PTE Repeat Sentence Tips And How To Answer Short Question


Today’s blog article is about PTE repeat sentence tips and How to answer short question within the PTE Speaking section. We will look at a basic overview for each task and take you through the best method and strategies to use in approach to these tasks. We will then apply these tips to a PTE mock prompt and look at some main takeaways and ways to improve.

PTE Speaking Guide:

Repeat Sentence

In the PTE Speaking section of the Exam, the task Repeat Sentence calls upon your ability to listen to a sentence and repeat it back exactly as it was said. Therefore, not only does this task test your listening and speaking skills, but also your working memory. Your working memory is that short term memory which allows you to complete a task. It is said that most people can accurately hold about 7 numbers in working memory at any given time. So how many words can you remember?

Let’s get ready for PTE Success!

What is the task?

•Speaking: Repeat Sentence
•You will have to listen, understand, recall and reproduce a short sentence.

How long do you have to complete each item in this speaking task?

•3 seconds to prepare.
•Prompt length of 3 – 9 seconds.
•15 seconds to answer.

How many of these prompts will I have to complete?

•10 – 12 (this varies)

How do they score you?

This task assesses your listening and speaking and is graded according to three main areas:

•Content – your ability to repeat back the sentence exactly as it was said.

•Pronunciation – your ability to pronounce every sound correctly and be clearly understood by native speakers.

•Oral Fluency – your ability to speak fluently, with good intonation, rhythm and speed.

*Have a look at our YouTube Video on the Repeat Sentence Task where we go into more detail on why you lose marks in each of these sections.

Let’s take a look now at some strategies we can apply to PTE Speaking: Repeat Sentence in order to achieve PTE success.

•Listen very carefully and try to understand the words.

•It can help to split the sentence into parts or phrases to remember.

– I am going/ to the cinema/ next week.

•Pay attention to the sentence structure when listening.

•Listen to the rhythm and intonation of the speaker’s voice.

•Speak with meaning as though you are passing the information to someone else.

Let’s work through these strategies in a mock prompt.

PTE Mock Exam: Prompt 1

Pro-organic campaigners argue / that there are nutritional differences /
between organic and conventional crops.

Bold – Shows the word stress and the stressed syllables within each word. Word stress remains constant and is usually the same no matter the speaker or the emotion they are trying to convey.

UNDERLINE – Shows the sentence stress and the words that are highlighted within the sentence. These stressed words can change depending on the emotions or the meaning the speaker is trying to convey.

FORWARD SLASH – Shows where the sentence is broken up into thought groups. Breaking the sentence into phrases will help you to process it and remember groups of words together. You can also take a very short pause here. Pausing and thought groups vary from speaker to speaker but there are some guidelines we can follow.

*Have a look at our YouTube video on the Read Aloud PTE task for a more in-depth lesson on phrasing and thought groups.

Tips for the task Repeat Sentence in PTE Speaking

•Don’t write down the sentence, you don’t have enough time.

•Don’t stop speaking as the microphone will close after 3 seconds of silence.

•There is no time to think or remember. Just give it your best shot and try not to hesitate too much.

•Continue to work on your grammar and build up your bank of vocabulary.

•Practice listening to sentences and trying to repeat them back to improve your working memory.

•Figure out which sounds you have difficulty with and get practicing.

•Watch YouTube videos and Ted Talks copying the intonation, stress and pronunciation of the native speaker to improve your overall fluency.

Answer Short Question

How is your general knowledge? Can you activate your knowledge, remain calm and avoid panicking?

This task doesn’t require you to have any specialist knowledge and rather the question covers a wide range of general knowledge topics. The key is not to panic, you either know the answer or you don’t.

Let’s prepare for PTE success!

What is the task?

•Speaking: Answer Short Question.
•You have to listen to a short general knowledge question and provide a short answer (1 word or a short phrase). You don’t need to give full sentence answers.

How long do you have to complete each item in this speaking task?

•You will hear the question.
•You have 10 seconds to record your answer.

How many of these prompts will I have to complete?

•10 – 12 (this varies)

How do they score you?

It contributes to both your speaking and listening scores.


•Listen carefully! What is the question asking you?

•Activate your background knowledge. What do you know about this topic?

•Try to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context.

•Identify the most important words, those which are usually stressed, to help you
answer the question.

PTE Mock Questions and Answers

Question: Which language is most commonly spoken in Brazil?
Answer: Portuguese

Question: What is the name of a public sale in which goods are sold to the highest bidder?
Answer: auction

Tips for the task Answer Short Question in PTE Speaking

•Try not to panic. It won’t be a complicated question and there is most likely a simple answer.

•Try not to overthink. If you think the answer is too easy, then you most likely just know the correct answer.

•Trust the first answer you come up with.

•Focus carefully on each and every question.

•Continue to build up your bank of vocabulary.

Wrapping Up our PTE Exam Preparation for Today

Did these strategies help you during your PTE practice? Which strategy was the most difficult to apply? Which strategy do you think was the most useful?

Please let us know with your comments and suggestions. Don’t forget practice makes perfect. Take every opportunity to apply these strategies to these tasks in PTE practice tests and sample questions.

Good luck with your PTE Speaking: Repeat Sentence and Answer Short Question task practice!

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