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Top 10 Tips for PTE Speaking

Ten important tips not to forget during your PTE Academic Speaking Exam!

1. Speak loudly

When you take the test, there may be many other test takers in your room. So during the speaking section, it can be quite noisy. There is no need to yell, but make sure you speak loudly and clearly into the microphone or the computer may not hear what you have said.

2. Wait for it!

  1. Watch the audio recording box: do not start speaking until the audio status box says “recording” otherwise the start of your answer will not be recorded! This often happens with the Repeat Sentence and Answer Short Question item type where there is no tone to indicate when to start speaking.

3. Don’t speak to slowly

Some students think pronunciation is the most important art of PTE Academic Speaking. This is not true! Yes, pronunciation is important, but so is oral fluency (how fluently and continuously you speak). If you focus too much on pronouncing every single word, you will speak too slowly and lower your oral fluency score.

4. Keep speaking!

A vital tip for the PTE Academic Speaking section: just keep speaking! This is how you get important points for oral fluency. Look at tips #5 to #8 for how to improve your oral fluency!

5. Don’t repeat yourself

Often when students are nervous they will repeat words. e.g. “This graph shows… shows… shows… The computer is very sensitive to repeated words! The best way to avoid repeating is to practice what you are going to say. You can often use the same structure and similar vocabulary for the same item (e.g. Describe Image). The best way to practice this is in a PTE Academic coaching course.

6. Don’t pause

Possibly the most important piece of information: DO NOT PAUSE FOR 3 SECONDS. If you do, the microphone will switch off and that is the end of your answer!

7. Don’t hesitate

You will lose points for oral if you hesitate or pause in your speech. If you say words like “er” or “um” too much, this will bring down your score. Prepare, practise and act confident to avoid these mistakes!

8. Avoid false starts

What is a false start? A false start is when you begin to say something but then change your mind, or when you make a mistake, and you go back to the beginning of the sentence and start again.

e.g. “This lecture talk about-….[pause] This lecture talked about

If you make a mistake, just keep going. Don’t second-guess yourself, and be confident in what you say (even if you don’t feel confident).

9. Don’t “put on” an accent

PTE Academic was developed from studying many different types of English from all around the world. This means the program understands all sorts of native accents – British, Australian, American, Canadian, New Zealandish, and many more! So you don’t need to imitate the accent you hear on the test. Just speak as you normally do with clear pronunciation.

10. Finally: Relax!

I know this probably seems like the hardest thing to do in a test, but for speaking it is important. If you are nervous, you will speak too fast and make mistakes (like the ones mentioned above). So, just pretend you are having a nice, relaxed chat with a friend.

Do you need to improve your speaking skills even more? Come and talk to us at English Key in Melbourne or Sydney. Our lovely staff will help you find the best PTE Academic preparation course for you, and our native-speaking teachers will help you get the results you need.

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