The Pearson Test of English Academic is a standardized test used to determine the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. Unlike other measurement tests, PTE is entirely computer-based which makes it unique as it claims to have more accurate and verifiable results compared to other tests that may be susceptible to human biases.

Testing four different categories, PTE measures an individual’s ability to speak, write, listen, and read in English. In this article, we will be looking at the Speaking component and tips on how to ace it.

Overview of PTE Speaking

One of the most basic segments you will encounter when taking up the Pearson Test of English is the Speaking module. You will be taking this part early on in the test. Remember, everything in the test will have an impact on your overall score so you must take extra care to ensure that you are consistent with each part.

What this part will contain:

PTE Speaking will be composed of five different categories. Each one is designed to evaluate your English skills accurately, so it’s important for you to prepare ahead of time. Time limitations will also be implemented per task, so speed is of the essence when taking this test.

  • The first part of the PTE Speaking test involves you reading aloud. You will be given a certain paragraph of text up to a maximum of 60 words. This is the only activity that will not be limited in terms of time. What’s important is that you pronounce and deliver each word carefully.
  • The second step is designed to evaluate your speaking and listening abilities. You will be asked to listen to a certain audio clip and repeat the same sentence word for word afterward. You will only be given approximately 15-20 seconds to answer.
  • For the third task, you will be shown an image on the screen and then you will be asked to describe that particular image to the best of your ability. A maximum of 40 seconds is allotted for this step.
  • The fourth step in the PTE Speaking test is somewhat similar to the second step. You will be asked to listen to a certain lecture and repeat it afterward. The difference here, however, is that you will not be required to repeat the lecture verbatim; rather,  you will be asked to summarize it in your own words. You will be given a maximum of 40 seconds to complete this task.
  • In the final step, you will be asked a certain question which you will then be given only 10 seconds to answer. It is important that you must be brief and concise with your answer. If possible, give only one or a few words for your answer so that you can beat the allotted time.

Tips & Techniques to Increase Your PTE Speaking Score

Tip 1: Know Yourself

To improve yourself, it is important to know where to start. You have to know and understand yourself better in order to see which parts should be improved when you speak. One way to do this is by recording yourself when you talk. Go to a quiet room and start talking or reading a script into a recorder. Once you’re done, listen to your tape and note down which areas you’re good at and which ones need more practice. Critique yourself until you eventually become better at it.

Tip 2: Practice a Lot

In order to become better at something, especially in PTE Speaking, you have to practice more often. Practice helps you become more accustomed to the way you speak and will essentially help you achieve an almost native-level English fluency in the long run.

Tip 3: Dive into IPA and Master the Sounds

When improving your speech, you have to know and master the basics. Research and learn about IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and master each sound. Once you get the hang of every sound, you will notice your speech becoming increasingly better and sounding a lot more natural.

Tip 4: Pay Attention to Your Lips and Tongue

One of the most important factors you should take into consideration is the way your lips and tongue move. These are the most essential tools you use when speaking. There are certain sounds and vowels that may move differently, so exercising and preparing your lips and tongue movements for the task will definitely help you out.

Tip 5: Speak with Punctuation

Punctuations are often overlooked when speaking, especially if you’re tense. Make it your mission to correctly stop whenever you see a period, pause when you see a comma, and enunciate every vowel as perfectly as you can. Look out for each and every punctuation you come across.

Tip 6: Don’t Stop

Whenever you make a mistake, put it in your list of “things to improve on”. Don’t let it stop you. When taking the exam, continue talking even when you’ve made a mistake. The amount of commitment you put into your actions will eventually pay off.

Always remember that practice will lead you to a higher score. Note every single mistake you make and try to learn and become better after each one of them.

How To Prepare for the PTE Speaking Exam

When taking a test as important as the PTE, you must put extra effort into your preparation for the exam. PTE employs a sophisticated scoring system to ensure the most accurate evaluation of the examinee’s qualifications. Here are some ways on how you can best prepare for the PTE.

1. Research

Exams like PTE require a fair amount of research beforehand. It is important to get a little background about what you’re getting into and what you might come across while taking the exam. During your research, you will most probably come across some information that will enable you to have a better score during the actual PTE Speaking exam.

2. Listening to Other Native English Speakers

Listening to other people, especially native English speakers, will help improve on the PTE Speaking exam. By just keenly observing, you may be able to pinpoint specific areas where you typically make a mistake and allow you the chance to improve on those areas proactively. Try to listen as much as you can and talk to native English speakers if possible, to practice your skills.

3. Keeping a Calm and Relaxed Demeanor

Maintaining calmness is one of the most important things you need to do while taking an exam. This does not apply only to PTE but also to any other type of exam, so make sure to get enough sleep and rest before taking the exam. Being calm will help you avoid mistakes, getting mentally blocked, or any other issues you might come across. You will be able to speak more precisely and slowly which will essentially enable you to make clearer and audible sounds.

4. Intonation

One of the key factors in speaking English is knowing when and how to intonate your sounds. By continuously practicing this, you will be able to achieve a better sound and overall rate. This will also give you a better score in PTE Speaking.

5. Pronunciation and Fluency

An individual’s pronunciation is vital to how they sound. If you can pronounce your words correctly, you will instantly sound better and more akin to a native English speaker. Good pronunciation will also lead to better fluency.


We hope that this article on PTE Speaking Exam was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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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