Fri. Nov 11th, 2022
Summarize Spoken Text

Summarize Spoken Text

PTE Summarize Spoken Text is the very first task that you get in the Listening section, which is Part 3 of the PTE test. This task commences your Listening section and requires high-focus listening from the test takers. The Summarize Spoken Text task contributes to both your Listening and Writing scores, as it involves listening to an audio and then typing the summary of what you heard. So, in this post, we will discuss what the PTE Summarize Spoken Text task is, how is it scored, and the complete strategy and steps to master this task, along with an easy-to-use template that you can use to get a top score. We will also cover some examples and explanations of how you can attempt this task.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text – What is it?

In PTE Summarize Spoken Text, you are made to hear an audio recording, which is normally a lecture or an interview, and then provide a 50-70 word summary of that lecture. According to PTE, this task assesses your ability to listen and write about what you heard. Please note that the audio begins to play automatically and you are only able to listen to the audio recording once. All PTE Summarize Spoken Text audio recordings are between 60 and 90 seconds and you get 1 to 2 questions in the actual exam. You get an allocated time of 10 minutes per Summarize Spoken Text question. You need to use this time wisely, so you write the best possible response in the given 10 minutes. If you manage to save any time here, it won’t be added to other questions.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text | Full Strategy & Templates | Practice & Examples

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Summary

  • 1st PTE Listening Task
  • Skills assessed: Listening & Writing
  • Audio Length: 60 to 90 seconds
  • No of Questions: 1 to 2 tasks in the test
  • Time: 10 minutes per question
  • Scoring: Content, Form, Grammar, Vocabulary and Spelling

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Layout

The layout of the Summarize Spoken Text task is shown below, which shows you exactly how it looks in the PTE exam.

Summarize Spoken Text Layout

Task Layout

  • Instructions – The instructions given on how to attempt the task. 
  • Audio Player – The lecture audio is played and it also shows you the timer before the audio begins playing and when it’s going to finish. 
  • Writing space – Here you will be typing your answer, the summarized spoken text. 
  • Total Word count – It will show you how many words you have written. So you don’t need to worry about counting it yourself. 
  • Cut, copy, paste buttons – These buttons will be there on the screen.  
  • Timer – It will show you the time backward, and how much time is left. 

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Scoring

Since the Summarize Spoken Text task is also a writing task, it is quite important that you understand how this task is scored if you want to do well. Essentially, there are five scoring criteria that PTE uses to evaluate your response for the PTE Summarize Spoken Text task. They are content, form, grammar, vocabulary, and spelling.


  • Content: Keep your focus on the topic, including the key points and essential supporting information. 
  • Form: The length of your response should be between 50 to 70 words. 
  • Grammar: Use grammatically accurate sentences. The best responses use concise sentences that clearly communicate the intended meaning. 
  • Vocabulary: Use appropriate choices of words, that are relevant to the lecture. 
  • Spelling: Use correct spelling in your response.

Scoring Explained

Your PTE Summarize Spoken Text responses are assessed firstly on what content you have written. If you write everything relevant, you get 0 points, and if you only include a few key points, you get 1 point. But if you cover all the relevant key and supporting points, you get the full 2 points. If your written response contains 50 to 70 words, you get the full 2 points, but if it is between 40 to 49 or 71 to 100 words, you only get 1 point. Any response below 40 words or above 100 words, will get you zero. So, the Summarize Spoken Text word limit is between 50 and 70 words.

NOTE: If your summary contains less than 40 words or more than 100 words, you will not receive any score points for your summary on any of the five factors. Check it yourself on the official PTE Website.


Additionally, you will obtain 2 points if your response has no grammatical errors. Two points will be awarded for the Summarize spoken text answer that is grammatically accurate. If you make a few grammatical errors (1 or 2), you will score 1 point for grammar. Whereas, if you make any more mistakes, then you do not get any points for grammar.

Vocabulary and Spelling

For vocabulary, you can score 2 points for the usage of appropriate words. If you use less appropriate words, you get 1 point and for the usage of no appropriate words, you get zero. The words are deemed appropriate if they are relevant to the spoken lecture and also academically relevant. And lastly, for spelling, 1 mistake can cost you 1 point and more than 1 mistake will fetch you 0 points for Spelling, only no mistakes can get you 2 points.

So, in total, you can achieve 10 points if you satisfy every marking criterion set by the PTE. Be careful, if you write irrelevant content that is in no way related to the audio recording, you will get zero points overall. Also, never type everything in capital letters, and use appropriate punctuation.

