The PTE Speaking Tasks are the hardest to master for many of our students.

I’ve spoken to a lot of students lately who have told me variations of the same concern: “I am a native or near native speaker and I am still scoring very low on the PTE speaking tasks. It’s destroying my confidence! HELP!” As somebody who has failed the speaking section of the PTE, I completely understand how bad it feels when you don’t get the score you expect.

PTE Speaking Tasks

Speaking as someone who has been there, I want to say this to all those who have done poorly on the PTE speaking tasks: STOP beating yourself up over your speaking ability. You’re probably not as bad as you think. I don’t care what your level is either; I bet you are making at least one or two of the common mistakes I will describe below. And I bet it’s losing you points. To everyone who has lost confidence and felt defeated after receiving their speaking score: you can do this! You just need to be prepared.

Before I outline the 4 common mistakes that people make on the PTE speaking tasks, I just want to mention that my poor PTE speaking score was caused by “human interference” with my microphone. This means that I was making “plosive” sounds (caused by pushing out excess air when pronouncing the “P” and “B” sounds) and due to excess breathing noise. Essentially, my score was not a true representation of my speaking skills, and this brings me to a very important point for all PTE takers: if you listen to your voice sample at the beginning of the test and you hear loud breathing noises or a “thudding” sound when you pronounce P’s and B’s, you need to tell someone. This can and will affect your score.

Another thing I want to mention is that although Pearson did not change my speaking score, they did offer me a full refund or a free repeat of the test. If you think that your score was affected by something technical or by noise from your microphone, you have every right to contact Pearson and ask them to investigate. At the very least you may be able to save some money, even if you need to take the test again.

Check out our latest YouTube video on PTE technology and testing environment here:

Now let’s get down to the 4 most common mistakes people make on the PTE speaking tasks!

Mistake #1: Speaking too fast

Many people make the mistake of thinking that a brisk talking speed is the same thing as fluency. We see this a lot with our students, and I can’t even tell you how many times we have told people to SLOW DOWN! You can have a very high level of English and still be completely impossible to understand.

For example, one of our top students is from India and considers English to be his first language. His grammar is perfect and his vocabulary is impressive, but he speaks even quicker than an auctioneer (and those guys speak FAST)! Although it took him quite a bit of practice to break the habit, it made a huge difference and he was finally able to achieve the PTE speaking score he needed.

Another thing to consider is that when people are nervous, they naturally speed up. We all do it, and it’s a natural reaction to stress. However, you need to be aware of yourself doing this so you can break the habit. No matter how anxious you are, you will benefit much more from speaking in a slow, measured way than you will from spouting out 1000 words per minute!

Mistake #2: Using too many fillers (“like” and “um”)

We are all guilty of this one, native English speaker included. Most of us use fillers while we are thinking of a word or concept to fill the next part of our sentence. In real life, people don’t even notice when you do this. But the PTE academic can be very unforgiving. Remember, you’re not in a normal situation. You’re not talking to a friend, you’re not telling your partner about your day. You are being assessed on your ability to access vocabulary and concepts quickly and accurately. Is this realistic? Probably not. But it is the reality of an English proficiency test.

In the PTE speaking tasks where you are required to say more than a few sentences (describe image and re-tell lecture), you are given some time to collect your thoughts before you are recorded. Use this time to mentally choose the 2-3 concepts you will address in your response so you are not scrambling to think of the next thing to say.

Another crucial thing about these tasks is that you must have your own format method already planned out before you go in to the PTE. In other words, you must have decided how you will structure your response so that you’re never unsure of what you are going to say. If you need an example of what this looks like, our describe image webinar on YouTube provides a great method that works. 

Mistake #3: Use of colloquial language

What does this mean? Well, it means that you are using casual language instead of the more formal, academic language that the Pearson test assessors are looking for. You might say something like: “the trend in this graph shows that employment is gonna keep going up in Europe”. You may think that talking the way you often hear native speakers talk is an advantage, but the assessors are looking for advanced vocabulary and word structure, so it’s best to leave this kind of language to your social life.

How can you avoid this mistake? Pretend you are in a job interview. You would never speak to a potential employer the way you casually speak with a friend, and the same logic applies here. Impress the computer with your professionalism!

