Prepare For PTE Speaking – Re-Tell Lecture & Answer Short Question


Learn about PTE

To many the PTE Academic, test inspires hope for a life abroad, for either studying or working. It is an English language proficiency test popularly taken up worldwide by aspirants for the purposes of overseas education and immigration. Countries like Australia and New Zealand see the highest number of immigrants who have taken up the PTE test. It is even visa-approved in these countries. Besides these two countries, universities in many English-speaking countries including UK, USA, Ireland and Canada also accept PTE.

The PTE test includes topics from Social Sciences, English Literature, Psychology etc., and all subjects with an academic setting. It is designed to assess candidates’ language skills. The results do not take more than five days to be declared. It is completely an unbiased scoring system as it is a computer – based.

The first section is the Speaking Section. People who do not constantly interact in English may struggle here in terms of fluency and pronunciation despite getting the content right. There are five different types of questions, which are to be answered using different strategies. You must practice fluency within the given limits of time, which is mostly measured in seconds. The right pace, stress and intonation will definitely fetch you more marks in this section.

Hurray offers a customized PTE Online Training course where aspirants can learn Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening skills taught by certified trainers. The trainers take use in- depth knowledge of phonetics, word stress, accent neutralization to train you in proper pronunciation and fluency. This blog mainly explains the tips and strategies to answer “Re- Tell Lecture” 

PTE Speaking: Re-tell Lecture

About the Test

Through the headset, you will listen to lecture being delivered. It will be of about 90-seconds’ duration. The task requires you to re-tell the lecture in your own words, speaking into a microphone. You will be given 40 seconds to complete the task. You must finish speaking before the recording is completed.

The topic of the lecture will be academic in nature. After the recording, you will be given 10 seconds to prepare. 

The objective of the task, is to test you on the following: 

Content: have you been able to cover all the important points?

Oral fluency: is your speech clear and at a natural rate of speed?

Pronunciation: would your pronunciation of the words enable others to understand you?

Common problems

These are some of the stumbling blocks that we see our students face while answering this task.

  1. The student is unable to keep up with the lecturer’s pace and misses important points.
  2. The student wastes too much time talking about details, or tries to correct herself while speaking, and cannot complete all the points in time.

These problems are easy to overcome – if you follow the steps given below!


Preparing for the Task

1. Practice!

The best way to ace this test, is to get used to how it works, through practice. We recommend practicing with a number of PTE mock tests – 3-4 at minimum, and as many as you can!

With practice, you will be able to identify main points, summarizing it in your own words, and speaking within the time limit.

*Bonus tip: record yourself! When you play it back you will be able to hear if you are clear and natural, and where you need to improve.

2. Listen to English in use

Including good TV channels – such as BBC news or Discovery programs, and good movies – preferably, where English is being spoken by native speakers (like British or American).

This will benefit you in two ways – you will be able to understand the speaker in the task, better, and your own way of speaking will improve!

3. Build vocabulary

The better your vocabulary, the easier it will be for you to understand what you listen to. It will also enable you to find appropriate words to summarize the passage. 

Performing the Task

While performing the task, keep note of the following tips:

1. Note-making

You will be given a way to take notes. As you listen to the lecture, note down the information.

Do not write whole sentences – write key words/phrases only. If you spend too much time writing, you may miss important points as they are spoken. 

2. Organise your content

In the 10 seconds you are given to prep, identify the broad main points – you can underline the key/words phrases that represent the main points. 

There will usually be about 3-4 main points, which means you w will talk about each point for about 10-12 seconds.

3. Time management

Do not waste time!

Keep the sentences short and simple – that way, you will be able to cover the whole point in a straightforward way. Do not repeat any point, or try to say the same thing in a different way. If you make a mistake, do not try to stop and correct yourself.

But also, do not rush!

If you organize well, you will have enough time. Focus on saying each word clearly. 

4. Only use vocabulary that you are sure of

While it is important to expand your vocabulary, only use words that you know the meaning of. If you use a complex word wrongly, it will harm your score more than, if you use a simpler word.

The final question in the PTE Speaking section is “Answer Short Question”

PTE Speaking: Answer short question

About the test

Through the headset, you will listen to a question. The question will be an objective-type i.e. a simple fact.

The task requires you to answer the question in a word or a phrase. You will be given 10 seconds to answer.

The objective of the task is to test your ability to listen and comprehend a question and deliver the appropriate answer. 


Question: “If a telescope is used to locate distant objects, what instrument can be used to magnify miniscule objects?”

Answer: “A microscope.”


1. Build vocabulary

Your vocabulary must be appropriate, in order to understand the question and deliver the correct answer.

You can build your vocabulary by

reading – as you read, you will be able to look up meanings at your own pace.

listening to English in use, in movies and so on – this will also help improve pronunciation.

keeping a word-journal – in order to help you keep track of the new words you learn.

2. Do not make your answer long: The question will only require one or a few words as the answer. 

3. Do not wait too long before answering: The recording will automatically time-out after 3 seconds, if there is no sound. 

4. Practice

For all the PTE tasks, we recommend practicing with a number of mock tests – 3-4 at minimum, and as many as you can!

With practice, you will familiarize yourself with the kinds of questions and topics generally appearing in this task.

At Hurray, our PTE trainers can help provide you more tips and practice opportunities, while also honing your language skills and working on problem areas.

General Tips:

  • Read with different intonation
  • Listen to a recording.
  • Time yourself.
  • Note how many words you can repeat and understand. 
  • Go back, record again.
  • This time pick up the pace.
  • Repeat.
  • Listen to different accents.
  • Note down differences.
  • Note down similar sounding words.
  • Practice saying them aloud.
  • Record yourself.
  • Compare your pronunciation to a native speaker,
  • You do not have to imitate them entirely but try to come close.
  • Overall, listen to English songs, watch movies and watch English news channels.

At Hurray, our PTE Online Training program promises that trainers will assess, evaluate and give feedback on areas of improvement. Reach out to us via email: or phone: 8971357938, for more details.

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