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PTE Listening: Summarise spoken text

Summarise Spoken Text is the first section under the Listening section. The purpose of this section is to test whether you clearly understand the voice recording. Your ability to understand the information presented and identify key points is important and highly essential to the success of a student.

Interested in coaching and assistance with your preparation for the PTE?  Give us a call on 02 8628 7293, fill out our contact form or come into one of our offices!

Here are the instructions:

  • The PTE Academic exam taker is expected to write a summary of a voice recording which is around 60 to 90 seconds.
  • The summary must be around 50 to 70 words.
  • You will be given 10 minutes time to write down a summary of the spoken text.

Some expert tips to crack this section in one go:

  1. Use only a single full stop at the end of the summarising sentence.
  2. Do capitalize the first word’s alphabet of each new sentence and also the nouns.
  3. In no case use more than 70 words for your answer.
  4. Make sure your spelling and grammar are as accurate as possible.  
  5. Try to summarise the entire audio clip without leaving the main idea out.
  6. Use “Copy” and “Paste” commands to save time while picking up sentences from the text.

Tips on how to excel in the PTE Listening: Summarise Spoken Text section

Manage your time extremely well and the last 2 minutes must strictly be kept for proofreading your answers for common mistakes such as spelling, grammar, or even your typing. Punctuation is something where a lot of PTE exam takers lose marks in this section. Be very careful of your commas, full stops and capitalisation.

Re-read your response aloud once you are done writing and you will notice if it doesn’t sound right to you if it has an error in spelling, grammar or punctuation. Sometimes listening to something makes it easier to understand and also becomes a better method for checking and editing than simply writing it down.

For example, “I went to concert I lost my purse.”
What do you notice is wrong with this sentence?

Now, this is wrong in a lot of ways.

  1. The article ‘a’ (before the concert) is missing.
  2. The comma (after the concert) is missing.
  3. The second half of the sentence does not go flow well when read out loud in one go.
    Either break it into two sentences using a full stop in between or a semicolon, or you may just use a connecting word and contextualise it.

Some of the correct ways to write this sentence are:  
“I went to a concert, and I lost my purse.”
“I went to a concert; I lost my purse.”

Even now the first one sounds better and more appealing as a listener. The first one should be your choice even if both are correct. This will build up your confidence in regular spoken English as well.

Main Components for a Perfect Answer

  1. Choice of words

Ideas matter a lot in your answer. Be very sure that you are picking up the right topic from the passage as your marks are based on this.

It is very important to cover the main idea of the spoken text in your summary otherwise you will be marked zero. Wrong or incorrect responses earns you no credit.

  1. Format

Format equally matters. Capitalise the first letter of the sentence and end it with a full stop. It must be strictly within 70 words. These pointers matter if you want a perfect score.

  1. To the point

To the point vocabulary, is a must. Be as specific and accurate with your summary as possible. Learn and practise saying more in fewer words. This will earn you a much better score.

Do not stretch the summarising sentence.  As its name suggests, it is supposed to be shorter, not longer.

  1. Grammatical accuracy

Be very particular about your grammar.

English literacy can never be judged without your knowledge of grammar. Consider it as an obvious requirement of your PTE exam score.

Make sure you get the basic structure of the sentence right, focusing on the correct subject or object.  

The above is a combination of some of the important tips to crack the Summarise Written Text sub-section of the PTE Listening section. Follow these and you are good to go and claim your PTE score!

Let us help you with the Summarise Spoken Text section of the PTE Listening exam!  Give us a call on 02 8628 7293, fill out our contact form or come into one of our offices to find out more about our classes and exam preparation programs!

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