If you don’t have a clue what kind of language the PTE test assessors are looking for, think about every essay you have ever written. Those big, impressive words that got you an A+ and a gold star on your dissertation about how technology has shaped the modern world? Those are perfect. For the purposes of this test, you need to use “essay” language to prove that you have a wide range of vocabulary. If you want improve your vocabulary range and work on pronouncing those complex academic words, our e2pronounce app (included in all of our course packages) is a great way to do that.

Mistake #4: Speaking in fragments

We (again, native speakers included) often start thoughts and don’t finish them, or start a new thought in the middle of a sentence when we are speaking. In a conversation, this often goes unnoticed we’re used to this “stopping and starting” and so is everybody around us. However, this way of talking will not do you any favours on the PTE academic!

The PTE requires you to speak in complete sentences, no matter what. The way the PTE speaking tasks are scored for oral fluency, you’ll probably score higher if you finish a nonsensical sentence than if you self-correct halfway through your point and start a new sentence. Why? You get 5 points for oral fluency. This means that even if the content of your sentences is slightly off (or just not as comprehensive as you had hoped), you can still get full points for fluency if you speak in full sentences with no re-starts.

So, the best advice we have to avoid this mistake is: If you missed a word you wanted to say, if you feel like you want to rephrase the beginning of your sentence, if you got confused and said the wrong information – whatever – KEEP SPEAKING UNTIL YOU COMPLETE YOUR SENTENCE! You can always add additional information or clarify your point in a new sentence.

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!


Now that you know the common mistakes, can you tell me which ones you’re guilty of? Can you think of any more common speaking mistakes people might make on the PTE?



Written by Kaia Myers-Stewart

56 thoughts on “4 Mistakes Everyone Makes on the PTE Speaking Tasks

  1. Hi Kaia, that was a very helpful article. I just gave the PTE Academic test and got 59 in speaking and an overall score of 75, which was strange as I thought my speaking section had gone well. I know that the mic closes if nothing is said for more than 3 seconds and when ever I would finish speaking (often before the bar reached “completed”) I would go to the next option. Could this have been a reason for a drop in my score? Because as far as I know the mic would have closed as I would stop talking. Would love to get more insight on this. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sanaa,

      Thanks for commenting! In general, finishing early should not be an issue, EXCEPT in the “describe image” and “re-tell lecture” tasks. In these tasks, you are expected to use the whole time (or pretty darn close!) to structure a comprehensive response. So, if you only used 30 seconds of the allocated time on these tasks, it would impact your score. However, in the other speaking tasks it is natural to finish early because you are simply repeating something, reading something or giving a very short answer. The only thing that I can think of that may have affected your score with finishing early is speaking a little bit too fast.

      You may also want to check out our “describe image” webinar on youtube: Check out our method for tackling this task and try to remember whether or not you had a similar structure in your responses. A lot of the time, a person’s speaking is great but their organization of their response isn’t.

      Hope this helps! Will you be taking the PTE again? If so, best of luck!!!

      1. Thank you for your reply, Kaia. I think that could have been a possible reason as I do remember finishing before 40 seconds in some of the re-tell and describe image sections. I am contemplating giving my test for a rescore. Although, I doubt that will make much of a difference as I need a 65+ in speaking. I also think there might been a technical glitch. Not sure though. I will mostly take the test again. Thanks for your help, much appreciated!

        1. Hi Sanaa,

          My first PTE speaking score was the result of “human error” (e.g. a glitch with my mouth being too close to the microphone) and Pearson offered me a free re-try of the test. So definitely consider asking for an investigation into your score if you think there was any sort of technical error involved! 🙂

          Best of luck!

          1. Hi Kaia,
            One last question- did you write an e-mail to Pearson or did you speak to someone from Pearson directly? I had called the customer care number provided for India and they had told me I can’t investigate a technical glitch. So I’m sort of confused on how to go about this.

            Thank you 🙂

          2. Hi Sanaa,

            I emailed them, and they took about 3 weeks to get back to me with the results. Here is the contact email:
            Let them know that you are concerned about the validity of your speaking score and would like them to investigate. Let me know how it goes!


