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PTE Speaking Tips: Re-Tell Lecture

Stuck on the Re-Tell Lecture item of the PTE Academic Exam? Need to improve your Speaking and Listening? Or just new to PTE Academic? Make sure you follow these vital tips!

About The Item Type

Re-Tell Lecture is a long-answer speaking task that tests listening and speaking skills.

You must listen to a short lecture (60-90 seconds) and then speak for 40 seconds giving a summary of the main points.

What Is tested?

In this item, the following Enabling Skills are tested:




The main focus of this item type, however, is oral fluency. In other words just keep speaking! For good oral fluency, avoid pauses, hesitations, repetitions and false starts.

Pronunciation is also important – the computer won’t understand what you are saying if your pronunciation is bad! However, it doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t speak slowly and try to pronounce every word too clearly.

What do I talk about?

The point of this task is to give a short spoken summary about a lecture. Don’t try to talk about every detail, just what you think the most important points were. If you’re not sure, ask yourself: What was this lecture generally about?


Good note-taking skills are vital for PTE Listening tasks, especially for Re-Tell Lecture! That is, you need to write down short key words or phrases to help you remember what to talk about. But you can’t write down everything or you won’t be paying attention to the lecture! To learn more about how to improve your note-taking skills, check out our previous blog post.

Top 5 Tips

To do well in Re-Tell Lecture, make sure you follow these five points:

  1. Be ready You only have 3 seconds before the lecture audio begins automatically, so make sure you are ready to listen and take notes!

  2. Take notes Take short, quick notes on the main topic of the lecture. Use abbreviations, acronyms, symbols and arrows.

  3. Highlight main points In the 10 seconds after the lecture ends, you have time to pick from your notes the main points of the lecture. Try writing a star or tick next to the points you want to talk about.

  4. Speak clearly and steadily Speak loudly and clearly, using correct pronunciation. You want to make sure your microphone can hear everything you say.

  5. Just keep speaking! If you make a mistake, don’t worry – just keep speaking! Remember this item relies heavily on your oral fluency skills (how continuously you can speak), so avoid pauses, hesitations, repetitions and false starts.

Extra Resources

Now you have the key tips, it’s time to start practising! We have put together a list of online resources for you to use.


  1. Listen to any of these lectures (don’t worry if they are more than 90 seconds) and take notes.

  2. Record yourself re-telling the lecture.

  3. Listen to your recording and note your mistakes so you can improve next time. BONUS: If you are a student of English Key you can send us your audio recordings and one of our expert teachers will listen to it and give you personalized feedback!


Additionally, there are so many free podcasts online that you can use for even more practice! You can find them on the web or through iTunes.

Get your best score!

To really improve your Re-Tell lecture and overall speaking score, join a PTE Academic preparation course at English Key. Our professional and experienced teachers will coach you on how to do the Re-Tell Lecture item type, as well as the other speaking items. Also, as native speakers, they can help you improve your pronunciation for that perfect score. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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