Pacing your response when reading aloud in the PTE test

One of the most important aspects of reading aloud in the PTE test is being able to pace your answer. Reading too quickly or too slowly will cost points, but reading at EXACTLY the same speed throughout will likely make your voice monotonous and is not a natural way to speak.

One of the best ways to help you maintain good oral fluency with this question type is to use the preparation time to break your answer into phrases or chunks.

For example, this is the example from the previous page broken into logical phrases:

Everywhere around the world, // in many major urban centres, // subway systems are struggling to cover costs, // to invest capital in expensive upgrades, // and to attract passengers. // However, the transit system in Hong Kong has bucked this trend, // and is operating not only at a profit,// but at a standard so high // that other cities can only look on with envy.

The first thing you should notice is that the chunks often follow logically along with the punctuation. Pauses after commas – and certainly after full stops – are a great way to help you pace your answer. A comma indicates a short pause and a full stop a slightly longer pause.