          3. Hi Kaia,

            I gave my PTE test again and got an overall score of 81, which I was extremely happy about. However, I didn’t manage to get 79+ in speaking, again. I got a 69, better than before. Which was strange cause this time I actually thought my speaking section went worse than before, since there were a lot more people taking the test this time, which threw me off a little. And disappointingly, I have to take the test again. Now I am considering taking IELTS general. I went through the E2 post on IELTS vs PTE, but I’m still confused.

            All the other sections in PTE went extremely well for me. I got 88 in listening, 80 in reading and 90 in writing. I need your help here! Please suggest which option would be better.

            Thank you 🙂

          4. Hi Sana,
            Nice to hear about your results. Would you like to share your speaking strategy with me? As i am struggling with speaking section.

          5. Hi Kaia,
            Thanks for your reply. I have attended this webinar and signed up course with E2 language. I am practicing but problem is that i have lost my confidence. Dont know how my next test will go……
            Any tips please to motivate and regain confidence:(

          6. Hi Summrah,

            Welcome, we’re happy to have you with us! I completely understand about losing your confidence and I’m so sorry you’re having this experience. It can be incredibly frustrating when you feel you are doing your best and your scores aren’t reflecting that. Now that you’re a member with us, I think you’ll really find the tutorials and study plan consultation helpful.Your PTE tutor will help you direct your energy to what needs the most work and can also give you strategies and methods for each task that you struggle with. I would also really recommend watching each and every webinar and memorize the methods that Jay outlines.

            In terms of your confidence, what is going to get you where you need to go is practice, practice, practice. If you struggle with speaking in particular, you should look into getting a conversation partner at or a similar website. This could really get you used to speaking English outside of your comfort zone, which is what the PTE is all about too. Have you seen my previous PTE posts? They have some tips that really helped my confidence the second time around:,,

            Feel free to to chat to any of us on the whiteboard feature in your account too, we are here to help!

            Best of luck! I know it’s a difficult hoop to jump through, but you can definitely do it!! 🙂

          7. Hey Sanaa,

            I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t get the speaking score you needed! My personal opinion on this is that you should stick with the PTE. The IELTS content is SO different (it’s like comparing apples and oranges) and you would need a lot of time to learn the new format and may run into a whole bunch of new difficulties by switching. You are incredibly close to your goal with PTE, and you’re definitely on the right track- as frustrating as it is.

            Did you read my last blog article where I talked about not beginning the speaking section until you have habituated to the noise around you? This can really help too. Here it is in case you didn’t see it:

            It’s great to hear that you were able to speak continuously through the speaking section- now it’s likely about tweaking the content a little. Have you seen the Describe Image webinar on youtube? Describe Image and Re-tell Lecture are the ones that take a lot of work, and “repeat sentence” and “read aloud” are really just about practice, practice practice!

            Are you signed up to one of our courses? We do speaking assessments and tutorials that can really help you develop your speaking skills and pinpoint what the exact problem is. It’s a good idea to know what’s causing the lower speaking score so you can figure out how and where to direct your energy.

            Excellent work on the other parts of the test, you are awesome!! I know it’s frustrating, but you can absolutely do this!!!

          8. Hi Summrah,

            Speaking went pretty bad for me as well. I have given PTE twice now and the first time around I got 59, which was shocking as i personally felt that this section went well. But after chatting with Kaia i realised the biggest mistake i made- i would speak for about 30 secs or less in describe image and retell lecture. I also did hesitate a bit in read aloud. However, I felt more nervous the second time as there were more people giving the test. I got a 69 this time and the one thing i did differently was speak continuously. I also realised that content is not given as much priority as oral fluency. So you just need to keep talking, and make sense of course.

            Hope this helps!

          9. Hi Kaia,

            Thank you for your reply. I think you’re right, doing PTE again would make a lot more sense. I’m just nervous I suppose. I can’t afford to waste more time or money on this. I did read your post about becoming habituated to the environment, and I did apply that too, however my mind would still wander off in between. Hopefully the next time i’ll be better prepared.

