PTE Summarize Written Text: Secret Tips, Templates & Tactics

Posted on 15/09/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

The PTE summarize written text section is one of the important parts of the Writing module of the PTE test.

Candidates will be asked to summarize the passages provided. The difficulty of this task is not only about reading and understanding but also writing and summarizing information in only one full sentence. 

Don’t panic!

This article can help you with some tips to get the best score.

Let’s dig into the details.

(Click here to read our Vietnamese version)


PTE Summarize Written Text Overview & Scoring Guidelines

pte summarize written text

This task will ask you to read 1 to 3 passages and then summarize in one sentence of 5 to 75 words. The language should be academic and written concisely and persuasively. 

You should mention the main idea and important sub-idea (if any). Only one full stop is allowed in the sentence; otherwise, your content is not valid. 

The screen layout will include the following parts:

  • Instruction
  • The given passage
  • Space for writing
  • Word count display
  • Cut, copy, and paste buttons
  • Timer (next to the Instruction)

The summarize written text task is assessed by 4 criteria: form, content, vocabulary, and grammar.

Form: You should write 1 sentence of 5-75 words. You’ll get:

  • 1 point: if your summary is 1 sentence with the length required. 
  • 0 point: if more than 1 sentence or inappropriate word count.

Content: You should present a good summary containing the main point and supporting ideas. You’ll be awarded: 

  • 2 points: if relevant aspects are covered.
  • 1 point: if the summary has most of the important points mentioned.
  • 0 point: poor summary with irrelevant content.

Vocabulary: You need to use proper words in your content. You’ll receive:

  • 2 points: If you have an appropriate word choice
  • 1 point: Some words may be used improperly, but you deliver understandable content.
  • 0 point: inappropriate words and hard-to-understand content.

Grammar: You should show your grammar skills. The best answer often includes the main clause and subordinate clause. Your response will be marked:

  • 2 points: If you use correct grammar structures.
  • 1 point: structures are not perfect with few mistakes. 
  • 0 point: poor structures with many mistakes. 

Grammar is considered the most difficult criterion, even for native speakers. You should pay attention to: 

  • Capitalization of the first letter of the sentence and proper nouns
  • Use third person
  • Include proper punctuation (especially commas should be included)


3 Common Types Of Ideas In The SWT Section 

Depending on the given text, you can express your ideas based on 3 types: Same, Opposite, or Cause and Effect. 

The Same Central Idea

The text is usually about a fact known or accepted by people. Your sentence should include the main point of the fact and other sub-ideas to support it.

For example:

Flour is one of the cheapest goods in the world and can be used to make various products such as cakes, noodles, or wrapping covers for deep-fried chicken and fish.

The Opposite Central Idea

The given content may begin with a misconception and discuss the opposite fact with an explanation. In this case, you should start with grammar structures such as although, though, despite, inspire, etc. And then mention the actual fact (opposite from the misconception) in the second part of the sentence. 

For example:

Although many of us think 8 hours of sleep is perfect for people to relax, a survey conducted by the National Health Care Center proves that the necessary sleeping hours vary depending on people’s gender, health, age, and working conditions.

Cause And Effect Idea

The paragraph often explains a series of actions and their impact. You need to point out the sequence with cause and effect. 

For example:

Research by the University of Health Care shows that drinking alcohol is the number one reason leading to liver damage due to its poisonous content.

PTE SWT Templates You Can Try 

PTE SWT Templates You Can Try

To be successful in this Writing task, you should learn how to use a PTE summarize written text template. Let’s find out what templates are suitable for you and how to use them effectively.

For Students With Average To Good English Skills

For this group of students, the aiming score is from 60 to 80. If it’s your target, the template introduced later can help you achieve it. However, remember that the template is just one of the useful tools during practicing and testing. 

To have the best result, you should also practice getting used to the test requirements and know how to identify the central idea, important keywords, and key phrases.  

While reading, you should note down all this necessary information and then correctly fit it in the template pattern to form a proper response. Plus, capturing the smaller phrases is also useful. Yet, don’t go too deep in detail. 5 to 6 words are enough to help you avoid grammatical errors. 

You can make changes to the template if you feel uncomfortable using it. Yet, if you stick to it, you’ll be able to complete the task with enough information to put in one complex sentence.

Our template includes a well-developed grammatical structure, with the first part of the sentence introducing the main idea and the clever insertion in the second part to add the subordinate clause. You can even extend the sentence with the third part as well.

One more important thing to remember is your keywords should fit the template based on both meaning and grammar. You can change the word form to create a correct grammar structure.

Here is how you can do it:

The text/ research gives information about/ shows that <central idea>, because <keyword/ keyphrase 1> and <keyword /keyphrase 2> are important elements; furthermore, the <keyword/ keyphrase 3>, <keyword/ keyphrase 4> as well as <keyword/ keyphrase 5> were mentioned as a result of <keyword/ keyphrase 6>, <keyword/ keyphrase 7> and <keyword/ keyphrase 8>.

