Re-tell Lecture

Re-tell lecture mind map


The PTE Re-tell lecture is another task that qualifies as one of the toughest tasks in the entire PTE exam. It tests your ability to actively listen to spoken English, take notes, understand the meaning, and speak meaningfully about it in 40 seconds.

There are 3 to 4 Re-tell lecture tasks in the exam.

Please memorize the mind map given at the top, these activities need to be followed in the mentioned sequence. It is essential for success.

Critical stuff

  • Take notes while listening to the recording.
  • Identify the topic.
  • Start speaking within 3 seconds of the microphone opening.
  • Don’t pause for more than 3 seconds during the task.
  • Content plays a crucial role in your score so ensure that you cover the important points from the lecture.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t panic and try to correct it by repeating it. Just move ahead as if nothing happened.
  • You have 40 seconds for each re-tell lecture task. Try to finish the task in 35 seconds.
  • Don’t add fillers like um, hmm, ah etc. as the voice-to-text software does not recognise these as actual words.

The sequence of steps for re-tell lecture task

The re-tell lecture task has the following sequence of events:-

  1. An image may appear on the screen.
  2. try to look at the image and guess the topic of the recording.
  3. A countdown of 3 seconds begins.
  4. After 3 seconds the recording of 60 to 90 seconds plays.
  5. Take notes. It is not possible to write every word, so focus on writing important words in a sentence that you can later use.
  6. Focus on the meaning of the sentence that the speaker is trying to convey.
  7. Look out for the topic of the lecture. If you focus on the overall concept that the speaker is talking about you will eventually get to the topic.
  8. The topic of the recording might not be evident at the start, but in some cases in the middle or even towards the end of the recording.
  9. How you use the 10 seconds of preparation is critical to success in this task. I used to mention T in front of the topic, P1, P2, P3 in front of the points and C in front of the conclusion. This is all you will have time for. If this labelling is not done in the mentioned 10 seconds you will take a hit in your fluency and struggle for points.
  10. Before the beep of the microphone opening take a deep breath and be ready to speak.
  11. Once the microphone opens, speak within 3 seconds using the format shared above in the mind map:-
    1. Topic / Introduction – You need to find the topic and say it below:-
      The speaker was talking about + Topic.
    2. Body – The body section will have 3 main points from the recording.
      He/She mentioned + Point 1.
      The speaker also discussed + Point 2.
      He/She talked about +Point 3.
    3. Conclusion – It is important to conclude. use the sentence format below:-
      To conclude we can say that + Conclusion.
  12. Click next once finished.

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