Creative Educations
PTE Summarize Spoken Text

In today’s blog, we will look at a few common mistakes we have seen students make in PTE Summarize Spoken Text task for your Listening section. And then we will give you practical tips to improve your score in this section.

But first, let’s talk about the task.

You will hear a prompt of about 60-90 seconds. After you hear the recording, you have 10 minutes to compress that into 50-70 words. And that’s where we see many students making their first mistake.

Mistake 1: Writing the summary without preparation

Remember you have 10 minutes to write your 50-70-word summary. This gives you plenty of time to plan, write a draft, edit, check and improve your answer. What we have seen is, students, rush to writing the answers straight away, without proper planning. This is a big NO-NO. We’ll tell you what you should do instead. Let’s move on to the 2nd mistake.

Mistake 2: Exceeding the word limit

The recording is more than a minute long, that means, you will have A LOT of notes. And you may want to cram as much information as possible from the notes into the summary. However, there is a high probability that you will exceed the word limit. If you do this, you will lose marks for failing to stick to the word limit.

Mistake 3: Poor punctuation, grammar, spelling

This is an English proficiency test… that means, your punctuation, grammar, and spelling must be impeccable. Many of us rely on the auto-correct system on our phones or computers, but PTE doesn’t give you that luxury.

That’s why, you must be careful about your punctuation, grammar, and spelling. If you’re in doubt about the spelling, use another word. If you are in doubt about punctuation and grammar, break your sentence down into shorter, simpler sentences.

Mistake 4: Submitting without double-checking

Sometimes we make minor mistakes that we don’t notice. That’s why… when students submit the answer without double-checking, a minor mistake will cost them marks in this section.

Remember, you have 10 minutes, use that time to double-check your answer… especially the punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Now, let’s move on to practical ways of improving your score in this section.

Listen and Take Notes

The moment you hear the audio, start taking notes. One major mistake students make in this phase is that they try to write entire sentences. Don’t do that.

Instead… use short forms, abbreviations or anything that will help you take as many notes as possible.

If you type faster than you write, then take notes on the response box. If not, then use the erasable board. Grab as much information as possible during this phase.

Organise your notes

The next phase is to organise your notes. This shouldn’t take long… because if you take your notes properly, you will have written them in the same order as the audio.

This means, in this phase, you need to identify the main idea in the audio and its supporting ideas. The main idea forms the crux of your summary.

Write your first draft

By the time you start writing your draft, you should have at least 7 minutes to do it.

Among those 7 minutes, use the next 4 minutes to write your draft. If you have identified the key idea and organised your notes, this should be easy.

 Here, what you’ll do is, you’ll follow the same order the speaker used in the audio. So, write the first idea first, then second and third and so on.

Double-check Your Answer

This is the most important phase. During this phase, you should have around 3-5 minutes left. So, make maximum use of time to brush up on your spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary.

And make sure your summary is 50-70 words long. This is where you polish your summary and make it the best you can. Use every single second you have in this section to write the best you can… then submit.

So, this is how you manage your time perfectly every time to ace your PTE Summarize Spoken Text. Good Luck for your exam. You can read more about other tips and strategies to become ready for your PTE test by visiting our PTE blog.

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