PTE LISTENING TIPS

FOLLOWING RIGHT  STRATEGIES IN READING CAN SECURE HIGH SCORE

 

Multiple choice - choose single answer

The task : This session tests your listening and writing skills. Your answer should be in 50-70 words range  to be completed in 10 minutes. There will be 2-3 Summarize spoken text tasks.

Strategies to apply 
Be ready

• Get ready to listen to audio , which will begin in 12 seconds.• Be ready with your notepad to take notes.Take notes  of main and supporting ideas as you listen  to the audio.• As you listen, take notes of the main and supporting ideas.• Don’t try to write  everything you hear, rather use key words, abbreviations, symbols and arrows to capture the most significant points and to show how the ideas are organized.  Writing notes  will ensure that you have all the main points.• Look at your notes when the audio is fresh in your mind. Plan and present the information.

Write your summary

 • You have I 0 minutes to write your summary after the recording ends.• Use your notes and summarize all the main points.  If all relevant aspects of the audio are mentioned you will get top marks. Limit  your answer to 50-70 words, or you will lose marks.• Check your work for grammar and spelling. Mistakes will lose marks.• After 10 minutes, the screen will stop responding. Click ‘Next’. 

 

Subskills tested

Listening and Writing

Preparation

Learn techniques for rapid note-taking. Use your own abbreviations and symbols and practise using them so they become automatic.• Find podcasts of lectures with a transcript. Highlight the signal words that indicate the main points and the examples, or evidence, or opposing arguments, then check with the audio to help you understand.• Look for  podcasts of lectures online. Listen to 30 seconds of a lecture, noting the key words, then stop the audio and write a sentence that summarizes the main points of what you heard. Repeat this twice until you have listened to 90 seconds. Then, combine sentences into a summary of 50-70 words. Practice until  you can listen to 90 seconds without stopping the audio. • Write grammatically correct sentences. Simple sentences that communicate meaning will score better than complex sentences with errors. The best responses  communicate meaning clearly using concise, correct sentences .

Multiple choice-choose multiple answers

The task 

 This test tests reading skills. You need to choose more than one response. You need to do 2-3 Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers tasks.

Strategies

Read and think ahead

 Read the question and go through the options before the audio begins. This will help you to know what the topic is as well as what you need to listen for. It could be the main ideas, the writer’s goals or attitudes, some detailed information, or inferences.

Be focused

Keep your attention on the audio. Take notes of key words if you wish. This will  help you remember the information you hear.• As you listen, pay attention to the development of the speaker’s ideas so you can recognize the core information.• Listen for the general flow of ideas. It’s OK if you miss or don’t know individual words.• Eliminate options that contain incorrect information or have information that was not mentioned after the audio finishes,.• Choose the answer by clicking on more than one option.

Confirm your choice

Check again that each of the other options is incorrect, after you have chosen the options. If you change your mind, change your answer.• Don’t spend too much time on one task. 

Subskills tested: Listening

 Preparation

• Listen to lectures you find on the web and stop the audio about every minute to answer this question: What points has the speaker made? Summarize the main points.• Listen to lectures you find on the web and see what is the speaker doing here? (introducing, criticizing, summarizing, persuading, describing, etc.).• Make your own notes of the information in a short extract from a lecture and use arrows to show how the speaker’s ideas develop.• Practise activating relevant vocabulary by listening to the opening sentence of a lecture and stopping the lecture and making a list of all the words on that topic that you expect to hear. Confirm it by circling each one as you listen to the lecture and add other words to your list.• Find podcasts of lectures with a transcript. Highlight the signal words that indicate the main points and the examples, or evidence, or opposing arguments, then listen for them in the audio. Highlight any words you don’t know in the transcript and practise guessing what they mean from the context. Check your guess in a dictionary.• Expand your vocabulary by creating lists of words with their synonyms.

