For this item type you need to read a written text aloud.

The recording status box displays a countdown until the microphone opens. You have 30-40 seconds to prepare, depending on the length of the passage. You hear a short tone. After the tone, start speaking immediately. Do not start speaking before the microphone opens because your voice will not be recorded.

You should speak clearly. There is no need to rush.

Finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end. The word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.

You are only able to record your response once.

TIP: If you remain silent for longer than 3 seconds, the recording will stop.

Test tips

Use punctuation to help you decide where to pause when you read

You have 30-40 seconds to look at the text before the microphone opens, so use this time to break the text up into meaningful chunks, using the punctuation as a guide. This will show you the places where you can make a tiny pause and alter your intonation – going up when you begin reading a chunk and falling a little when you end a chunk.

Using appropriate pausing helps you to read more fluently and give the full meaning of the text. This will improve your score. Look at where the pauses / are indicated in the example:

Photography’s gaze widened during the early years of the twentieth century / and, / as the snapshot camera became increasingly popular, / the making of photographs became increasingly available / to a wide cross-section of the public. / The British people grew accustomed to, / and were hungry for, / the photographic image.
Stress the words that carry important information

When you read the text, stress the words that help to convey meaning, by reading them in a slightly louder voice and adding emphasis to key syllables, e.g., development. Also use rising and falling intonation patterns to show how the ideas are linked or are coming to an end. Look at the patterns in this text; the stressed words are underlined, and the rising and falling intonation is marked by up and down arrows:

The development of easy-to-use statistical software has changed the way statistics is being taught and learned . Students can make transformations of variables , create graphs of distributions of variables , and select among statistical analyses all at the click of a button . However , even with these advancements , students sometimes find statistics to be an arduous task .
How this question is scored

Your score on Read Aloud is based on three factors:

Content: Does your response include all the words in the reading text and only these words?

Content is scored by counting the number of correct words in your response. Replacements insertions and omissions of words will negatively affect your score.

Oral fluency: Does your response demonstrate a smooth, effortless and natural rate of speech?

Oral fluency is scored by determining if your rhythm, phrasing and stress are smooth. The best responses are spoken at a constant and natural rate of speech with appropriate phrasing. Hesitations, repetitions and false starts will negatively affect your score.

Pronunciation: Does your response demonstrate your ability to produce speech sounds in a similar way to most regular speakers of the language?

Pronunciation is scored by determining if your speech is easily understandable to most regular speakers of the language. The best responses contain vowels and consonants pronounced in a native-like way, and stress words and phrases correctly. Responses should also be immediately understandable to a regular speaker of the language.

PTE Academic recognizes regional and national varieties of English pronunciation to the degree that they are understandable to most regular speakers of the language.

Note

  • This item type affects the scoring of the following: reading, speaking, oral fluency and pronunciation.
  • Your listening and writing skills are not tested by this item type.
  • For more information download the Score Guide.

Preparation Path

Learn about part one of the test.

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Learn about part two of the test.

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Learn about part three of the test.

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Learn how to approach the test.

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Are you ready for the test?

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Get organized for test day.

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For the ultimate preparation!