PTE Retell Lecture: Speaking Secrets for Success

Some people are confident and relaxed with PTE Retell Lecture. In this blog we’re going to look at their secrets and see how you can maximise your score in this task.

Firstly, you can break PTE retell lecture down into three parts; listening, note-taking and retelling. Evaluate your ability in each.

PTE retell lecture


If you lack confidence or are weak at listening, you need to build your vocabulary and build your listening skills. Here’s how.

1. Use the collocation list on the E2language website. It’s in the reading section. This list will show you words that often go together. You just need to read across the lines to see the collocations. For example:

  • abstract concept
  • academic achievement
  • in academic circles

You’re not going to remember by reading once. So read sections and re-read. Spend just three minutes two or three times a day.

2. The collocation list is based on the Academic Word List. You already know the first 3000 words of English. This list of 570 words is the next group you need to know. If you know the first 3000 and this group of 570, that’s enough language to help you manage 95% of most written and spoken texts in English.

You can work on the list here: The Academic Word List. Go through the list systematically looking at all the words you don’t know – click for the dictionary meaning. There are also games, practice activities and quizzes to help you.

3. Read English language newspapers and read Science Daily. Listen to news audio on BBC news.

4. When you are reading / listening, write down new words (and their meanings, collocations and other forms). Then spend a few minutes two or three times a day reviewing the lists. Cover the meanings – see if you can remember. Cover the words and then write them – can you spell them correctly?

5. Another thing you should do is listen to TED talks. There are thousands of talks on a range of topics. One of the great things about TED talks is the little button under the video labelled ‘Transcript.’ If you click this, you will be able to see the exact text, so if you missed a word or a phrase while you were listening, you can check it.

Find TED talks on unfamiliar topics so that you can learn new vocabulary. Listen to just the first 60 – 90 seconds and use them for PTE Retell Lecture. Listen, take notes and then retell (record yourself on your phone). Then you can go back and read the text to evaluate your note taking. You can also listen to the speaker again and compare their pronunciation, stress and intonation with yours.


Note-taking involves writing keywords as you listen. A good way to think of it is in terms of nouns and the W words – who, why, when, where, what?  There are no perfect words to write down. Write down keywords that will help you to remember and retell.

Here’s a useful trick – if you write numbers, also write a word to say what the number represents.

If you write this, you won’t remember. This will help you to remember.



92,000 barrels of oil

470 billion $

2006 new laws

Many candidates are not sure how much detail they need. Clearly you need the main idea, but according to Pearson the task is testing your ability to repeat, inform and explain as well as your ability to support information with details and examples. So numbers and dates can also be relevant.

PTE retell lecture


Let’s start by thinking about the marking criteria. You can get up to 5-points each for pronunciation, fluency and content.


Cover key points, show relationships between things and include implications and conclusions. Include some details and examples.


Vowel and consonant sounds need to be clear.  Deletions need to be used appropriately (eg. ‘and’ often becomes ‘n’ – boys ‘n’ girls). Word and sentence stress should be correct.


Rhythm should be smooth and phrasing needs to be appropriate (eg. where you pause between groups of words). There should be no hesitations or repetitions.

For pronunciation and fluency help watch the E2language Core Skills Pronunciation videos.

One point to note is that your fluency drops as soon as you start making complex decisions, so you need to keep it simple. The E2language template helps you do exactly that.


The speaker was discussing TOPIC

He/She mentioned KEYWORD 1

He/She described KEYWORD 2

He/She talked about KEYWORD 3

He/She discussed KEYWORD 4

He/She suggested that KEYWORD 5

Turn it into a reading exercise. Match sentence one to your first note; sentence two to your second note and so on. That way you don’t need to make many decisions. Once you’ve learnt the template, you can write down key letters for the verbs (see below) and put your notes next to those letters – then read.


  • Write 6 or 7 short, simple notes.
  • When retelling don’t add anything to most notes. Put a full stop. Keep them short.
  • Choose just two notes to add a bit.

This will be right for between 30 and 40 seconds.

In the sound file below you will see that the speaker has a lot of information and finishes just in time. Some information could have been dropped if there was danger of going over 40 seconds.

Retell Notes:

PTE retell lecture

Sound Files:

Listen to the RETELL LECTURE:


If there is a listening problem and you missed some of the talk, all you can do is focus on what you did understand. Maximise your marks for what you did catch.  Sure you will lose marks for ‘content,’ but you can still get marks for pronunciation and fluency. Keep talking generally on the topic – even if it isn’t perfect.


Now you know all of the secrets of those candidates who are quite relaxed about the task. They can relax because they know they have maximised their chances of doing well. You can do that too. Develop your vocabulary and listening skills. Practise note-taking. Do lots of specific practice for PTE Retell Lecture. Work on your PTE fluency.

There are two practice examples below and you’ll find thousands more at


  1. Listen: If you don’t understand everything, just catch what you can.
  2. Take notes: nouns – W-words.
  3. Retell: Retell what you understood – using the template. Maximise your marks for fluency and pronunciation. Record yourself on your phone and evaluate your performance against the three criteria listed at the start of this blog.
Practice 1 – PTE Retell Lecture:
Practice 2 – PTE Retell Lecture:

Visit this article on 4 Mistakes Everyone Makes on PTE Speaking Tasks.

Check out this video on PTE Retell Lecture! For more videos, visit E2 PTE for Live Classes and Mini Mock Tests. 

Do you have any PTE speaking tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Written by Melinda. 

Understanding your PTE Essay Topic: Basics of a Good Essay

Imagine if you had practiced answering the exact PTE essay topic before sitting your PTE exam? 

Well, it’s not entirely out of the question if you happen to brainstorm a few common PTE essay topics.    

PTE Essay Topic
Brainstorming possible PTE essay topics is a great way to practice your written responses. 

The Basics to a Good Essay

The more you write essays, the easier it gets but there are a few key elements to writing a good essay that you need to know at the outset. First and foremost, you need a clear structure, which E2language has the perfect formula for. Also, ensure that you accurately answer the whole question and stay on the PTE essay topic.

