PTE Preparation Blog

Repeat Sentence - Understand the Game

In this blog, we will explain rules of the game that you need to abide by to score well consistently in this item type...

Author: GLS LLP       Date: 10-03-2017

Repeat Sentence is another one of the easy question types in the PTE test. In fact, it is so easy that even one with less than reasonable English skills find it difficult to not score full marks for this question type. Furthermore the 10 questions in this item type offer PTE test takers an excellent opportunity to maximize their speaking and overall scores. In this blog, we will explain rules of the game that you need to abide by to score well consistently in this item type.

The task

Repeat Sentence is a short answer speaking item type that has 10 questions. You will be assessed both on your speaking and listening skills. The task entails that you listen to a short sentence recording and repeat the sentence just as you hear it. In this item type, PTE Academic tests your ability to remember what you listen and repeat the same without errors.

For Repeat sentence item type, the top section of the screen will always have the instructions. The instructions will say something to the effect that "You will hear a sentence. Please repeat the sentence exactly as you hear it. You will hear the sentence only once". These instructions will remain same for all questions in this item type. So, Be aware of what the instructions are, but do not waste time reading these instructions during the PTE test. In fact, you should be aware of what the instructions will be for all PTE question types and not be wasting time on reading these except where necessary. Where it is necessary, skim and scan just to get the information that you need.

Below the instructions, at the center of the screen there will be 2 boxes representing the audio player and the audio recorder. The first or the top box will represent the audio player while the second or the bottom box will represent the audio recorder. Both, audio player and recorder will have status sections and countdown timers. The Audio player timer will countdown from 3 seconds. The audio status will change to "playing" and you will hear a recording. The recorder timer will countdown the time to the point where the micro phone will open to start recording your answer. Note, that there will be a one second gap after the audio player stops and before the micro phone opens to start recording your answer. Furthermore, there will be no short tone to signal the opening of micro phone. The recorder's countdown timer and status change to "recording" will be your only visual signal indicating the opening of micro phone.

Be Advised, the PTE recorder automatically stops recording after a 3 seconds silence. Students often try to beat the recorder by making a humming noise. This humming strategy does not help. The machine scoring system will identify this noise and your score will be affected.


We have found that students who understand the scoring pattern do far better than students who do not. Knowledge of PTE's machine scoring system is absolutely essential for those aiming for high scores in the PTE test. Knowledge of machine scoring system will tell you what communicative, enabling and sub skills the machine testing system will be looking at and you need to display in your answers.

No matter the level of your English Skills, If you understand the machine scoring system, if you know the English skills that you are lagging in and if you are smart enough, you can develop strategies and techniques to beat the machine and maximize your score. When you apply the information that you learn from our blogs into practice with one of our PTE preparation courses with G-Analytics and personal tutor feedback features, you will know what English skills you need improvement in, you will clear concepts and you will develop strategies and techniques suited to your individuality which will help you beat the machine and get the scores you need in one attempt.

The communicative skills scored in this section are Speaking and listening.

The sub skills tested in this section are Understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words; comprehending variations in tone, speed and accent .

To measure your aptitude in above sub skills the machine scoring system will see if you are speaking for a purpose (to repeat, to inform, to explain); speaking at a natural rate; producing fluent speech; using correct intonation; using correct pronunciation; using correct stress; speaking under timed conditions to mark you for the enabling skills.

The machine scoring system will mark you on the following 3 enabling skills

  • Content
  • Pronunciation
  • Oral Fluency

These 3 enabling skills comprise all the sub skills mentioned earlier that the machine scoring system will be looking at to score your answer. The total repeat sentence score is got by adding the score for enabling skills. This score is than allocated to communicative skills of speaking and listening, and to your overall score.


The PTE machine scoring system will first mark you on content. The maximum score for content is 3 and the minimum score is 0.

It is extremely easy to score full points for content in repeat sentence. All you have to do is repeat all the words that you hear, in the order that you heard them in. Only Omissions, replacements and insertions of new words count as errors. You score 2 if more than 50% of the words are in sequence. You score 1 if less than 50% of the words are in sequence. You score 0 only if nothing of what you said was in the recording. This is as good as it gets.


After content, the PTE machine scoring system marks you on the enabling skills of pronunciation. The scoring is similar to other item types in the speaking section. You can score a maximum 5 and lowest 0 for pronunciation. According to the PTE score guide, to get the maximum score, you must pronounce all vowel and consonants in a manner that is easily understood by regular speakers of English. You combine sounds or delete sounds in words in a manner that is appropriate to continuous speech. You Stress correctly on individual words and words in context of a sentence. You score 0 only if more than half of what you speak is not understandable and your speech sounds like another language. You can learn more about pronunciation in our blog "Improve English speaking and pronouciation skills while having fun".

Oral Fluency

The scoring for Oral Fluency is quite simple. All the machine scoring system wants to know is if you can repeat sentence in a constant, smooth rhythm without hesitations, repetitions, unwanted pauses and false starts. You get maximum score of 5 if you can display the above skills in your speech without any errors and minimum score 0, only if you speak too slowly and display characteristics of a person who has problem comprehending and speaking English.

If you understand the game, read our next blog to build the essential sub skills that will help you maximize score in each of the enabling skills of content, pronunciation and oral fluency and communicative skills of speaking and listening for the repeat sentence item type.

Are you ready for perfect practice of repeat sentence item type? If you are, take the next step in PTE Preparation by enrolling in one of our PTE preparation courses. You will get to practice your skills in an environment that simulates 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. These tools will get you the scores you need in one attempt. Have a look at our courses section to learn more.

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