Predominantly a listening exercise, Summarize Spoken Text (SST) questions in the PTE Academic Examination carry a significant weightage of the writing segment as well. Traits scored in this exercise are content, form, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. On average, every test has 2-3 SST questions. The ideal word limit for the same is 50-70 words. Writing 49 or less, or 71 or more words WILL affect your overall score. The tips given below are often ignored by many PTE courses offered, be it PTE courses online or offline.

Templates for this exercise are available, but not encouraged, especially for those targeting an 83+ score.


1)   As the audio starts, attentively listen for the key points. In the first few seconds, your focus should not be to merely start making notes but to understand the theme of the audio.

2)   Once you have been able to grasp the theme of the audio, start making notes. And making notes does not imply writing down everything word for word, but only the keywords relevant to the topic of the audio. Seven keywords are more than enough. Any word that seems to be important in the context of the audio, is what you should note down.

3)   Try to visualize in your mind a scenario relating to what you hear. This is the best way to listen to and understand a spoken text. Do not focus too much on any minor details such as names, dates, money figures (write ‘a lot of money’ or ‘a small amount of money), places, etc.

4)   Upon finishing of the audio, you have 10 minutes to frame your text. Before you start writing, spend a couple of minutes reviewing your keywords and relating them to the theme of the audio. This is where the picture you visualized comes into play. Students of PTE courses online that incorporate extensive practice in the Describe Image and Summarize Written Text exercises are often better at visualizing the speech. This, again, comes with practice.

5)   Finally, you will be left with only the points that matter. Start putting them together in a summary. Unlike Summarize the Written Text exercise, you can write more than one sentence here, but you should still stick to the word limit of 50 to 70 words. If you end up writing 2 or 3 sentences, make sure to check that the sentences are linked to each other properly.

Upon completion, spend a couple of minutes reviewing for any spelling or punctuation errors. After this, click on the submit button confidently. Feel free to explore through the PTE online courses offered by The English Language Mastery. Remember, the best PTE course for you is the one that addresses your requirements, specifically. 

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