Finally, it’s vitally important that you follow the ‘rubric,’ or instructions, on what you need to do with the topic: agree or disagree, discuss, find a solution, outline the advantages and disadvantages or give your opinion.

PTE essay topic
When tackling PTE Essay Topics follow a clear structure, be accurate with your answer, stay on topic and follow the instructions. 

A question that I frequently ask students who have just sat the PTE test is: Which PTE essay topic did you get? This way I can get an update on the latest essay topics that are coming up. Knowing a majority of the common PTE essay topics in advance allows you to prepare for them, and thus saves time and stress during the test.

When you go through the list of the most common PTE essay topics, even if you don’t have time to write an essay for every single one, you can certainly at least read through them so you know what to expect. You can then write a short plan with 2 main ideas/ key points that you would make in the body paragraphs of your essay if you got that PTE essay topic in the test.

I’ll show you what I mean by a short plan to illustrate how simply and quickly brainstorming some ideas for your essay can be done, using some of the most common PTE essay topics, which I have categorised below according to theme or broad academic topic.

I have used the minus and plus symbols to indicate whether the point is for or against: − / + .

PTE essay topic
This table shows some of the common PTE Essay Topics grouped together with their main body paragraph ideas.

Other Common Academic Subjects and PTE Essay Topics 

What are some of the most common PTE essay topics that we see time and time again on the PTE exam?

PTE Essay Topics

A quick explainer for each topic … 

Shopping: over-packaging; large shopping malls

Work: who should do decision-making in companies; the modern work/ life balance- difficulties with

Travel: effects of tourism on a country; travel to study- good or bad

Media: are newspapers are necessary,

Sport: extreme adventure sports

Inventions: the best invention in the past 10/100 years

Environment: combatting climate change, birth place affecting one’s success

Education: the ability to learn versus being able to read and write well; is assessment through exams in education out-dated

No ideas for your PTE Essay Topic?!

Don’t feel bad if you have trouble coming up with ideas for different PTE essay topics as it’s quite a common problem.

While it’s true that some people are naturally creative and seem to be ‘ideas people,’ and others have strong critical thinking skills for solving problems or finding solutions, it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve in this area to be able to create a strong argument for and against in your essays and increase the speed of generating some main ideas and examples for your essay.

Some suggestions to develop this skill are:

Practice brainstorming! Take a topic and just start writing what comes to mind and let your thoughts and inspirations flow. Also, this can be fun and inspiring to do with others in a group- 2,3 or more minds can be more powerful than 1! Even asking friends and family about their opinion on a topic- engage in a lively intellectual discussion to gather their ideas for your essay!

Just Google it! If you don’t know much about a topic or subject area –no excuses, just research it: you could read articles, watch programs, listen to talks and analyse others’ essays and opinions on the matter.

For more PTE Writing advice and strategy, view PTE Writing Tips: How to Improve your Essay Score

Take a look at E2Language’s PTE Write Essay ‘Super Structure’ video posted below! You can visit E2 PTE YouTube channel for plenty of PTE test preparation videos. 

Do you have any PTE writing tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Written by Danielle.  

PTE Listening Practice: Maximising Your PTE Listening Score

Maximise your PTE scores by following these PTE listening practice tips. Learn what skills are tested for, and get advice on the timing and number of questions, the marks or points per question and the strategies for approaching each question type.

PTE listening practice
So, how interrelated are the PTE Listening and PTE Speaking scores? 

How does my PTE listening score get calculated?

An important thing to know about your PTE listening score is that some of the speaking section questions contribute to your listening score. Also, some questions in the listening section affect your reading and writing scores. You can see the skills tested for each question in the table below:

PTE listening practice
This table shows the PTE skills being tested for in the exam. 

Improving Your Listening Score

Lets look at how you can improve and maximise your listening test scores for each question type, including information and advice on:

1.  Timing and the number of questions

2. Marks or points per question

3. Strategies and how to approach them

PTE Listening Practice: Summarise Spoken Text

1. Timing & number: 10 minutes per summary and you cannot go to the next question until the 10 minutes is up so use it all! 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 10 marks per summary, divided into the 5 skills as above in the table.

3. Strategy: This task is the same as re-tell the lecture where you have to summarise the main points/ideas only of the lecture but you must also produce a well-written piece of writing as per the criteria in the table. You must write between 50-70 words.

As with retell lecture, you can use the following sentence structures + main ideas/ points to create your summary: The lecturer was discussing…. He/she mentioned that… He/she said that…..He she talked about…. He/she suggested that…. Use linking words between sentences for clarity, such as: also, in addition, however, finally, etc.

OET scoring
Keep practicing this tricky task by using audio recordings. 

Practice using these PTE Summarise Spoken Text audio examples from the blog and visit all 7 PTE Summarise Spoken Text Practice Samples on the blog! 

PTE Listening Practice: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer

1. Timing & number: Answer in approximately 1 minute after the recording stops. 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per correct answer; -1 for each incorrect response, so choose carefully and don’t choose an answer if you are unsure.

3. Strategy: Read the question and skim the possible answers before the recording starts so you know the topic and what information you are listening for. Take notes and be aware that the first answer will be revealed after the key words are first spoken. Then closely listen for the second answer after this. There are usually 2 answers. After the recording, eliminate answers options that are incorrect or not mentioned.

PTE Listening Practice: Fill in the Blanks

1. Timing & number: 7 seconds until the recording starts and fill in the missing words as the speaker says them. 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per correctly spelt word

3. Strategy: Quickly skim the passage in the 7 seconds before the recording starts to predict the missing words. Fill in the missing words as the speaker says them- don’t get left behind! After the audio finishes, go back and check at the end for spelling and correct grammar, e.g. singular/ plural forms, or noun/ adjective forms of the word.

PTE Listening Practice: Highlight the Correct Summary

1. Timing & number: 10 seconds to scan the answer options, 30-90 seconds for the audio and take approximately 1 minute to answer. 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per correct answer

3. Strategy: Use the 10 seconds to skim the answers to pick up key words for the main ideas being discussed. Take good notes. After the recording, eliminate answers options that are incorrect or not mentioned. If you don’t know, choose one any way!

