PTE Core Respond to a Situation: Format & Practice Tips

Posted on 11/07/2024 by Moni PTE Magic


Do you find it challenging to react quickly in the PTE Core Respond to a Situation task?

You’re not alone!

Many test-takers are also struggling with this part of the speaking section.

Don’t worry; PTE Magic has your back with a versatile template that works for most cases.

You can save time to arrange your thoughts more effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • The PTE Core Respond to a Situation part requires you to address an everyday situation. You’ll have 20 seconds for preparation and 60 seconds for recording your response.
  • The common template to answer includes an introduction sentence, your thoughts/feelings, an explanation, solutions/suggestions, and an ending.
  • Don’t pause too long; use proper transition words for better scores.

Related:

About The Respond To A Situation Task In PTE Core

pte core respond to a situation

In this task, you will be provided with a prompt that describes a daily situation, both in audio and written form. Then, you have to describe how you would respond or what you would do in such a situation. 

You can listen to or read the prompt, up to 60 words. After the audio prompt finishes, you will have 20 seconds to take note of the key points in your answer. Make use of that time to prepare your answer on the provided whiteboard.

After that,  you have 40 seconds to record your response. When you notice a short tone, the microphone will start recording, and you must speak immediately. Your speech will not be recorded before the mic opens or after it finishes.

You can keep track of the time by observing the countdown timer in the recording status box. You have only one chance to record your response, so make sure you manage your time wisely.

Here is how your answer will be scored:

  • Appropriacy: The language of your response should be suitable for the given situation. You should speak clearly and politely, using either an informal or formal tone, depending on the prompt.
  • Fluency: Your answer must have a natural and smooth flow. The AI system will evaluate your phrasing, stress, rhythm, and pace. Repetitions or hesitations will lower your score.
  • Pronunciation: Your response should be easy for regular English speakers to understand. In particular, you must pronounce and stress words correctly.

Note: For any reason, if you fail to record or deliver irrelevant responses to these PTE Core Respond to a Situation questions, you won’t receive any score.

The Common Template For PTE Core Respond To A Situation

No matter what situations the task presents, there is a one-size-fits-all template—the five-idea structure. It should include the topic of the content, your feelings, the explanation, your next step, and a conclusion.

Topic

The first sentence of your answer should clearly state the topic of the situation. You can start with these examples:

Less formal

  • I want to talk about…
  • Let’s discuss…
  • Let’s talk about…
  • I’ve been thinking about…
  • I noticed…/I saw…

Formal

  • I would like to discuss
  • I would like to share some thoughts on…
  • I would like to address the topic of…

Your Thoughts/Feelings On The Situation

Next, you need to express your thoughts and feelings on the situation. Use these sentences to describe how you feel:

Less formal

  • I’m really sorry, but…
  • I’m really glad to tell you that/hear that/see that…
  • I’m really angry/upset with you/at…
  • I’m worrying about…
  • I’m shocked to see/hear that…
  • I’m afraid…
  • I’m really interested in…

Formal

  • My apology for…/I sincerely apologize for…
  • I’m very pleased to tell you that/hear that/see that…
  • I’m extremely disappointed with/about…
  • I’m concerned about…/My concern is about…
  • I’m quite surprised to see/hear that…

Explanation

After expressing your feelings, you need to give appropriate reasons behind them. Remember to mention some specific details that you can get from the prompt to keep your answer relevant. Apply these sentence structures to explain them:

  • This is because…/It’s because…
  • The reason is that…/The reason lies in… 

Next step

In this part, you need to give some solutions or suggestions to address the situation. Here are some sentences you can refer to:

Less formal

  • So, I’m going to…/I want to…
  • Could you…

Formal

  • Therefore, I want to…/I suggest…/I think…
  • As a result, I want to…/I am going to…
  • Please…

Ending

At the end of your answer, you need to state that your suggestions or solutions will work for that situation. Otherwise, depending on the scenario, you can ask for advice or solutions. Here are some examples:

  • I’m sure that this idea will be effective.
  • I believe my suggestions will be impactful.
  • I hope you can help me address this issue.
  • I’m confident that I can…
  • I hope to hear…

An Example

Prompt

You saw an advertisement in your apartment that your neighbor, Fred, is selling a car. You think the car is ideal for you. You called him to ask about checking and test-driving the car, but he didn’t respond. Leave him a message. What would you say?

Sample answer

Hi, Fred. I’m [your name]. I saw your sign advertising your car for sale, and it sounds perfect for what I’m looking for. I’m interested in checking it, so I gave you a call, but you didn’t answer. Would you be available to show me the car this week? Please call me at your earliest convenience. You can reach me at [your number]. Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

Tips To Ace The Respond To A Situation Task

  • Use the preparation time wisely: Take note of the key points using the whiteboard. Also, determine whether to use an informal or formal tone in your response.
  • Don’t pause: Avoid pausing for more than 3 seconds, correcting yourself, or repeating ideas while recording. Continue speaking even when you notice your mistakes.
  • Use proper linking words: Utilize words like first, also, in addition to, furthermore, therefore, so, etc., to ensure a smooth transition and clarity.
  • Practice PTE Core Respond to a Situation regularly: Practice responding to your own everyday situation. Look for practice tests on websites like Pearson or PTE Magic. Record your answer to review it later.
  • Ask for feedback from a teacher: If possible, you can ask a teacher or a native speaker to evaluate your answer and give some tips for your improvement.
  • Keep it concise: While you have 40 seconds to answer, the ideal length of your response is 25 seconds or more. You don’t need to include too many ideas; just keep it short and to the point.

Conclusion

Getting a high score in the PTE Core Respond to a Situation task is like racing against the clock.

You need to think and respond quickly. However, you can prepare a common template for all cases to save time.

Also, it’s recommended to practice addressing your real-life daily situations.

We hope you can achieve a good result!

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Moni PTE Magic

My name is Moni, and I am a seasoned PTE teacher with over 6 years of experience. I have helped thousands of students overcome their struggles and achieve their desired scores. My passion for teaching and dedication to my student’s success drives me to continually improve my teaching methods and provide the best possible support. Join me on this journey toward PTE success!


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