PTE Speaking & Writing

The PTE speaking and writing tests are one of the more important and complex exams that test your skills. Uniquely, these two tests are coupled together, the only ones of the PTE assessments that are.

The exams will be in the order of the speaking module, then followed by the writing exam. They are used together to test your greater comprehension, summary, and communication skills. As a result, the PTE speaking and writing guides can be the more stressful out of all of the PTE exams that you will face.

This guide is designed to help you understand and introduce you to the methodology and the complexity of both the PTE speaking and writing tests. It is hoped that, after reading through this guide, you will not be just better informed, but in a better position to prepare for the exams themselves.

We will also be providing you with some examples of what to expect during the exams, as well as a few nuances of the tests that will help you to not be surprised when you do face the tests.

We will be discussing both the PTE writing and speaking tests as, apart from just being part of the same module, they are also intrinsically linked to one another. Being prepared for both will allow you to tackle the assessments with greater confidence in what to expect and how to complete them to the best of your ability.

What is PTE speaking and writing tests in more detail?

Both the PTE speaking and writing tests are purely styled to focus on your comprehension and summarization skills. On top of that, the greater assessment is on your communication skills and will look at examining your grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and the structure of your sentences.

This will be done by getting you to speak and write about a range of topics, given pre-set examples based on the greater PTE module. These subjects, similarly to other PTE tests, range from socio-economic topics to political discussion, and even culturally sensitive topics that are in common debate in this day and age.

As a result, and given that the test focuses both on your speaking and writing, the topics will be numerous and various and will include considerably more complex subjects than other PTE tests.

PTE speaking examples

Below are some examples that you can expect from the PTE speaking module. In these tests, you will be expected to read from a set topic, repeat a sentence played to you, describe an image as comprehensively as you can, listen to a more complex speech and summarise it, and answer a question as accurately and as simply as possible.

Some examples of what will make up the tests involved in this module may be:

Read a sentence: The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has tabled a bill in the House of Representatives earlier this afternoon. The debate was gagged prior to the bill being voted for. It passed, and will now go to the Senate later this evening for formal reading.

Repeat a sentence: Australia’s economy grew by 0.4% in the last financial quarter, despite the tax cut stimulus that was implemented earlier in the year. This was well below the forecasted growth rate of 1.3% that was laid out prior to the 2019 Federal Election.

Describe an image: The images that will be shown to you will vary, but you can expect them to be very busy visually, and depicting complex actions.

Recall a lecture: The lecture that will be played will involve complex topics regarding politics, social, economic, and cultural issues. You can expect them to be widely topical, and also heavily detailed

Answer a question: The question that you will be asked will most likely also be related to the above issues, but will require you to answer in a factual manner, rather than in an opinionated manner

PTE writing examples

The PTE writing test will involve you to complete a 250 – 300-words essay based on a singular question.

You will have to write to the question answered, such as agree or disagree, alternatives, positive or negative, true or false.

For more information, you can read more on our detailed essay writing guide.

Preparing for the PTE speaking exam

Like all of the PTE tests, the speaking exam is a complex and difficult assessment and one that can be stressful as you go through the test of your comprehension and oral skills.

Preparing for the PTE speaking test, fortunately, can be easier to do than for the other four PTE exams. To begin with, reading up on current affairs, both social and political, can help you train your mind into discussing the eventuality of the subject matter in the PTE exams.

By being familiar with topics such as these, you will be able to pick up on the nuances and specific key phrases and words behind the subjects themselves. This will help you tremendously during the exam as, especially during the recall of a lecture module, you will be tested on your quick thinking relating to the subject.