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8 Sure-Fire Tips to Effectively Summarize Written Text


Summarize Written Text tasks of PTE Speaking & Writing section are aimed at assessing your reading and writing skills. In Summarize Written Text task, you will get a paragraph that conveys some information. You have to read the complete text (up to 300 words long) and write a one-sentence summary.

The time allotted for this task of the PTE test is 10 minutes.

The length of this one sentence must between 5 and 75 words, otherwise it will not be scored, and it should cover all the key points of the text.


Summarize Written Text

Follow these 8 tips to effectively Summarize Written Text in PTE Academic:

  • Keep your response short

    It is difficult to construct a single sentence, which is around 75 words long and yet grammatically correct. To be on the safe side, keep it between 25 and 35 words.

  • Don’t include your own ideas

    The text may cover subjects like art, history, medicine, earth sciences, sports, politics, chemistry, etc. If you have a degree in history and the question in the PTE test is history-based, please do not include any additional information that is not present in the text. If you are a chemistry graduate and the paragraph is about something that you are not familiar with, say economics, you have no reason to panic, as all the information you need is present in the text itself.

  • Two-step reading

    Carefully read the entire paragraph once, and try to understand the meaning of the text. While reading it for the 2nd time, note down 15 keywords and phrases at the most, and ignore other supporting details. Each step should take 1 minute.

  • Create a complex or compound sentence out of keywords

          Your response must answer the question, “Who did what?” and should follow one of the two formats:

  1. complex sentence– It is created by merging one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses, and the distinctions between them are indicated by commas.

         For example:

 “Organizing Sam’s birthday party, for which the event management company received no money, took three     days.”

     2. Compound sentence– It is created by joining independent clauses by using conjunctions like and, but, if, etc. Commas indicate distinctions between clauses.

        For example:

“I have a bad toothache, but I don’t want to see a dentist.”


  • Don’t copy the whole sentence

    Try to use synonyms and write it down in your own words as much as possible.

  • Don’t make references to the paragraph

    Your response shouldn’t contain phrases like, “The text/paragraph says….”

  • Use correct grammar and vocabulary                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make sure that you place articles (a, an, the) in all the right places. If you are unsure about a word or phrase, it is best to substitute it with another. Don’t include too many details as it is makes framing grammatically correct sentences harder.

  • Don’t write two sentences

    Write one sentence only, begin the text with a capital letter and end with a full stop.


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