April 15

PTE Academic Speaking: The Truth About Fluency


Being fluent does not mean speaking quickly

Many students make the mistake of thinking that good fluency correlates directly to speaking fast. However, if you speak too fast you might end up sounding incoherent and your responses will be incomprehensible, even if you have a great command over the English language in terms of grammar, pronunciation and a wide ranging vocabulary, speaking too quickly can significantly lower your score

Another common reason that candidates speak to fast during their exam is that they they simply have test day jitters (anxiety).

Often students panic and speak too quickly due to the short amount of time that is given to answer. It is important to speak at a normal speed. And at a normal volume. In short, if you speak too fast for whatever reason, the algorithm might not be able to understand what you are saying.

What Exactly Does Fluency Mean

Speak at a moderate pace. Don’t speak too fast, since; it will affect your pronunciation score. Give slightly less than 1 sec pause when you see a comma or full-stop.

Fluency is the most important skill to ace speaking section of PTE. It refers to Speech is relatively effortless on the part of the speaker, and is easily followed and understood by the listener. Some of the main features of fluent speech include:

  • Sounds and words are mostly connected rather than produced in isolation or with breaks between them.
  • Ideas are conveyed without excessive hesitation. When hesitation does exist, it is usually just to look for ideas instead of attempting to find the right words.

Now, speaking too fast might also just be a natural reflex or something you do when you are nervous, but it is important to  break this costly habit! It take a bit of practice, but it is possible.

Let’s look at all the ways you can improve your fluency

Speak Naturally

The best way to avoid this is to speak slowly and clearly into the microphone, and keep a normal pitch. Make sure to enunciate in the correct places and do not mumble or combine (blend)words into each other. Again the best way to avoid this is to practice, practice, practice!


Punctuation can also be a good guide to help you decide where to pause during your responses. For example, commas and apostrophes require a short pause, while full stops signal that a longer pause is needed.

Knowing where to place punctuation marks can help you vary your pace, tone, and volume so that you don’t sound monotone. For example:

  • Small pause for a comma
  • Big pause for both colon, semi colon
  • Big pause for full stop
  • Small pause and start for single or double quotes.

The more you practice, the more confident you become and this will lead you to speak more naturally.


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