PTE Listening Practice: Multiple Choice, Single answer

1. Timing & number: Try to answer in 30 seconds-1 minute after the recording stops. 2-3 of this task

2. Marks: 1 mark per correct answer.

3. Strategy: Read the question and skim the possible answers before the recording starts so you know the topic and what information you are listening for. Take notes and note down key words. After the recording, eliminate answers options that are incorrect or not mentioned. Choose 1 option.

PTE listening practice
Use your reasoning skills to hone your multiple choice answers. 

PTE Listening Test Practice: Select Missing Word

1. Timing & number: 7 seconds before the recording starts. 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per correct answer

3. Strategy: Read the instructions before the audio starts to find out what the listening is about and start to guess the vocabulary that might be used and skim the answer options. If any seem out of place, they might be incorrect. Keep your focus on the gist of the text even if you don’t understand every word. Keep your eye on the time bar. Important information will be spoken towards the end of the text.

For a comprehensive look at this task visit PTE Select Missing Word Task and use the practice questions and sample audio provided. 

PTE Listening Practice: Highlight Incorrect Words

1. Timing & number: 10 seconds before the recording starts. Move and click as the passage is spoken. 2-3 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per correct answer; -1 for incorrect word choices

3. Strategy: Click when you think a word is spoken differently to the text. Sometimes the difference will be very subtle but thinking about it will cost answers as the speaking continues so keep moving your cursor in time with the speaking!

PTE Listening Practice: Write from Dictation

1. Timing & number: 7 seconds before the recording starts and each recording is 3-5 seconds. 3-4 tasks.

2. Marks: 1 mark per word

3. Strategy: Try and catch every word in the sentence and ‘record’ it in your head so you can ‘play it back’ later. Write down main content words: nouns, verbs and adjectives and add minor and grammar words later and/or use abbreviations for words if needed to save time and retype later when the speaking stops. Check for spelling and grammar: plural forms of nouns, correct articles, verb endings, etc.

PTE listening practice
Write down the main content words from the recording. 

 Final Tips for Your PTE Listening Practice

  • Do lots of practice with time management: when you are practicing the listening section questions, time yourself and stick to the times suggested above
  • Make sure you leave enough time to complete Write from Dictation, which is the last question in the test as it’s worth between 30- 40 points in total and will impact both your listening and reading scores!
  • Build up your PTE vocabulary on a range of academic topics by reading and listening widely
  • Practice and build up your ‘active listening skills’ = 100% focused listening for detailed and specific information
  • As well as E2language and PTE practice material, try listening to some great talks and lectures on TED and informative videos at National Geographic.

For more PTE listening practice tips visit the article on PTE Listening Test: Tips for a PTE 90

Check out Jay’s PTE Listening: Write from Dictation video from our E2 PTE Channel on YouTube.

Also, watch the entire PTE Listening Every Task Explained on YouTube for explanations of every PTE task! 

Do you have any PTE listening practice tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Written by Danielle. 

PTE Highlight Correct Summary: Step-by-Step Practice

PTE Highlight Correct Summary

The PTE Highlight Correct Summary is a listening activity that involves focus. You have to listen and choose the best summary.

Essential background information:

  • You will get 2 – 3 PTE Highlight Correct Summary tasks.
  • Recordings are 30 – 90 seconds long.
  • Answer options can be up to 60 words long.
  • The mark contributes to both listening and reading scores.

You are being tested for:

  • listening comprehension
  • ability to analyse and combine information
  • ability to identify the most accurate summary 

Take a few notes, but keep your focus by listening

PTE Highlight Correct Summary


Just before the task begins:

  • You will see an audio status box which will count down from 10 seconds, then the status will change to ‘playing’ and the recording will begin.
  • Before the listening begins, scan your eyes down the answers – for just 3 seconds – very quickly. Just notice a few words. That will give you an idea what the text is about.
  • You can adjust your volume by moving the slider during the recording if you need to.
  • Take a breath. Be calm and focused.

 While you are listening:

  • Focus. Listen.
  • Take a few notes, but keep your focus on the listening.
  • DO NOT read the answer options while you listen. If you read, you will not be able to focus on the listening.

After listening:

  • Read the paragraphs carefully.
  • Select the best
    • Start by eliminating the impossible or unlikely answers.
    • Then survey the remaining answers.
    • Choose the best answer based on your notes and understanding.
    • Once you’ve made your decision, click ‘next.’

TIPS for PTE Highlight Correct Summary:

  1. The test moves very quickly and you need to be able to maintain your focus. This is a mental skill and you should be practising it leading up to the test. You might find it useful to put the radio or television on nearby when you are practising at home. This will help you to get used to noise and distractions and to train yourself to maintain focus.
  2. The answer options may contain some of the words from the listening. However, sometimes it is a trick! Beware. Listen, understand and use your best judgement.
  3. Remember that you need to manage your own time in the listening test. If you manage it, you will be able to finish all of the questions. So work through the answer options methodically. Read them carefully. Make your best choice – then choose ‘next.’

General Listening Practice

The best way to get good at this task is to do lots of listening practice. Yes, you are probably busy working and you have a family and you have limited time.

So you need to ask yourself, how much do you really want this? It is unlikely that you are doing the PTE purely for fun! You are doing it as a stepping stone towards another goal which might be international study, immigration, or maybe professional registration.

You know that the way to get good at something is to practise it. If you were planning to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just dream about it, you’d be at the gym working on muscle groups and you’d be hitting the pavement and running each day. You’d be pushing yourself. You’d be monitoring your performance.

The beauty of working hard to achieve your target PTE results is that it isn’t only the ticket to your next goal, it is also an excellent way to improve your language skills and your ability to communicate effectively in English. So all the hard work will pay off in the PTE result you need and in easier, more effective communication in English.

So you are probably nodding, thinking “yea, yea. I know that. But how? How can I practise?”

