What is the Describe Image Task?

In the “Describe image” task, an image will appear in front of you. This image is might be a graph, picture, map, chart or table. You will have 25 seconds to study the image before you give your response. Once the microphone turns red, you must describe the image you see in as much detail as possible. You will have 40 seconds to respond (unless you remain silent, in which case the microphone will stop recording after 3 seconds). Here is an example of what your screen will look like:


Describe Image

What is being tested?

  1. Content: This is the number of correct words in your response.
  2. Oral Fluency: This is how smoothly and naturally you speak.
  3. Pronunciation: This is how understandable your speech is to a native speaker.

You may be presented with:

  1. A bar graph or line graph
  2. A pie chart (or two pie charts)
  3. A map (or a map and a chart)
  4. A data chart (or two charts)
  5. A process chart (illustrating how a process works)

Many people find this task difficult because of you are given limited time to describe what looks like a lot of information. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s only necessary to pinpoint the key points of the image, and this can be done by describing only the two most important pieces of information you see. When it comes to most of the images you’ll see on the PTE, these points are often demonstrated by the most and the little of something or the highest and the lowest of something.

Check out our Describe Image webinar, which outlines a method that you can use on any of the images presented to you in this task, regardless of its complexity:

For more tips on how to succeed at this task, click here.