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This content is taken from the Macquarie University & PTE Academic's online course, Practise your PTE Academic Speaking Skills. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Welcome to week two of Practise your PTE Academic Speaking Skills. In the first part of the course, you focused on oral fluency. Now we will move on to look at the content you need to include in your responses. Content is assessed in a number of ways, and this can vary depending on the item type. In some item types like repeat sentence, it is assessed based on how much of the original sentence you repeat. In others, it is assessed based on how you develop your responses, using details, examples, and explanation. In this video, we will be looking at the skills needed to develop ideas with details and examples.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds These are relevant to two item types, which are Describe Image and Retail Lecture. We would like you to try one of these. Firstly, look at the graph on your screen for 25 seconds to prepare. You will then have 40 seconds to describe the image. Record yourself so that you can listen back later and give yourself some feedback.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 seconds Now, listen to Syed’s example answer. As you listen, pay attention to the information he includes. What parts of the image does he describe? Using the score guide for Describe Image, think about how well he covers the information in the image. This bar graph shows the number of tourists who visited islands A and B from 1990, until 2020. Island B always had a higher number of tourists than Island A. For both islands, the highest number of tourists occurred in 2010, with around 150,000 for Island B and 80,000 for Island A. The lowest number of both islands has occurred in 2020, with 20,000 visitors for Island A, and 50,000 for Island B.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds In conclusion, the number of tourists was significantly increasing until 2020 when it declined.

Skip to 2 minutes and 46 seconds What did you notice about the information Syed included? Did he include all the information from the image or only the most important or noticeable features? Syed clearly introduced the topic of the graph in the first sentence and then moved on to select the most noticeable features of the graph. He described when the highest number of tourists visited the islands, when the lowest number visited and which Island had more visitors overall. He then concluded with an overall statement about the graphs. Now listen to your recording and think about how well you addressed the content of the image. Did you introduce a topic of the graph? Did you include similar information to Syed?

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 seconds In the next step, you will look at how to choose the information you need to include and how to use details, examples, and explanation to support your responses.

Analysing responses: Details and examples

In this Analysing responses video, you watched Syed complete a practice Describe Image item type.

Like in Week 1, we asked you to record your answer so that you could give yourself feedback. Remember how important this is to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to address these.


In this video, you practised a Describe Image item and gave yourself feedback.

What did you think about trying a Describe Image item? What did you find challenging? What did you learn?

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This video is from the free online course:

Practise your PTE Academic Speaking Skills

Macquarie University