You can improve your PTE Highlight Correct Summary results specifically by doing test question practice and you can improve it generally by listening to:

With the TED talks listen for 30 – 90 seconds, then turn the recording off and write down the main idea. Use the transcript button below the video to read the talk after you have listened. Analyse your performance.

PTE Highlight Correct Summary

Was your summary a good one? Yes? Fantastic! Well done! What is not so good? Why? What happened? Analyse why you made a mistake. Was it a vocabulary problem? Was it speed? Pronunciation? Keep working on it.

PTE Highlight Correct Summary – Practice One

Before you start:

  • Make sure that you are ready.
  • Scan your eyes down the text for 3 seconds.
  • Focus

You will hear a recording. Choose the paragraph that best relates to the recording.

  • The speaker believes that drug and alcohol laws need to be tighter as around 25 percent of accidents are related to these two causes. This situation prevails despite religions warning us of the dangers.
  • The speaker’s purpose is to tell us that she was involved in an accident. In her case it was the fault of the driver in front who stopped on the highway for no apparent reason. He was going 65 kilometres per hour and just stopped.
  • The speaker is focusing on safety and what we need to do to reduce the death rate in people aged 16 to 19.
  • The speaker’s purpose is to tell us about the seriousness and the randomness of accidents and it is likely she is going to suggest a solution.

Click to show/hide answer

The speaker’s purpose is to tell us about the seriousness and the randomness of accidents and it is likely she is going to suggest a solution.

PTE Highlight Correct Summary

PTE Highlight Correct Summary – Practice Two

Before you start:

  • Make sure that you are ready.
  • Scan your eyes down the text for 3 seconds.
  • Focus

You will hear a recording. Choose the paragraph that best relates to the recording.

Researchers are studying screen games. Currently they are looking at how video games may be useful in helping visually impaired people to see better.

  • Although we all know that too much screen time is harmful to your eyes, it is difficult to prove this. Laboratory experiments are looking at this issue now.
  • Experiments are showing some interesting results. It seems that if you play screen games for between 5 and 15 hours per week, your eyesight can be improved.
  • There are two hallmarks of good eyesight. Firstly those with good vision can read small print more easily than others. Secondly they can distinguish between different shades of grey better than the rest of us.

Click to show/hide answer

Researchers are studying screen games. Currently they are looking at how video games may be useful in helping visually impaired people to see better.

PTE Highlight Correct Summary – Practice Three

Before you start:

  • Make sure that you are ready.
  • Scan your eyes down the text for 3 seconds.
  • Focus

You will hear a recording. Choose the paragraph that best relates to the recording.

  • Due to the Rwandan genocide normal equipment can be very expensive in some parts of Rwanda. For example the cost of shipping a bulldozer to remote regions is prohibitive.
  • An engineer named Nizeye had been working in Rwanda for many years. He was brilliant and liked to help the local people because they were very poor and had suffered during the war.
  • Nizeye incorporated the local culture into his building projects. He also provided work opportunities for locals. Thus the building process could support the whole community.
  • In Rwanda it is legally required that building projects involve mainly local workers. This helps to restore job opportunities.

Click to show/hide answer

Nizeye incorporated the local culture into his building projects. He also provided work opportunities for locals. Thus the building process could support the whole community.

Visit our website at to see what PTE test preparation packages we offer!

Learn how to adopt the PTE specific-format in this article: PTE Writing Tips: How To Improve Your Essay Score.

Check out the PTE Listening: Highlight Correct Summary video from our E2 PTE Academic YouTube Channel.

Find an excellent list of PTE review materials and resources from E2Language! 

Do you have any PTE Highlight Correct Summary tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Written by Melinda.

PTE Written Discourse: Everything Explained | Preparation Checklist and Sample Answer!

PTE Written Discourse training gets packaged and re-packaged all the time. It requires a lot of written and comprehension skills and it’s no wonder so many students trip-up on PTE Writing.

Let’s reveal why and present a useful test-preparation checklist and build a sample answer for PTE Written Discourse.  

What is PTE Written Discourse?

A common question that students ask is: “Why is my PTE Written Discourse mark so low?” Then following this, “What is Written Discourse?!

If you check the meaning of ‘discourse,’ it means a formal conversation where one expresses one’s ideas in a logical flow and progression.

In the PTE score guide, in regard to PTE Written Discourse they say:

‘Written discourse skills are represented in the structure of a written text: entailing its internal coherence, logical development and the range of linguistic resources used to express meaning precisely. Scores for enabling skills are not awarded when responses are inappropriate for the items in either content or form.’

Which question types does PTE Written Discourse relate to?

So, what on earth does all that mean for you in the test and which questions does it affect?

Basically, it’s referring to a few things: firstly, the meaning and logical sequence of your content, also, your sentence, paragraph overall essay or summary structures, in addition to usage of linking words, correct punctuation and accuracy in how your express your ideas.

Importantly, as noted above, if you go off topic in your essay or do not get all the main points in your summary, and/or do not follow the requirements of the word count you, will miss out on marks in the PTE Written Discourse enabling skills.

Therefore, your PTE Written Discourse score will be determined by your essay and summary content, for both the written text and spoken text summary questions in terms of content and structure quality as above.

How can I improve my PTE Written Discourse score in my essay?

PTE Written Discourse
Read the PTE written discourse advice and learn how the response is constructed below!
#1 Check that you understand the topic 100% and follow the instructions

Take time to deeply understand the essay topic: check what is the general/ broader topic, and then in your own words interpret the specific topic and question being asked.

So if you had the essay question:‘ In the past 100 years there have been many inventions, such as antibiotics, airplanes and computers. Which do you think is the most important invention and why?’

The broader topic is about great inventions in the modern era, and the question or specific topic is about which you believe to be the most significant one; then the instruction is to choose one and explain why you believe that to be the case.

#2 Refine your essay and paragraph structure and academic tone

Follow a structure, for your whole essay, including an introduction, 2 main body paragraphs and a conclusion, as well as a structure for each paragraph. Also, make sure that you use appropriate formal tone, academic words, as well as linking words.

