Describe Image Questions in PTE Speaking

Learn about Describe image questions in PTE speaking with an overview, recommended approach and practice questions.

four friends admiring the sunset

Overview

Describe image questions test your ability to describe the information in a graph, chart, map, table or picture.

Here are some key points about Describe image questions:

  • They assess speaking skills only.
  • You’ll be shown an image (a graph, chart, map, table or picture). You’ll have 25 seconds to prepare your description.
  • At the end of your preparation time, the status will change to “Recording”, and you should start speaking. You’ll have up to 40 seconds to record your response.
  • When the time runs out – or you’re silent for more than 3 seconds – the status will change to “Completed”.
  • Partial credit scoring applies.
  • You only have one chance – you won’t be able to re-record your response.
  • You’ll answer 3–4 Describe image questions in the speaking test.

Example question

Here’s an example Describe image question.

Look at the graph below. In 25 seconds, please speak into the microphone and describe in detail what the graph is showing. You will have 40 seconds to give your response.

__________

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0

Scoring criteria

There are three scoring criteria for Describe image questions.

Criterion What does this mean?
Content Do you describe the image accurately and thoroughly?
Oral fluency Do you speak smoothly, easily and at a natural speed?
Pronunciation Do you speak with correct speech sounds (e.g. vowels, consonants) and stress words and phrases correctly?

NOTE: Regional and national varieties of English pronunciation are understood and accepted.

Practice questions

Now it’s your turn to practise. Try the Describe image questions below using the approach outlined above.

Question 1

Look at the graph below. In 25 seconds, please speak into the microphone and describe in detail what the graph is showing. You will have 40 seconds to give your response.

__________

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0

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Feedback

Click below for a sample answer.

The bar chart shows what percentage of their free time British people of different ages and genders spend on their devices.

Device use is highest among those aged 25 and under. Men in this age group spend 35% of their leisure time on a device and women approximately 29%. Percentages gradually decrease as people age. The lowest percentage is in the 56-and-over age group, where men spend about 12% of their free time using a device and women 10%. It’s also clear that, across all age groups, men spend more of their leisure time on a device than women.

So, the younger you are, the greater the percentage of your free time you’re likely to spend on a device.

Question 2

Look at the graph below. In 25 seconds, please speak into the microphone and describe in detail what the graph is showing. You will have 40 seconds to give your response.

__________

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0

↕  scrollable window

Feedback

Click below for a sample answer.

The bar chart shows the average number of hours that British men and women spend engaged in a range of leisure activities each week.

Both men and women spend by far the largest proportion of their leisure time consuming mass media, with men spending an average of just over 16 hours and women a little over 14 hours per week engaged in this activity. The second most popular activity for women is socialising, at just over 4 hours per week. For men, it’s hobbies, computing or games, also at a little over 4 hours per week.

The most noticeable difference between the genders can be seen in relation to the category of hobbies, computing or games. Men spend almost twice as long on these activities as women do.