PTE Part 1 Item type 4 – Describe an image

On this page, we will look at PTE Part 1 Item type 4 – Describe an image.

What you have to do for this question type:

In Part 1 of the PTE test, the fourth question type (PTE refer to question types as ‘items’) is where you need to describe an image shown on screen. The image can be a graph or chart, a map or another illustration with labels.

Task length and timing:

You will be given 25 seconds to look at an image and prepare to describe it. You will see a countdown timer telling you how much time you have before the audio recorder starts and you need to speak.  When the countdown has finished, you will hear short tone and should then speak immediately. You will be given 40 seconds to speak. You will be asked to describe 6 or 7 images in total.

More information:

Here’s an example of this item type:

PTE Part 1 Item type 4 - Describe an image

The scoring for this question type:

Points earned from Item 4: Describing an image PTE questions:

  • Communicative Skills assessed: Speaking
  • Enabling skills and traits assessed: Content, pronunciation, oral fluency
  • Scoring system: Partial credit

So what does this mean? Well, you will be awarded points for your ability to accurately talk about the image (speaking). For the ‘enabling skills and traits’, content means you need to describe all elements of the image and their relationships, possible development and conclusion or implications. Pronunciation means have you spoken in a way that would be clear to a native English speaker, and oral fluency means have you matched the pace and intonation of the original recording.

This item type has a partial credit scoring system, which means that your skills are assessed on a scale of 1 to 5 for pronunciation and oral fluency.

The next page will look at how to organise your response in PTE Part 1 Item type 4 – Describe an image