For example, for the above topic you could introduce your first main body paragraph as such: Firstly, computers have had an enormous positive impact on communication in the workplace.

This is a simple but clear topic sentence to introduce the main idea of the whole paragraph: the linking word, Firstly, is used to indicate it’s the start of your main argument and academic words and collocations such as, have an enormous positive impact on… and workplace are effective, natural-sounding word choices to make your initial point in a powerful way.

Compare the above to: Computers are very good to use at work for your job. While this second version is correct, it sounds much less formal/academic and has less impact. However, at the same, be sure not to go to the other extreme, meaning, you don’t have to go crazy with difficult vocabulary that you aren’t at all familiar with!

This can lead to lack of clarity and sounds ‘flowery’ (overly wordy) and unnatural, which is not what you are aiming for.

For example, don’t write: Computerised systems in venues of employment have prolifically infiltrated the world of work to exponentially enhance the work experience and add significant value to our workplace practices!

This sounds ridiculous as it’s so convoluted and the reader is left thinking: what exactly does that mean and what is wrong with the person who wrote it as it sounds so strange!

For PTE preparation materials you can’t live without, have a read and follow the links on the article: PTE Review Materials You Can’t Miss!

#3 Improve your sentence structure and punctuation skills

As well as addressing essay and paragraph structure, it is important use a range of sentence structures, such as compound (sentences which contain 2 independent clauses) and complex sentences (ones which contain an independent clause and a dependent clause).

Also, it’s important to check you know English punctuation rules, including comma usage, colons, semi-colons and apostrophes.

For example, following on from our topic sentence above, we could use a complex sentence structure with appropriate punctuation to explain our topic sentence and give evidence:

Firstly, computers have had an enormous positive impact on communication in the workplace. In general, they have increased the speed and ease of communication at work, which consequently improves efficiency and thus leads to business growth.

For some quick written discourse advice, watch this video with Kaia from E2 PTE: Increase Your Written Discourse Score!

#4 Finally, we need to have a logical flow in ideas and development in structure.

To illustrate, we could conclude our paragraph by adding an example to support our main idea and a concluding sentence for our paragraph relating back to the topic sentence and overall essay topic.

So our complete paragraph will look like this:

Click Here to See our PTE Written Discourse Sample Answer!

PTE Written Discourse Answer

Firstly, computers have had an enormous positive impact on communication in the workplace. In general, they have increased the speed and ease of communication at work, which consequently improves efficiency and thus leads to business growth. For example, a national business could easily become global these days as both advertising and customer- communication can be solely conducted online regardless of time zones, cost constraints and location. In this way, computers have revolutionised opportunities for businesses and have made the world a lot ‘smaller. 

In summary, this is how you can address and improve on your PTE Written Discourse enabling skills:

  1. Use relevant content
  2. Adopt a good structure
  3. Use linking words
  4. Mix it up with a range of sentence types
  5. Correct punctuation
  6. Adopt appropriate tone and accurate vocabulary
  7. Present a logical sequence of ideas.

And of course: FEEDBACK! When it comes to PTE Writing practice, teacher feedback is almost always necessary for getting a clear sense of how to improve. Take a look at the article: Yes, You Definitely Need Feedback On Your PTE Writing Practice!’

For further advice on PTE Written Discourse please take a look at this PTE video: ‘Ask Jay Anything: High PTE Written Discourse Score but Low Overall Writing Score?’

For PTE scoring advice regarding PTE Written Discourse enabling skills, click on the article: ‘PTE Scoring for Newbies: Key Questions Answered!’

For some great PTE writing tips, head over to: PTE Writing Tips: How to Improve Your Essay

Happy PTE Written Discourse writing!

Follow our social media for more information on the PTE! 


Written By Danielle. 


Answer these PTE Describe Image Practice Questions | Boost your score!

Note: This article follows on from How to Crack PTE Describe Image: Formula & FAQS

Kick-start your PTE Describe Image practice by using the 4-sentence formula to answer these tricky example questions!  

So, these questions are designed to test your speaking skills.

Remember that you only have 25 seconds to prepare for the PTE Describe Image. You need to understand an image, think quickly and deliver fluent, grammatical and relevant sentences within a 40 second timeframe. What a challenge!

Use the 4-sentence formula (explained in the previous article above) and attempt the following PTE Describe Image practice charts by speaking to the following types:

  • Process/cycle
  • Flowchart
  • Line graph
  • Table
  • Bar graph
  • Picture
pte describe image   Practice recording your answers! 
PTE Describe Image Practice: Example of a Process or Cycle

PTE describe imageYour turn. Describe the process above.

Possible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The image shows the design process for a new house. The process begins when the client completes a questionnaire and ends when a light-filled comfortable house is created. After a free initial consultation the design phase begins. Next is the pre-construction phase which is followed by construction.  During the final phase the keys are handed over and there is a maintenance check. After this the clients can enjoy their new home.

Language for PTE Describe Image 

Make sure you are confident with the language for images and that you can pronounce key words correctly. Your correct use of grammar and vocabulary will drastically improve your overall score.

PTE describe image

PTE describe image

PTE describe image

PTE Describe Image Practice

You’ve got the language. You’ve got the techniques. Now to truly feel comfortable with this task, you need to practice.

Here are some images. You have 25 seconds to prepare and 40 seconds to speak.

Example 1 – Flowchart

PTE describe image

Possible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The image shows the Enquiry Process and Terms of Reference for Australia in 2015. The process begins with the Terms of Reference and ends with the Government response. At the beginning there is initial research and consultation followed by an Issues Paper and a call for submissions. Then there is a Review of Submissions. Later a Discussion paper is produced. This is reviewed and after further consultation a final report is produced. This then goes to the government and a response is given which may involve a change in the law.

Example 2 – Line graph

PTE describe imagePossible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The line graph shows the crude death rate for infectious diseases in the US from 1900 to 1996. The highest rate of deaths was in 1920 whereas the lowest was in 1980. The number of deaths fell consistently over the period apart from the peak in 1920 and a rise after 1980. Possible reasons for the overall fall in deaths from infectious diseases may be related to the introduction of penicillin and vaccines.

