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Overall tips

Learn useful tips and strategies for the speaking section of PTE Academic.
You’ve now covered all the speaking item types from PTE Academic, and looked at the skills you need to confidently, and effectively, respond to each of these. Here are some overall tips to help you respond to all the item types in the speaking section of PTE Academic. Tip one, calibrate and position your microphone carefully. At the beginning of the test, speak into your microphone and then listen to yourself to make sure that you can be heard clearly. If you have an issue, speak to a test administrator. Don’t skip this step, as if your voice is not recorded properly, there’ll be nothing for the computer to grade. Tip two, start speaking as soon as the recording starts.
Pay attention to the timers on the screen and prepare to start speaking. Practice tests can help you become familiar with the structure of the test and help you get ready for test day. Tip three, avoid excessive hesitation. Try not to hesitate too much. Some pausing is okay, but long or repeated periods of silence will impact on your grades. If you stop speaking for three seconds, the computer will stop recording you and your answer will be submitted even if you haven’t finished. Tip four, keep talking even if you make a mistake, don’t go back and correct yourself. It is important that you continue, rather than repeat as repetition of parts of sentences can negatively impact your grade.
I’ll now hand over to Jose, to give you four more tips. Tip five, speak at a natural volume. If you speak quietly or whisper, the microphone may not be able to pick up your voice. However, remember that there are other people taking the test in the same room, so avoid speaking too loudly. You don’t need to scream. Tip six, practise in an environment which mimics the test day. On test day, all candidates will be speaking at the same time, and there will be background noise. It is important to get used to this and not get distracted. You will have headphones during the test, but these may not block out all the noise.
Tip seven, finish speaking a few seconds before the time limit. The allocated time for the longer item types is enough to focus on describing the key features. Try to complete your sentences before the time is up. Tip eight, speak clearly, but not too formally. It is better to speak more naturally than to over-pronounce each sound and word. Think that you’re conversing with a friend and try to sound relaxed and natural. Remember that it is not a job interview, so you don’t need to be overly formal.

Well done for completing the Practise your PTE Academic Speaking Skills.

In this video, you heard some overall tips for the speaking section of PTE Academic.


Do you have any other tips that you would like to share with everyone else? Perhaps you have taken PTE Academic before and have some advice to share.

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Practise your PTE Academic Speaking Skills

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