PTE Retell Lecture Practice Questions

In this section, your speaking will be assessed. PTE Academic assesses your speaking, reading, writing and listening altogether. However, all sections do overlap slightly as, for example, in this section, you must first hear a recording and then talk about the lecture you just heard.

In the PTE Retell Lecture questions in PTE Academic, you will hear a lecture from an academic scenario. It might be accompanied by a picture or a video. Your task is to speak about the lecture in 30~40 seconds as if you are telling a friend what the lecture was about. After the lecture ends you will have 10 seconds to prepare your response.

Revising Your Retell Lecture

Please do not rush your answer as 30-40 seconds is more than enough time to get all the key information across. Practice identifying keywords in the lecture to understand overall what the lecture was about, you do not need to understand everything word for word.

Here are a few steps to follow while revising:

  • Make use of your erasable notepad.
  • Identify keywords and the topic of the lecture.
  • Do not make one-worded notes. When it comes back to talking about what you just heard, you will not remember why that word was relevant if you don’t elaborate in your notes.
  • If you feel like you are about to say ‘umm’ then pause briefly. A short pause sounds much more articulate than filling the silence with ‘umm’ or ‘ahh’.
  • Create your own template for re-telling. 

Your score depends upon how well you capture the key points in the lecture and how good your fluency, pronunciation, and pace is. Making sure your speech flows at a natural pace is also just as important as the information you talk about. The testers are listening out for pronunciation and if the words are clear as well as if you sound like you know what you are talking about. 

Try out these Retell Lecture questions from recent PTE Exams to see where you stand. Don’t forget to grab the full FREE Questions Bank with many new questions!

Complete PTE Retell Lecture Practice Questions

The complete Super PTE Questions Bank contains much more! It’s updated weekly, often more than once every week. You will also get a FREE Video Course, Mock Tests and Super Templates Pack.

Question 1

About

Lecture about Non-Government Organizations

Keywords

Non-Government Organizations, foundations, companies, activities, numbers, definition

Sample response

The lecture is about the non-governmental organization which may be established by governments, foundations, companies, or individuals. NGOs are highly diverse organizations engaged in a wide range of activities. The number of NGOs in America is 1.5 million and India has around 2 million in 2009. Last but not the least, the speaker suggested that it is hard to define the term NGO. The most common focus is on orientation and level of operation.

Question 2

About

The lecture is about the expenditure Western countries make on education

Keywords

countries, expenses, expenditure, education, comparison

Sample response

The lecturer compares the expenses of education among different European countries. UK spent 1.04% of its GDP on education institutions, which was much lesser compared to other European countries such as Italy, Denmark, and Spain. The expenditure of France is closer to that of the UK. By contrast, Denmark and Finland spend much more than the rest of the European countries. Finland’s education spending is twice that of the UK.

Question 3

About

Lecture about coffee production in Vietnam and its impact.

Keywords

Coffee, Vietnam, production, impact

Sample response

The lecture is about the changes that have taken place in coffee production in Vietnam. The production of coffee has increased from 30 billion to 60 billion for the last 10 years. The huge demand of Europe and America has made Vietnam the second-biggest producer which has greatly affected Columbia’s production resulting in a huge decrease in their coffee output. Changes in people’s drinking habits and population growth also have a great impact on the coffee industry.

Question 4

About

The lecture is about Winston Churchill, the UK Prime Minister

Keywords

Winstom Churchil, Prime Minister, UK

Sample response

The lecture is about Winston Churchill, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the second world war. Some of his decisions such as restoring the gold standard in 1924 were disastrous. Churchill saw himself as a champion of democracy and was profoundly aware of his own role and destiny.

Question 5

About

Lecture about how animals survive and reproduce in different conditions.

Keywords

animals, survive, reproduce, conditions, seasons

Sample response

The lecture is about how animals are able to survive and reproduce in different conditions. They are able to maintain their body underwater, tolerate different temperatures and seasons. The researchers used the frog as an example and put it into the water and boiled the water. The result proved that frogs can adjust their body temperature according to the change in water temperature and therefore survive.

Question 6

About

Lecture about various periods and phases of brain development.