Example 3 – Table

PTE describe image

Possible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The table shows the demographic composition of white-tailed deer pre-hunting populations in North Carolina on a 30,000 acre area from 1965 to 2000. The largest total number of deer occurred in 1965 while the smallest number occurred in 1985. Numbers of males declined throughout the period while female numbers fluctuated, but were always higher than males. A possible reason for fluctuations in numbers may be related to climate conditions.

Example 4 – Bar chart

 PTE describe image

Possible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The bar graph shows the distribution of vehicles by origin and type. The most common vehicles were sedans whereas the least common where hybrids.  The majority of sports cars and wagons came from Europe, but overall the largest numbers of cars came from Asia and the USA.  A possible reason for the popularity of the sedan may be that it is a family car and is suitable for a vast range of consumers. The hybrid may be the least popular because it is expensive.

Example 5 – Picture

 PTE describe image

Possible Response

Click to show/hide answer

The map shows the Republic of Cyprus. The largest region on the map is the Republic of Northern Cyprus while the smallest is Episkopi in the south. The island is in the Mediterranean Sea and the north and south are separated by a UN buffer zone. The Troodos Mountains run through the regions of Paphos and Limassol in the south. A possible reason for the UN buffer zone may be political differences.

Note: Be flexible with maps. An extra sentence was added before the conclusion in order to make 30 seconds.

There you have it! Some great PTE describe image practice questions that are similar to what you will get on test-day! Avoid these common PTE mistakes for PTE Speaking!

For more specific PTE task practice, try these PTE Repeat sentence practice activities from our blog! 

Follow our social media for more information on the PTE! 

Written by Melinda. 

How To Crack PTE Describe Image: Effective Formula & FAQs

This article for PTE describe image will feature methods and practice examples to prepare you for the trickiest PTE task on test-day! 

Unpacking PTE Describe Image

PTE describe image task seems to strike terror into even the most competent speaker. And, it’s not surprising!

You only have a few seconds to prepare for the PTE Describe Image and you need to understand an image, think quickly and deliver fluent, grammatical and relevant sentences within a 40 second timeframe. That’s clearly challenging.

So the big question is … are there any tricks or methods that will help? And the answer is ‘yes’ you can certainly reduce the difficulty; and you do this by reducing the decision making.

PTE describe image
Clever decision making will make the PTE describe image task more manageable. Let’s us show you how!

4-Sentence Formula 

Each image is different, but you can use a 4-sentence formula which will work for most images.

  1. Introduction
  2. Compare highest – lowest, most – least, maximum – minimum, and so on.
  3. Create a sentence about either similarities or about something unusual.
  4. Conclusion – summary, reason or prediction

This structure enables you to talk about three main features and if you keep your sentences simple, you’ll be able to do that in around 35 seconds.

Let’s break the four sentences down.

Sentence 1 – Introduction

Tell the listener what is at the top and bottom of the screen.


Look at the graph below. In 25 seconds, please speak into the microphone and describe in detail what the graph is showing. You will have 40 seconds to give your response.

PTE describe image graph

Sentence 1: This line graph shows projected births in Australia from 2011 to 2101.

Sentence 2 – Body 1

Compare two things. This creates a complex sentence which is good for your fluency mark.

Sentence 2: The highest projected births are in 2101 whereas the lowest are in 2011.  

Don’t get too ambitious. Just stick to the formula. Don’t add information from the y axis because as soon as you start looking at numbers and trying to work out exactly what they mean, your fluency goes down.

[eg. “The lowest was in 2011 at 300 … no, maybe um, ah, 3 … 80. Yes 380. 380 what? Million? No. The lowest was in 2011 at 380 thousand. Yes.”] The Y axis is your enemy. Avoid it.

Sentence 3 – Body 2

Look for either similarities or something unusual. It doesn’t matter which. Go for whichever one you see first.

Sentence 3: Projections for Series C remain relatively steady throughout the period while Series B shows double the number of births by 2101 and series A has the highest increase.

Sentence 3 is the most challenging sentence. Sentences 1 and 2 are fairly formulaic. However, in sentence 3 you need to make some decisions.

You have an idea of what to look for (similarities or something unusual), but you need to decide what to talk about and how much to say. Be flexible here.

Sentence 4 – Conclusion

Keep this simple. For the conclusion, you can do one of three things:


In conclusion the image shows that all predictions for birth rates in Australia show increases.

OR Reason:

A possible reason for the varied predictions may be that immigration figures will affect the growth.

OR Prediction:

It could be predicted that birth rates will continue to climb after 2101.

PTE describe image answer

Visit the article on PTE speaking preparation for expert speaking tips which will help boost your pronunciation and oral fluency skills.

Frequently Asked Questions for PTE Describe Image

PTE describe image
Got any questions about the PTE Describe Image task? Try some common FAQs below.

Q1. What should I do if I get stuck on content?

If you get stuck, go for fluency. It is better to say something relevant than to umm and err and say nothing much at all. If you are going for PTE 79, you will need to have strong content, but your fluency must also be high.

Q2. How can I get 5 out of 5 for content?

The criteria tell us that if you talk about all elements of an image you can get 4 or 5, if you talk about most elements, you can get 3 and if you talk about fewer, you can only score 1 – 2 for content.

What are the elements? They are not the things you see on the X or Y axis. They are the things in the legend.

In the image above, they are series A, B and C.  Note that in the example PTE Describe Image response above, the speaker mentioned all three elements.

So to get high content marks you need to aim to talk about all elements. Again you need to balance fluency and content, so if you can’t see how to group elements to cover all of them, go for fluency.

See what the common PTE speaking mistakes to avoid the same pitfalls.

Q3. How long should it be?

Anywhere between 30 and 40 seconds is fine.

Q4. What can I do for a process or a cycle?

These are a bit different. Use this structure.

Sentence 1: What are we looking at? – Title.

Sentence 2: Start and end of the process. The process begins with X and ends with Y.

