Strict health protocols have been put in place at PTE Test Centers all over the world. These may have to stay in place for a long time. That’s well and good– except for the face mask. You can’t remove the face mask up until the end of the test. Just how much this is going to impact your speaking test is plain to see. You need to double the effort at speaking and enunciating words clearly.
But what it was like in pre-pandemic times? Chances are you have taken a number of online mock tests before you turn up at the PTE Test Center. And weeks before that, you have had at least 15 days of review. And if English is not your first language, you have had issues with intonation, delivery, grammar and vocabulary in speaking.
In writing, you faced difficulty with complex sentences and verb tenses as well as meeting the word requirement in the essay and summarizing test sections. In reading you plodded through paraphrasing and getting context clues; while in summarizing spoken text you had a hard time using complex sentences and the correct punctuation marks.
Many test takers find repeat sentence a challenge while some say words that aren’t in the voice prompt. They say they are caught unprepared for the transition between the test items between Retell Lecture and Repeat Sentence. In listening many are left trailing after the voice prompt in highlighting the wrong words. Some say they have to literally put dots on the computer screen to mark the words.
How many times does one go over the word limit for Summarizing Spoken Text? If you go ahead while taking notes you will compromise your spelling and sentence construction. So don’t get the words verbatim—home in on the key words instead. Write your summary in a clear, error-free way.
Compress the summary into three sentences. Avoid being wordy. Keep an eye on your spelling, verb tense, and sentence structure.
On hindsight, a mock score of 10 in a mock test means you barely spoke at all. Or that the microphone was defective. Check your voice—its volume, register, and tone. Check the microphone as well. What the computer recorded were probably your incomplete syllables and garbled words. Keep this in mind on test day: Speak clearly with emphasis.
You have 20 minutes for the essay. Most times an essay prompt asks for an argument. Take a close look at your reasoning. This may be trivial, but we have heard of test takers completing a well written essay that does not deal with the question at hand. This hurts your score in content.
Finally, if you have to take a PTE mock test, take it at a secure and well- connected place. Check your PC, and make sure to stay away from distractions. Communication skills are integrated in the PTE, so coming up short on one impacts the rest. In preparing for the PTE a sound strategy other than test taking skills should be on ready. Take as many mock tests as you can so you can keep track of your progress, or lack thereof.
Good luck on test day!