Mastering the Summarize Spoken Text: Guide & Tips

Written By Peter's PTE
Written By Peter's PTE

The PTE (Pearson Test of English) Summarize Spoken Text task is an essential component of the PTE listening exam. In this section, test-takers must listen to a high-level audio lecture and then provide a concise written summary of the main points within a specific word limit. This task is designed to assess your listening and writing skills simultaneously. To help you succeed in this challenging task, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide filled with valuable tips and strategies.

Summarize Spoken Text Format

The Summarize Spoken Text task in PTE requires you to listen to a 60-90 second audio recording. After listening, you need to produce a written summary containing 50 to 70 words, capturing the main points and key information from the lecture. Typically, you will have to complete 2-3 questions of this type within the given time frame. You have 10 minutes to write your summary.

How Is It Scored?

This task is crucial as it assesses your ability to comprehend complex spoken content and express it clearly in writing within the prescribed word limit. To improve your performance in the Summarize Spoken Text part of the PTE Listening test, Keep Mind These Scoring Factor –


  • 2 Score: Provides a good summary of the text. All relevant aspects are mentioned.
  • 1 Score: Provides a fair summary of the text, but one or two aspects are missing
  • 0 Score: Omits or misrepresents the main aspects


  • 2 Score: Contains 50-70 words
  • 1 Score: Contains 40-49 words or 71-100 words
  • 0 Score: Contains less than 40 words or more than 100 words. Summary is written in capital letters, contains no punctuation or consists only of bullet points or very short sentences.


  • 2 Score: Correct grammatical structures
  • 1 Score: Contains grammatical errors with no hindrance to communication
  • 0 Score: Defective grammatical structure which could hinder communications


  • 2 Score: Appropriate choice of words
  • 1 Score: Some lexical errors but with no hindrance to communication
  • 0 Score: Defective word choice which could hinder communication


  • 2 Score: Correct spelling
  • 1 Score: One spelling error
  • 0 Score: More than one spelling errors

Always Remember

  • Unless you are very confident about your grammar, do not try to write complicated sentences.
  • You have 10 minutes to write your summary.
  • There are also cut, copy and paste buttons which you may choose to use while constructing your summary.
  • Partial credit scoring applies to Summarize spoken text.
  • Ensure your response is a model of proper structure. Avoid abrupt transitions from one point to the next. Instead, maintain a logical flow in your writing.

Summarize Spoken Text Tips

Tips for Better Result

  • Stay Focused: Concentrate fully on the audio to understand the core theme and supporting details. Avoid distractions.
  • Effective Note-Taking: Capture keywords and key points using abbreviations and legible notes. Begin taking notes early.
  • Review and Organize: After the audio ends, review your notes and organize your ideas before crafting the summary.
  • Word Limit: Stick to the word count of 50 to 70 words. Add relevant details if it’s too short, and condense if it’s too long.
  • Clarity: Prioritize clarity over complexity in your sentences. Ensure proper punctuation, grammar, and coherence.
  • Revise and Polish: Spend at least 2 minutes revising your summary for vocabulary, spelling, grammar, structure, and logic.
  • Time Management: Allocate your 10 minutes wisely with 1-2 minutes for note review, 5-6 minutes for summary composition, and 1-2 minutes for review.
  • Practice: Regular practice with diverse academic content improves listening and note-taking skills. Mock tests, like those from Peter’s PTE, offer valuable feedback.


The Summarize Spoken Text task in the PTE exam is undoubtedly a demanding challenge. However, with consistent practice and the strategic application of these tips and techniques, you can master this task and achieve high scores.

Maintain focus during audio playback, improve your note-taking, adhere to word limits, favor clear expression over complex sentences, and diligently review your responses. Effective time management and practice will also be key to your success.

Approach this task with confidence, stay calm during the exam, and practice regularly. With determination and the right strategies, you’ll be well-prepared to conquer the PTE “Summarize Spoken Text” task and achieve your desired results. Best of luck in your PTE journey!

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