Sat. Dec 9th, 2023
PTE Academic Speaking: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Preparation

Among all PTE Exam modules, aspirants mostly get nervous in Speaking.

Many struggle with PTE Academic Speaking due to a lack of experience with the language.

But, it is not only about aspirants who are not native speakers of the English language.

At times, low PTE Speaking score shock even native/near-native speakers test-takers. As a result, their confidence gets destroyed. Some even start doubting their speaking ability altogether. But there’s a need to look at this situation logically. Let’s keep in mind that it is a computer algorithm that is going to judge your performance in PTE Speaking. So a few tips need to be kept in mind during your speaking practice:

Top 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in PTE Speaking

#1 Speaking Too Fast

Don’t mistake speaking too fast for fluency. Many aspirants mistakenly believe that a brisk speaking speed is key. They believe it showcase their speaking skills and good speaking rate. This may be due to nervousness and stress.

But in the process, your fast speech may make it difficult for the algorithm to understand. It is best to speak at a pace that is neither too fast, nor too slow. Keep a natural rhythm, and you won’t lose out marks on Oral Fluency and Content.  

#2 Letting Filler Words Crowd Your Speech

So, what are filler words? These are sounds like ‘aah’ or ‘uhm’, or stalling words like ‘you know’, ‘like’, etc.

In our daily use of the English language, our speech is often peppered with these filler words. But in an English language proficiency test like PTE, these words can lower your score. In Describe Image and Re-tell Lecture, use the preparation time before the mic opens. Take advantage of this time to mentally frame the sentences you’re going to say.

#3 Using Informal Language

In PTE-Academic, the assessors expect formal, academic language, advanced vocabulary and word structure. It is perfectly fine to use casual language in your social group but not in the PTE exam. Work on increasing your vocabulary range. Also, practice framing new sentences using such words.

#4 Starting & Stopping Your Speech

So, here’s how it goes. You are in the middle of your PTE Speaking exam, and you’ve started a new sentence. But you feel the need to self-correct and add more details. So you stop the sentence midway and re-start a new sentence. This is where you will lose marks in fluency.

In such cases, it is better to carry on with your sentence. You can add the necessary details or clarifications in the following sentence. This is better, instead of stopping mid-sentence.

#5 Placing the Microphone in the Wrong Position

When we speak, short bursts of air come out of our mouths. These burst of air may get interpreted as incomprehensible words in your answer.

As a result, you will lose marks.

The best position for the microphone is to place it parallel to your nose, between the nose and mouth. This way, the microphone won’t be exposed to direct bursts of air from either your nose or mouth.

The mic will be able to capture what you are saying without recording the breathing sounds. Don’t place the mic under the nose. Avoid touching the microphone.


Follow these tips and set aside enough time to PTE Speaking practice. You’ll be able to overcome your weaknesses soon.

Need more tips on PTE Speaking? Download the PTE Tutorials Mobile App for free practice with in-app audio recordings. The app has unlimited questions. In case you need the help of an expert, you could also check out the Describe Image Correction service.

Best of luck for your PTE exam!

Author Bio:

KRINA PATEL- Project Manager

Krina Patel and team have developed PTE Tutorials as a one stop solution for PTE Practice. It is an online portal that presents the PTE Test taker with several features that boost their individual as well as Overall Score. Some of the many capabilities include test evaluation, test analytics, useful videos, practice resources like essay essentials, describe image booklet and more.

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