Sentence/s 3/4 : Talk about some of the steps using some of the language on the image.

Sentence 4/5: What will happen next (after the last step on the image)?

Check out E2 PTE Channel for PTE Describe Image videos like this one below: 

Part 2 of PTE Describe Image will provide example questions that allow you to practice the 4-sentence formula.

In the meantime, check out a list of excellent PTE review materials and resources from E2Language! 

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!

Written by Melinda.

10 PTE Repeat Sentence Practice Activities You Can Do Right Now!

A focused, methodical approach to PTE Repeat Sentence Practice is more important than you might realize. A lot of test-takers underestimate just how difficult it is to try and remember the exact formula of a sentence in their first language, let alone another language! 

To make matters worse, I have explored every corner of the internet to see what kinds of free PTE repeat sentence practice is actually available to PTE exam hopefuls- and I’m not very impressed with what I have seen. A lot of the repeat sentence examples and samples out there are flawed; they are usually either far too easy or far too difficult.

PTE Repeat Sentence Practice
When it comes to Repeat Sentence practice questions, you need the perfect balance!

The other (incredibly important!) point to consider is that it’s not enough to just practice PTE repeat sentence samples over and over again. Although practice is certainly key to success on this task, you also need to learn the right strategies for increasing your memory capacity and maintaining appropriate pronunciation and oral fluency.

First, Let’s Get You Prepared for the Repeat Sentence Task!

If you haven’t already, read our PTE Repeat Sentence Tips article before you attempt the practice questions below!

Check out Jay’s PTE Repeat Sentence SUPER STRATEGY class from our E2PTE Youtube Channel too!

By the way, you can fill out the form below to receive a free PTE study timetable and an E2Language PTE preparation course recommendation!

10 PTE Repeat Sentence Practice Activities

Okay, now that you’ve reviewed the tips and techniques for tackling this PTE speaking task, you’re ready for some practice. Click the audio boxes below to listen to the speaker. To reveal each sentence, click the “Answer” box.

PTE Repeat Sentence Practice
Listen carefully to the audio samples!

Make sure you listen carefully to each recording, some of them are quite tricky! You may also have to adjust to a different accent than you are accustomed to hearing. Don’t feel bad if you have to listen another time; this is just for practice!

PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 1

Click to View Answer

I would prefer if you could call my cellphone rather than my landline next time.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 2

Click to View Answer

Solar power is going to replace coal and oil as our primary energy source in the near future.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 3

Click to View Answer

Please make sure that you collect all of your belongings and take them with you.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 4

Click to View Answer

Last winter, my heating bill was 3X the cost of the winter before AND I was still cold all the time!


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 5

Click to View Answer

The best advice a teacher ever gave me was to take organized and detailed notes in class.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 6

Click to View Answer

Cats are incredibly intelligent creatures, but nowhere near as friendly and affectionate as dogs.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 7

Click to View Answer

If you’re interested in free education, there are more opportunities than ever before to sign up for free online courses.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 8

Click to View Answer

Follow the signs directing you to the North parking lot and pick up a parking pass from the parking officer.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 9

Click to View Answer

It is estimated that over 500 sea turtles die as a result of plastic consumption every year.


PTE Repeat Sentence Practice 10

Click to View Answer

This year, you will not need a textbook because all required readings will be posted in the student portal.


Are you an expert at the PTE Repeat Sentence task yet? Be sure to let us know what your top strategies are in the comments! 

Be sure to follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Effective PTE Time Management Tips | Every Task Explained!

Managing your time is critical for achieving the PTE test result you need! Jay will explain how to increase your PTE time management for the PTE Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening sections. 

PTE time management
Counting down to the date of your PTE exam? Start effectively preparing your time wisely! Read on. 

In this blog article I will tell you the basics of PTE time mangement. Indeed, it is one of the main skills that you need.

In short, you need to move ‘efficiently’ yet ‘accurately’ through the tasks. Some of the tasks are individually timed, in which case you don’t need to worry.

For example, in Describe Image, you have 40 seconds and that’s that. No time management needed. But while doing the Listening section and the Reading section you will need to know how long to spend on each task before clicking NEXT, because it is up to you to click NEXT.

PTE Time Management

PTE Speaking

In PTE Speaking each of the tasks are individually timed, meaning that you do not need to worry. You just need to follow the instructions and watch the clock. Below are the times given for each of the tasks including preparation time and speaking time.

  1. Read Aloud
  • Prepare for between 30-40 seconds
  • Read aloud for between 30-40 seconds

The length of the paragraph determines the length of time you get.

  1. Repeat Sentence
  • Listen to the sentence
  • Repeat the sentence

The sentence will be between 3-5 seconds in length and you should repeat it back in the same length of time. Keep in mind that if you pause for longer than 3 seconds your answer will be void.

  1. Describe Image
  • Prepare for 25 seconds
  • Describe the image for 40 seconds

We recommend speaking up to about 35 seconds. Keep in mind that you do not want to keep speaking at the 40 second mark or the timer will chop your final sentence in half (which may decrease your grammar score!)

  1. Retell Lecture
  • Listen to the lecture ~90 seconds
  • Prepare for 10 seconds
  • Retell the lecture for 40 seconds
  1. Answer Short Question
  • Listen to the question for 3-5 seconds
  • Answer the question in 1-2 seconds

Again, make sure you start answering within 3 seconds or you the task will move on.

PTE Time Management

PTE Writing

PTE Writing Practice
Follow the instructions on-screen. No need to take notes.

In PTE Writing each of the tasks are individually timed, meaning that you do not need to worry. You just need to follow the instructions and watch the clock. Below are the times given for each of the tasks.

Keep in mind that time DOES NOT carry over meaning that if you finish two minutes before the clock that two minutes DOES NOT carry over the next task.

  1. Summarize Written Text
  • 10 minutes to read, prepare, write and edit

Use all of the time because saved time DOES NOT carry over to the other tasks.

  1. Write Essay
  • 20 minutes to prepare, write and edit

Use all of the time because saved time DOES NOT carry over to the other tasks.

