The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a computer-based English evaluation test for non-native English speakers. It allows examinees to demonstrate different English language skills. The results of the test are accepted by thousands of academic institutions all around the world. These academic institutions include colleges and universities in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and France, among others. It is also approved by the governments of New Zealand and Australia for migration and student visa applications.

The PTE is composed of three sets of tests designed to evaluate the different aspects of the language. The three tests are Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening. In this article, we will be going over the PTE read-aloud section and how to do well in it.

Overview of the PTE Read Aloud

One of the components of the Speaking and Writing test is Read Aloud. In this section, a passage will appear on the screen and examinees are required to read it aloud. This section evaluates the reading and speaking skills of examinees. The passage or text will have around 60 words.

Before examinees start reading the text aloud, they are given 30 to 40 seconds to prepare and read the passage or text. The preparation time will depend on the length of the passage. After the preparation period is finished, examinees will hear a short tone. This tone will indicate they will have to read the passage aloud.

While examinees are supposed to read aloud after the tone, they should make sure the microphone is open before they speak. If they speak before the microphone opens, their voice will not be recorded. Examinees should speak clearly into the microphone and avoid rushing.

Examinees should make sure to finish reading the passage before the progress bar stops or reaches the end. At this point, the word “Recording” will change to “Completed.” Examinees only have one chance to record their responses. They should also avoid being silent for more than three seconds since the recording will stop at this point.

Scoring of PTE Read Aloud

Three factors determine the score of examinees in the PTE Read Aloud section:

Content – The recording should contain all the words in the passage or text. This is scored by counting the number of spoken words in the recording. Any omissions or replacements will affect the score of examinees.

Oral fluency – The smoothness and natural rate of speech of examinees will be evaluated as well. This section will focus on the rhythm, stress, and phrasing of the recording of the examinees. To score well, examinees should maintain a natural and constant speech rate with suitable phrasing. Any repetitions, false starts, and hesitations will have a negative effect on the score.

Pronunciation – In this part of the test, examinees should pronounce all the words properly. It is scored based on how the recording is easily understood by most English speakers. All the vowels and consonants should be pronounced similar to how native English speakers pronounce them. The words and phrases should also be properly stressed.

Tips & Techniques to Increase Your PTE Read Aloud Score

Tip 1: Scan the Passage Before Reading

Examinees are given 30 to 40 seconds to go through the written text before they are supposed to start reading aloud. At this point, they should try to understand the concepts presented in the passage. Additionally, examinees should also try to understand how the text flows.

Tip 2: Practice Any Unfamiliar Words Before the Recording Starts

If examinees encounter any unfamiliar words in the passage for PTE read aloud, they should read them aloud before the microphone comes on or the recording starts. This will allow them to relieve any nervousness they are feeling before the actual recording starts. It is also advisable for examinees to go through the passage at least two times before the microphone comes on.

Tip 3: Take Note of the Punctuation in the Passage

While scanning the passage, examinees should check for punctuation marks. These punctuation marks serve as their guide to where they should break up the text into relevant portions. The examinees can pause and change their intonation when they encounter these punctuation marks. Aside from reading the text more fluently, when they pause appropriately, the examinees can provide the full meaning of the text. Moreover, these pauses also allow them to improve their score in this part of the test.

Tip 4: Take Note of Contractions

Examinees should remember to read the text according to how they are presented in the PTE read-aloud section. This is particularly important when it comes to contractions. Examinees should not read the contraction “can’t” as “cannot” in the same way “I’ve” should not be read as “I have.”

Tip 5: Stress Important Words in Each Passage

When examinees read the text, they should stress the important words in the passage. They can do this by increasing the volume of their voice and emphasizing vital syllables in the word. Moreover, the rising and falling of intonation while reading shows the connection between the different concepts in the passage. It also indicates that the passage is about to end.

Tip 6: Speak Clearly and Naturally

When taking the PTE test, examinees normally become anxious and nervous. When this happens, they may succumb to losing their confidence, which will have a significant effect on how they read the text aloud. This will result in losing some points in the test. Due to this, examinees are advised to speak at a natural pace when they are reading the text aloud. The pace should also be neither too fast nor too slow. This will allow examinees to have a clearer voice during the test.

Practicing the Read Aloud Section

Since examinees already know they will have to go through the Read-Aloud section of the PTE, they can prepare for it before the test date. The following are some ways for examines can prepare for this section of the test:

Tip 7: Evaluate Skill Level

The first thing examinees should do while preparing for the Read Aloud section is to evaluate their own skill level. There are a number of websites that allow them to check their skill level when it comes to the English language. While this is a must for non-native English speakers, it is also advisable for native English speakers due to the nature of the test, which takes into account different aspects of the English language.

Tip 8: Use a Voice Recorder and Read News Clippings

Examinees can use an English-language newspaper and voice recorder to practice for this section of the test. They can record their voice while reading a paragraph with 60 words from the newspaper. After reading, examinees should play back their audio recordings. This allows examinees to check for errors and points for improvement. With constant practice, it will allow examinees to become more comfortable with reading English text. It also allows them to control the speed when they are reading.


We hope that this article on PTE Read Aloud was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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