Now let’s see how you can use this template in the example below:

“Older people are growing healthier, happier, and more independent, say American scientists. The results of a 14-year study to be announced later this month reveal that the diseases associated with old age are afflicting fewer and fewer people, and when they do strike, it is much later in life.

Researchers, now analyzing the results of data gathered in 1994, say arthritis, high blood pressure, and circulation problems are major medical complaints in this age group, troubling a smaller proportion yearly. And the data confirms that the rate at which these diseases are declining continues to accelerate. Other disorders of old-age dementia, stroke, arteriosclerosis, and emphysema are also troubling fewer and fewer people.

‘It raises the question of what should be considered normal aging,’ says Kenneth Manton, a demographer from Duke University in North Carolina. He says that the problems doctors accepted as normal in a 65-year-old in 1982 do not appear until people are 70 or 75. Clearly, certain diseases are beating a retreat in the face of medical advances. But there may be other contributing factors. Improvements in childhood nutrition in the first quarter of the twentieth century, for example, gave today’s older adults a better start in life than their predecessors.”


The research shows that elderly people have better life quality and grow happier than their older generations because they benefit from their childhood nutrition improvement; furthermore, chronic diseases were also mentioned as a reason for healthier elderly.

For Students With Poor English Skills

A target of a moderate score of around 40 to 60 is suitable for this group of students. If you’re in this group, don’t be upset. It’s always better to set a realistic goal and achieve it then you can go for something higher. Practicing every day can improve your results. 

Try your best to practice with the above template. But, if you can’t point out the exact keywords or key phrases, there’s nothing wrong with repeating the sentence (in a logical way and concerning the given text). 

Below is a simple template you can use when you’re struggling and there are no other choices.

Sentence 1 from Passage 1 and Sentence 2 of Passage 2, but/and Sentence 3 of Passage 3 or Passage 4.

Let’s see how you can use this template in the example above:

Elderly people are growing healthier, happier, and more independent because high blood pressure and circulation problems are troubling a smaller proportion every year, and there are improvements in childhood nutrition in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

PTE Summarize Written Text Tips For Higher Scores

Tips On Reading The Text

This section requires you to have strong reading skills, including speed reading and deep reading, to complete the task well. You need to understand the passage well before summarizing it. 

Here are some tips to perfect your skills while reading and finding important information.  

  • You need to read and find the main overall idea. Once you identify it, you need to look for its supporting points. Remember, don’t pay attention to the details but the keywords only.
  • You can form your summary by collecting the central idea of each paragraph and combining them together.

Tips On Time Management

Time management plays an important role in the exam. Especially when you sit in the exam room, time seems to fly faster, and you start to become nervous and rush out. 

Therefore, learning how to divide your time during the test is important. It will help you use your few minutes effectively and avoid major setbacks to complete the task successfully.

You’ll be given 10 minutes to do the summarizing test. Ensure you fully use this time to read and write perfectly with the following tricks.

You should spend the first 2-3 minutes carefully reading the paragraph. Try to understand its meaning so you will not produce irrelevant content.

The next 4 to 5 minutes are for writing the sentence. Though it’s only one sentence, it requires lots of thinking, forming structure, rearranging, and rewriting until you get a satisfactory result. 

The last 1 – 2 minutes should be used for checking grammatical and vocabulary mistakes. Ensure you use correct structure relevant words and place the punctuation in proper places.

Remember that if you finish earlier, your remaining time will not be moved to the next section, so recheck your sentence as much as you can.

Combine The Two Tips

Below is what you need to do in each precious minute of the test.

Step 1. Skim the text for 1 minute

Skimming will give you a general idea about the topic. 

Step 2. Deep-read the text for 2 minutes.

While re-reading the passage again for detailed information, note down the keywords. Remember that you’re limited to 1 sentence and a certain number of words; thus, you can use synonyms or one word to replace the whole long phrase if possible. 

Step 3. Take 4 minutes to organize the keywords in a sentence. 

Imagine you’re telling the information to someone who has no background or has known about the passage, so you should make it as clear and understandable as possible.   

Besides, avoid including your own ideas in the content of your summary. Add conjunctions to connect parts of the sentence logically. 

Ignore the details. Only choose keywords to include in your answer.

The ideal length is around 30-35 words. The longer you write, the more mistakes will be exposed. And don’t exceed the required word count.  

Step 4. Recheck and edit

Spend the last 2 minutes of your given time to fix the grammatical structure, vocabulary usage, and punctuation and simplify the sentence if possible. 


The PTE summarize written text is not easy as your one-sentence answer should summarize the passage’s main idea with relevant information, correct grammar, and vocabulary. You need to train your reading skills to get the main idea of the content in a short time and convert it into a proper response.

You can use the above tips and templates to assist your skills in practicing and completing the task well in the exam room. Make sure you practice them a lot and be confident while taking the test to get high scores.

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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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