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PTE speaking: enhancing your vocabulary for the describe image task

The Describe Image task in the PTE Speaking section requires you to analyze and describe a visual representation, such as a graph, chart, or diagram. To excel in this task, it is crucial to have a strong vocabulary that enables you to express your observations and interpretations accurately. In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies to enhance your vocabulary specifically for the Describe Image task in the PTE Speaking section.

Build a Vocabulary Bank:

Create a vocabulary bank specifically for the types of visuals commonly used in the PTE Speaking section. Include words and phrases related to various aspects of visuals, such as trends, comparisons, percentages, and relationships. Organize your vocabulary bank by categories to make it easier to retrieve relevant words when describing different types of images.

Study Visual Vocabulary:

Dedicate time to studying vocabulary related to different types of visuals you may encounter in the PTE exam. This includes terms specific to graphs (e.g., axis, data points, trendlines), charts (e.g., pie chart, bar graph, line graph), and diagrams (e.g., flowchart, process diagram, map). Familiarize yourself with the vocabulary used to describe shapes, patterns, quantities, and trends.

Use Synonyms and Antonyms:

Expand your vocabulary by learning synonyms and antonyms of common words and phrases. This will allow you to provide varied descriptions and avoid repetition in your responses. For example, instead of repeatedly using "increase," you can substitute it with words like "rise," "ascend," or "growth." Similarly, antonyms such as "decrease," "fall," or "decline" can add more depth to your descriptions.

Study Academic Vocabulary:

Since the PTE Academic exam focuses on academic contexts, it is essential to familiarize yourself with academic vocabulary. This includes words and phrases commonly used in research papers, articles, and presentations. Incorporate terms related to data analysis, research findings, conclusions, and implications into your vocabulary bank. This will help you convey a higher level of proficiency and academic understanding in your responses.

Practice Contextual Usage:

Mere memorization of words is not sufficient; you must practice using them in context. Engage in activities that require you to describe visuals using the vocabulary you have learned. Practice speaking spontaneously and incorporating relevant vocabulary while maintaining coherence and fluency. This will help solidify your understanding and improve your ability to use the vocabulary effectively during the actual exam.

Seek Feedback:

Regularly seek feedback from teachers, language partners, or language professionals to identify areas for improvement. They can help you identify any errors or areas where your vocabulary usage can be enhanced. Actively incorporate their feedback and suggestions into your practice sessions to refine your vocabulary skills further.

Read Widely:

Reading extensively exposes you to a wide range of vocabulary in different contexts. Read articles, books, news reports, and academic materials to encounter diverse vocabulary and see how it is used in context. Make a habit of noting down new words and their meanings, and practice incorporating them into your speaking and writing tasks.


Enhancing your vocabulary is essential for performing well in the Describe Image task of the PTE Speaking section. By building a vocabulary bank, studying visual vocabulary, using synonyms and antonyms, learning academic vocabulary, practicing contextual usage, seeking feedback, and reading widely, you can strengthen your vocabulary skills. Remember, developing a rich vocabulary takes time and consistent effort. So, be patient, stay motivated, and practice regularly to effectively describe visuals and demonstrate your language proficiency in the PTE Speaking section.