Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
PTE Retell Lecture

PTE Retell Lecture

PTE Retell Lecture is the fourth PTE Speaking task, which asks you to listen to or watch a lecture and then retell the lecture in your own words. It is one of the crucial tasks of the speaking section, which not only assesses your speaking skills but also your listening skills. In other words, the scores for this task reflects in both your Speaking and Listening sections. So, in this blog, we will learn about how to use the tips and tricks along with the templates to maximize your score for this task. If you like reading, please continue, but you can also watch our video below on this task, with the Complete strategy.

PTE Retell Lecture | Full Strategy & Template | Tips and Tricks

Not only that, we will have Retell lecture tips and templates for every test-taker, for those who have good English language skills and even for those with not so strong English skills. Let’s learn some key facts about the PTE Retell lecture, to begin with. Before that, if you struggling with your speaking skills, this is a must read for every such test taker, PTE Speaking – how to improve?.

PTE Retell Lecture Overview

PTE Retell Lecture falls under the speaking section, which is Part 1 of the PTE test – Speaking and Writing, with a combined time of 54 to 67 minutes, and approximately 30 minutes just for the Speaking section. The task is based on the test-taker listening to or watching a lecture, which can be up to 90 seconds. You then get just 10 seconds to prepare and think, after which you need to retell the lecture in your own words, up to 40 seconds. It may also show you an image related to the lecture, and you should use the 3 seconds you get before the audio begins to look at this picture and develop an insight into what the lecture would be all about.

You get 1 or 2 PTE Retell lecture questions in the PTE test and it tests your ability to hear and understand a recording and provide an accurate summary of it. Every task is timed in the PTE Speaking section, so you only need to worry about how to attempt this question in the best way possible, in the given time.

Retell Lecture Facts Summary

  • 4th PTE Speaking Task
  • Skills assessed: Listening & Speaking
  • Audio/ Video Length: Up to 90 seconds
  • No of Questions: 1 to 2 tasks in the test
  • Time: 3 seconds before you listen to the recording, 10 seconds to prepare after the audio finishes, 40 seconds to answer
  • Scoring: Content, Oral Fluency & Pronunciation

PTE Retell Lecture Layout

This is how you will see the PTE Retell Lecture task in the actual exam.

PTE Retell Lecture Layout

Retell lecture questions are divided into 4 sections as shown in the image above. The first thing that you should read is the Task prompt, which is nothing but instructions on how to attempt this question. Then, on the bottom left-hand side, you will either see an image that may accompany the given lecture. On the right-hand side, you can see the audio player at the top, which shows the progress of the audio being played. And just below that, you have the audio recorder, which initially shows a countdown timer until the microphone opens up and after you hear a short tone, the microphone opens and you need to start speaking immediately.

Never start speaking before you hear the short tone for this task, otherwise, the recorder will miss recording the words spoken before it begins recording. And lastly, for the PTE Retell lecture task as well as any other speaking tasks, you should never pause for more than 3 seconds. Otherwise, the test disables the mic for that particular question, and you are unable to record anything more.

PTE Retell Lecture Scoring

The speaking part of scoring for the Retell lecture task is done in 3 areas. For the listening part, PTE does not disclose anything about how the algorithm does it. So, focusing on the speaking scoring areas, they are primarily –

  • Content – How well are you able to summarize the lecture you heard?
  • Pronunciation – Are you speaking clearly so that it can be understood easily
  • Oral Fluency – How well can you speak, with a rhythm and without ‘uhm’ and ‘aah’.
Retell lecture tips

TIPS for PTE Retell Lecture task

  • You need to be a good listener
  • Making notes is crucial
  • You need to speak with a purpose (to explain to someone)
  • Speak naturally and fluently
  • Using correct voice modulation & using correct pronunciation
  • Using correct stress & speaking within the specified time.


In PTE Retell Lecture, the basis of content scoring on how accurately the response summarizes the lecture. So, the content scoring determines, “How accurately and thoroughly you convey the situation, characters, aspects, actions, and developments presented in the lecture?”. So, in order to provide the best response, you need to include all the main points of the lecture. Also, include possible developments, conclusions, or implications. In order to provide your response in the best way possible, you must present your response with a structure that includes an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Like Retell lecture task, many other tasks in PTE require you to follow a good structure, in order to get a good score.


In order to get the maximum score or at least a decent score for Pronunciation in the PTE Retell lecture task, you need to speak in a manner so that regular English speakers can understand it easily. A word consists of many syllables, and you need to stress correctly on particular syllables to sound right.

