PTE Speaking and Writing


PTE Exam basically comprises four different modules to assess the intricate knowledge of the candidate about Basic English communication skills. These modules include reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Now, the good thing about the PTE exam is that PTE Speaking and Writing sections are combined in one session, while the reading and listening sections are distributed into two different sessions. In this article, we will discuss in detail the PTE speaking and writing sections. If you want to learn about the PTE listening section, you can visit our PTE academic listening section page.

PTE Speaking Section

PTE Speaking section is the first thing that you should get prepared for because this is the first exam that you will attempt while undergoing the whole PTE exam. To assess the speaking and writing skills of the candidate, the test taker has to sit for approximately 54-67 minutes without a pause. The speaking module assesses the candidate’s ability to listen, speak and write fluently. Therefore, you have to focus and concentrate on all four modules to perform better during the exam. The speaking proficiency of the candidate is assessed by evaluating his answers for the five different categories. The speaking section usually starts with a personal introduction, in which a candidate has to properly introduce himself, but this doesn’t matter very much because it is merely asked to break the ice and to boost the confidence of the candidate.

Beware: While taking the exam, ensure that your response is properly recorded before the progress bar hits its maximum. Keep in mind that if you stay silent for more than three seconds, the recording will automatically stop causing you to lose points.

Here is a detailed overview of the sub-sections of the PTE speaking section:

Read aloud

While taking the exam, the first part that the candidate will attempt is the “Read aloud” section. In this section, the candidate has to read aloud the text written on the screen. It comprises 6 to 7 items, and every item contains sentences comprising almost 60 words. The time to answer varies, and the skills assessed under this category and reading and speaking altogether while the scoring depends upon the fluency and reading skills.

Repeat sentence

Under this category, the candidate has to repeat the sentence after it is played. The number of items under this category can be up to seven, while the time span for the single item can be up to 9 seconds. The candidate is expected to answer within 15 seconds without fail.

Describe image

This is the part where most of the candidates start losing their confidence. However, it is the easiest one. Under this subsection, the candidate has to describe the image that is displayed on the screen. The items under this category are 6-7, while the time given to the candidate is almost 40 seconds.

Re-tell lecture

In this category, the candidate is expected to memorize what is being told in the lecture. Once the lecture is finished, the candidate has to re-tell the lecture in their own words. The items under this category can range from 3 to four items, while one item takes up to 90 seconds to complete. The student is expected to complete the task in forty seconds per item.

Answer short questions

Under this category, the student is expected to answer the question in a word or a few words. The items under this category are 10-12. The time span of the question is almost 3 to 9 seconds, while the candidate has to answer the question in almost 10 seconds. Under this category, the listening and speaking skills of the candidate are assessed.

Tips on improving the PTE speaking score:

  • Repeat sentences in front of the mirror
  • Read Australian news daily
  • Practice reading aloud in front of the camera
  • Master describing image questions with constant practice

PTE writing section

The writing part of the PTE exam is considered the second section of the speaking module and therefore taken along with the speaking section. Putting it simply, the writing section doesn’t come with its own separate section or category and is taken right after the speaking section is completed. The writing test analyses the writing and creative skills of the candidate while keeping check of the grammar, format, and topic given. The candidate is assessed for his English writing skills.

Here is a detailed overview of the PTE writing module:

Summarize written text

Beware: The summary of this question must be written in just one sentence. This means that the candidate is allowed to put only one full stop. However, the candidate can use as many commas as needed.

Under this section, the candidate has to make a precise summary of the written text. The candidate is given a passage to summarize in one sentence. The number of items under this category can vary from 2 to 3. Although the prompt length of the text can be up to 300 words, still the candidate is given 10 minutes to complete one item.

Write essay

Now, this is the part where candidates can really show off their skills. Under this category, the candidate is given a topic for essay writing. The number of words for the essay can range from 200 to 300 words, but the candidate is given twenty minutes to wind it all. Here, the writing skills of the candidate are assessed based on what he has written.

Tips on improving PTE writing score

  • Try to keep things simple and avoid using complex phrases

  • Use the right format and tone

  • Consider focusing more on the essay writing part
  • Consider writing in clear and concise paragraphs

  • Practice writing at home


Every year thousands of candidates attempt the test and prove their fluency and proficiency in the English language for their studies, work, or immigration purposes. It also allows the candidates who are applying for study visas in Australia to adjust according to the native speaking and writing atmosphere. To score better in the speaking section, it is recommended that the candidate must focus on the sub-sections described in detail above. Keep in mind that if you are well prepared, nothing can stop you from acing the PTE exam! Best of Luck!

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