PTE Preparation Blog

Highlight Correct Summary - How to get the scores you need in one attempt

Highlight correct summary item type is similar to Listening, multiple-choice, choose single/multiple answers item types. In fact, it is easier then these other PTE item types. Unlike the multiple choice item types...

Author: GLS LLP       Date: 10-03-2017

Highlight correct summary item type is similar to Listening, multiple-choice, choose single/multiple answers item types. In fact, it is easier then these other PTE item types. Unlike the multiple choice item types you know that the purpose with which you listen, will always be to deduce the summary of the audio speech.

Some PTE test takers struggle with deducing the summary of the spoken speech and selecting the correct option. The source is of this problem is often that the test takers do not know how to prepare before listening; how to listen and what notes to take. In this blog, we will present strategies and tips that will help, overcome these difficulties and approach this question type with confidence.

The task

Highlight correct summary is a listening item type that assesses listening and reading skills. There are generally 2-3 questions in this item type. The aim of this item type is to assess your ability to comprehend, analyze, interpret and combine information of a recording in order to choose the most correct summary from a set of given options.

For highlight correct summary, the top section of the screen will contain instructions. These instructions will say something to the effect "You will hear a recording. Click on the paragraph that best relates to the recording.". These instructions will remain same for all questions in this item type. So do not waste time reading them but understand and be aware of the instructions, during the PTE test.

A box representing the audio player will follow the instructions. The timer on audio player will countdown from 10 seconds after which its status will change to playing and you will hear the audio recording. Below the audio player you will find the question followed by response options.

Scoring

The communicative skill scored in this section are listening and reading.

The listening sub skills tested in this section are identifying the topic, theme or main ideas; identifying supporting points or examples; understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words; comprehending explicit and implicit information; comprehending concrete and abstract information; classifying and categorizing information; following an oral sequencing of information; comprehending variations in tone, speed and accent.

The reading sub skills tested in this section are identifying supporting points or examples; identifying the most accurate summary; understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words; comprehending concrete and abstract information; classifying and categorizing information; following a logical or chronological sequence of events; evaluating the quality and usefulness of texts.

The scoring for highlight correct summary item type is quite simple. You score 1 for selecting the correct answer and 0 for an incorrect choice.

Strategies and tips

For this item type we will present the strategies and tips by activities that you have to perform to select the correct answer. The activities are divided into 3 parts namely "Before Listening", "During Listening" and "While Answering".

Before Listening

You will have 10 seconds of preparation time before the audio starts playing. Some PTE test takers use this time to read instructions. As we described earlier the instructions will remain same for all questions in this item type, so, do not waste time reading them during the test but understand and be aware of what the instructions are for this item.

Instead read the given options. Through your reading of the options you will know what the primary topic/idea/point is, along with supporting topics/ideas/points are likely to be in the audio recording that you hear. As you read, link what you understand to your knowledge and experiences. This will help you remember the topics/points/ideas; predict what the speaker is likely to talk about; and will help you comprehend the speakers message as you listen.

While Listening

If you have read the options and know what the likely content of the recording is going to be you are ready to comprehend the message and predict what the speaker is going to say next.

We have observed too many PTE test takers spend too much effort and time trying to write down the key points/topics/ideas word for word. As a result, they are unable to comprehend the message and then have trouble answering the question. This strategy may cost test takers important points.

To develop a winning listening strategy, we experimented with two common strategies that could be applied to highlight correct summary. One group applied the most common strategy amongst test takers, to take notes when listening, while the other group took no notes and solely focused on listening and comprehending the speaker's message. We found that members of the latter group did significantly better than the former group.

While listening, apply your most powerful tool "IMAGINATION". Imagine, you are listening to a phone call. When on a phone call, you know you have to respond when the speaker stops, so you listen carefully to comprehend the message; you choose to remember information that is relevant, you predict what the speaker is going to say next and simultaneously prepare what your response is going to be. You don't make notes or memorize the message word by word; you simply remember the main and sub topics of the conversation.

Listening for highlight correct summary is no different. This is not a re-tell lecture item type. The machine scoring system does not expect you to repeat the lecture. What is expected is that you comprehend the speaker's message and then choose from a set of options, the summary of the speech. So, listen as if you are on a phone call from a friend who is giving you, the most exciting information. Let comprehending the message be your sole focus.

To make the audio content a part of yourself apply associative techniques. This includes that as you listen and comprehend information; link it to your experiences and knowledge base. This technique will etch the message in your memory; it will help you predict what the content of the audio is likely to be and most importantly it will help you comprehend the complete message in entirety.

If you must take notes, write only the key words. The primary topics/points/ideas and supporting topics/points/ideas will be your key words. Do not try and note word for word what the speaker says about these topics/points/ideas. If there are implications/relationships/conclusion mentioned in the speech, remember them and make a note of what you remember and understood after the recording has finished.

While Answering

After the recording has finished, go through the options. The option that forms the correct response will be the one with the all or most number of primary and sub topic/points/ideas that you have in your notebook. For each given option, deduce the primary and sub topics of the summary. If it has the same primary and sub topics mark it as a likely answer. If it has only some of the sub topics/points/ideas mark it as an unlikely answer. If it has additional topics/points/ideas, try and remember if the additional topic/point/idea were part of the speech that you may have missed noting down. If yes, mark it as a likely answer or if it is not, than mark it as an unlikely answer.

After you have applied the above process to each option, you would have eliminated most of the options and be left with one or two likely answers. These remaining options will have the same topics/points/ideas as in the speech. However, the interrelationships/implications/conclusion in these options might be different. Here on it is easy, just match which option has the same content (interrelationships/implications/conclusion) as in the recording. When you get this you will have the correct summary.

If you are ready for practice of highlight correct summary; you can take the next step in your PTE Preparation by enrolling in one of our PTE preparation courses. You will get to practice your skills in an environment that stimulates actual PTE test. You will have the G-Analytics tool to tell you what skills you need to focus on most and personal tutor feedback to help you along the way and get you the scores you need in one attempt. Have a look at our courses section to learn more.


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