Consonants and Consonant Clusters

Consonants and consonant clusters constitute the 42 sounds of English. They are nothing but the way we make those sounds and how we speak. For instance, each of the English language alphabets has its own sounds ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’ and so on, watch this video to learn more about it. When two consonants are combined together, they make a different sound and are called consonant clusters. Clusters like ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘tr’, ‘bl’ are some examples of consonant clusters. Lastly, the vowels are a bit tricky, as their sound changes according to where they are used. Combining short and long vowel sounds, in total there are 20 different vowel sounds. Read this article on vowels to learn more.

Word stress

Don’t confuse word stress with stressing the words in a sentence. In fact, it means stressing the appropriate syllables within a word to sound right. A word can be broken down into multiple syllables, with each one having a vowel sound. Sometimes, you may also see syllables that don’t have a vowel sound, but mostly it does. Like every speaking task, stressing out words is an essential part of scoring well in the Retell lecture questions.

Word stress example

Example of Word Stress

For example, ‘basis‘ can be divided into two syllables ‘ba‘ / ‘sis‘, both having 1 vowel sound ‘a’ & ‘i’ respectively. One more example, ‘Example‘ can be divided into 3 syllables ‘Ex‘ / ‘am‘ / ‘ple‘. So, now you know what are syllables and how they should be stressed on. For ‘basis’, the stress should be on ba and not ‘sis’ (Listen here). For ‘Example’, the stress should be on am (Listen here). 

Oral Fluency

PTE Retell lecture task requires you to speak without any hesitations and fluently. Your spoke response should also have good intonation and natural rate. This is called Oral Fluency and is further broken down into 3 scoring areas. They are Sentence stress, Speed and pause, and Good rhythm. Let’s discuss each one of them, one by one.

Sentence stress

When retelling a lecture, you should not stress the entire sentence. But you should stress the word that conveys meaning in a sentence. This is called sentence stressing. So, how do you figure out which words to stress? It’s easy, only stress the nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs as they impart meaning to the sentence. Other words, which are just to support the sentence are called grammar words, and should not be stressed. These may include conjunctions and prepositions.

Sentence stress example

Example of Sentence Stress

The speaker was discussing the importance of using statistics in Mathematics

The words highlighted are meaningful words and should be stressed. Listen here.

Speed and Pause

PTE Retell Lecture task requires you to speak at a moderate speed. It is quite important that you control your speed when speaking, otherwise, you are risking not being clear to the PTE algorithm. As a result, when it evaluates your response, it is unable to make out different words. On the other hand, if you speak too slow, you are at risk of not speaking enough essential points needed to retell the lecture. So, always speak at a medium speed. And make sure you are pausing after commas and full stops.

Let’s look and listen to the pace and pausing example below to understand more.

Speed example

Example of Speed & Pausing

If you are a good accountant /Short pause/, you can do good jobs /Long Pause/. However /Short pause/, you should prepare well for your interviews /Long Pause/

Listen here.

TIP: Not too fast & not too slow

Voice Modulation, Intonation and Rhythm

PTE Retell Lecture also advocates the test-takers to modulate their voice while speaking. What this means is, that you should not speak like a robot but like a native English speaker. You have to portray a good rhythm or intonation in your voice, to sound natural. It’s basically the ups and downs in our voice that make us sound human, and the PTE algorithm regards this as a very important element of oral fluency.

Voice modulation example

Example of Voice Modulation

However /Down/, with these advancements /Down/, students /Up/ sometimes find statistics /Up/ to be an arduous /Up/ task /Down/

Listen here.

PTE Retell Lecture Strategy

Having learned how the PTE Retell lecture is scored, let’s now move on to learn the strategy and templates on how to solve this question type. The steps/ strategy outlined here will not only boost your preparation of retell lecture but will also make it certain for you to get a high score if you follow them correctly. The perfect strategy for the PTE Retell lecture is divided into 3 steps.

Step 1: Before the Audio Begins

Before the Retell lecture audio begins, you get only 3 seconds. What you can only do in these 3 seconds, is to quickly look at the given image, and use this time to think about the vocabulary you might hear. This will give you an idea of the topic of the lecture and help you predict what you will hear when the recording begins.

NOTE: We call this step preparation, so you need to think very quickly and prepare yourself for what you might hear.