Summarize Spoken Text Tips and Strategy

Like every other PTE Listening task, we recommend dividing the strategy into 3 steps for Summarize Spoken Text task as well. They are before the audio begins, while the audio is playing, and after the audio recording ends. Following these simple steps will ensure you are getting a high score for this task. These steps are similar to what we recommend for PTE Retell Lecture as well, because of the same pattern of the questions. The only difference is that in Retell Lecture, you need to speak and in Summarize Spoken Text you need to write.

TIPS for PTE Summarize Spoken Text

  • Focus on listening
  • Taking notes is very important
  • Use the initial 12 seconds to prepare yourself
  • Your writing should have a good structure
    • Introduction, Body and Conclusion

Step 1: Before the Audio Begins

Before the Summarize Spoken Text audio begins playing, you get 12 seconds to prepare. This is the only preparation time that you get. The ideal usage of this time will be to get your pen and erasable notepad in your hand and prepare yourself to listen hard. You may do some deep breathing to find your composure. You can’t do anything else in the given time.

Step 2: While the Audio is Playing

Step two in PTE Summarize Spoken Text task is listening to the audio recording. While you are listening, firstly, you need to listen very carefully, and at the same time, you also need to note down the keywords and phrases. It is not recommended that you try to note down everything you hear during the 60 to 90 seconds of audio, instead, your focus should be on the words that sound important. So, how do you figure out which words are important? The answer is, you need to hear which words are emphasized or stressed by the speaker.

Not to forget, you need to note down the adjective, verbs, and nouns as well. The emphasized words or words that have been repeated a number of times, will form your key ideas and phrases. You should target to note down between 5 to 7 keywords and/ or key phrases. And learn to ignore the grammar words, for example, the, for, it, is, etc.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text – Taking Notes

  • Focus on listening
  • Make Note of keywords and phrases – around 5 keywords, 2 phrases
    • Emphasized words
    • Nouns
    • Verbs
    • Adjectives
    • Main ideas/ phrases

Step 3: After Audio Finishes

The third step in PTE Summarize Spoken Text, is to put your notes together into a good response between 50 to 70 words. You can use the Edutrainex template to easily score full marks for this task, I will discuss that shortly. But firstly, you need to think about the central or the main idea of the audio you just heard. Use your notes and memory together to think about what main thing that was discussed in the lecture, and that will give you your central idea, which is very important.

Step 4: Refining your response

You will have full 10 minutes to type your response, so divide your time carefully. Use the initial few minutes to think about the main idea and what keywords you can use in the body, also think about what you can write in the conclusion. Then, type your response using our template and use the last few minutes to edit and refine your response. Editing and refining is a very important step so that you can fix your grammar, punctuation, spelling, and word count issues. If you are a fast typist, you will probably finish your response much before 10 mins. Just remember that the time you save here will not be added to the remaining listening questions, as this is an allocated time of 10 minutes for each Summarize Spoken Text question. See the below points.

PTE Summarize Spoke Text – How to use the notes

  • Use the Edutrainex PTE Summarize Spoken Text template
  • Before writing, think about the main idea/ central idea of the lecture
  • Use your notes wisely to put the main idea and the other keywords into the template
  • Use your notes and understanding to add a conclusion
  • Don’t exceed the 70 word count

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Template

Using the Summarize Spoken Text template gives you the freedom to just fit in your keywords into it, and the template already takes care of the PTE scoring requirements and structure. All you need to do is to use the noted keywords and phrases in the template. Already hundreds of students are using this template to get full score on this task, and the beauty of this template is that it already has a structure that uses transition words and makes it coherent and smooth. It comprises an Introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction would contain your main idea, the body would have the middle sentences using the keywords and the conclusion would have the implication or suggestion that the speaker is trying to make. See the template below.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Template (80+ Guaranteed)

The speaker was describing CENTRAL IDEA.
Firstly, He/ She explained KEYWORD 1.
Then, He/ She talked about KEYWORD 2 .
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

This is a very simple template that you can work with and it gets you full marks every time unless you make any grammar or spelling mistakes. The tip here is to not try to make the sentences complex and just fit the keywords to reach the 50-word count minimum.

Using the PTE Summarize Spoken Text Template – Practice 1

Firstly, while you are listening, you should note down the keywords, similar to those below.

  • actions -> avoid harm to others
  • societal cohesion – learn and decide
  • experiment -> brain scans – participants
  • electric shock – decision-making process
  • efficient – choices – deliberate – avoid harm
  • better – results – future

Then, you need to think about the central idea from the notes and your memory. Below are a couple of options that you should consider after listening to the audio.

