Summarise Spoken Text | How to Succeed!

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)

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

PTE Select Missing Word Task | What You Need To Know with Practice!

Your comprehensive guide to PTE Select Missing Word has finally arrived!

Learn the key strategies for tackling this task and then practice using the sound files in the examples provided!

Understanding the Task

Time management is a challenge on the PTE Listening test. Candidates sometimes run out of time and can’t complete all the questions. One of the good things about PTE Select Missing Word is that it’s a relatively quick task.

Generally you either know the answer or you don’t. If you do, fabulous!

Choose the correct option and move to the next task. If you don’t know the answer, guess and move to the next task. There is no advantage in taking extra time to guess. Just choose one and move on.

Guessing is not ideal, but if it is your best option, do it quickly. What you really want to do though is – avoid guessing.

So the question is how can you do that? How can you confidently choose the correct answer?

Well, to start with you need to fully understand the task. You need to know what is being tested, what the screen will look like, and you need to know how it will be marked. Then you need to be able to manage your concentration and use appropriate strategies.

Let’s look at all of those things now and then later you can do some practice.

PTE Select Missing Word
You’ll have a chance to practice using sound clips in this article!
What is being tested? 

You are being challenged to demonstrate your ability to:

#1 Identify the topic or main idea

#2 Understand academic vocabulary and infer the meaning of new words

#3 Understand implicit and explicit meanings and abstract information

#4 Understand sequencing of information

#5 Comprehend various accents and rates of speech

#6 Predict what is likely to come next in the context.

What does it look like?

You will get two or three PTE Select Missing Word questions. You will see a prompt which you must read because it tells you the topic of the listening.

If you know the general subject area, it is easier to tune in to the content. Your mind will be primed because it will automatically start thinking about related concepts and vocabulary. It provides context.

Context is key.

The prompt will look like the one below. In this example the text will be about ‘agriculture.’ Topics vary and will always be clear in the prompt.

You will hear a recording about agriculture. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.

The recording will last for between 20 seconds and 70 seconds and at the end you will hear a ‘beep’ sound. There will be between three and five answer options. You have to choose one. All of the options will be grammatically correct. It’s all about the meaning.

When you choose an option, it will be highlighted in yellow. You can still change your mind by clicking on a different option.

When you are ready, click NEXT to go to the next item.

How is the PTE Select Missing Word marked?

That’s easy. You get one mark for choosing the correct answer and zero for choosing the wrong answer.

View the E2Language blog article on PTE scoring for newbies!  

 Manage your concentration

A little trick I use sometimes when I realise I’m losing concentration is to physically pinch my hand. If I tell myself to concentrate, it isn’t really enough, but if I physically pinch myself, that snaps me back into concentration. Will that work for you? Try it now.

PTE select missing words

Listen carefully. You will see a timer so you know when the recording is coming to an end.

PTE Select Missing Word

Summary of Key Strategies for PTE Select Missing Word

Before you listen:

  • Read the prompt to find the topic.
  • Know that you’ve done your practice and you’re prepared.
  • Be ready for different accents and speeds of speaking.

While you listen:

  • Focus and aim to understand the main points.
  • Watch the timer so that you can see when the beep is coming.

After you have listened:

  • Read the options and choose the best one.
  • If you don’t know, guess.
  • Move on to the next question. Don’t keep thinking about it – you know it or you don’t.

Extra note: In any of the listening tasks, you can adjust the volume using the slider. Do that if you need to. You can adjust while a text is playing.

Practicing PTE Select Missing Word

Before the test you can develop your listening skills by listening to TED talks. There are thousands to choose from. They will help you understand different accents and tune your ear to English.

Are you ready for some practice now?

In the test you will have an on-screen timer. But for the practice exercises below, please use your own timer. The first task is 39 seconds long and the second is 43 seconds long.

Before you begin – check the topic, concentrate (and be ready to use your timer).

PTE Select Missing Word – Practice 1

You will hear a recording about cancer. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.

Click play below:

  • getting started.
  • smoking-related.
  • young and restless.