Fill in the blanks

 

 The task

This is a listening task type that tests listening and writing skills. You have to listen to a recording and write the missing words in a transcription of the recording. You will do 2-3 Fill in the blanks tasks.

 

Strategies

Be ready

• Quickly skim the text to gain a general idea of the topic.• Be ready to write each missing word on your  Notepad  or type directly into each blank.

• The Audio Status box will count down from 7 seconds . Write what you hear.• As you hear each missing word during the recording, write or type the word quickly and be ready for the next one. Do not check your spelling at this point.• Follow the speaker in the transcription. Do not lag behind.• Keep writing until the audio stops. Check and type.• After the audio stops, read the sentence that has the first missing word and confirm that the word you wrote makes sense  and carefully check your spelling each time. Incorrect spelling will score zero mark.• Use grammar clues to make sure you type the correct form of the word (noun, verb, adjective, etc.).• Read through one last time for meaning to confirm each word and check your spelling. 

Subskills tested: Listening: 

Preparation

•Practise matching the written form of a word to the sound. Listen to a podcast of a lecture and stop the audio every 10 seconds. Write down the last word you heard, then re-play and check that the word for its correctness.• Check the pronunciation of  new words you learn by using a dictionary with the words recorded. Make sure you know where the stress falls within the word.• Confirm the spelling of new words as you learn them. Practise adding new words in lists; this will also help to familiarize you with the computer keyboard. • Ask someone to read short sentences to you from articles. Type the sentences you hear on your computer using a text editor like wordpad. Look for any misspelled words and use the spell-checker to see if you were right.• Maintain a word bank for new words with as many forms of the word listed as you can find, such as the noun, verb, adjective and adverb form of words, e.g. training (n), train(v), trained (adj). You can add synonyms, antonyms and collocations to your word bank to increase your vocabulary. Enlarge your word bank every day.• If you hear part of a word, you can work out what form the word must be and how to spell it using grammar and context clues. Use grammar book with gap-fill quizzes to practise choosing the grammatically correct word for each gap.

Highlight correct summary

  The task 

This task  tests listening and reading skills. You will listen to a short lecture then identify the correct summary of the audio you have heard. You will do 2-3 Highlight correct summary tasks.

 Strategies

Be ready

Skim the 4 summaries quickly to gain an idea of the topic before the audio begins. Do not read thoroughly. Be ready to listen and take notes of key ideas using your Erasable Noteboard Booklet.• As you listen, take notes of the main and supporting ideas.•Don’t write  everything you hear. Use key words, abbreviations, symbols and arrows to capture the most important ideas.•Note any information given in support of an argument, or any implications pointed out by the speaker.•Do not  read the summaries as you listen as these summaries are long there is too much information. Focus on listening and then choose the answer.

Compare your notes and summary

When the audio is over, use your notes to select the correct option.

•First, eliminate any options that contain incorrect information.

•Eliminate any options that focus on only one aspect of the information, or that contain information that was not mentioned at all.

•Check the remaining option against your notes to confirm that it covers all aspects of lecture. Select that option and move on.

 

Subskills tested

Listening, reading

Preparation

• Practice rapid note-taking. Use your own abbreviations and symbols and practise using them so they become automatic. • Use podcasts of lectures with a transcript. Highlight the signal words that indicate the main points and the examples, or evidence, or opposing arguments, then listen for them in the audio. Underline words in the transcript that the speaker highlights with stress or intonation; these help to identify the key points.• Listen to short lecture with a pose after every 15 seconds, noting the key points, then stop the audio and write a sentence that summarizes the main information you heard. Repeat this twice until you have listened to 90 seconds. Then, join your sentences into a summary; practice in writing summaries will help you to recognize a summary. Practise until you can listen to 90 seconds without stopping the audio, than produce a complete summary.

    Multiple choice- choose single answer

     

     The task 

     This is a multiple-choice listening task type that tests listening skills. You have to select a single answer to a question about a lecture.