            Thank you so much for all your assistance 🙂 You’ve really helped me make some very important decisions. I have signed up to E2 Language and I hope this time I nail it.

          10. Hi Sanaa,

            No problem whatsoever, welcome to E2Language!!! We’ll do our absolute best to help you achieve the score you need this time. And of course you are always welcome to ask any questions you may have on the blog! 🙂

            You can do this!!!! Please let me know how you go as well, my fingers are crossed for you!

  2. Hi Kaia,
    I have attempted PTE many times. Each time I got 61 or 64 in speaking section. My target is 65. I am lost to understand what is happening? Why i cant score 65? I am really depressed .
    How can I score in PTE speaking section?
    I have attended various E2 language speaking webinars.

    1. Hi Summrah,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with the speaking section. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for you. It sounds like you are incredibly close, so it’s possible that you have the format down but you are losing marks because of pronunciation and fluency errors. I would have to see your scores to be sure. Why don’t you schedule a free information session with one of us? This way, you can send us your scores and somebody can assess better what the issue seems to be. You can set up an info session by clicking this link:

      Best of luck to you, I sincerely hope we can help!

  3. Hi Kaia,
    After hard preparation of 1 month, i took the test 2nd time on Oct 24, but i got still lower scores in speaking-39. OF-35 and pronunciation-19.

    My first test was on Sep 15.. The speaking score in my 1st test is also 46, where OF-49 and pronunciation-33. so is there some strategy to apply to talk to the computer ? I am pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with my speaking. Pearson Customer care is very bad in giving feedback. For both timesm they are asking to apply for a rescore, which I dont trust.
    One another friend who took test in the same center got S-79, where he told so many fillers like “Umm, ahhh, like”.
    1) How did you place your microphone 2nd time?
    2) Please let us know any feedback, because “repeat sentences”, i repeated all exactly. My RA was like a newsreader.
    Display graph and Retell lecture also i said all information.
    Only 1 thing is I missed to finish the concluding sentence, since the timer expired in both DI and RL.

    I got 90 in Writing, reading -69 and listening-67.
    Enabling scores:
    Grammar , Written discourse-90

    1. Hi Indu,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t get the scores you needed on the second time around. I completely understand how frustrating it is to KNOW that you are a good speaker of English and not have that reflected in your scores.

      The best strategy I can give you when talking to the computer is this: it’s not just about how well you speak English, but about the format you use to construct your answers.

      I’m not sure if you’ve seen the article I wrote about failing the speaking section of the PTE (check it out here:, but in it I talk about the fact that I didn’t understand how to construct my answers properly. The Pearson assessors are looking for a certain formula, and unfortunately this isn’t made clear often enough in PTE preparation materials. So, for example, the fact that you didn’t manage to conclude your DI and RL probably had an adverse effect on your scores. Generally the magic formula for these tasks is the following:

      1. Introductory sentence (i.e. this graph represents…)

      2. 2 pieces of key information (i.e. the trend, the highest and lowest points of data, etc.)

      3. A concluding sentence where you make a statement about the image/lecture OR make a prediction based on the trend (DI only).

      You can learn more about this method by watching our Describe Image webinar here:

      In terms of fillers like “umm and aah”, they won’t ALWAYS negatively impact your score, but they will if you use them so much that it distracts from your points.

      For your other questions:

      1) I placed the microphone just below my mouth, and I also tested it MULTIPLE times. Because of my past experience with technical difficulties, I also asked for reassurance from the Pearson representative to ensure that my microphone was placed correctly. If you are really worried about technical problems, I suggest you do the same!

      2) For repeat sentence, I have no idea why your score does not reflect how well you think you did! The only thing I can think of is perhaps because you were so focused on saying the exact words, your intonation or speed was slightly off. But I wasn’t there, so you would know this better than I! In terms of this task, the best advice I can give is to repeat the sentence the way that YOU speak in English, rather than trying to mimic exactly how the recording sounds. Sometimes, imitation can get lost in translation!

