Mastering the PTE Speaking Section: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) Speaking section assesses your ability to communicate effectively in English. It involves reading aloud, repeating sentences, describing images, and answering questions based on short recordings. This section can be challenging, especially for non-native speakers. Book a PTE course online to enhance your skills and improve your PTE speaking.

So what are common mistakes you could make in PTE speaking? We have curated the right solutions for you! In this blog, we will discuss some common mistakes that test-takers make in the PTE Speaking section and provide tips on how to avoid them.

What are the Common Mistakes in PTE Speaking?

Mistake #1: Not following the instructions

One of the most common mistakes is students not following the exam instructions. It is essential to carefully read and understand the instructions before starting each task. Failure to follow the instructions can lead to a lower score or even a zero for that task.

How to avoid it: Before starting each task, take a few seconds to read the instructions carefully. Pay attention to the number of responses required, the time limit, and any other specific requirements. When unsure about the guidelines, ask the test administrator for clarification.

Mistake #2: Speaking too fast or too slow

Another common mistake t is speaking too fast or too slow. Speaking too fast can make it difficult for the listener to understand you while speaking too slow can make you hesitant or unsure.

How to avoid it: Practice speaking at a moderate pace, neither fast nor slow. You must pay attention to your pronunciation, intonation, and stress. Make sure you articulate each word clearly and emphasise the keywords.

Mistake #3: Not using appropriate vocabulary and grammar

Using inappropriate vocabulary and grammar can significantly lower your score in the PTE Speaking section. It is essential to use correct grammar and appropriate terminology to convey your message clearly and accurately.

How to avoid it: Practice using a wide range of lexis and correct grammar. Read and listen to English materials regularly, such as books, articles, podcasts, and movies. Pay attention to the context and the appropriate use of words and grammar structures.

Mistake #4: Not practising enough

Not practising enough is a common mistake that can prevent you from achieving your desired score in the PTE Speaking section. Practising is essential to improve your speaking skills and build your confidence.

How to avoid it: Set aside regular practice time to improve your speaking skills. Use PTE practice materials, such as sample questions and tests, to familiarise yourself with the test format and improve your performance. Practice with a partner or tutor to receive feedback on your pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.

Mistake #5: Not managing time effectively

Time management is crucial in the PTE Speaking section. Each task has a specific time limit, and failing to manage your time effectively can prevent you from completing all tasks or finishing them on time.

How to avoid it: Practice managing your time effectively by setting a time limit for each task and sticking to it. Use a stopwatch or timer to keep track of your time. If you run out of time, prioritise the remaining questions and focus on answering the ones with more points.

Mistake #6: Not pacing yourself well

In the PTE Speaking section, you’ll need to respond to several tasks, ranging from short-answer questions to longer, more complex ones. Not pacing yourself well can lead to rushing through some tasks while spending too much time on others. Thus, negatively impacting your performance and resulting in a lower score.

How to avoid it: Before you begin each task, take a moment to plan your approach. Determine how much time you should spend on each question, and stick to that plan. For longer tasks, consider dividing your response into manageable chunks so that you can address all aspects of the question without running out of time.

Mistake #7: Not using appropriate intonation and stress

Your intonation and stress are crucial components of your speaking performance. Intonation refers to the rising and falling of your voice, while stress refers to the emphasis you place on certain syllables or words. If you don’t use appropriate intonation and stress, it can make it tough for the listener to understand your meaning, resulting in a lower score.

How to avoid it: Pay attention to the tone and stress patterns used by native English speakers. Use rising and falling intonation to indicate questions and statements, respectively. Emphasise the most critical words in your response by placing stress on the appropriate syllables.

Mistake #8: Not using the appropriate tone and register

Your tone and register refer to the formality or informality you use when speaking. Not using the appropriate style and register can make you sound awkward or inappropriate and further impact your score.

How to avoid it: Consider the context of each task when choosing your tone and register. For example, to describe a formal image, use a style and register that is formal. If you’re giving your opinion on a topic, use a more conversational tone and register. However, be careful not to use slang or inappropriate language, even in more informal tasks.

Mistake #9: Not using varied sentence structures

Using the same sentence structures repeatedly can make your responses sound monotonous and robotic. It’s critical to use a variety of sentence structures to demonstrate your range of language skills.

How to avoid it: Practice using different sentence structures, such as simple, compound, and complex sentences. Vary your use of verb tenses and sentence lengths to make your responses more engaging.

Mistake #10: Not using appropriate vocabulary

Using inappropriate or incorrect vocabulary can make it difficult for the listener to understand your meaning. Use appropriate lexis that accurately reflects the task and demonstrates your language proficiency.

How to avoid it: Expand your vocabulary by reading widely and practising using new words and phrases. Use words and phrases that accurately convey your intended meaning, and avoid using slang or overly complex terminology that may be difficult for the listener to understand.


The PTE Speaking section can be challenging, but with proper preparation and practice, you can master it. You can book a highly-rated PTE course online from a reputed company to avoid common mistakes such as not following instructions, speaking too fast or slow, etc.

Appropriate lexis and grammar, practising enough, and managing time effectively can significantly improve your chances of achieving a high score. Remember to practice and seek professional advice from experts at English Wise, one of the best online coaching facilities, to stay confident and focused during the test.

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