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PTE listening: strategies for answering summarize spoken text

The Summarize Spoken Text task in the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Listening section requires you to listen to an audio recording and provide a concise summary of the key points. This task assesses your listening and summarizing skills. In this blog, we will discuss effective strategies to help you excel in the Summarize Spoken Text task and maximize your score in the PTE Listening section.

Actively Listen:

During the audio recording, listen attentively and actively. Focus on understanding the main ideas, supporting details, and the overall message being conveyed. Take note of any significant facts, examples, or arguments that stand out.

Identify Key Points:

As you listen, identify the key points or central ideas being discussed in the recording. These are the main pieces of information that should be included in your summary. Pay attention to the speaker's emphasis, repetition, or any transitions that indicate important points.

Take Efficient Notes:

While listening, take efficient notes to capture the main ideas and supporting details. Use abbreviations, symbols, or keywords to jot down key information quickly. Focus on writing down essential words or phrases that represent the core concepts of the recording.

Structure Your Summary:

Create a clear structure for your summary. Begin with an introduction that provides an overview of the topic or context. Then, include the main points in a logical order, ensuring that they are accurately represented. Finally, conclude your summary with a concise statement that captures the essence of the recording.

Be Concise:

Summarize Spoken Text requires conciseness. Keep your summary within the given word limit (usually 50-70 words). Avoid unnecessary details, examples, or repetitions. Focus on conveying the most important information in a succinct and clear manner.

Use Paraphrasing:

When constructing your summary, practice paraphrasing the original content. Express the main ideas using different words and sentence structures while maintaining the original meaning. This demonstrates your ability to comprehend and restate information accurately.

Develop Time Management Skills:

Effective time management is crucial for success in the Summarize Spoken Text task. Allocate a few seconds after the audio ends to quickly organize your thoughts and structure your summary mentally. Use this time wisely to ensure you can start writing your summary immediately.

Practice Active Listening in Everyday Situations:

Improve your listening skills by actively engaging in listening activities in your everyday life. Listen to podcasts, lectures, news broadcasts, or conversations in English. Practice identifying key points, summarizing the content, and capturing essential details. This will enhance your overall listening comprehension abilities.

Take Advantage of Punctuation Cues:

Pay attention to punctuation cues while listening. Pauses, intonation, and stress can provide hints about the structure and organization of the spoken text. Use these cues to identify the relationships between ideas and accurately represent them in your summary.

Review and Revise:

Before submitting your response, review and revise your summary. Ensure that it is clear, concise, and accurately reflects the main points of the recording. Check for grammatical errors, clarity of expression, and coherence. Use any remaining time to make necessary improvements.


The Summarize Spoken Text task in the PTE Listening section requires active listening, effective note-taking, concise summarizing, and efficient time management. By actively listening, identifying key points, taking efficient notes, structuring your summary, being concise, using paraphrasing, practicing time management, engaging in active listening in daily life, leveraging punctuation cues, and reviewing and revising your summary, you can maximize your score in this task. With practice and dedication, you will build the skills necessary to excel in the PTE Listening section and achieve your desired score.