What is read aloud in PTE?
Read Aloud is the first question type you’ll be asked in your PTE Academic test after you’ve finished your personal introduction. On your screen, you will see some text, and your task will be to read it as accurately as possible. First, you are given some time to read and prepare for the content shown on the screen. After around 30-40 seconds, the microphone will open. Once the microphone opens, the status box displays a progress bar and you should start reading aloud whatever is shown on the screen. You must finish reading the content before the progress bar ends.
The test assesses your ability to read aloud with correct pronunciation and intonation of a short text. Accordingly, your speaking, as well as reading score, is influenced by this question. When delivering your answer, you should appear fluent and confident. You will need to speak aloud for 5-6 questions in the read-aloud section of your PTE.
How is Read aloud assessed in your exam?
The following criteria are used to determine your ability to understand and read aloud
Be sure not to add any words, to change any words, or to skip any words when speaking. The more mistakes you make, the fewer points you receive.
The nature of your responses is measured by whether they are effortless, smooth, and have a natural rate of speech. Pearson explains that the test takes into account your enunciation, your rhythm, and the way you deal with stress (or your ability to communicate in an English-only environment) when you speak. In answering questions, try to keep your voice natural, speak at a natural rate, and use appropriately with good phrasing. A false start, a pause, or a repeated action will negatively affect your score.
In their analysis, Pearson evaluates how close your English pronunciation is as compared to a native speaker of English. Pearson examines your command of a language by evaluating whether most native speakers can understand you. It is crucial to pronounce vowels and consonants accurately and with a natural tone of voice. Your answer is also expected to be understood by those who are fluent in the language.
Some tips to score higher in the test
In order to score higher in this question type, you will have to focus on three things: your English language ability, your ability to produce speech sounds at a natural tone and natural rate, and your reading accuracy. There are a few ways you can achieve this.
Read Accurately to increase your score in the content
Candidates are more likely to read inaccurately when they are reading unfamiliar topics or when they aren’t prepared about the topic. You can read more accurately by making yourself familiar with different topics, preparing yourself before the recording starts and by practising more exam questions.
Therefore, the first step is to increase your familiarity with a range of topics. To do this, you should be reading newspapers, articles, journals as much as possible. There are a number of benefits to reading. The most obvious one is that it helps expand your vocabulary, helps you improve your grammar and writing skills while offering you insights into the world around you.
Read Loud before the recording starts
When you prepare for 30 to 40 seconds, read the questions aloud as if you were answering them. When you just mentally read, you may not actually be able to see the words which can cause trouble. Therefore, read the paragraph aloud and pay attention to words that seem hard to pronounce. Try saying these words multiple times before the recording starts. If the word is long or difficult to pronounce, then break it into smaller sounds and practice saying them.
See before you say
Once your microphone is up, looking at the text on the screen and try to see the words before you say them. This means you should be tracking the words on the screen as you read them loud and if you can see a few words in advance it will help you avoid mistakes.
Create a mental plan to increase your score in fluency
When you are preparing, try to identify the words which you are planning to stress. If you see any list in the paragraph, take note of it and decide how you are going to say it. If you see an odder-looking word, decide how you are going to pronounce it. If you see a foreign word, decide how you are going to say it. This is your mental plan and you should stick to it as much as possible. Do not improvise when you start speaking as it may confuse you and you may make more mistakes.
Work on your stress, intonation, rhythm, and connected speech to increase your score in pronunciation
Try to speak clearly, naturally, and confidently even if you do not understand everything
Do you think that the newsreaders know everything about every topic? Of course not! but if you listen to them, it feels like they are quite confident about what they read. It feels as if they are the expert on the topic. If you think about it what they are simply doing is they are conveying the information with variation in their speed and tone.
So, take out your phone and record yourself. Rate yourself and reflect on how you are doing. Appreciate your improvement and work on your weak areas. With continuation effort and adequate preparation time, you will start seeing improvement in your performance as well as in your overall ability to speak well.
Divide the paragraph into meaningful chunks
As you start becoming more confident in your speaking ability and your pronunciation, try to understand what you are reading. Based on your understanding, divide each sentence you read into meaningful ideas. Try to ask yourself who is doing what and why or when or where. This will help you divide the sentence into meaningful chunks. Now try to read each chunk as smoothly as possible. You may need to take micro pauses between chunks.
Use punctuation to help you decide where to pause when you read
When we speak, we automatically take frequent breaks between our ideas in a sentence, between sentences, and between topics. Punctuations were invented to symbolize these pauses. Therefore, you can use punctuations as a guide to decide where to pause or where to lower your tone, or where to increase your tone. Usually, you need to pause at punctuation marks – commas, full stops, and conjunctions such as and, but, etc. Don’t overthink about where to pause or not. Practice it often and let it happen naturally. If you think too much about punctuation, your pausing may sound uneven or unnatural.
Stress the words that carry important information
By now, you will have become more confident in your read aloud questions. So, the next step is to identify important words or words inside a sentence. Remember, not all words are equally important in a sentence. Some words are used for a specific purpose whereas some others are used just for maintaining the structure of a sentence. Try to identify these meaningful words and stress on them while you read.
You can practice intonation by pretending you are reading the news. While doing this try to make hand gestures. Moving your hands or changing facial expressions brings emotions and natural variations in your tone. With practice, you will be able to speak in a more native-like way.
Pronunciation is important but it’s not everything
Having said all that, I would like to emphasize that pronunciation is important, but it is not everything. Do not worry too much about sounding exactly like a native speaker. You need to practice the words that appear frequently in your examination. However, minor mistakes do not need to be a cause for concern. You should remember that speaking with a variety in tone and speaking more consistently plays a greater role in your score than anything else.
Increase your confidence and your skill by doing mock tests and real pte practice questions
By now, you’ve mastered all the concepts needed for answering Read Aloud questions. Wouldn’t it be better to practice the PTE tests on actual PTE software before you take them?
Remember reading theory and not doing practising is like watching a football game and never playing it – you will enjoy the experience but you will never develop the skill. Therefore, now you should learn how to apply all the skills you learned to perform well in the exam.
Practice read aloud as frequently as possible
You can practice anywhere and with anything. When you see something that you can read, start reading it aloud. You can do this while reading a Facebook post, while reading a celebrity gossip your friend sent you or while preparing the report for your boss in the office. Pretend that you are saying these things to someone. Read with full emotion and making gestures. Let it be second nature for you.
Practice Time Management with Practice Questions and Mock Tests
Along with this, practice actual pte exam questions too. When you are starting out, don’t let yourself get discouraged. Take a look at our website for free practice questions. Our website offers complete free practice for all read-aloud and other questions asked on the PTE exam. When you have finished practising, listen carefully to the sample answer. You should keep repeating this until you are able to pronounce all the words in the set.
If you think you are ready, you can test your skills by doing scored mock tests. When you do mock tests on our platform, unlike others, we also send you feedback on your performance. If you are not doing that well, you can take this feedback to your tutors and discuss with them everything you need to do to get a better score next time.
Reading aloud appropriately is the foundation for a good score in PTE. It is one of the most important questions in PTE which will enhance both your reading and speaking score simultaneously if done correctly. By being careful about the content, making your rate of speech natural, smooth and consistent, and improving your English pronunciation, you shall be able to get an excellent score in your next PTE test.