speech and you sound unnatural.

This should be avoided.

To score well, you need to be understood, so look at the timer and measure the time of your talk by practicing and noting how many words you can speak within this time.

Make sure not to make any pronunciation errors or put unnecessary stress on words and letters, this can be recorded as a word as well.

Not speaking into the microphone

Many students prefer to practice for the PTE Academic test by practicing with a teacher and/or a partner who can interact with them in a conversation and guide them to correct their mistakes.

They forget that the test will be recorded and they will be speaking into a microphone.

Learning to speak into a microphone is also a skill.

Invest in a good microphone and recorder and listen to your recorded speech.

When you listen to yourself, notice if you have made the mistake of breathing into the microphone, which can occur when we speak words with “ph”, “sh” “ch” “b” etc. sounds.

Also, avoid clearing your throat, coughing, sneezing sighing, etc. within your talk as it can be mistaken as a word by the automated grading system.

Practice speaking clearly and completely.

Interjecting with sounds or fillers

In normal circumstances, when we speak, we are bound to use sounds like “hmmm” or “aaah” to pause and think about our next word or utterance.

Some people also have the habit of using “like” and “so” and other such words in every sentence.

When we are in a conversation it is natural and does not break the sequence of our talk.

However, in the PTE Academic Speaking test, it gets recorded as a word and breaks the coherence of our sentences, leading to low scores.

Secondly, plan what you are going to say in the time given to you.

Make note of the sequence you will follow in your talk.

Practice using a format to plan your talk, while preparing for your PTE test, this will help you to avoid panic during the test.

Keep it simple and focus on the main aspects of the task.

Once you have planned your speech content, do not hesitate and break the continuity.

Speak with confidence and complete your talk using correct vocabulary and grammar.

Use formal academic language

In our normal speech, when we want to speak like a native speaker, we learn and use some informal language or collocation, which helps us sound similar to a native speaker.

However, PTE Academic is a test of your academic language proficiency.

Here, using slang or colloquial language is not considered using correct language structures, but will surely be taken as a vocabulary or grammatical error.

It is important that you respond to the tasks in a formal manner, using vocabulary that you see in academic texts.

You should keep your structures passive as well as use impressive words instead of casual words that we usually use in our social interactions.

Also, it is important to avoid using the same vocabulary repeatedly.

Bring in a variety in the use of your language talk in precise language and remain focused on the task.

Complete your sentences

In our everyday conversation, we assume that our listener is following our train of thought and if we leave an idea unfinished and move on with the other idea, the listener will understand us, regardless of the unfinished sentence.

This advantage is not available to us, in the PTE Academic speaking test.

Here, you, as the speaker are being recorded and your language fluency is being assessed on the basis of the use of sentence structures.

Therefore, make sure that you have the sentences completely planned.

Don’t leave any sentence unfinished and move on to the next one.

Don’t panic and be stressed for time, resulting in hurried talk, and making this critical mistake.

Form your sentence structures, and speak them in a clearly articulate manner.

Do not rush to complete your task by speaking in phrases and disjointed sentences.

Also, while talking if you notice that you have missed an information or point in your sentence, don’t start your sentence again.

Complete the sentence and add your missed point as a new sentence.

PTE Speaking Mock Tests By PTE Magic 

Practice mock tests at PTE Magic with AI scoring

PTE Magic has an interactive self-study platform to assist you in achieving the highest score in the PTE exam.

With a rich bank of mock tests, you’ll surely increase your confidence and performance not only in speaking but also in listening, reading, and writing.

AI-based scoring and other helpful features will free you from any unnecessary stressful issues while practicing.

With mock tests, you can re-practice one question with key answers until it’s perfect.

The real-time AI scoring for your tasks displays a detailed performance report.

It can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

By taking the PTE speaking mock tests by PTE Magic, you can get used to the test pattern, improve your skills, and enhance your confidence.

Besides, the training site will introduce crucial PTE templates and provide vital tips and tricks to boost your study and final results.

These mock tests are a must-have tool to increase your score in the PTE speaking section and other testing skills in the PTE exam as well.


PTE speaking has 5 modules with different requirements to test your speaking and listening.

In general, your response should have clear pronunciation, enough information, and understandable content.

To master all skills required for the highest score, you need to practice more and more with PTE speaking samples.

Our tips above are helpful for your practicing and real tests, so make sure you implement them for the best result.

Last updated on 29/05/2024

I am a firm believer that the best teachers educate with their hearts not just their minds.

Moni | PTE MAGIC International Founder

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