When you come across Repeat Sentence in Speaking Section tasks on your PTE test for the first time, you probably wonder: Seriously? Could there have been a simpler question? I use English in everyday conversations with my friends. This will be as easy as snapping my fingers!
You check your Scorecard only to find out that you have performed poorly. It is fairly routine for test-takers to underestimate just how much practice goes into mastering this seemingly effortless task, which assesses not only your ability to speak with a native-like fluency, but also how well you can memorize sentences (up to 9 seconds long) in the short term.
We have put together this guide to make Repeat Sentence tasks easier for you:
- You will get 15 seconds to do Repeat Sentence tasks, but you should be able to wrap it up 3 seconds before the recording stops.
- Following the correct sequence is of utmost importance. Even if you manage to get all the words right, you might lose out on marks if the order is not correct.
- Don’t introduce articles where they don’t exist. Steer clear of mixing singular and plural nouns. Reading “tree” as “trees” and “balls” as “ball” count as errors in Repeat Sentence tasks.
- Try not to skip words. 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.
- Don’t stop midway or hesitate while repeating sentences. You may end up using fillers like umm, err, uh out of sheer nervousness. Get enough practice in Repeat Sentence questions before you sit for the actual exam to get around exam jitters. Also, avoid false-starts. If you realize that you made a mistake, for example, you were supposed to say, “It is a complex process” and ended up saying, “It is a complicated process”, don’t try to rectify it by saying something like, “Oh sorry! Umm I mean it’s a complex process”. That counts as an error.
- Use correct intonation to emphasize particular words or phrases. Beginning of sentence are indicated by rising intonation and the end, by falling intonation. You run the risk of sounding like a robot if you follow a liner/steady intonation without any variations in tone. This works against you, from the PTE point of view.
- Test-takers are usually so fixated on repeating sentences that they barely listen to the audio. Listen carefully and instead of just memorizing the words, understand the meaning of the sentence, and club words into meaningful phrases.
- Avoid taking notes for Repeat Sentence tasks. The time frame is too small to be putting pen to paper.
- Expose yourself to reading material on a variety of subjects. Read English newspapers, short stories, novels and maintain journals, if possible. Learn how to link new words with images. It all boils down to building your vocabulary and grammar.
- Although you are not expected to mimic the accent of speaker, being able to mimic the tone will hold you in good stead.
- Work on your pronunciation and oral fluency. Listen to English podcasts, watch English news channels, talk shows and movies, and pay attention to how the native speakers pace and pronounce words, the intonations, the rhythm and the sounds associated with the words.
We hope that with our tips, this task becomes a tad easier for you. Good luck!