How To Improve Oral Fluency PTE Score

The oral fluency component of the PTE test is by far the most difficult to score highly for non-native English speakers. It is imperative that any candidate diligently prepares for this section of the PTE test.

The PTE test does not require you to speak like a native speaker in order to do well; however, you will need to use correct pronunciation that will easily be understood by someone who speaks English frequently. If you’re looking for ways to improve oral fluency in your PTE test, continue reading for EnglishFirm’s guide on how to improve pronunciation in PTE, including a section on vital PTE speaking tips for potential candidates to improve their overall score.

Understanding What’s Required for the Speaking Part

Speaking and writing is the first component of the PTE. Typically this section will take the participant between 54 to 67 minutes and will contain a variety of different question types. In this section, an assessor will examine your proficiency in speaking and writing the English language in an academic scenario.

importance of speaking clearly

Assessing Oral Fluency and Pronunciation Skills

The PTE is broad in the way it assesses key components of the English language. The scoring guide for this part of the PTE will assess five main traits of the speaker:

1. Fluency
2. Interaction
3. Range
4. Accuracy
5. Phonological control

Understanding how to improve oral fluency PTE-wise starts with understanding how you’ll be assessed in the test. The examiner will evaluate your performance on the key traits mentioned above through the following sections:

  • Reading aloud – For this question, the candidate will speak aloud a specific text in the correct order that the words appear.
  • Repeat a sentence – A sentence will appear in front of the candidate, and they will have to repeat the sentence aloud after the recording.
  • Describe an image – An image will be shown on screen or by the assessor, and the candidate will have to provide a comprehensive description of the image, the type of image, and discuss its key elements.
  • Re-tell a lecture – after the assessor gives an address to the candidate, they will have to re-tell the contents of the lecture back to the assessor in as much detail as possible.

Having proficient oral fluency is not about speaking to the examiner at a rapid pace. On the other hand, this section places particular emphasis on your ability to speak fluently and smoothly—the concept of fluency is the candidate’s ability to transfer your ideas into clear and relevant speech. During the PTE test, you’ll be assessed on your ability to speak continuously without excessive pauses or filler words.

This element refers to the speaker articulating the words and languages in their correct way. By speaking words as they are intended to be pronounced, you will convey a much firmer grasp of the language. In this section of the PTE, the examiner will assess how well your pronunciation of words and phrases line up with that of a native English speaker.

PTE Speaking Tips


1. Avoid Excessive Filler Words

One of the best strategies on how to improve oral fluency PTE score is by identifying and avoiding filler words in your speech. Native fluency is characterised by your ability to speak in a smooth rhythm. Using excessive filler words shows you are not taking enough time to think in between phrases.

Focus on your speaking pace and ensure it is neither too fast, which can get convoluted, or too slow, which shows a lack of authenticity. Native speakers will use some filler words when speaking, but you should use them sparingly in your PTE exam.

filler words to avoid in the PTE

2. Speak in a Natural Manner with a Clear Tone

Easier said than done right? However, speaking naturally is something that you should go into your PTE test with front of mind. Think about each sentence and what it actually means to ensure you’re speaking naturally.

The message you send when you talk aloud is affected by your tone, and how fast you move through sentences. It is essential to speak concisely to avoid cluttering your speech. Cluttered speech is unnatural and must be avoided to ensure success in this section.

3. Record and Listen to Yourself Speaking in English

How to improve pronunciation for PTE? Listen to recordings of yourself speaking English. Checking over your own speech will alert you to any mistakes and sections of the exam or common phrases where you might sound hesitant, unsure, or unconfident.

4. Listen to Other Native Speakers in English

Watching videos or listening to audiobooks is an excellent way of hearing how certain words and phrases are pronounced correctly. If you are looking for how to improve pronunciation in PTE, YouTube is a great practising tool. When watching videos, take special care to notice the speaker’s mouth movements so you can replicate the actions to improve your speech.

5. Take Proper Breaks in Dialogue

Whilst we have stressed the importance of avoiding excessive breaks, taking short pauses after you finish specific sentences or ideas will help clarify your speech. Examination software relies on small breaks in your speech to indicate correct punctuation, which will affect your score. Avoid lengthy sentences that come across as needless words which muddle your total message.

6. Speak in English as Often as You Can

Practice makes perfect! The most effective preparation to improve speaking PTE is developing a habit of speaking in English as frequently as possible with others. Conversing in English will help you generate more organic phrases and responses. If you need to practice on your own, try reading newspapers or books aloud. Hearing English spoken correctly is the best way to tell your brain how to repeat those things in your examination.

Improve Speaking PTE Scores with EnglishFirm

Still looking for further information on how to improve oral fluency PTE? EnglishFirm can help you to prepare you for your PTE exam with exceptional PTE coaching. We offer engaging, interactive, and exceptional coaching to ensure you get the PTE score that you need.

If you are struggling with the speaking preparation of PTE specifically, our tutors will run you through helpful speaking activities and exercises that have been proven to help our students ace this problematic section. As Australia’s premier PTE preparation trainers, you will have access to one-on-one sessions that will make the difference in a successful PTE examination.

Contact EnglisFirm today for more advanced and personalised PTE speaking tips. Book online at any of our classrooms for PTE training in Melbourne, Sydney, and Parramatta or give us a call on ++61432269874 to start the best preparation possible in the lead up to your PTE exam.

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