Check your answer below:

Click to show/hide answer

Worldwide, over two-thirds of deaths due to cancer are fully preventable using methods that we already have in hand today. Things like vaccination, timely screening and of course, stopping smoking. But even with the best tools and technologies that we have today, some tumours can’t be detected until 10 years until after they’ve started growing, when they are 50 million cancer cells strong. What if we had better technologies to detect some of these more deadly cancers sooner, when they could be removed, when they were just getting started.

Did you get it right? If not, why not? What went wrong? Was it an issue with concentration, accent, vocabulary, difficult subject matter?

To work on your listening, you can listen to TED talks. This will help you to manage accents, build vocabulary and cope with difficult material.

PTE Select Missing Word – Practice 2

You will hear a recording about building design. At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.

Click play below:

  • within a suburb.
  • to each unit.
  • for comfort.
  • and home.

Check your answer below:

Click to show/hide answer

When, in 1960, still a student, I got a traveling fellowship to study housing in North America. We travelled the country. We saw public housing high-rise buildings in all major cities: New York, Philadelphia. Those who had no choice, lived there. And then we travelled from suburb to suburb, and I came back thinking, we’ve got to reinvent the apartment building. There has to be another way of doing this. We can’t sustain suburbs, so let’s design a building which gives the qualities of a house to each unit.

Did you get it right? If not, why not?

Watch our E2 PTE Listening video from our YouTube Channel below! 

 So there you have it! A comprehensive guide to the PTE Select Missing Word Task.

Follow our social media for more information on the PTE! 

Written by Melinda G. 

The PTE Listening Test: Tips for a PTE 90

The PTE Listening Test can be tricky if you don’t pay attention to the prompts and lack good preparation. If you are looking for PTE Listening material to study with, this article will be a good guide for you. 

I also recommend the E2Language Mini Mock Tests and PTE listening practice tests to develop useful methods and practice for all the PTE tasks.

The PTE Listening Test tasks:

  • Summarise spoken text
  • Listening multiple choice, choose multiple answersPTE Listening Test
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Highlight correct summary
  • Listening multiple choice, choose single answer
  • Select missing word
  • Highlight incorrect words
  • Write from dictation

Each of the 8 tasks on the PTE Listening Test focuses on testing different skills.

Summarize spoken text 

It is what it says: a 35- 40 second summary of a spoken text. It tests your ability to take notes; identify a topic; summarize the main ideas; organize your sentences and paragraphs in a logical way; use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Actively listen from the first word—not wait until it makes sense! It may not make sense until the end, in which case at least you will know what the topic is. So, note the keywords from the moment the speaker starts speaking. A keyword may be a single word or short phrase.

Listen for keywords …

Keywords may include main ideas, dates, people’s names, place names, statistics and numbers. Write these down on your erasable notepad.

After you have listened to the spoken text and taken notes, you will have ten seconds to organise them. Group similar ideas together. You need 5 to 6 good keywords and you probably have more notes than you need. Be selective to capture the main ideas from the text.

E2Language members are provided with a framework to use. Select your keywords from your notes and insert them into the framework. Elaborate on one or two sentences.

Watch the time …

Keep a strict eye on the time and aim to finish at 35 seconds. Practise watching the time as you speak. This will let you know that you need to shorten your sentences or elaborate a little on your keywords. The more good practise you do, the more prepared you will be, so ensure you practise the tasks under Listening, Summarise Spoken Text on the E2language website.

You will be awarded marks for content, form, grammar, vocabulary, spelling. Marks count for Listening and Writing.

Listening multiple choice, choose multiple answers

In this task, you will be tested on your ability to comprehend the main ideas in a text and determine which connections between pieces of information. There is negative marking where points are deducted for incorrect options. So, if a test taker scores 2 points for correct options, but the scores -2 for two incorrect options chosen, they will score 0 points overall for the item.

Skim the possible options. Listen very carefully. You may take notes to help you focus and remember, especially names and numbers. Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select the correct ones. Check your answers and submit.

You will be scored 1 for each correct response and -1 for each incorrect response. 0 is the minimum score.