  • Option 1: How our decisions and actions harm others.
  • Option 2: Talks about societal cohesion.
  • Option 3: Human decision-making process.
  • Option 4: How we learn to make better decisions.

And for the conclusion, you need to write something that sounds like a conclusion. It doesn’t need to be 100% accurate, anything can seem logical according to the played lecture. You can just use one of the options from the above main ideas as a conclusion, as simple as that.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Sample Answer 1

Introduction – The speaker was describing how our decisions and actions harm others.


Firstly, he talked about learning and deciding.
Then, he explained the brain scans and participants.
Later, he also described electric shock and experiment.
Furthermore, he discussed participants making efficient choices.

Conclusion – Overall, he implied that the decision-making process results would be better in the future.

Perfect, the word count is 55, which is above 50 and below 70. See, how I just used the noted keywords and then. Initially, I wrote only 48 words, but later I added the simple words highlighted in red above, to take the word count to 55. I also fixed my grammar and spelling, so we are good, so I will just finish my response for the Summarize Spoken Text question.

Using the Summarize Spoken Text Template – Practice 2

Listen to the second practice question for Summarize Spoken text and then see what you note.

  • dynamics -> urbanization developments – agriculture
  • cities – countryside – rural areas – urban
  • agriculture productivity -> reduces labour needs
  • Growing food and productivity – rural
  • Need – farmer – People move to cities

Now, I will use my notes to formulate the central idea of the lecture. So, let’s see how many options I can put down below.

  • Option 1: The dynamics of urbanization developments
  • Option 2: People moving to cities from countryside
  • Option 3: Growing food and productivity in rural areas

Now, I will use the notes to complete my response.

Summarize Spoken Text Answer 2

Introduction – The speaker was describing the dynamics of urbanization developments.


Firstly, he talked about developments in agriculture.
Then, he explained cities and rural areas.
Later, he also described agriculture productivity and reducing labour needs.
Furthermore, he discussed growing food in rural areas.

Conclusion – Overall, he implied that we need more farmers to grow more food.

Excellent, the final word count is 53 words, and this time I again had to add more words to reach above 50. Whatever, I had written the first time already had enough word count. The only thing I additionally did, was double-checked for grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, and my response is complete.

Have a look at the readymade template below, which can be used by students who are unable to improve their English grammar skills or who don’t have enough time to improve.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Readymade Template

According to the lecture, the speaker was describing the highlights of MAIN KEYWORD.
Firstly, he/ she provided brief information about KEYWORD 1.
Then, he/ she explained the importance of KEYWORD 2.
Later, he/ she also described the key elements related to KEYWORD 3.
Moreover, he/ she discussed the significance of KEYWORD 4.
Overall, he/ she suggested crucial information about the MAIN KEYWORD (say the same thing, try to use different words)

To use the Summarize Spoken Text readymade template, you need just 5 keywords to complete your response. The template itself is 45 words, so you just need 5 more words to reach the 50 word count limit. Out of the 5 good keywords you noted, you need to identify the main keyword. This keyword would have been repeated a lot of times in the lecture. So, that is your hint to identify the main keyword. Just follow our guidelines on how to select the other keywords discussed before. Let me show you with the help of an example we did earlier on urbanization and agriculture, how to use the readymade template. Using the template, if you don’t make any grammatical mistakes, you can easily get a high score.

Let’s say you noted the main keyword as agriculture. And you noted the other keywords as urbanization, food, farmers and productivity. See the answer using these keywords below, the final word count is 51 and this response will get you to ao a very good writing score. You just need to be in careful in selecting the correct keywords.

Summarize Spoken Text Sample Answer 3

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


Firstly, he provided brief information about urbanization.
Then, he explained the importance of food.
Later, he also described the key elements related to farmers.
Moreover, he discussed the significance of productivity.

Conclusion – Overall, he suggested crucial information about the farming.

PTE Summarize Spoken Text Practice Questions

So, the whole Summarize Spoken Text task has been discussed with you, including the tips and tricks and the templates as well. This should be enough for you to get going, and the next step forward should be to start practicing and get feedback on your writing. It is important that you practice using quality PTE materials and stay away from the junk questions available on the internet for free. Stay away from them, and if you need high-quality PTE practice questions and also the PTE Repeated questions, enroll today at Edutrainex. Our PTE experts will not only help you in perfecting this task but also provide you with personalized and detailed feedback on your responses. These feedbacks are really important as Summarize Spoken Text is a writing task and only expert tutors can give you a proper one. Watch our strategy videos on our channel – Edutrainex Youtube Channel.

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