      Strategies

     Read  and think ahead

      •Read the question and skim the options before the audio begins. This will help you to look for what the topic is as well as what information you are listening for. It could be the main idea, the writer’s goal or attitude, some detailed information, or an inference that can be drawn.

    Be focused

    • Keep your attention on the audio. Taking notes of key words will help you remember the information you hear.• As you listen, concentrate on the development of the speaker’s ideas so you can recognize the core information. Listen for the general flow of ideas. It’s OK if you miss or don’t know individual words.• After the audio finishes, eliminate options that contain incorrect information or have information that was not mentioned.• Answer the question by clicking on one option or on its radio button  .

    Confirm your choice

    • After you have chosen the option, check again that each of the other options is incorrect. If you change your mind, choose the option you think is correct. • Be aware of the time and don’t spend too much time on one task. Click ‘Next’ and move on.

     

    Subskills tested

     Listening 

    Preparation • Listen to lectures  on the web and stop the audio about every minute to answer this question: What points has the speaker made? 

    Take notes of the information in a lecture and use arrows to show how the speaker’s ideas develop.• Activate relevant vocabulary: listen to the opening sentence of a lecture, pause the lecture and make a list of all the words on that topic that you expect to hear. Continue listening and circle each one as you listen to the lecture and add other words to your list. Look for podcasts of lectures with a transcript. Highlight the signal words that indicate the main points and the examples, or evidence, or opposing arguments, then listen for them in the audio. Highlight any words you don’t know in the transcript and practise guessing what they mean from the context.Verify your guess with a dictionary. • Expand your vocabulary by creating lists of words with their synonyms. 

     

    Select missing word

     

    The task 

     This task type tests listening skills. From a set of options, you have to predict what word(s) a speaker will say, based on contextual clues in a recording. You will do 2-3 Select missing word tasks.

      Strategies

     Be ready

    • The topic of the recording is given as a part of instructions. Think what vocabulary you might hear while the audio prepares to play. • Quickly go through the options to gain an idea of the aspect of the topic the speaker might talk about. • Be focused on what you hear, and nothing else.

    Listen carefully

    •  Do not take notes — it is more important to listen for the development of the speaker’s ideas. Make a mental map of the audio.

    • Listen for any signal words the speaker might use to tell you the direction of the talk, e.g. presenting opposite arguments, describing something in detail, supporting a claim, etc. It’s OK if you  you don’t understand some words. Focus on the overall ideas.

    Predict the ending

    • Keep a watch on the  blue bar in the Audio Status box. This shows when the recording is going to end  and  you will be ready to suggest the word or phrase that has been replaced by a beep. • As soon as the recording stops, think what would come next and scan the options for the most similar word or phrase. Select it.

     

    Subskills tested

    Listening 

    Preparation

    Work in pair.Seek help of someone who can be with you to practice this session. Find magazine articles and take turns to read out a short paragraph to each other, stopping before the final word or phrase. Guess what word or phrase can be used to complete the paragraph. • Try predicting the ideas you will hear. Listen to 20 seconds of a lecture, then stop the audio and guess what ideas you think the speaker will talk about next. Play on and check your prediction. Repeat this with longer recordings. • Podcasts of lectures with a transcript will help. Highlight the signal words that indicate the main points and the examples, or evidence, or opposing arguments, then listen for them in the audio. See how these signal words  tell you the direction of the lecture and what the speaker is likely to say next. Play the beginning of a lecture and predict the possible words and make a list. Then  Play the lecture to check how many words from your list you hear. • Expand your vocabulary of academic words in context. Keep a record of new words you learn.

     

       

      Highlight incorrect words

       

       The task 

       This task type tests listening and reading skills. As you listen to a recording, you have to identify words in a transcription that differ from what you hear. You will do 2-3 Highlight incorrect words tasks.

        Strategies

      Be ready

      • Use the I 0 seconds before the recording begins to skim the transcription, to familiarize yourself with the topic.• Move your cursor to the start of the transcription before the audio begins.

