PTE read aloud overview

A summary of useful and effective practice tips
Sep 11, 202010 min read

Read aloud question is the first of five questions in the PTE speaking secion and it is also the very first question to be appeared in the PTE examination. If you manage a great start in this section, it definitely helps you to build momentum to continue with the rest of the exam.

What to expect

You will see a paragraph of text on the screen and have 40 seconds to prepare yourself. Then the microphone begins to record your response for up to 40 seconds. If you have completed the task early, there is a button to click to end the recording.

In addition to speaking score contribution, read aloud also proivdes reading score. You are accessed on how natural and comfortable your speaking response is. For example, reading the text with correct pronounciation and sound fluency without stuttering, appropriate empahsis certain words and maintain the flow of speech will net you a high score.

How you are scored

Number of questions:
6 to 7
Contribute score to both speaking and reading
Negative marking:
Preparation duration:
Up to 40 seconds
Answer duration:
Up to 40 seconds

Please note that read aloud is very different from regular reading of text! When you're reading aloud the text, your focus is on how to get your message across and make the listeners understand the information.

How to preapre PTE read aloud for high score?

Make the best use of the preparation time

You will be allotted up to 40 seconds to read the text on the screen and compose your response, before the microphone starts recording.

We have curated, analyzed and tested on hundreds of real exam PTE Read Aloud questions , and so far the longest text we have come across in the PTE exam will take between 30 and 35 seconds to read depending on lexical complexity. Generally speaking, most questions will take no longer than 25 seconds. As a matter of fact, 30 to 40 seconds preparation time is more than sufficient. You should be able to quietly read even the longest and most complex academic text at least once, or even twice if you are fast enough within the preparation period.

Speak with a purpose

Speaking with a purpose is not difficult. It is a task you do regularly when you have conversation with others and you certainly are speaking with a purpose when you vocalize your idea and you probably are doing it unconsciously no matter what language you use. When you speak with a purpose, you subconsciously make appropriate pauses, use correct intonation and put stress on words. You display these skills to assit the listener to comprehend the meanning behinds these words and the point you are trying to make along with inherent emotion.

Pace and intonation

Read at a moderate pace. Avoid speaking too fast or too slow, and don’t skip words. Enunciate your words and speak clearly, without rushing the process.

The perception of ‘natural rate of speech’ varies for every individual. For example, one of our subscribers who used to struggle with the speaking module reached out to us for help. We analyzed his Read Aloud responses, what we have identified was surprisingly not his lack of overall English but he extremely fast paced speaking habit - think of somebody who speaks quicker even than an auctioneer! Although it took him quite a bit of practice re-adjust, it made a huge difference when he slows down his speaking pace and he was finally able to achieve the PTE speaking score he needed.

As mentioned earlier, 40 seconds is more than enough time to read the entire text. It's absolutely unnecessary to rush. Just speak at a volume and rate of speech that comes naturally to you as an individual such as speaking to others. Moreover, don’t forget to use rising intonation at the beginning of sentences and falling intonation to indicate the end of a sentence. Do this and you will sound pleasant and be speaking at a natural rate with a purpose.

Finally, you are expected to make stops and pauses. This is because pauses carry great power and enable you to speak with a purpose, listening to a speech without any pause is like reading a paragraph without any punctuation, which is likely to cause poor pronunciation score. So you need to make tiny pauses when you encounter punctuation marks like comma and full stop. The pause for a full stop should be slightly longer than that for a comma.

Read it as what it is

  • Contractions should be read exactly as they are. “Don’t” should not be read as “do not” and “I’m” should not be read as “I am”.
  • Replacing a word by another, inserting new words or omitting existing words count as errors.
  • Do not mix singular and plural nouns. Pronouncing “boy” as “boys” or “houses” as “house” counts as an error.
  • Make sure that you pronounce numerical values correctly. Don’t skip the “th” in “25th”. Read “the 1850s” as “the eighteen fifties.”

Sample Read Aloud

Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. This trend began in the middle of the 20th century and is one of the major environmental concerns of scientists and governmental officials worldwide. The changes in temperature result mostly from the effect of increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

With sufficient amount of practice, you will likely to improve in pronounciation, intonation and fluency, which are crucial for better speaking score. MYPTE has a huge a collection of PTE Read Aloud questions for you to practice, each question comes with sample audio answers in different accent for you to mimic from.

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