PTE Time Management

PTE Reading

In PTE Reading you are set a ‘total’ time of between 32-41 minutes. During this time you will receive 15-20 questions. I have done some mathematics and also timed 100s of students taking these questions live and have formulated ‘recommended time management’ for PTE Reading.

PTE time management

Put simply, to get through all of the reading questions you should spend the following amount of time:

  1. Multiple choice, single answer: ~ 2 minutes.
  2. Multiple choice, multiple answers: ~3 minutes
  3. Reorder paragraphs: ~ 1 min 30 seconds
  4. Fill in the Blanks: ~ 1 minute
  5. Reading and Writing, fill in the blanks: ~ 3 minutes

PTE Time Management

PTE Listening

In PTE Listening the first task — Summarize Spoken Text — is individually timed for ten minutes. You can consider this task ‘separate’ to the other six listening tasks.

For the other 7 tasks, you must manage your own time making sure that you move efficiently yet accurately through them. Don’t waste time in PTE Listening because it is vitally important that you make it to the final task which is called Write from Dictation.

I have seen many candidates get low writing and listening scores because they did not move quickly enough through PTE Listening and as such missed some of the Write from Dictation questions.

In PTE Listening you will get the answers during the audio or immediately after the audio. Therefore, you really should not spend time ‘looking’ at the answers. If you listened carefully and took notes then you can match your notes (and your memory) to the correct answer option in just a few seconds.

Take Select Missing Word, for example. In this task you will hear a short audio of about 30 seconds. The final word or words is missing and you must select from a list of around 5 options which word is missing.

You should select ‘immediately’. If you missed it, you missed it; don’t waste time looking at those five answer options because the audio can only be played once and is not coming back.

The same goes for the other tasks. For MCSA and Highlight Correct Summary, for example, you should match your notes to the correct answer.

This means that you should only spend about 30 seconds after the audio has finished before you move on to the next question because all you do is match your notes to the correct answer option. Reading through the answer options should only take you about 30 seconds.

Remember, the audio is not coming back; you can’t replay it. If you don’t know the answer guess and move on; don’t waste precious time.

  1. Summarize Spoken Text
  • 10 minutes to listen to the lecture, take notes, write and edit your summary

Use all of the time because saved time DOES NOT carry over to the other tasks.

PTE time management
So, what’s next?

For the rest of the Listening tasks you must:

  • Listen
  • (Take notes)
  • Select the answer(s)
  • Click NEXT

Ultimately, it comes down to methods and practice. Once you learn the E2 methods you then need to practice them. You’ll find that you will get quicker and quicker once you learn HOW to complete each task.

Watch our E2 PTE YouTube Channel for effective methods that work!

Check out the PTE Speaking Describe Image Super Method below! 

In a couple of words, it’s about efficiency and accuracy for PTE time management. Find the balance, score 90!

Check out our E2 Blog article on PTE preparation materials HERE

Follow our social media for more information on the PTE! 



Written by Jay. 

PTE Summarise Spoken Text | Practice Listening to Audio with Answers!

An audio text and transcript for ‘Summarise Spoken Text’ will be posted each week for the next six weeks! You will be able to find them right here.

The ‘Summarise Spoken Text’ task requires you to listen to a 60-90 second text, summarise the main ideas and write a response in 50-70 words. You have ten minutes to complete the task.

The best way to tackle this task is to divide it into sections.

Part 1: listen and take notes of the main ideas.
Part 2: write a 50-70 word response.
Part 3: rewrite the response, ensuring you have all the main ideas covered, it makes sense and there are no grammatical or spelling errors.
Part 2 and 3 take about 4 minutes each.

Summarise Spoken Text
E2Language PTE experts like Jay can help you improve your PTE listening score!

E2Language has an excellent framework which is very successful for structuring your response. You can learn about this by watching our course video lessons, and practice with your tutor in a tutorial.

Head to our E2PTE YouTube Channel for more PTE tips and methods videos!

Summarise Spoken Text Activity

Listen to the following text, take notes of the main ideas, and write a 50 to 70 word response. You have ten minutes to complete the task.

Transcript of audio:

So, my mother’s a pediatrician, and when I was young, she’d tell the craziest stories that combined science with her overactive imagination. One of the stories she told was that if you eat a lot of salt, all of the blood rushes up your legs, through your body, and shoots out the top of your head, killing you instantly. She called it “high blood pressure.”

This was my first experience with science fiction, and I loved it. So when I started to write my own science fiction and fantasy, I was surprised that it was considered un-African. So naturally, I asked, what is African? And this is what I know so far: Africa is important. Africa is the future. It is, though. And Africa is a serious place where only serious things happen.

So, when I present my work somewhere, someone will always ask, “What’s so important about it? How does it deal with real African issues like war, poverty, devastation or AIDS?” And it doesn’t. My work is about Nairobi pop bands that want to go to space or about seven-foot-tall robots that fall in love. It’s nothing incredibly important. It’s just fun, fierce and frivolous, as frivolous as bubble gum — “AfroBubbleGum.”

• Mother paediatrician young crazy stories
• Blood shoot out the top of your head— “high blood pressure”
• Science fiction / fantasy = unAfrican
• “Africa is the future, Africa is serious.”
• “What is important about your work? War, poverty, AIDS?
• It’s not imptnt. It’s fun, fierce, frivolous.
• It’s AfroBubbleGum

Click Here to See our PTE 90 Sample Answer!

Summarise Spoken Text Answer:

The speaker was discussing her music and African heritage. She mentioned that her mother was a paediatrician and told her crazy stories when she was young. She talked about how she was told that Africa is the future and is serious. She described how when people ask if her work is about poverty, war or AIDS, she says it isn’t, suggesting that it is fun and frivolous like bubblegum—AfroBubbleGum.

(70 words)

Get the rundown of the PTE Listening section and check out PTE Listening Test: Tips for a PTE 90!

Good luck, and remember that perfect practise makes perfect. I hope I’ll see you in the next webinar

Make sure you follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!



Written by: David Williamson