Keywords

brain, development, periods, synapses, cognitive ability

Sample response

The lecturer talks about brain development. People develop language ability and cognitive ability as the brain grows. Different periods of brain development have different influences on people. For example, in the short term, such as three months, the brain can only develop low-level ability. Childhood brain development has a great impact in terms of sensory pathways, language, and higher cognitive functions.

Question 7

About

Lecture about frogs and problems with their limbs

Keywords

frogs, limbs, rivers, pollution, genes, mutation

Sample response

The lecture is about various kinds of frogs and the variation observed in the number of limbs they have. The phenomenon has existed for many years. Some frogs have more limbs while others have fewer, due to various reasons such as genetic mutation. People also suspect this could be due to the pollution in the rivers in which these frogs live.

Question 8

About

Lecture about human creativity and the key elements of it.

Keywords

human creativity, process, people, product, key elements

Sample response

The lecture is about human creativity and its meaning for human life. It has three elements including process, people and product. Out of this process is the key element. The speaker emphasizes that the creativity of a finished product is a proxy for the creativity of the person who produced it. Therefore, a creative product should be surprising, original, beautiful and useful. It is necessary for people to have the ability, grit and the right mindset in order to develop creative products.

Question 9

About

Lecture about wind power plants and power generation process.

Keywords

the wind power plant, turbines, wind speed, blades, power generation

Sample response

In this lecture, the speaker talks about the wind power plants. A wind turbine is a device that can convert wind into mechanical energy, which can be used for a water power pump or for an electricity generator. The efficiency of a turbine depends on the wind speed, the number of sails, the area and the angles that sails make to the wind. By bending the angle of blades, the wind hits them and could turn the blades which can be used to generate power. Lastly, the speaker indicates we could make simple windmills to drive electronic devices.

Question 10

About

Lecture about remote monitoring technology – underwater detectors.

Keywords

remote, distant, monitoring technology, underwater, Antares detectors, observe, change

Sample response

The lecturer talks about a new kind of remote monitoring technology called underwater Antares detectors. These detectors can be used to observe the environment change and water temperature change. More importantly, these detectors are installed underwater to monitor fish’s reaction to the feeding. By putting a camera into the cage and then putting the cage into the water, people can observe the fish’s reaction to feed so that it can help people to observe fish reactions without being physically there. This makes it possible for people to change their feeding strategy quickly when fish do not react to the feeding. The technology can also identify water quality. 

Question 11

About

Lecture about thermodynamic theory.

Keywords

thermodynamic theory, heat, temperature, transmission, energy, work, kinetic theory

Sample response

The lecturer talks about thermodynamics, a major theory of physics. To begin with, the speaker points out that thermodynamics is about heat and temperature transmission and their relation to energy and work.  After that, he mentions that the laws of thermodynamics which describe how quantities behave under various circumstances are constant and statistical and obeyed under most situations, however, there are exceptions. At the end, he emphasizes that exceptions happen when it comes to the kinetic energy of molecules which is about the random motion of atom.

Question 12

About

Lecture about Maths and English scores of boys and girls

Keywords

Maths, English, scores, boys, girls, comparison

Sample response

The lecture is about boys’ and girls’ performances in English and Mathematics. Girls usually outperform boys in English over the first six years while there is no significant difference in Maths. There are three reasons to explain this – biological, social factors and pre-school factors. Girls’ pattern recognition abilities are better than those of boys.

Question 13

About

Lecture about the role of maternal care in the development of living beings

Keywords

licking, grooming, rats, maternal care, development, anxiety, stress

Sample response

The lecture discusses how maternal care is a critical factor in the development of living beings. The speaker discusses this with the example of rats. Mother rats which spend a lot of time licking and grooming their pups see their pups grow up into calm adults whereas those which don’t spend time nurturing their pups, their pups grow up with high anxiety levels. Licking and grooming regulate the development of the endocrine, emotional and cognitive response to stress.

Question 14

About

Lecture about economic development in Latin America.

