PTE Repeat Sentence overview

A summary of useful and effective practice tips
Speaking
Nov 28, 20207 min read

When some test takers come across Repeat Sentence tasks on their PTE test for the first time, they probably wonder “Seriously? Would there be any simpler question? I use English in everyday conversations with my friends. This is a piece of cake!” Test takers usually underestimate the importance of repeat sentence until they receive the score card and find out that they have performed poorly.

What’s important to understand is that this task is not just about pronunciation; it’s about memory as well. As a general rule, humans can only keep about seven small pieces of information in their short-term memory at one time, and the Repeat Sentence task generally contains 7-15 words.

What to expect

Among other skills, the PTE Speaking tasks assess your fluency and pronunciation, and these particular skills are especially important for the PTE ‘Repeat Sentence’ task.

We have to mention one common myth for fluency. Many of myPTE subscribers have a habit of blending words together because they think this demonstrates fluency in English. For example, they would say “The professor Smith Green’s lecturehasbeenchangedto ten thirty.” Unfortunately, cutting off all punctuation doesn’t necessarily give you high fluency mark but it will be detrimental to your pronunciation score. PTE evaluators are looking for good enunciation, and the “blending” trick doesn’t work too well for test-takers.

How you are scored

Content:
  • 3 - All words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 2 - At least 50% of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 1 - Less than 50% of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 0 - Almost nothing from the prompt in the response
Pronunciation:
  • 5 - Native-like
  • 4 - Advanced
  • 3 - Good
  • 2 - Intermediate
  • 1 - Intrusive
  • 0 - Non-English
Oral fluency:
  • 5 - Native-like
  • 4 - Advanced
  • 3 - Good
  • 2 - Intermediate
  • 1 - Limited
  • 0 - Disfluent

An important point to note regarding the scoring is that you get 2 out of 3 for content even if you speak more than 50% of the words from the recording. So if the recording is 10 words long and if you speak even 6 words correctly you still get 2 out of 3 for content.

The rest of the scoring is for pronunciation (5) and oral fluency (5). You will score better if you speak a sentence with 60% accuracy and you are fluent than if you speak with 100% accuracy and have breaks in between. The key message is not to worry too much if you miss out on a few words. Just speak what you have understood as fluently and confidently as you can without breaks and hesitations in speech.

In case you can’t recall all the parts of the sentence, repeat as many words accurately as you can. But under no circumstances should you leave the question unanswered. Repeating even a fraction of the sentence will fetch you some marks.

How to preapre PTE Repeat Sentence for high score?

Make the best use of the preparation time

You will be scored on the correct word sequences that you produce for this item type, so the more phrases you understand, the better your reproduction of the sentence will be. For example, there are three phrases in this sentence, separated by /, and each one carries a separate message that has its own meaning:

Next week’s tutorial / on Tuesday / has been cancelled.

If you listen for meaningful phrases in the sentence, you will have a better chance of repeating what you hear accurately.

Copy the stress and intonation patterns of the sentence you hear

Make a mental note of the way the speaker uses stress and intonation on the recording. These patterns help to convey the meaning. Speak calmly and clearly, copying this stress and intonation.

For example, if the speaker says a long ‘Librarrrrrrry’ then test takers are supposed to do the same. If the speaker stressed on ‘Top’, the test takers are also supposed to repeat. This is how scores from this task are put across for listening section too.

Focus on the meaning

If you understand the meaning you will be able to repeat the sentence much more accurately. Trying to remember each and every word on the other hand can become quite difficult.

Abbreviate the sentence

We don’t recommend this as the preferred method but for some test takers who find it difficult to understand or remember the sentence, this might be the only practical option. In this approach, you try to write down the first letter of each word or the first few letters of each words. When you speak you will look at this short form and use it to reproduce the complete sentence.

Sample Repeat Sentence

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 Repeat Sentence questions for you to practice, each question comes with sample audio answers in different accent for you to mimic from.

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