Step 2: While the Audio is Played

This step is crucial when attempting the PTE Retell lecture questions, as this requires you to concentrate and listen. You should also be taking down notes, while you listen, using the pad and pen. But the main question here is, what should you note? It is nearly impossible to note down the entire lecture of 90 seconds, so you need to act smart here. In the retell lecture question that you listen to, you should try and note down the keywords and key phrases. You should try to note around 7 to 9 keywords / key phrases, while you listen. so, how do you know which one is a keyword or not? It’s quite simple actually. Listen for the words that are repeated a number of times, the words that have been emphasized by the speaker. Also, listen for nouns, adjectives, verbs, or key ideas and phrases.

NOTE: Don’t waste time noting down grammatical words like – is, for, the, he, she, etc. Ignore them completely.

Retell lecture tip 1

PTE Retell Lecture – Making Notes

  • Listen very carefully
  • Make Note of keywords and phrases – around 7 keywords, 2 phrases
    • Emphasized words
    • Nouns
    • Verbs
    • Adjectives
    • Key ideas/ phrases

Step 3: After the Audio Ends

PTE Retell Lecture Step 3 is to organize your ideas and notes together. You only get 10 seconds before the microphone opens and you need to start speaking. So, the first thing you should do after listening is to quickly use your notes to identify the main idea or the central idea of the lecture, mainly for the introduction. Your main focus should be on delivery (how you say it), and less on the content (what you say). Use the Edutrainex Retell lecture template shown below to receive the maximum score for this task. Finish at 35 seconds and speak at a moderate pace.

Retell lecture tip 2

PTE Retell Lecture – Using the notes

  • Use the Edutrainex PTE Retell Lecture template
  • Use 10 seconds before speaking to identify the main/ central idea of the lecture
  • Focus on delivery, not too much on content – How you say it is more important than what you say
  • Finish at 35 seconds

PTE Retell Lecture Template

Using the PTE Retell Lecture Template is crucial for your success in this task. Our template takes into account the structure requirements imposed by the PTE, which is to follow a structure comprising Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Our Retell lecture template also uses a lot of transition words to make the sentences coherent and smooth, which gets you a high score by the PTE algorithm. So, let’s have a look.

PTE Retell Lecture Template 1

PTE Retell Lecture Template (80+ score)

The speaker was describing CENTRAL IDEA
Firstly, He/ She Talked about KEYWORD 1
Then, He/ She explained KEYWORD 2 and how KEY Phrase 1
Later, He/ She also Described KEYWORD 4 and KEYWORD 5
Moreover/ Furthermore, He/ She Discussed KEYWORD 6
Overall/ Finally, He/ She implied/ suggested that KEY Phrase 2

The above template also uses good vocabulary words to display that you have a good command of the English language. Now, it’s time that you understand how to use this template.

Using the Retell Lecture Template – Practice Question 1

PTE Retell Lecture Practice Question 2

Lecture Audio:

Making notes for Retell lecture – Practice Question 1

  • a lot of fuel – launch – space
  • new rotating detonation engine
    • fuel efficient
    • lightweight
  • conventional engine – burns propellent – create thrust, uses a lot of machinery
  • new engine – shock wave

Using the lecture notes to identify the main idea:

  • Option 1: the difference between conventional and rotating detonation engines
  • Option 2: rotating detonation engines are better than conventional engines
  • Option 3: rotating detonation engines are more advanced than conventional engines

In conclusion, you can just use a phrase that sounds like an implication or summary. It doesn’t have to be a perfect conclusion, just a decent one like shown below is more than sufficient.

PTE Retell Lecture Sample Answer 1

Introduction – The speaker was describing the difference between conventional and rotating detonation engines.


Firstly, She Talked about launching rockets into space.

Then, She explained the rotating detonation engine and how lightweight and fuel-efficient it is.

Later, She also Described propellant and thrust.

Furthermore, She Discussed how the new engine produces shock waves.

Conclusion – Overall, She implied that conventional engine uses a lot of machinery.

Using the Retell Lecture Template – Practice Question 2

PTE Retell Lecture Practice Question 2

Lecture Audio:

Making notes for Retell lecture – Practice Question 2

  • new technology
    • to convert carbon dioxide to fuels and plastics.
  • zinc oxide, high temperatures
  • flame conversion to syngas
  • cheap, scalable
  • previous conversion process expensive
  • huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2)
    • convert to valuable things

Using the lecture notes to identify the main idea:

  • Option 1: new technology to convert carbon dioxide to fuels and plastics
  • Option 2: new cheaper technology to reduce harmful emissions
  • Option 3: new technology to convert carbon dioxide into valuable things

In conclusion, again you have to use a phrase that implies something or summarizes the lecture. It may not be a perfect conclusion, but if you decently provide a conclusion, that is enough.

