Speaking & Writing

Speaking & Writing

PTE Academic tests both the writing and speaking abilities of candidates. Candidates are asked to repeat sentences, answer questions and summarize paragraphs. The speaking section 1 contains a personal introduction part where the candidates have to introduce themselves within 30 seconds. On the computer screen the candidates can see a recording box and after a beep or tone they are asked to speak immediately. Similarly, there are many other items such as repeating a sentence or describing an image seen on the screen.

 PTE Exam pattern



Skills assessed

Prompt length

Time to answer

Read aloud


A text appears on screen. Read the text aloud.

reading and speaking

text up to 60 words

varies by item, depending on the length of text

Repeat sentence


After listening to a recording of a sentence, repeat the sentence

listening and speaking

3-9 seconds

15 seconds


Describe image


An image appears on screen. Describe the image in detail.



40 seconds


Re-tell lecture


After listening to or watching a lecture, re-tell the lecture in your own words.

listening and speaking

up to 90 seconds

40 seconds


Answer short question

After listening to a question, answer with a single word or a few words.

listening and speaking

3-9 seconds

10 seconds

Summarize written text

After reading a text, write a one-sentence summary of the passage.

reading and writing

text up to 300 words

10 minutes

Write essay

Write a 200–300 word essay on a given topic.


2-3 sentences

20 minutes

Apart from the listening and speaking parts, there is also the summary section where candidates are allotted 10 minutes, in which they have to read paragraph and answer the questions. Students have to type the answers, though there are options to cut, copy or paste, in case they think it is necessary to do so. Candidates also have to write an essay in this section.