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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 maximize 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 - Studying
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 labeled ‘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.

writing notes while having breakfast
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

First: He/She mentioned KEYWORD 1

Second: He/She described KEYWORD 2

Third: He/She talked about KEYWORD 3

Fourth: He/She discussed KEYWORD 4

Fifth: 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. After that, once you’ve learned 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:

retell lecture notes
Retell Lecture Notes

Sound Files:

Listen to the RETELL LECTURE:


If there is a listening problem and you missed some of the talks, all you can do is focus on what you did understand. Maximize your marks for what you did catch.  Sure you will lose marks for ‘content,’ but you can still get marks for pronunciation and fluency. However, 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. Therefore, they can relax because they know they have maximized 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. Maximize 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.

Written by Melinda

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