      I hope this helps, and I really hope that the third time is the charm for you with the PTE! Definitely look into doing one of our packages, because we do provide speaking assessments and we could actually help you pinpoint what might be going wrong in your particular case! You can find our package options here:

      GOOD LUCK! And by the way, excellent job on your writing scores!! Wow! 🙂

    1. Hi Siddarth,

      Are you worried that your PTE score is incorrect? If this is the case, you’d better contact Pearson directly. If you need preparation help though, or help with identifying your weak areas, talk to one of us! You can set up a free information session with one of our PTE experts by clicking this link:

      Good luck! 🙂

  4. “If you want improve your vocabulary range and work on pronouncing those complex academic words, our e2pronounce app (included in all of our course packages) is a great way to do that.”
    should be “if you want to” .
    I have another doubt please. ” I bet grammatical mistakes losing you points ” or “I bet grammatical mistakes makes you lose points ” . Last query : I am in India and I am working between 9-5 pm(Indian standard time). As you are based out of Australia, is there any option to attend your paid webinars/coaching for PTE Academic course suiting my time zone and constraints please.

    1. Hi Jey,

      Thanks for your apt correction!

      We are indeed based out of Australia, but we have teachers in timezones all over the world. When you book a tutorial with a teacher, it will be suited to your schedule (in fact, you choose the time yourself)! For webinars, they often take place in the afternoon in India (which I know isn’t great for your schedule), but you have access to all the recorded versions in your webinar bank less than 12 hours after they are recorded. If you have any questions about a recorded webinar that you couldn’t attend, you can contact our teachers through the whiteboard feature to clarify your doubts, or discuss it with your tutor in your one-on-one session!

      Let me know if you have any more questions! 🙂

    1. Hi Pavan,

      For a date like 1947, you can pronounce it like ” Nineteen-Forty-Seven “. For dates in the 2000s, you can do it this way (“twenty-twelve”) OR say “two-thousand and 12”. It’s up to you, and both are correct! 🙂

      With grammar, read it the way it’s written. If it says “I’m” or “We’ve”, read it exactly that way.

      Good luck! 🙂

  5. Hi! I took 2 Practice Tests in Gold Kit of PTE Academic. Unfortunately for both Sets A & B, I got low scores in Reading and Speaking and I dont understand why. I will have my exam already next week 🙁
    Set A: L-72, R=55, S-55, W-74 Over all: 64
    Low: oral fluency 46, pronounciation 39
    Set B: L-70, R=54, S-58, W-67 Overall: 62
    Low: oral fluency 53, pronounciation 50
    Could it be because my mouth piece is far from my moutn. My mouth piece is shorter in length does not really go near the mouth. But could it be other reasons? Help

    1. Hi Kathy- there might be a microphone issue happening, but I couldn’t say for sure. Either way you really should brush up on your speaking skills.

      Check out these free resources for speaking:

      Describe Image Webinar:

      PTE Tips Videos:

      Blog Articles for Speaking:,,,

      For PTE Reading:

      PTE Reading and writing: fill in the blanks webinar:–e4jzAtWg&list=PLNgX3kw7kalvEd3zJ7M-X5-3G_ptpNiT2&index=5

      PTE vocabulary tips:

      And in general, make sure you do our PTE practice activities and our PTE free trial for more practice questions!

      You don’t have a lot of time, but some targeted practice before the test could make all the difference. And when test day comes, just make sure you are comfortable with your microphone test before you begin. I speak from experience when I say that is important! 🙂

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Kaia,
        I had my exam already. I find the exam okay. Okay compared to my difficult Gold Kit Practice Test. I also got lot of learnings from your links of tips. But unfortunately, my result still is low as to speaking. My microphone is okay I know there because I tested it in the exam. And the graphs and topics were okay compared to the practice tests. I really don’t understand why my oral fluency, pronunciation and written disclosure are still low. Actual PTE: L-71 R-66 S-54 W-71 average: 67 (grammar-60; oral fluency-52; pronun-54; spel-64; voca-79; written dis-54) What’s your suggestion I do before I retake the exam? I got depressed since I am aiming for at least 79 but even 65 each I can’t reach. I need to know really what’s causing this low rate. If its because of my thin high pitch quality of voice or because I can’t control my fast speed in talking. Please help 🙁

        1. Hi again Kathy,

          Sorry to hear about your speaking score.:( Based on your scores, I think you need some targeted practice with your speaking and writing in particular. Did you know that most of our PTE course options offer speaking and writing assessments? This gives you multiple chances to submit your work and get feedback about what’s going wrong and how you can improve. Also, we have a pronunciation app that scores your pronunciation of a word and shows you which part of the word you might be pronouncing incorrectly. This could probably help both your pronunciation score and overall speaking score greatly! For written discourse, I think it would be helpful to have one of our tutors go through your writing with you and show you how you can make the content flow better. You aren’t far from your goal and we would love to help push you over the edge with some guidance and support!