Keywords

economic development, Latin America, reforms

Sample response

The lecture is about economic development in Latin America in the last few decades. Overall the economy grew by over eighty percent. However, after the globalization and reforms, the growth slowed down from a high of eighty percent to a low of ten percent. Eventually, the growth became unsustainable leading some people to questions if reforms had a positive impact at all.

Question 15

About

Lecture about population growth, megacities and their impact on the environment.

Keywords

population growth, urbanization, cities, environmental impact,

Sample response

The lecture is about population growth and resource consumption from 1900 to 2000. In 1900, the population was about 1.5 billion and it increased to 6 billion in 2000. The resulting increase in energy consumption was almost 16 folds.  Due to urbanization, cities, which only account for 2% of the land, have 50% of the total population and consume 75% of the natural resources. In the end, the lecturer emphasizes that people not only use every resource on the planet but also produce tons of wastes, putting a huge burden on the environment.

Question 16

About

Lecture about DNA, RNA and their role in genetics

Keywords

DNA, RNA, biology, genetic information

Sample response

The lecturer talks about a major finding from a biology study. Although butterflies, flowers, dolphin and other creatures look different, they are closely related to each other. They all rely on DNA and RNA to store and transmit genetic information. They are all based on cells, which is the fundamental structure of lives. All organisms have a metabolism system, which converts energy from one form to another.

Question 17

About

Lecture about a CEO survey on company operations.

Keywords

CEO, survey, company operations, important areas, information technology

Sample response

The lecturer talks about a survey of 100 CEO’s in which they were asked for their opinion about what affects the company’s operations most and which area should be concentrated upon with maximum effort. Fifty-eight percent of them mentioned that information technology plays an important role because it is time-consuming and extremely complex. Finally, the speaker mentioned the other two aspects are marketing management and financial management, which are equally important.

Question 18

About

Lecture about civil society groups, non-profit sectors, and citizen empowerment.

Keywords

empowerment, the non-profit sector, civil groups, organizations

Sample response

This lecture is about citizen empowerment and the non-profit sector. The non-profit sector is worth 1 trillion dollars and there are 700,000 organizations in Australia alone. The United Nations recognizes 37,000 civil society organizations and 3,500 of which was accredited to the World Summit on sustainable development. The best predictor of governmental success is the power and density of a country’s non-governmental associations.

Question 19

About

Lecture about marshmallow experiment related to self-control

Keywords

marshmallow experiment, self-control, children, candy

Sample response

The lecture is about the marshmallow experiment. In the experiment, children are promised a bonus if they don’t eat candy for 15 minutes. The children under 4 years old will eat it at once, while older children can resist for a longer time and thus receiver more extra rewards. In the test, the longer a child can resist the treat has been correlated with higher competency later in life.

Question 20

About

Lecture about open borders between countries.

Keywords

open borders, support, reasons

Sample response

The lecturer discusses 4 reasons to support open borders. Firstly, the speaker believes that people should be allowed to move freely on principle. Secondly, open board contributes to the economy of developing countries, Thirdly, opening borders provides people from developing countries to get richer in developed countries. Final is the humanitarian reason and social justice. In conclusion, the speaker supports opening borders on the ground of fundamental principles and economic, social and humanitarian reasons.

Because these take up a little more time, you will only have about three or four Re-tell Lecture questions to answer in your exam. Fretting about what the lecture says word for word will only distract you from being able to talk about it. 

Listen to your recording and tick off if you have:

  • Spoken about ALL key points under keywords.
  • Have you described the people involved or the action taking place?
  • Have you spoken about the consequences of the actions that have taken place, or about the relationship between the people being spoken about?
  • Did you come to a clear conclusion?

If you have ticked all of those points off, then well done!  You have got the highest points for this section! If you have most or some of the information in your recording then now you know what you must work on for next time.

Comparing your answer to the sample result will really help you in self-assessing your recording. Compare your flow, use of linking words, accent and pronunciation to the sample and note what you can work on for next time.

Between revision sessions, if you are listening to a topic you don’t understand or aren’t too familiar with then record yourself on your phone talking about what you just heard. 

Practicing doesn’t always have to be formal and you can slot in different techniques and topics to expose yourself to a wider range of vocabulary. You never know when you might need to use those new words. 

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