PTE listening test checklist

Fill in the blanks

This task tests your ability to understand academic PTE vocabulary and identify words and phrases appropriate in a context.

The best way to improve your score in this section of the PTE Listening Test is to improve your vocabulary. Read three articles from daily and use the E2Pronounce app as a dictionary to find the meaning of words that you are unfamiliar with. By reading you will increase your vocabulary which will improve your reading as well as your listening comprehension.

You will be scored 1 for each word spelled correctly, with 0 the minimum score.

Highlight Correct Summary

This task tests your ability to identify a topic, follow a sequence of information and comprehend a different accent.

You will listen to a text of 60-90 seconds. You will then select the correct summary from a list of possible options. Only one summary will be correct. The other options may be similar but there will only ever be one correct option.

Read every word in each option before you make your selection. Sometimes some words or phrases that you heard are in each option, but do not be tempted to select the first option that you think is correct on this basis, but rather read each option from the first word to the last. The meaning may change during the sentence!

Marks are awarded as 1 for a correct response and 0 for an incorrect response. These marks count towards both your PTE Listening Test and PTE Reading Test results.

Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer

Similar to the Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answer, in this task, you will be tested on your ability to comprehend the main ideas in a text and determine connections between pieces of information. Skim the possible options. Listen very carefully. You may take notes to help you focus and remember, especially names and numbers. Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select the correct one. Check your answer and submit.

Marking is 1 for correct response and 0 for an incorrect response.

Select Missing Word

In the PTE listening ‘select missing word’ task, you will be tested on identifying a topic, theme or main ideas and form a conclusion from what a speaker says. As the instructions state:

You will hear a recording about (topic). At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.

Do not take notes. Listen for meaning. You will either know or not know the answer.

Practise often from the E2Language site to build your confidence.

Marks are 1 for a correct response and 0 for an incorrect response.

Highlight Incorrect Words

You will hear a recording and read a transcript of the recording which differs from what the speaker says. You will click on the words in the transcript that are different.

Negative marking applies. So, if you score 2 points for correct options but then score -2 for two incorrect options you will score 0 points overall for the item.

Listen and be prepared to act quickly. If you are uncertain about whether to click on the word or not, do not click on the word.

Write from Dictation

Here you will be tested on academic vocabulary, follow an oral sequencing of information and use of correct spelling.

You will be asked to listen to a sentence and type the sentence in a box exactly as you hear it. You will only hear the sentence once, so listen very carefully and write as much of the sentence as you can.

Listen carefully and write the sentence down on the erasable pad. You can then type the sentence on to the screen. If you are a very good typist then you can type directly on to the screen as you listen. Work quickly and accurately.

Marks are awarded as 1 for each word correctly spelled. 0 for each incorrect or misspelled word. Marks count towards the PTE Listening Test and PTE Writing Test.

To do well in the PTE Listening Test, register and attend the E2Language Live Listening Classes. This will give you a chance to complete a PTE listening practice test.

Our E2 PTE YouTube Channel has some useful PTE Listening  videos, including this one:

Remember to familiarise yourself with each part of the PTE Listening Test and practise to ensure that you know what each section is asking you to do. Understand the marking, and work as accurately and efficiently as you can.

Feel free to leave a comment and I look forward to seeing you in a live class or a tutorial!

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!



Written by David Williamson


PTE Summarize Spoken Text: What you need to score a PTE 90

Summarize spoken text is one part of the PTE Listening test. If you are looking for PTE material to study with, then this article will be a good guide for you.

I also recommend the weekly E2Language PTE mini mock tests to develop useful methods and practice for all the PTE tasks. 

Fill out the form below and we’ll send you a free PTE mini-mock test webinar to help put your skills to the test!

Summarize Spoken Text: The Task at Hand

The purpose of the summarize spoken text task is to test your ability to comprehend, analyze and combine information from a lecture and then summarize the key points in writing. It assesses both listening and writing skills. You will listen, take notes and write.