          As for the speed of your talking, this is something you will definitely need to work on. Remember- speed does not equal fluency. Are you speaking quickly because you’re nervous? If so, I really recommend getting a speaking partner so that you can practice your English often and get comfortable speaking at a conversational pace. Make them call you out on your speed whenever it’s getting to quick! Also, make sure you listen to English podcasts, audiobooks, news etc. on a daily basis if you can. Listen to the speed at which the narrators talk, and practice recording yourself speaking at what you think is the same speed. And make sure you do lots of deep breathing and relaxation before you take the test. Don’t worry, nobody is listening to you- there is no need to be nervous!

          Your pitch shouldn’t have anything to do with your score, unless you speak unusually quietly! However, that is something our PTE teachers can assess with you in your study plan consultation or tutorial.

          Please don’t give up hope, you are almost there! It can be a difficult journey, but the payoff will be worth it in the end. You can do it!! 🙂

  6. Hi Kaia,

    I would like to know if i can review my result for my pte attempt. I would like to see how i was scored on my pte exam specially for speaking and writing sections.


    1. Hi Anil,

      I’m not completely sure about how Pearson handles these requests. However, I’m almost certain that they will not let your review your actual test. The best you can do is take a look at their in-depth score guide to get a clearer sense of where you went wrong. If you feel that something specific happened to affect your score, it’s possible that Pearson might investigate your results, but they still won’t show them to you.

      I could be wrong about this, and I suggest that you email Pearson just to make sure. If their answer is different from the one I gave, please let me know! It would be helpful to more about this to help out my future students!

      Good luck! 🙂

  7. My PTE-Academic exam was held in Mumbai Edwise international test center. There were 4-5 more candidates in the room where I was attempting my exam. One of the candidates was extremely loud, she was so loud that I couldnot concentrate on my recording.
    The examiner also asked that female to be slow but no help.
    This is not expected from an examination of international level. There should be some basic verification done for each center by Perason.
    I cannot afford to give the exam again in case I do not perform well.
    Also in between the exam, my computer got a blue screen error and got shut down. Although the test resumed from its last state but all these series of events actually lowered my confidence level.
    Such exams need full concentration but having lost my cool, I couldnot perform well.
    I have already raised this complaint with Pearson group at highest priority.

    This is not a lie, it’s not fake – this is a true story and it really is bad on behalf of test centers to not maintain a proper decorum in the room.
    I hope my matter receives some personal attention by Pearson group.

    I understand that everybody has a different exam paper, but imagine some one speaking at their highest volume right behind you and you are unable to listen to your recording.
    And we know very well, that recordings play only once!

    I am feeling extremely afraid and nervous of my performance, I have even appeared for IELTS 2 years back and scored 7.5/8 in all sections.

    There should be a rule that any one speaking out really loud should not be allowed to give the exam. This is in good interest for all the other candidates. This is an English test. I have a competent English, if not Superior. I cannot afford to score bad!
    if you search on internet, you will find many other candidates who have complained about the same issue.

    In one of the Repeat Sentence questions from the speaking section, I literally was not able to listen anything. I actually replied back saying that ‘I have not heard anything clearly’. This is insane. I can only hope that the issue receives some attention. And hopefully, some mechanism is made to ensure such things do not happen in future with anyone.

  8. Hi
    I appeared for the exam this week and was shocked after receving my scores. I received 80+n reading,listening and writinv but inly 53 in speaking. I am so disappointed and frustrated. I have no clue wht could b the reason behind it.
    Any help?

