Why Computers Fail to Record Your Voice in the PTE Test?

Why the Computer Didn’t Catch Your Voice

The absence of voice recording during the PTE speaking test is a common issue for many students.

This blog by PTE Magic aims to explore both human and technical issues in PTE Speaking.

So, if you ever face this problem or want to ensure your speaking test goes smoothly – keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • You should double-check the headphones and microphone you provided before the test.
  • You must wear the headset for 3 hours, so practice with it at home to get comfortable.
  • Keeping the microphone 2 fingers away from your mouth is ideal for the sound to reach the computer system.
  • Speaking naturally and focusing on your speech will enhance the accuracy of your voice recording.

Computer Setup Incorrectly

2. computer-glitches-in-PTE-test

You should notify the test supervisor instantly if you find any issues

PTE centres provide all the necessary devices for your test, including computers, microphones, and headsets. They will ensure your device works properly. However, you should double-check your headphones and microphone before the test.

Being familiar with the PTE testing devices is crucial, as you will stay prepared and manage your time and confidence. For your information, Pearson headphones are Plantronics and Andrea brands.

While checking, notify the test supervisor instantly if you find any issues regarding computer glitches in the PTE test.


Incorrect Microphone Placement

No matter how high-quality the microphone is, the computer won’t hear you properly if you place it incorrectly. The most well-known rule for microphone positioning in the PTE speaking section is to keep it 2 fingers away from your mouth. This is the ideal place for the sound to reach the computer system perfectly without picking up too much noise outside.

You should note that the placement depends on the microphone itself. On-axis and off-axis are the two methods to help you decide which placement will suit your microphone best. 

The on-axis method means placing the microphone directly in front of your mouth. This placement will make you sound clear and record your speech louder. However, this placement may also capture your breathing noise. You can consider switching to off-axis which is putting the microphone to one side to reduce breathing noise.

Wearing Headset Inconsistently

Since the PTE test is managed entirely on a computer, you will be provided with a headset throughout the test. In addition to clear audio, the headset helps capture your voice correctly.

3. technical-issues-in-PTE-speaking

Test-takers have reported experiencing headaches during the PTE test

Remember that you will need to wear the headset for the entire 3-hour duration. Some test-takers have reported experiencing headaches and earaches due to wearing the headset too long. Therefore, you should familiarise yourself with this device at home to get used to the feeling.

Speak Unnaturally

No matter how good the microphone and the computer system are, your PTE speaking score will not reach its peak if your speech sounds unnatural. Speaking naturally includes good pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency.

Computers may fail to record your voice if:

  • Your pronunciation is unclear: If you sound unclear, the system cannot capture what you said. Practise speaking common words and phrases by using apps or watching English movies/shows.
  • Don’t pause too much: While speaking, long pauses will decrease your score. You should practise speaking continuously as fluently as possible. Don’t speak too fast or too slow – try to keep a steady pace instead.
  • Lack of vocabulary: Repeatedly saying the same words or phrases will confuse the computer. Expanding your vocabulary by learning new words daily can help you improve effectively. However, avoid speaking complicatedly because this might lead to mistakes.

Lack of Focus on Your Speech

Unlike your PTE mock tests, actual PTE tests will take place with many test-takers in one room. In other words, you will take your PTE speaking test at the same time as at least 10-15 people. 

This situation might distract you due to the amount of noise; therefore, practising focusing on your speech will help you perform better on the test. One way to start is to practise in a similar environment, such as studying at a cafe with background music. 

They will also give you an erasable notebook during the test. You should write down key points and use them to help you focus. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t look down on the technical issues in the PTE Speaking test. Sometimes, the technology may fail to capture your voice, leading to lower scores. So it’s good to remember the tips and tricks we mentioned above.

PTE Magic is committed to helping you overcome this challenge. Our effective courses will equip you with the skills to excel in the PTE speaking test.

Don’t let technical problems get in your progress. Join us today!

Last updated on 02/05/2024

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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