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PTE Describe Image is the most challenging of the PTE Speaking tasks, but with our help, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to be confident and successful. In this article, you’re going to learn how to approach the PTE Describe Image task by following our simple, three-step process, to help you achieve the PTE score you need on test day. Then you’re going to see how to put this process into practice with two PTE practice questions. 

Introduction to PTE Describe Image

Picture this: you’re faced with a graph that seems to have more lines and dots than a constellation map. Or perhaps it’s a table that looks like a mind puzzle waiting to be solved. Welcome to the world of PTE Describe Image!

You will get three or four Describe Image tasks on PTE test day. The type of image you see could be: 

  • Line graph
  • Bar graph
  • Pie chart
  • Table
  • Process / Diagram
  • Flow chart
  • Map 
  • Timetable
  • Floor plan
  • Photo
  • Venn diagram

You will have 25 seconds to prepare, in which you should study the diagram and work out the key information it is showing. Then, you will have 40 seconds to speak. So you have to make sure your description is short and clear, and you need to be quick. To do so, just follow the steps below.

Three Steps for Success

Here’s how you need to tackle PTE Describe Image.

Step 1

Give an introduction. In your introduction, you should paraphrase the title of the diagram. You should also mention the focus. For example, in a graph, the focus would usually be what the bars or lines represent and the x-axis.

Step 2

Next, you should say the main part of your description. For this part, you should pick out the three most essential features in that image.

Step 3

Finally, you should aim to give a very short conclusion. To do this, you should summarise what you have said, provide a possible explanation for what is shown, or even predict what might happen next. 

Watch this video for more tips and practice for PTE Describe Image, including key grammatical structures that you need to use.

PTE Describe Image Practice 1 – Graph

Let us have a look at this sample Describe Image and work through the three steps.

PTE Describe Image Practice 1 – Graph

PTE Describe Image Sample Answer: Introduction

In this case, the title says ‘Internation students enrolled in higher education in top three countries, 2015–2019’. And the focus is on the US, UK and Australia, and the years 2015 to 2019. How can we paraphrase this information? Let’s look at a sample introduction.

This graph provides insights into the enrollment of international students in higher education for the years 2015 to 2019. The focus is on three countries – the US, the UK, and Australia.

Sample Answer: Description

Now, it is time to identify the three most important features. These could be the highest points, the lowest points, or another one.

Here is an example of the main features.

o The United States had the highest number of international student enrollments throughout the recorded years, fluctuating between 850,000 and nearly one million.

o In contrast, the number of international students studying in the UK, the second-most popular country, remained relatively steady, but much lower, at just over 400,000.

o Finally, Australia witnessed a continual rise in the population of overseas students, from around 300,000 to well over 400,000.

Sample Answer: Conclusion

Once you have covered the three key points, it is time to conclude. You can summarise the data like this. 

The image shows that the US is the most popular country with international students, followed by the UK, then Australia. 

Or you could make a prediction about what will happen in the future.

Based on this, it seems like Australia may soon overtake the UK as the second most popular destination.

Top Tips

In this task, you will be assessed on three criteria: pronunciation, fluency, and content. So, do not worry too much about grammar, but be sure to mention the main elements, ideas, or features in the image. Take advantage of the 25-second preparation time and speak as fluently as possible. Always ensure that you have enough time to draw a conclusion.

Are you looking to improve your skills in practising the PTE Describe Image tasks? Look no further than the E2 Test Prep for practice questions, mock tests, live classes and one-on-one tutorials. You can book a tutorial with your tutor to work on your speaking skills together, and concentrate on enhancing key aspects such as pronunciation, fluency, and content.

PTE Describe Image Practice 2 – Table

Another common image type in PTE Describe Image is a table. For this image type, you should follow the same three steps as detailed above. In your introduction, you will paraphrase the title, and the main focus will usually be the table’s categories. For the three most essential features, it is best to focus on the biggest contrasts, either between the universities or the decades. 

Let us examine the table below.

PTE Describe Image Practice 2 – Table

PTE Sample Answer: Introduction

The title says ‘Percentage of students with study issues in two universities’. And the main categories are ten years ago and today.

This table displays the percentage of students with various academic problems in two universities a decade ago compared with currently.

Sample Answer: Description

Next, focus on the three key features – the biggest contrasts.

The number of students with problems attending lectures rose drastically from 18 to 32% in University A, whereas it remained at 15 to 16% in Univeristy B. University A saw a reduction in the number of students having issues with submitting tasks on time, from 28 to 18%, while this increased from 13 to 19% for University B.  Finally, University A had 24% of students with problems concentrating in lectures, compared with 18% in University B, and this did not change over time.

Sample Answer: Conclusion

Finally, for your conclusion, you can summarise, explain or predict.

In conclusion, the two universities had notable differences in study-related challenges, with some improving over the last decade while others worsened.

Keep in mind: Practice, practice, practice!

To do your best in PTE Describe Image in your PTE exam, it is recommended that you complete all the Describe Image practice tasks on the E2 website and consider submitting some for assessment by teachers. 

While this task might appear challenging initially, using our method you will find it easier and easier to do. You can also read our article on test preparation time and the PTE Academic test format. E2 has all the resources to help you confidently achieve your target score the first time. For PTE preparation and PTE study materials, start a free trial and improve your PTE Speaking and other PTE exam questions with the help of our experts.

Author Bio: 
E2 is the world’s leading test preparation provider. Our expert teachers are fully accredited English teachers, with TESOL, British Council or other relevant certification, and years of PTE teaching experience.

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