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PTE Re-tell Lecture: Follow These 7 Tips to Become a Master “Re-teller”


The Speaking & Writing module of PTE Academic consists of a number of question-based on the Re-tell Lecture format. In the Re-tell Lecture task, one of the trickiest questions on the PTE test, a recorded lecture or an interview is plays. The test taker has to reproduce the content as accurately as possible.

Your performance will be scored on 3 criteria- Content, Pronunciation and Oral fluency.  Each skill has a maximum of 5 points.

Task Sequence

The on-screen audio player plays excerpts (of length up to 90 seconds) from full-length lectures/interviews. Before the actual recording starts, you will get 10 seconds to prepare. After you hear the beep, you will get 40 seconds to re-tell it.


Re-tell Lecture


We have compiled a list of 7 tips to help you do well in Re-tell Lecture tasks:

  • Learn effective note-taking                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


    We can’t tell you how important note-making is in Re-tell Lecture. No matter how good your English is, it is nearly impossible to retain the complete lecture word for word. The trick to acing this task is jotting down at least 20 key words or phrases that are most relevant to the topic. It can be dates, numbers, names, theories, definitions, merits and/or demerits, etc. You must do this while listening to the audio.

  • Work out a template

    After taking down notes, you have to fit the keywords in a template. Having a pre-decided template translates to fewer chances of hesitating while speaking in Re-tell Lecture.

 For Lectures

  • Always begin your response with “the speaker was discussing TOPIC” and end with “he/she suggested that”.
  • In between, you can use verbs such as talked, mentioned, discussed, described, highlighted, expressed, etc.
  • The template will look like this:

“The speaker was discussing ….”

“He/She talked about ….”

“mentioned that ….”

“highlighted the ….”

“suggested that ….”

For Interviews

  • The template will look like this:

“The first speaker was discussing ….”

“He/She talked about ….”

“mentioned that ….”

“The second speaker discussed ….”

“He/She described ….”

“referred to ….”

“suggested that ….”

Don’t hesitate while speaking

  • Test-takers often get flustered and end up using fillers like err, umm, uh in their speech. This usually happens when their preparation is not up to par. It is rightly said that by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Make it a point to practice as many model tests and sample questions as you can. If you still haven’t found a suitable PTE package, you can buy PTE Voucher to book PTE Academic and mock tests + Evaluations Free! 

  • Don’t oversimplify sentences

    Introduce a little complexity in your sentences. Instead of saying “the speaker discussed globalization”, say “the speaker discussed the merits of globalization”. Add connectors but make sure that the placement is logical, like “he/she also mentioned that”, “in addition he/she also talked about”, “finally/lastly he/she suggested that”.

  • Avoid grammatical mistakes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

    You should have a fair idea about the correct usage of English grammar. Erroneous placement of prepositions, the most common examples being, “discussed about” and “described about”, can cost you precious marks in the exam.

  • In case you don’t understand what the lecture/ interview is about,

    include words lifted directly from the audio in your response.

  • Your response shouldn’t be too long or too short

    Ideally, it should last for 35 seconds and you should be able to wrap up your response 5 seconds before the recording stops.


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