PTE Tips

Best Tips to Score High in Re-tell Lecture & Summarize Spoken Text

December 18,2018

Re-tell Lecture & Summarize Spoken Text are both crucial PTE Academic tasks. Both tasks involve an audio recording. Both are high-scoring and high weightage tasks.

But, many aspirants find the tasks unnerving.

Recently, we ran a poll on our Facebook page, asking test-takers to choose between a LIVE session on:

  1. Retell Lecture & Summarize Spoken Text
  2. Read Aloud and Write From Dictation

66% aspirants went for option A, and the test-takers' choice was clear.

Through this blog post, we share essential tips and strategies from the LIVE session.

Re-tell Lecture

An integrated Speaking Module task, Re-tell Lecture contributes scoring towards Listening and Speaking. You have to re-tell the audio you hear in your own words.

After the audio plays, you have only 10 seconds to prepare for the re-telling!

Must-follow tips for Retell Lecture:

The margin for error is very less. If you're not alert and prepared, there are high chances that you will commit mistakes.

1. Take quality, legible notes:

Take notes using the erasable notepads. Some test-takers take notes hurriedly and their handwriting suffers. When it's time to re-tell, they struggle to understand their handwriting!

So, take clear notes in legible handwriting. To improve note-taking speed, you may use flowcharts, abbreviations, or shortcut methods.

Note down essential keywords from the lecture. Keywords can be Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, Proper Nouns and other contextual details.

Avoid one-word notes. Instead, note down chunks of words, which you can use to construct complete sentences.

2. Avoid unnecessary pauses:

If you are quiet for more than 3 seconds, the mic will stop automatically. Anything you say after that won't be recorded.

Avoid 'uhm' and 'aah' sounds.

3. Use connectors:

Use connectors like 'furthermore', 'moreover', 'firstly', 'in addition' etc. as fillers.

4. Use quality templates:

Templates gives you the basic structure of re-telling the lecture. They're crucial, and for the templates to be effective, you should practice with them.

Example of a template:


Just fill in the chunks of keywords, and speak for a good 40 seconds with ease!

Summarize Spoken Text

This is an integrated task, which contributes scoring towards Listening and Writing. You will hear an audio of 60-90 seconds. And, you have to write a summary of 50-70 words in 10 minutes.

Must-follow tips for Summarize Spoken Text:

1. Keep an eye on the timer:

While you are writing, keep track of the timer, so that you know you're on track.

2. Take quality, legible notes:

Include the keywords from the audio in your notes. Take notes in chunks, and avoid one-word notes.

3. Pay attention to your Grammar:

Tenses, punctuation, spellings are key. No errors are permissible. You'll lose marks with every mistake.

4. Use quality templates:

You could also create templates, and practice with them. Many students find it difficult to write quality stuff on the spot.

The template has to allow for three distinct parts of the summary: Introduction, Body & Conclusion.

Here is an example:


5. Proof-read:

Allot one minute from the 10-minute time for proofreading. This is crucial to check your summary for mistakes.

Follow these tips, and with enough practice, you'd be able to face these two tasks confidently.

Need quality practice for Retell Lecture and Summarize Spoken Text?

Get the PTE Tutorials Mobile App on your Android/iOS phone & enjoy free practice with answers.

For Re-tell Lecture, you can also get the Ultimate Guide to Score High in Re-tell Lecture.

If you need more personalized help from experts, you may enroll for PTE Online Coaching by experts.

Best of luck!