PTE Speaking: Read Aloud
Learn about Read aloud questions in PTE speaking, including an overview, the scoring criteria, a recommended strategy and practice questions.
Read aloud questions test your ability to read a short text aloud with correct pronunciation and intonation.
Here are some key points about Read aloud questions:
- They assess both speaking and reading skills.
- The reading texts can be up to 60 words in length.
- You’ll be given time to prepare. The amount of time you have will vary for each item, but it’s usually 30–40 seconds.
- At the end of your preparation time, the status will change to “Recording”, and you should start reading the text aloud. The amount of time you have to read each text will vary, but it’s usually 30–40 seconds.
- When the time runs out – or you’re silent for more than three 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 six or seven Read aloud questions in the speaking test.
There are three scoring criteria for Read aloud questions.
|Criterion||What does this mean?|
|Content||Have you included all of the words from the reading text in your response (and not added any others)?|
|Oral fluency||Do you read smoothly, easily and at a natural speed?|
|Pronunciation||Do you read 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.
Here’s my recommended strategy for answering Read aloud questions.
Before you speak
- Start by reading the text. Don’t just look at the words – pay close attention to the content, too. If you don’t understand the meaning of what you’re reading, it’s very difficult to deliver it naturally.
- Quickly rehearse any difficult or unknown words. If you’ve never seen one of the words before, you’ll have to guess how to say it – choose the most likely pronunciation based on English conventions.
- Take a deep breath and try to relax – this will improve your performance.
While you’re speaking
- Imagine that you’re reading aloud to a group of people. Pretend that they’re very interested in what you have to say. Use gestures if this helps you.
- Speak at a normal speed. There’s no need to rush – you’ll have enough time to finish.
- Don’t speak too quietly. If you do, it may be hard for the computer to score your response accurately.
- Pay attention to the punctuation (e.g. commas, full stops) used in the reading text. This can help you with sentence stress and knowing when to pause.
- If you make a mistake, just keep going – don’t try to correct yourself.
Now it’s your turn to practise. Try the Read aloud question below using the strategy outlined above.
Look at the text below. In 40 seconds, you must read this text aloud as naturally and clearly as possible. You have 40 seconds to read aloud.
The polar bear is the largest living bear species, weighing up to 700 kilograms. For decades, large-scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the polar bear, but their numbers rebounded after certain measures were put in place. However, due to the expected habitat loss caused by climate change, they are still classified as a vulnerable species.
Click below to get some tips and listen to a sample response.
Notice how pausing is used in the sample response. After full stops, there’s a fairly long pause (= //). After commas, the pause is shorter (= /).
Also, words that carry important meaning are stressed.
The polar bear is the largest living bear species, / weighing up to 700 kilograms. // For decades, / large-scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the polar bear, / but their numbers rebounded after certain measures were put in place. // However, due to the expected habitat loss caused by climate change, / they are still classified as a vulnerable species.