The instructions you will see are as follows:

You will hear a short lecture. Write a summary for a fellow student who was not present at the lecture. You should write 50-70 words.

You will have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points presented in the lecture.

Basically, you will reduce a 60-90 second spoken text to 50 to 70 words. You will have ten minutes to complete the task. The analogy that we like to give is that you are at a lecture that your friend is unable to attend so you are going to summarize it for them. You will listen, take notes and give them the important information from the lecture.

The speaker will speak for 60-90 seconds. While listening to the lecture you are going to write down the keywords. These keywords will be nouns, verbs and phrases mainly of one, two or three words. The important thing is that you write brief notes of the main ideas. You can write exactly what the speaker says word for word and paraphrase them later.

The great thing about E2Language is that when you become a member we will give you a structure to use in your summarize spoken text response. It is the same framework to use in retell lecture. Retell lecture, of course, is speaking task, but the response structures are identical. Using the framework will help you to score 90.

Note Taking

Write quickly and VERY neatly as you will need to reread your own handwriting. Messy scrawl is impossible to read. I know, as my writing is often messy scrawl and impossible to read! So, take up a reasonable amount of space on the notepad with your notes and do not cram them into a corner.

While listening, take notes of the main ideas. Begin writing soon after the speaker begins in order to get the ideas down. Don’t wait until it starts to make sense—it may not!

Summarize Spoken Text
In the Summarize Spoken Text task, you need to ensure your writing is neat and organized!


My first advice is to use all ten minutes you are given, as you will not be given any credit for time not used. Use the time to refine your response so that it contributes to your overall score of 90! I recommend the following timing:

  1. Listen and take notes (using your pen and pad) for the 60-90 seconds.
  2. Recall the main ideas for another 30 seconds.
  3. Draft a response. Take four (4) minutes to do this.
  4. Review and rewrite for 3 minutes, checking the following:
    • Does your response include the main ideas from the text?
    • Does your response make sense?
    • Is your word choice correct?
    • Is your spelling correct? (Do not use words you cannot spell)
    • Is the grammar correct? Check: verb tenses; subject verb agreement; singular or plural verbs.

Writing Your Draft

After taking the best notes you can, refine them for 30 seconds by continuing to recall from the spoken text while it is in your memory. You need good notes to draw on. Group your ideas together. Now begin to write up the framework from your notes, paraphrasing the ideas into your own words where you can. Make sure that you include the topic in the first sentence. Each sentence must have a main noun and verb and is structured grammatically correctly.

Writing Your Good Copy

After the draft, and this should take about four minutes, DO NOT SUBMIT. Instead, spend about three minutes reviewing your writing checking for errors and improving your word choice to ensure your response is correct and contains all the main ideas. Check spelling and punctuation. You should be proud of the work you submit, and taking the time to do it thoroughly will ensure that you do not lose valuable marks for careless errors.

Keep an eye on the time. Make sure that you will finish the task and submit it before the ten minutes are up.

So, the keys are:

  • Listen well
  • Take great notes of the topic and main ideas
  • Write down what you can remember hearing after the recording has stopped
  • Complete the draft using the E2Language framework
  • Review the draft making corrections
  • Submit!

Our E2 PTE YouTube Channel has quick tips for the PTE tasks, including Summarize Spoken Text!

I recommend practicing as many summarize spoken text tasks from E2Language as you can and submitting assessment tasks for feedback once you are a member. The feedback will be provided by a qualified teacher whose advice will boost your score.

Feel free to leave a comment and I look forward to seeing you in a live class or a tutorial!

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!



Written by David Williamson

PTE Vocabulary Tips

An extensive PTE vocabulary can make all the difference in all of the PTE tasks, and it’s crucial to make vocabulary expansion an integral part of your PTE preparation.

Vocabulary is one of the building blocks of language and a necessary requirement for success in the PTE. Being ready for the PTE requires a lot of preparation, including understanding the test, knowing the strategies, and practicing. In addition to all of that, you need vocabulary. It is essential for the reading section, the listening section, for writing a good essay and for being able to speak impressively in the speaking test. To do well, you need to know words. It is believed that it takes 15-20 exposures to a new word for it to become part of your vocabulary. So here are my top 10 methods for integrating new words into your English library.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Read, read, read!