PTE Retell Lecture Sample Answer 2

Introduction – The speaker was describing the new technology to convert Carbon dioxide into fuels and plastics.


Firstly, He talked about using zinc oxide at high temperatures.

Then, He explained the flame conversion technique and how it is converted to syngas.

Later, He also described a cheap and scalable method.

Furthermore, He discussed the previous conversion processes were expensive.

Conclusion – Overall, He implied that huge amounts of carbon dioxide could be converted into valuable things.

Next, I will show you a template that is a minimized version of the actual full-proof template. This template should be used by test-takers who are not confident enough to make complex or compound sentences. You still need to understand the lecture and note down the central or main idea, and also provide some form of conclusion at the end, but in a simplified format.

PTE Retell Lecture Template 2

PTE Retell Lecture Template (Simplified Template)

According to the lecture, the speaker was describing the highlights of CENTRAL IDEA
Firstly, He/ She Talked about KEYWORD 1
Then, He/ She explained KEYWORD 2
Later, He/ She also Described KEYWORD 3 and KEYWORD 4
Moreover, He/ She Discussed KEYWORD 5
Finally, He/ She implied/ suggested that KEY Phrase 1

Let’s look at how this template can be used to make a simpler response, that you can speak without having to make complex or compound sentences. We are using the same example practice question 2 here. NOTE: The below answer may still fetch you a good score if spoken well. You need to judge yourself and decide how much you want to score, use the templates and keywords wisely. The more keywords and key phrases you use and also if you make your sentences compound using ‘and‘ or ‘but‘, this shows your command of the English language to the PTE algorithm, and your score increases.

PTE Retell Lecture Sample Answer 3

Introduction – According to the lecture, the speaker was describing the new technology to reduce carbon dioxide.


Firstly, He talked about zinc oxide.

Then, He explained flame conversion.

Later, He also described a cheap and scalable method.

Moreover, He discussed syngas.

Conclusion – Finally, He suggested that carbon dioxide is harmful.

And, finally, we also have a template for test-takers, who are struggling with their English skills, and just want to clear the PTE test for academic purposes. In this template, we don’t use any complex/ compound sentences. We just use the keywords to prepare the answer.

PTE Retell Lecture Template 3

PTE Retell Lecture Template (Readymade Template)

According to the lecture, the speaker was describing the highlights of MAIN KEYWORD
Firstly, He/ She Talked about KEYWORD 1
Then, He/ She explained KEYWORD 2
He/ She also Described KEYWORD 3
Moreover, He/ She discussed KEYWORD 4
Overall, He/ She suggested crucial information about the MAIN KEYWORD (say the same thing, try to use different words)

Remember, you need to note down around 5 keywords, out of which 1 is the main or topic keyword, whatever you can hear in the lecture, and then fit them into the template to retell it. Try to identify which important keyword was repeated the most number of times, that will be your main keyword. Again, we are using example question 2, to show you the sample answer for this PTE Retell lecture template. NOTE: Just using the template does not guarantee you a high score, it truly depends on how clearly and confidently you provide the spoken response. The more keywords and key phrases you use, your score will increase. The below answer may still fetch you a good score if you speak well. So, depending on how much you need help, use the templates and keywords wisely.

PTE Retell Lecture Sample Answer 4

Introduction – According to the lecture, the speaker was describing the highlights of carbon dioxide.


Firstly, He talked about temperature.

Then, he explained technique.

He also described cheap.

Moreover, he discussed expensive.

Conclusion – Overall, he suggested crucial information about carbon dioxide.

So, with this, we have covered the overall steps and also shown you the different types of templates that can help you achieve different score levels. Remember, you need to assess your grammar and speaking skills either by yourself or with the help of a PTE examiner. Once you do that, it will help you to understand how much effort you need to make in order to reach your desired PTE score.

PTE Retell Lecture Practice Questions

This is the most comprehensive article on PTE Retell Lecture, that you can find on the internet, guaranteed. Now, that you have uncovered the secrets of how to crack this task with the help of easy steps and a great template, you need to practice some quality questions. At Edutrainex, we provide hundreds of top-quality PTE materials on the PTE Retell lecture topic, as well as other ones. Our world-class PTE learning software will provide you with a learning experience you have never experienced before. With the in-depth feedback that Edutrainex provides, you can clearly see the areas in which PTE marks and you can focus on them to excel.

Our feedback and insights are helping a lot of students to improve their speaking skills and master the PTE Retell lecture task. So, join Edutrainex today to kick start your PTE preparation journey. Our PTE Specialists will make sure you reach your desired goals in the shortest amount of time.

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