PTE Speaking & Writing: Academic Format

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 20 September 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



Are you wondering about different English proficiency tests and test patterns, particularly PTE?


Among several language proficiency tests, the PTE exam is one such test that measures your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills. International students coming from non-English-speaking countries must show their capabilities through PTE scores.


To score better, you must understand its different sections in detail. So, read this blog to learn more about PTE types and their Speaking & Writing sections.


Understanding PTE Test Academic

The PTE exam has two main types: PTE Academic, accepted for academic, work, and migration in English-speaking countries. Aside from this, the UK government conducts PTE Academic UKVI for work and study, PTE Home A1 for visas, PTE Home A2 for extensions, and PTE Home B1 for settlement.


PTE Academic UKVI is a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT). Therefore, these tests cater to various needs, from study to immigration.

General Idea of PTE Academic Test Pattern and Format



PTE Eligibility Criteria

You should be of an age at least 16 years

Testing availability

Throughout the year

Test duration

2 hours

Exam format

  • Speaking & Writing Skills (54–67 minutes)

  • Reading Skills (29–30 minutes) 

  • Listening Skills (30–43 minutes)

Registration formalities

PTE exam registrations can be done online via the official Pearson PTE Academic website

Test charges


Test Results & Score Scale

PTE results are available within 48 hours and are sent to candidates within 5 business days. The score ranges between 10-90

Therefore, these tests cater to various needs, from study to immigration.


PTE Academic Speaking and Writing Detailed Breakdown

Now that you get a brief overview of PTE Academic let’s start understanding the first part - the Speaking and Writing section- which is vital for scoring higher. The PTE Speaking and Writing exam lasts 54–67 minutes and consists of seven different question types for checking your speaking and writing abilities.


Moreover, the PTE Speaking and writing tasks include essay writing, reading aloud, re-telling lectures, summarising written text, sentence repetition, and answering short questions.


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Comprehending Each Question Type

Now that you have a basic idea about the question types look at the detailed breakdown of each type of question. Let’s start!


Personal Introduction

The Personal Introduction in the PTE Academic is designed to acquaint you with the exam technology and assist your readiness for speaking and listening tasks. It doesn't affect your score and is solely for practice. You'll receive 25 seconds to read and prepare, followed by 30 seconds to record your response, with only one chance to record.


Read Aloud

In the "Read Aloud" task, you are assessed on both your reading and speaking abilities. You will be given a text of up to 60 words to read aloud. After 30-40 seconds of preparation, a tone signals you to begin speaking. Speaking clearly, avoiding rushing, and finishing before the progress bar runs out is critical. Keep in mind that you only get one recording attempt. The scoring system takes into account pronunciation, fluency, and content delivery, with an emphasis on clear communication.


Repeat Sentence

In this task, you must listen to and repeat a sentence within 15 seconds as the prompt lasts 3-9 seconds. It evaluates your listening and speaking abilities. Hence, you must listen carefully, mimic the stress and intonation of the sentence, speak clearly, and finish before the progress bar runs out. However, You can't replay the audio if you only have one recording opportunity.


Describe Image

You must describe an image in 40 seconds for this task. A tone signals you to begin speaking after 25 seconds of preparation. Thus, you need to be concise and avoid being hasty. Moreover, ensure you finish your description before the progress bar runs out. You only have one recording opportunity. Scoring considers your ability to articulate the image's key details and the organisation of your description.


Re-tell Lecture

In this task, you'll retell a lecture you've listened to within 40 seconds. After a 10-second preparation, you must speak clearly, using notes if taken during the audio. You should finish speaking before the progress bar ends; you have only one recording chance. Scoring assesses your ability to summarise the lecture effectively, considering listening and speaking skills.


Answer Short Question

In this task, you must respond to a question in 10 seconds using only one or a few words. After the audio has finished, speak as soon as the microphone opens without waiting for a tone. Clarity is critical; you must complete your response before the progress bar runs out. Also, there is no way to replay the audio; you only have one recording attempt. Scoring considers your answer concise and accurate, with no long pauses. So, avoid giving lengthy answers.


Summarise Written Text

You have 10 minutes to write a one-sentence summary of a 300-word passage, ensuring that you capture the main points in a concise sentence of no more than 75 words. The word count tool keeps you on track, and you can cut, copy, and paste as needed. The accuracy and clarity of your summary, emphasising essential content in a single sentence, are factors in scoring. Hence, complex sentences and proper grammar are beneficial.



In this task, you are required to compose a 200 to 300-word argumentative essay based on a provided prompt within a 20-minute timeframe. The Word Count tool helps you track your word count, and you can use cut, copy, and paste options. Effective essay writing entails analysing the task and prompts thoroughly. Scoring evaluates the coherence of your essay, adherence to the prompt, and the quality of your argument and writing within the specified word range.



Q. What is the format for the PTE speaking module under PTE Academic?

A. PTE Speaking tasks include reading aloud, repeating sentences, describing images, re-telling lectures, and answering short questions. It evaluates speaking and listening skills using varied length and structure exercises.


Q. What is the 3-second rule in PTE?

A. The 3-second rule in PTE refers to the maximum duration to start speaking after the microphone opens in tasks like Repeat Sentence. Please begin within 3 seconds to ensure your response is recorded.


Q. How to score 70 in PTE speaking?

A. You must focus on clear pronunciation, fluency, and topic delivery to achieve a PTE Speaking score 70. In exercises such as Repeat Sentence and Answer Short Question, practise consistently, utilise good intonation, and strive for accurate repetition and concise responses. Improve your speaking rate and intelligibility in challenges like Read Aloud and Describe Image. 



In summary, PTE Speaking & Writing section, a pivotal component of  PTE Academic, demands diverse skills, including essay writing, concise summarisation and clarity in speaking. Therefore, understanding the nuances of each question type and practising effective communication within specified timeframes is essential for success in this examination.


Hope the blog elucidated crucial information about the PTE Speaking and Writing Academic Format. If you want proper guidance and more detailed information, contact our expert counsellors at any Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC) branch. You can also take free online counselling through our website. For more information or any queries, mail us at or call us at our toll-free no. 1800-1230-00011.

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