Improve Oral Fluency and Pronunciation Score in PTE-A Test with these Tips!
Have you noticed that in our daily lives, we are not such good speakers? How can we claim that? Well, a single region of a state has different accents and styles of speaking. And because of a lot of migration activities, our speaking accents are continuously influenced and hence, has lot of variations can be observed in the accent too. On top of it, our social life involves use of slang language. The workplace languages, too, are nowadays a bit lax as far as the formal tone is concerned. As a result, even a native English speaker might score low in the PTE Speaking task.
This indirectly also affects the manner in which we speak that is too fast paced or too low pitched. Additionally, the pronunciation might also get affected. PTE assess your response on three key skills that is Content, Oral Fluency and Pronunciation. You get maximum of 15 points for each question i.e 5 for each of the three skills. Oral Fluency and Pronunciation, thus, significantly impacts your score. You can lift your score a few levels up with improvement in these skills.
Oral Fluency is nothing but the flow, speed and correct use of grammar in your response. Pronunciation is the clarity and natural articulation of every word that you speak (the sound made by combination of words). Most of the test takers are able to form the content but struggle with these two skills. So, what are those common or rather unconscious mistakes that you might be doing that are negatively affecting your overall score. And most importantly what is the solution. Let us look in depth few recommendations that you must keep in mind; those that will help you better your score by improving your oral fluency and pronunciation.
PTE-A is a formal test and hence you can break up with your casual language till the time you practice and appear for the test.
You read that right! Please go back and note that you are appearing for PTE Academic Test. You must use academic language which means a more formal form of the language. You might want to leave the "wanna", "lemme", "gonna" language back at home before coming to the PTE Test centre or better before even starting to practice. It is not native at all!
Of course, you might argue that you picked up certain accent from the movies that you were advised to watch. The reason you are recommended to watch movies is that it is the quickest way to catch up a language. It is an audio-visual format which is friendlier than a monotonous method of speaking. Thus, you can watch TED Talks and English News Channels, and listen to audio books. The more formal language you listen to, the more formal you will speak.
Just speak in a normal, audible, and natural tone and pace.
It may be natural for you to speak fast but it is not actually natural. Why do you lose marks if you speak too fast? Because your words become incomprehensible! The words that come out of your mouth hold no meaning. The implication can be seen on your content also. Despite knowing perfect grammar or being lexically versatile, PTE will score you poor.
Now, this might also just be a reflex when you are nervous. However, you need to break this costly habit!
This can be developed by preparing well with practice tests of different levels of difficulties. The more confident you become, the more naturally you will speak.
Your pauses, stresses, intonation matters.
Any information has some important words that make it more meaningful and complete. Those are the words that you stress on. The pauses make the speech comprehensible and more emotional. Image talking in a robotic tone to a child. Even the thought of it sounds weird. We humans are gifted with an intelligence system and are the species that can show emotions very well. During communication, your pauses, stresses and tone will determine the message you are trying to convey. One sentence can be said in varied tones.
For Example, "Are you going to that party?" Try to speak this sentence by stressing on different words and changing your tones. Try to record it and listen to it. You will understand exactly how the meaning changes each time.
The best part about a language is that, once you start talking a little thoughtfully and understand it a bit, the intonation comes along with it. However, regular practise of speaking and becoming familiar with the question types of PTE-A Test is important.
Fillers are not your friends. Avoid them!
We do this a lot of time. You know the reason for such a speech? We have continuous and overlapping thoughts. Before our brain processes some information, a new idea, rather important one pops up in our head. And we are so used to not organising our ideas or being irresponsible with what we speak in daily life, we tend to use more amount of fillers than is normal. The difference is in real life it will go unnoticed but the PTE assessment system will not overlook it.
You are being examined for your ability to accurately present the concepts with agility. What you can do is while practising record each answer multiple times. Check the number of times you use fillers or stumble. The next time you practise you can consciously avoid fillers. Be becoming alert to your responses, you will definitely improve.
Do not rush to give the answer. First understand the question, organise your ideas and then speak.
As mentioned in the one of the above points, we are not used to organise the random thoughts and ideas. Thus, we feel the urge to speak before we forget those ideas. We tend to start without completing or paying attention to how we completed our previous sentence. This is where practise comes into play. You need to present ideas in complete sentences and link those ideas.
Here, too, practice will help you sail through. You are at a benefit because the PTE-A Exam has a set format. Knowing the pattern of the exam, the types of questions asked, practising to answer them will strengthen your speaking. What happens when you rush to answer certain question is you get more close to the possibility of committing a mistake. Therefore, pause, read the instruction and question carefully, then proceed to answer. Staying calm throughout the exam will work wonders for you.
Overall practise using a better resource is what you should look forward to.
Now, there are plenty of online resources to help you practice and improve these two skills. You must always record your responses while practising online, listen to them recordings, and review them to know the common mistakes you might be committing. PTE Tutorials is exactly developed to provide quality PTE Practice Tests and also different materials that focus on the most common areas that test takers find difficult, like Essay Essentials, Describe Image Guide and more.
Some Quick Tips:
- Try to put stress on words that you think are keywords.
- Raise your pitch while speaking words that are contrasting or complementary.
- Lower your pitch while completing a sentence with a little slowed pace.
- Do not stop even if you feel you made a mistake or mispronounced any word.
- Keep a control on your pace and show modulations.
- Tongue twisters act like a googly in PTE. Practise and be alert for them.
- In repeat sentence, if you omit, replace or add a word, it is counted as a mistake and your marks are hence deducted.
Most importantly do not get disheartened if you are unable to get results in just few practice attempts. Some things take time as you may be habituated to speaking in a certain manner. Remember, nothing is impossible and with continuous practise everything can be learnt. Oral Fluency and Pronunciation are not skills that you will develop overnight. So, prepare well with useful materials and if required seek professional assistance.