The Elephant in the room: PTE Speaking

Don’t behave like an ostrich. Burying your head in the sand will not make the problem go away. Master PTE Speaking from the very first day of your test preparation. Eat the frog in the morning. Everything else can be taken care of with sustained practice.

Speaking is to PTE Academic what Writing is to IELTS. This module is not only crucial to success but also quite difficult to crack. Yet the underlying requirements are quite simple. You need to speak at your normal pace. You need to speak with ease. And you need to be fluent. Pronunciation needs to be good as well. Moreover, there should be sufficient modulation to give force and meaning to your message.

Great! Basically, I need it all then! In that case, let’s get a few concepts straight.

What is fluency?

 Speech is nothing more than groups of words separated by commas, full stops and other types of punctuation. At every point where there is a punctuation, there needs to be a pause. The ability to read aloud or speak while pausing at the correct places is fluency. It is not the same as clarity though. It is in fact closer to speaking rhythmically, speaking at your normal pace, speaking with the correct tone and modulation while inserting strategic moments of silence.

And what about Pronunciation?

Only this much needs to be said about it: the pronunciation needs to be correct. It can be American or British but you should try to be consistent. Fake accent is to be avoided. The speaking test tries to find out the extent to which the influence of your mother tongue hampers intelligibility. Thus, if you speak with a very strong accent, you should first try to unlearn that. Pronunciation apps are aplenty in the market. Download one and start practicing pronunciation regularly. You should do this even before you start your core PTE Academic training/preparation in earnest.

The Speaking topics

Read Aloud, Describe Image and Retell Lecture are the most important items in this section. Repeat Sentence and Answer Short Questions can be high scoring. But don’t run away from items number 2 and 3 mentioned above. If you crack them, you stand a very good chance of scoring more than well in your PTE Speaking module.

A Final word

Excellence is a habit. It is therefore boring, a great deadener. Let your desire for success overcome boredom. Practice with passion for perfection.


“Autograph your work with excellence. . .”

– Unknown Source

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