Deciding which PTE module is the toughest can really vary depending on a person’s strengths and weaknesses. A person might just naturally have skills to perform better in the speaking component, while another test taker might be more comfortable with the reading task. If we take a look at this from a more general point of view, on average a large majority of test takers claim that the speaking test is the most difficult component of the PTE Academic exam.
Here are just a few of the reasons as to why the PTE speaking module so tough:
No Chance To Recheck
The speaking module is the only part of the test where you do not have the luxury to go back and recheck your answers before moving on to the next question. You literally just have one shot for each question, and this can cause some students to panic and lose their confidence during the test.
Native Speaker Mimicking
A significant portion of your speaking score is based on being able to mimic the pronunciation features of a native speaker. You have to be aware of the flow and tempo of your speech, you also have to pay close attention to your tone and intonation.
Many PTE candidates score poorly in this area because the computer AI that grades the speaking portion of the PTE exam is designed to compare a second language learner's accent to the accent of a native speaker.
To meet the AIs assessment criteria you must use the same pronunciation features as a native speaker. The computer algorithm contains accent data from over 126 countries and for more than 90 diverse languages. This assures that the scoring system recognizes accents from around the globe.
To avoid your thick accent from being an issue, make sure that you speak as clearly as possible, and remember to enunciate your words, so that the microphone can pick up that you using the correct inflections. Avoid speaking too fast as this might make you sound slurred.
Another factor which affects a candidates pronunciation score is the speed at which they speak.
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.
The PTE Academic speaking test is not like an interview with a human examiner, who could tell you if you were audible or not. A computer will accept whatever sound is coming its way, whether it be your responses or background noise. Sometimes test takers responses a The best position for the microphone is about 2-3 cm away and slightly away from the front of your mouth to the side. Also, if you remain silent for more than 3 seconds the microphone will automatically switch off and stop recording. Therefore it is important to keep talking even if you have made a mistake.