      Follow the recording

      • As soon as the recording begins, move your cursor along each line following the speaker’s voice. • Think how each word you are reading will sound and as soon as you hear a different word, click on the incorrect word. The word you have clicked on will be highlighted and will remain highlighted until you click on it again.• Keep up with the speaker. Do not stop and think as you may lose the connection. If you lose your place it will be difficult for you to catch up and you may miss some words that you should have selected.

      Try not to change your mind

      Do not change your mind unless you feel very sure you have made a mistake. Make instantaneous decisions. • Don’t guess. You will lose marks for wrong choices as there is negative marking in this section. There are up to 7 ‘errors’ in each transcription.

       

      Subskills tested

      Listening and Reading: 

      Preparation • When  learning  a new word, make use of a  dictionary that has the words recorded to check both the pronunciation of the sounds and where the word stress falls. • Listen to the way the final sound in one word links to the first sound in the next when people speak. Be prepared for this when you follow the transcription.• Pay attention how to group  words into meaningful chunks. Follow the rhythm of the recording as you read the transcription.• In podcasts of lectures with a transcript, highlight in a short section of the transcript all the key words that carry the meaning and think how they are pronounced. Decide where the word stress falls within each word. Check in a dictionary. Then, play the lecture and listen to how the speaker pronounces each of the words you highlighted.• Listen to podcasts by speakers with different English accents to become familiar with the way different speakers pronounce words, especially where they place the word stress, e.g. (UK): research/ (US): research. Some consonants will also be different, such as in schedule.

       

         

        Write from dictation

         

         The task 

         This task type tests listening and writing skills. You have to write a sentence that you will hear once only, in a recording that lasts 3 to 5 seconds. You will do 3-4 Write from dictation tasks.

         

         Strategies

        Be ready

        • Focus so that you do not miss any words.• If you like to write the sentence by hand first, be ready to write on your notepad.• Else if you prefer to type directly on the screen, place your cursor in the box on the screen.

        Focus on meaning

        • When the audio begins, focusing on the meaning of the sentence will help you to remember it.

        • Write or type the content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs). It’s OK if you leave the minor words (prepositions, articles) for now.

        • Write or type as quickly as you can. Don’t bother the spelling at this point. Start writing as soon as the dictation begins and don’t stop and check in between.

        Construct and check

        • Immediately after the recording stops, write or type as much of the sentence as you can. Go over the sentence and use your knowledge of grammar, word form and word order to add any words you missed out (e.g. prepositions, articles).

        • The spelling of every word is important.  Check for verb endings and plurals. Marks are awarded for every correct word spelled correctly. 

        Subskills tested

         

        Listening and Writing

        Preparation 

        • Make up your mind prior to the audio whether you are going to write the sentence by hand or type directly on the screen.Be consistent with your decision and don’t change your mind on the test day. • Guess how to spell words you don’t know. Write down words you hear in the media, in advertisements, the news, interviews and confirm the spelling  using a dictionary. • Make a list of words you have trouble spelling, especially words with ie or ei, or doubled consonants such as mm, pp, ss. •Develop a list of words with similar pronunciation but different spelling and different meaning, such as affect/effect, except/accept, no/know, fair/fare. Find out the meaning of each one. •Create a list of word for new words with as many forms of the words listed as you can find, such as the noun, verb, adjective and adverb form of words, e.g. elegance (n), elegant (adj), elegantly (adv). In the test, if you miss part of a word  you may have to work out which form is needed and spell it correctly. • Practise writing sentences with correct word endings, such as –ed endings on past tenses and -s endings on plurals and present tenses • Listen to speeches by speakers with different English accents to become familiar with them. • Remember that this is the final task type in the test. Be aware of the time remaining in Part 3 so that you have enough time to attempt every question. Try to attempt every task than  spending too much time on a task you have finished.

         Content courtesy  : Pearson

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