PTE Retell Lecture: Scoring and Tips

5 minute read
PTE Re-Tell Lecture
PTE Re-Tell Lecture

The retell lecture task comes under the speaking section of the PTE exam and is one of the trickiest tasks in the speaking section of the PTE academic exam.  In this article, the candidates who are applying for the PTE exam will get to know 7 tips to improve their speaking performance in the PTE retell lecture along with scoring parameters for this section.


During this section, the candidate will have to listen to/watch a video of 90 seconds after which the candidate will get a 10-second break for preparation. Subsequently, the candidate will need to retell the lecture in his/her own words once the microphone is live. During this time, the candidate must speak for at least 38 seconds. 


Exam NamePearson Test of English Academic 
Conducting BodyPearson PLC Group
Language English
Exam Duration2 hours
Exam ModeOnline
Mode of ApplicationOnline

Scoring Parameters for the PTE Retell Lecture

The candidates preparing for the PTE retell lecture have to keep certain scoring parameters in mind as candidates will be evaluated based on this section. The scoring parameters are as follows:

  1. Pronunciation 

Pronunciation means the production of speech sounds in a way that regular speakers of the language can easily understand. In this exam, the candidates can get 5 points if they pronounce like a native. However, if the candidates produce non-English pronunciation as per the software, there is a chance of obtaining zero points as well. 

Also Read: PTE Preparation at Home

  1. Oral Fluency

According to Pearson, oral fluency is the smooth, seemingly effortless and native-like delivery of speech. During the retelling, if the candidate sounds like a native speaker, the chances of scoring a 5 on 5 are high. However, a lack of fluency may lead to a score of zero. It is important to note that speaking like a native does not mean that one speaks too fast. Instead, the speed has to be natural.

  1. Content

Pearson evaluates a candidate from his/her retelling of all aspects of the presentation or the lecture. The candidate should be able to describe all things referred to in the audio, their actions, relationships, and the underlying implications, and then end with a satisfactory conclusion.

PTE Retell Lecture: 7 Tips to Improve Your Speaking Performance 

Given that the retell lecture section is one of the trickiest sections to navigate, it is important to prepare well and strategise before taking this section. In light of there, here are some of our tips to improve performance in this section:

  1. Take proper notes

The preparation of retell lectures starts with listening and note-taking sessions. Candidates sometimes get a bit over-confident about their English abilities and believe that they do not need to prepare for this section. This can cause a drop in scores. The trick to ace this test is by taking notes and writing the main key points and phrases which are important for your topic.

  1. Pay attention to your pronunciation

The candidates who are appearing for PTE retell lectures they should make sure to pay attention to their pronunciation and ensure that the sound of their vowels and consonants is clear.

  1. Don’t hesitate while speaking

Test-takers often get confused and end up using words like “Ummm” and  “uh” in their speech. This usually happens due to either hesitation or lack of preparation. However, candidates should try and keep their reservations aside and speak confidently.

  1. Avoid grammatical mistakes

To improve their speaking performance in this section, candidates should make sure to use the correct grammar. The candidates should keep in mind that there should not be any grammatical mistakes to avoid the deduction of marks or points.

  1. Skip the pauses

It is a common human tendency to pause while speaking when the person does not know what to say. However, as per the rules, during the retelling section, if the candidate pauses longer than 3 seconds, the mic will stop recording. Accordingly, candidates should be careful of pauses.

  1. Prepare yourself during the break

During the 10-second break, candidates should take a deep breath and try reviewing their notes before they commence speaking.

  1. Start with a template

The candidates can write up a template before the lecture begins to help them get all of the information that they need to prepare. The template should mention the overall topic of the article as well as at least three points that were mentioned and the conclusion. Having a pre-decided template translates to fewer chances of hesitating while speaking.

Here are some specific pointers that the candidates can use for this section:

For PTE Retell Lectures

  • “The speaker was discussing”
  • “He/She talked about”
  • “He/ She mentioned that’
  • “He/She suggested that”
  • “He/She highlighted the”

For PTE Retell Interviews 

  • “He/She talked about”
  • “He/She described”
  • “mentioned that”
  • “He/She described”
  • “suggested that”
  • “The first speaker was discussing”


How can someone improve their performance in retell lecture in PTE?

Students who are preparing for the PTE exam can improve their retell lectures by taking a little time to practice listening to lectures and summarizing them. The candidates should always remember that they will only get to hear the lecture one time when they are in the exam. 

Does content matter in PTE Speaking?

The speaking section in the PTE test is evaluated based on pronunciation, fluency and content. Accordingly, candidates should focus on all three aspects.

Is the section on the retelling of lectures important?

Yes, the retell lecture is one of the most important and high-weightage tasks of the speaking module. Accordingly, candidates should focus properly on this section. 

The above article has covered the details of the retell section and the tips to improve performance in this section. Following these tips will prove to be instrumental in improving your performance in the examination.

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