Master at Summarize Spoken Text

Master at Summarize Spoken Text

The Question type of Summarize Spoken Text in PTE is the first question under your Listening Section (Click here for more information); this question is marked for both writing and listening skills  since you will be writing a summary, and you will also be listening to an audio clip. 

What is the Task Requirement?

An Audio  clip will be played, and you have to write a summary on the contents of the clip. There is an allocated time of 10 minutes for each summary you write which includes the time of the audio clip – this means that if you hear a clip that is 2 minutes long, you will have 8 minutes to write your response.

In this task of Summarizing Spoken Text, there will be a word limit as well in your exam for this question of 50-70 words, it is very important to strictly follow the word limit because if you do not support it,  you will get negative marking for the task. The next thing is how many summaries you can get in your exam? The number of tasks for this question is 2 to 3.

Now that we have completed the basics of this Question, let’s talk about how we can improve in Summaries Spoken Text.

Steps for Summarize Spoken Text

So, there are three things that you can improve on to do well in this question. Read further to know more about how to improve on this task.

STEP 1: How to take notes from the audio?


The first thing you can do to improve your listening summary is by improving your note taking skills. It is important to understand that you can not add any information to your summary and write only about the information given in the audio clip. It is also important to not include all the information, students can get overwhelmed with all the information provided. This is a summary, so as long as the main idea is conveyed you will be successful in this task. Note taking can help enhance this, and jot down only the important things from the lecture. It is also beneficial if you are able to note key words and phrases to add to your answer.

STEP 2: How to score well in writing for this task?


This question appears in the Listening Section, so a lot of people have a misconception that it contributes towards listening only. This task contributes a lot towards your writing scores scores as well(How PTE integrated score breakdown works?) . There are ways in which you will be able to enhance this score; first and foremost you can use an advanced writing structure to write the summary. Secondly, use of good a vocabulary range can also aid in enhancing your writing scores. Last but not least, avoiding grammar mistakes is very important in writing, along with avoiding spelling mistakes. For more information on how to improve your writing skills, Click here.  As PTE is a computer-based test it is beneficial to improve typing speed and technique as well, all of these are important factors in boosting your writing skills in PTE.


STEP 3: How to score well for listening from this task?

It is also crucial that you score full allocated marks for the listening part of this question as well. It is important that you do not add or subtract to the content of the audio clip, your task here is to deliver the information in the audio clip through a summary. Remember the name of the task “Summarize Spoken Text“.  Bare in mind that you will be marked for the information you add from the audio clip to your summary, the link between the two tasks is listening to the information, and delivering it through writing. Take notes accurately from the lecture and don’t make mistakes of singular and plural while taking notes. For example; if the word was natives and you skipped s and wrote native you will not get marks for this word, similarly  if the word was developed and you missed ed from the end, still you will not get marks for listening from there.

Accuracy is key


STEP 4: How to recall the main idea of the lecture?

When it comes to scoring well for the Summarize Spoken Text, it is very important to get the Main idea right because in summary, which delivers the main idea of the lecture.

The skill here is to first find what the main idea is. Some people think that the main idea or topic will always be mentioned in the first part of the clip, or in the first sentence.

This is a misconception

You have to understand and pay attention throughout the lecture and try to understand the whole theme of the passage, there will always be the main theme, all other information will be supporting the theme of the lecture. You should try to mention the main idea in the first sentence while writing your summary.


STEP 5: How to make a rough draft of your answer?


Write notes effectively

It is important to follow a template for a written summary in Summarize Spoken Text.  Do not waste time over filler words or sentence structures. While making a rough draft, you should take care of the word limit too because there is a word restriction.

It is ideal if you write the summary in 3 sentences;

  • The first sentence should cover the main idea.
  • The next sentence should cover all the important points from the audio clip.
  • The last sentence should be a concluding remark.

Always take a minute to check if what you are writing makes sense. And you are able to deliver the information in a clear manner.


               Also, take a look at What to Avoid to score 79+ in PTE

Like all Language tests, using proper grammar, forming complex sentences and the use of advanced vocabulary is very important attribute. It is important to develop these skills properly with adequate PTE practice. It is also important for you to study on your own. We at PTE Training Centre can help with your various PTE related questions and concerns. We have trainers that will train you in a short time to help you achieve your desired scores.  You can also take a look at our Facebook Page for more information.




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