The more you read, the more words you’ll be exposed to. This is essential for PTE preparation, and for increasing your English fluency. Reading doesn’t have to be boring. Read about things that interest you: Food, gardening, fashion, celebrity news, economics, science, politics, etc. As you read, you will discover new words in context. You can infer the meaning of new words from the context of the sentence. If not, then look the word up in an English to English dictionary.

PTE Vocabulary
Reading is one of the most effective ways to expand vocabulary!

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Use an English to English dictionary and Thesaurus.

You can use hard copies or online versions such as and  When you come across a new word, look it up in the dictionary. An online dictionary will give you the definition and will let you hear the pronunciation. It’s important not to just use a translation tool. A translation may be helpful for you to understand the meaning of the word in your native language, but it will not help you integrate the word into your English mental library. You need to be able to think of the word in English, and not rely on a translation. Otherwise you will be thinking of the word in your own language and will have difficulty recovering it in English when you need it. Then use the thesaurus to find synonyms. You don’t have to memorise every synonym (there may be too many). Choose a couple of interesting ones and add them to your vocabulary journal.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Use a vocabulary journal.

This can be a little notebook that you keep with you where you record new words that you hear or read. Steps 4-7 will explain useful ways to use a vocabulary journal.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Organise your journal thematically.

Group words together that relate to a similar topic to make it easier to remember and relate them. These categories could be food, hobbies, nature, society, etc.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: List the different forms of the word.

For example its noun, verb, adjective and adverb form, as well as its past participle. Let’s take the word “manage”. It is a verb. The noun form is “management”, the adjective is “manageable” and the adverb is “manageably”. The past participle is “managed. Now you know five new words instead of one! A dictionary will usually give you the different word forms abbreviated as (n) for noun (v) for verb, (adj) for adjective and (adv) for adverb.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Collocate!

List words that the word collocates with. For example, manage effectively; manage competently; efficient management; competent management, etc.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Write, write, write!

Writing helps to ingrain new words into your memory. When we hear and see a new word, it becomes part of our passive Our passive vocabulary includes words that we can understand but not use. We want to make new words part of our active vocabulary. This means we can both understand and use new words. To do this, we need to use them! One way is to write sentences using the new word in two or more of its word forms. Even better, integrate reading with writing by writing a short summary of an article you have read using 2 or 3 new words from the article in their various forms. Remember to check your spelling! At the end of each week, go back to your list. Pick 10 words from that week and write a short story, even if it’s just 100 words. It can be a personal reflection, a review of something you read that week, or a practice PTE essay.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Listen!

Hearing words in context will help you hear how words are used and also familiarise you with their pronunciation. Watch music videos or short movie clips on YouTube with English subtitles. When you hear a word that you don’t know, or have difficulty pronouncing, play it again and sound it out. Also, Ted ESL and Ted Ed are great sources for interesting and inspiring talks on a variety of topics. You can watch videos and read the transcripts to see the spelling of new words that you hear in the talks. This will help you understand the pronunciation of words, how they are used in context, and how they are spelt. You’ll notice the big difference this makes on your PTE Listening test, too!

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Learn a word a day.

Check the English Learner’s Dictionary word of the day for a new word each day with the definition, pronunciation, word form and example sentences. Add them to your journal list and use them in your journal writing and PTE writing practice.

PTE Vocabulary Tip: Speak!

Incorporate the new words into your everyday conversation. Talk to your friends about a movie you saw or an article you read, or a hobby you did, using new words you learned that week. The best way to remember words is to use them! This will grow your vocabulary and make the word part of your mental word bank. This will increase your speaking fluency which will help you in the PTE speaking test, and in your everyday English development.


Written by Jamal Abilmona.

Jamal Abilmona is an expert IELTS and PTE teacher, curriculum designer and language buff. She has taught English for general and academic purposes in classrooms around the world and currently writes e-learning material for