    1. Hi Shazia,

      That must have been a nasty shock, sorry to hear that! It could be a couple things, including an issue with the way your speaking answers were formatted (Pearson is very picky about the “right” method of answering speaking questions) or perhaps an issue regarding accent or oral fluency. It’s hard to say without your enabling skills scores in front of me too. If you want some feedback and recommendations about this, I recommend sending through your report card to and briefly outlining this situation. One of our duty tutors can certainly help you out! 🙂

      Good luck!!

    1. Hi Bhagya,

      The E2Pronounce app is included in all of our paid course packages. Unfortunately it is not available by itself.

  9. Hi Kaia

    So far I have given Pte test five times. My pronunciation never goes up beyond 37. No matter how much practice I do, it has never improved. Any suggestions please.

    1. I don’t know what’s going on in my case either. I’ve scored 70+ in reading and listening, 90 in writing but every time I get 42-45 in Speaking!!! What’s going on??!
      I’ve written PTE exam only once but gave the scored mock tests 4 times and I get same results every time much to my dismay. It’s so frustrating!! 🙁

      1. Hello,

        That sounds awful! Does the practice test provide your enabling skills as well? If you have low pronunciation and oral fluency scores, it’s likely an issue related to your accent, rhythm and tone, etc. If you have good enabling scores, your low speaking score is most likely because your answers don’t reflect the methods/criteria Pearson is looking for. Remember, the test is about a lot more than English skill! Here’s an example of good method for the Describe Image Task:

        Without speaking to you directly, I can’t tell you what exactly is going wrong, but I encourage you to email us at to talk to one of our awesome tutors about a recommendation for a PTE prep course that will focus on boosting your speaking skills AND develop a sound method for each task.

        Good luck to you, sorry to hear about this frustrating experience! 🙁

        1. Thanks for your reply Kaia. I’ve written twice to E2. Once through the Contact Us option on the site and second time I mailed directly to the provided mail ID. I did get acknowledge mail, but nothing after that.
          Now I’m planning to switch to TOEFL 🙁

          1. Hello again,

            Have you received a reply from a duty tutor yet? I’m not sure what might have gone wrong there, I think there have been some technical glitches happening recently- but they should be worked out now! Honestly, if your accent is the problem with PTE, switching to TOEFL is not the answer, as you will be assessed by a very similar voice recognition software. If you don’t want to stick with PTE because you aren’t confident you can train your pronunciation to meet PTE criteria, I think it would actually be a safer bet to switch to IELTS. Just remember, the IELTS tasks are quite different and many people struggle with the writing sections. Make sure you don’t switch tests and run into problems on another task!

            Let me know if you haven’t heard back from a tutor and I will investigate the reason and make sure someone gets back to you!! 🙂

          2. No, I haven’t got any reply.
            I have a query. Since I’m so close to the marks i need, I’d choose the first package of yours. But i want specific feedback on speaking, which is not included in the first package.
            Though I’ve followed all your tips on YouTube and I’m sure I’m not stammering and I’m confident of my speaking skills as compared to my friends who have cleared the exam, I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. That’s why i decided to switch to toefl where it would be tested by a human.
            Sorry for the back to back queries over here. But I’ve almost given up. I never imagined that I’d have to go through so much trouble to clear an English exam! 🙁

          3. Hi Natharsha,

            Don’t worry about it, I totally understand! I’m really sorry that your experience has been so negative up until this point. I remember how discouraged and upset I was when I failed the PTE speaking test (even though it was because of loud breathing, not my skill!). Don’t let this test hurt your confidence- you know you are competent in English and that’s what is important. Now, let’s get you a good speaking score so you can leave it in the dust and move on!! 🙂

            I know that you are confident in your English speaking skills, but I do think that your speaking score issue could come down to an accent and fluency problem. Often times, advanced non-native speakers who speak English in daily life develop their own rhythm and pronunciation that works for them and is easily understood by others, but it not looked upon favourably in an online English test situation. If you signed up for the second E2Language package (I’m Nervous), you would have access to multiple tutorials with an expert who can assess what’s going wrong and help you build your skills where you need to. In addition, you could submit 4 speaking assessments that are scored using PTE criteria and provide useful feedback about your submissions. You would also have access to our pronunciation app, which our students find incredibly helpful in scoring and improving their pronunciation of commonly used PTE words. (PS: I contacted today’s duty tutor and asked them to email you ASAP, so please check your email and let me know if you received anything!)

