We are going to discuss the fourth exercise in the speaking module – Retell lecture in PTE . Here you will be shown an ***image with an audio playing along, and an audio recorder below. As soon as the audio finish, you will have to summarize what you had heard in the lecture when the recording starts. So, this is a revision session of the first part of the video which includes a detailed content of the same. Don’t forget to check that out after this.


First, I will brief a few important points of this task. This exercise contains 3-4 questions contributing 15 pts each. The audio will be up to 2 min. You will get a preparation time of 10 seconds before the recording starts which will also comprise a time period of 40 seconds for your recording. Retell lecture contributes an internal scoring of 10 pts each to listening and speaking.


There are few steps to follow which can ease this exercise. Before the audio plays, try to observe the image given so that you can guess the topic on which the lecture is about. When the lecture begins, take notes on the important points that are mentioned in the audio, basically go for the keywords. This will help you to summarize the lecture. As soon as the lecture is finished you will get 10 seconds to prepare before you speak, which is quite a very little time. So try to recollect hat the lecture was about and go through the key pts during that 10-second break.

There is a basic template that you can follow similar to the Describe Image exercise which I had mentioned in the previous video. If you have not seen the video yet, please do check it out at Englishfirm.com.


Firstly, you can break PTE retell lecture down into three parts; listening, note-taking and retelling. Some tips for this exercise are:

  • Take quality, legible notes – Use the erasable notepads. Some test-takers take notes hurriedly and their handwriting suffers. When it’s time to re-tell, they struggle to understand their own handwriting. When retelling, don’t add anything to most notes. Put a full stop. Keep them short.
  • Try to improve note-taking speed – You may use flowcharts, abbreviations, or shortcut methods.
  • Keep an eye on the timer –  While you are writing, keep track of the timer, so that you know you’re on track.
  • Avoid unnecessary pauses – If you are making a pause or gap for more than 3 seconds, the mic will stop automatically.
  • Use connectors – Use ‘furthermore’, ‘moreover’, ‘firstly’, ‘in addition’ etc. as fillers.
  • Use quality templates – Templates give you the basic structure of re-telling the lecture.
  • Extra
    • Read English language newspapers and read Science Daily. Listen to news audio. Another thing you should do is listen to TED talks.
    • Write down new words that you find while reading/ listening (their meanings, collocations, and other forms). Then spend a few minutes two or three times a day reviewing the lists.

Sample Template:

  • The speaker was discussing TOPIC
  • First: He/She mentioned KEYWORD 1
  • Second: He/She described KEYWORD 2
  • Third: He/She talked about KEYWORD 3
  • Fourth: He/She discussed KEYWORD 4
  • Fifth: He/She suggested that KEYWORD 5


**Could be


Audio with picture

Video with audio

To enrol for class, please check PTE classes in Parramatta