PTE Academic Mastery: Answer Short Question

This is a short-answer item type that integrates speaking and listening skills, and requires you to understand a recorded question and provide a brief and accurate response.

Number of items 10-12
Prompt Length 3-9 seconds
Time to answer 10 seconds
Scoring Correct/Incorrect
Communicative skills, enabling skills and other traits scored Listening and speaking


Subskills tested Listening: Identifying the topic, theme or main ideas; understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words.

Speaking: Speaking for a purpose (to repeat, to inform, to explain); using words and phrases appropriate to the context; speaking under timed conditions.

  1. Focus and listen carefully. The question will be delivered only once, so never slack or be distracted. Pay full attention to the recording.
  2. If you hear unfamiliar words, try to infer their meaning using the adjacent words. 
  3. Do not give long answers. An answer is usually composed of one or two words. You do not have to deliver a complete sentence or make an explanation.
  4. Do not close your eyes. Occasionally, the question will be based on a picture that will appear on the screen.
  5. Do not overthink. Questions are about subjects or matters that are of common knowledge.
  6. Sometimes it helps to give the first thing or idea that pops in your head instead of having doubts or hesitating. Remember, this is not a written task. The microphone will close after 3 seconds of silence.
  7. If you do not know the answer, make a wild guess. Incorrect answers will not reduce your points.
  8. State the correct word or words, even if you have initially spoken an incorrect answer.

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