            If you do decide to switch to TOEFL, just keep in mind the key differences in the format and give yourself enough time to prepare for the different tasks. There are pros and cons to the human rating vs. automated rating systems, and I still think that if you truly want to be understood to your best ability, it’s best to have a human examiner in front of you (like in IELTS), as TOEFL raters will still be listening to a distorted, recorded version of your speaking submissions. But remember, you know yourself best- and you should choose the test that you think will best suit your needs!

            I wish you well and I really hope that the next attempt is your last!!! Good Luck to you! 🙂

  10. Hi

    I wrote pte three times but each time I got low scores for speaking 49, 33,45. My pronunciation is always around 40. What can I do to improve? I had got IELTS 7 for speaking in first chance but pte is confusing.

    1. Hi Susan,

      That’s a confusing one! Sometimes people with unique accents find the PTE speaking section more difficult because the computer software is looking for “near native pronunciation”, which means it is a lot more discriminatory than a human examiner who can easily understand you, despite any accent. If you want to continue with PTE, I would recommend using voice recognition software like these pronunciation apps that you can access for free. E2Language also includes a really useful pronunciation training app with our paid courses, which you might find helpful. In addition, our tutors know the speaking criteria of the test back to front and can work with you one-on-one to improve your score.

      With this being said, if you’re not confident that your real English proficiency will be reflected in your PTE speaking score, it might be a better plan to go back to IELTS to ensure that a human ear hears your voice. I would recommend that you start by trying to improve your pronunciation (with apps, a prep course like ours with feedback and tutor support & LOTS of practice!) and then you take a PTE practice test on the Pearson website to determine what your speaking score would look like if you took PTE again. If your pronunciation score is low on the practice test, you should seriously consider switching back to IELTS.

      Good luck! 🙂

  11. Hi Jay/Kaia,

    Hope you are doing well.
    Can we click next as soon as we finish our recording except retell and describe image sections where we need to speak for 40 Seconds.
    Also, if i finish these two tasks in 36-38 seconds , can i click next because i dont want to give 4-5 seconds gap after my recording content is complete.

    Thank you !!


    1. Hi Alok,

      Yes, click “next” as soon as you finish, no matter what. Finishing up Re-Tell Lecture or Describe Image at 36-38 is fine, and you can press the “next button” right away, don’t worry about waiting until 40 seconds are up!

      Here are some videos that might provide further clarification as well:

      Commonly Asked PTE Speaking Questions

      PTE Technology FAQs

      Good luck! 🙂

  12. Hi Kaia,

    I am facing lot of problem with listening module.i have written pte thrice and my score in listening is always 64. My scores are S 72 R 69 W 65 L 64 this is almost same Everytime .I am really confused and need your advice to clear the listening part.can I ask for re evaluation​.?

    1. Hi Raj,

      You can ask Pearson for a re-score, but you have to pay over $100 to do this and your score will very rarely change, unfortunately. There’s always a chance though, so if you’re 100% confident that there is something wrong, go ahead and request one! Otherwise, it sounds like the reason your score hasn’t changed is because you haven’t been able to identify what the problem is when it comes to listening, and therefore nothing is changing.

      Send us an email at, send us your PTE scorecards and tell us a little bit about yourself. Let us know which listening tasks you found the most challenging as well. One of our duty tutors can evaluate this information and make a recommendation about which of our PTE courses will best support you to solve this issue!

      Also, make sure you check out this listening webinar on youtube if you haven’t already:

      Good luck!

  13. Hi kAia, i am and e2language student.. i’ve taken the pte academic many times but no improvement with speaking section 🙁
    my weaknesses are speaking, oral fluency and pronunciation.
    I Only need 55overall and no less than 50 scores in all the tasks and skills.
    hope you could help me improve and achieve the required score

    1. Hi Kat,

      Can you tell me which package you are currently on? Let’s get you some one-on-one tutorials and speaking assessments! 😀

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