PTE WRITING TIPS
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Summarize Written Text
The task : This is a short-answer writing task type that tests reading and writing skills. You have I 0 minutes to write a one-sentence summary of a reading passage. You will do 2-3 Summarize written text tasks.
Use your reading skills
• Take the time to read the passage calmly. First, skim for the general topic, then read carefully for the main ideas.
• Note the main idea and supporting ideas using key words, and arrows and symbols to indicate how the ideas are organized. Effective note-taking will ensure that your summary has all the main points.
Construct your summary
• Type the main point of the passage in the box, then add the supporting or other details.
• Remember, your response must be one sentence only, between 5 and 75 words, so you must use grammatical structures and punctuation that allow you to include all your points within one sentence.
• Use the ‘Cut’, ‘Copy’, and ‘Paste’ buttons to move text around. There is a word counter below the writing box, and a timer running at the top of the screen.
Check your writing
• Take a few minutes to check your grammar and vocabulary. Does your sentence begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop?
• Your response will not be scored if it is more than one sentence, or if it is written all in capital letters.
• At the end of I 0 minutes, the screen will stop responding.
Preparation • Practise skimming short texts quickly (up to 300 words) to identify the main points. In a longer article, stop reading after each paragraph and summarize the main point in one sentence.• Work with a friend to agree on what are the main ideas and supporting ideas in texts.• Develop your own techniques for rapid note-taking. Decide on your own abbreviations and symbols and practise using them so they become automatic.• Revise complex structures such as subordinate clauses and the use of conjunctions that will allow you to include more ideas within one sentence. Analyze long sentences in texts to identify how the writer has constructed each one.• Find a short text (up to 300 words) and time yourself reading and summarizing it. Take one minute to skim for the main idea, then 2 minutes to read carefully and take notes. Spend 5 minutes writing a one sentence summary, and 2 minutes checking your work.• Compare your summary to the original text. The best response will clearly summarize the main idea and condense essential supporting ideas.• Find a set of 2 or 3 short texts and time yourself summarizing them, one after the other. Make sure you only spend 10 minutes on each text.
Analyze and plan
• First, analyze the essay task. Identify the key words that tell you the general topic, then look for the particular aspect of the topic you are being asked about (often in the form of a statement of a position).• Look closely at the task to see exactly what you have to do — agree/disagree, answer specific questions, etc.• Use your Erasable Noteboard Booklet to plan your essay. Note the ideas you want to include, and decide how you will order them.
Write your essay
• Use your outline notes to present your position on the task, and support your opinion with evidence and examples. Remember that it doesn’t matter what your opinion is as long as you argue it clearly and with support.• Make sure you cover all the required aspects of the question.• Make sure your essay is well organized, with a new paragraph for each new idea, to develop your argument.
Check your writing
• Save a few minutes to check your writing. You will lose marks for poor grammar and for spelling mistakes.• After 20 minutes the screen will stop responding,so click `Next’ and move on
Writing: writing for a purpose (to learn, to inform, to persuade); supporting an opinion with details, examples and explanations; organizing sentences and paragraphs in a logical way; developing complex ideas within a complete essay; using words and phrases appropriate to the context; using correct grammar; using correct spelling; using correct mechanics; writing under timed conditions.
• Look at the Write essay tasks in this book and in The Official Guide to PTE Academic. Circle the topic in each one, then underline the particular aspect of the topic you must write about. Identify the instruction that tells you exactly what you must do — agree/disagree, answer specific questions, etc.• Practise developing outlines for essay topics. Look again at the essay topics in this book and in The Official Guide to PTE Academic, and prepare quick outlines for each one. Remember that a response that does not address the topic will be scored zero.• Practise writing introductory paragraphs, with one sentence that makes a general statement on the topic and a second sentence that introduces your opinion.• Practise writing conclusions that re-state or summarize your argument in one sentence.
• Make a list of signpost words you can use to show how an argument is organized, such as Firstly, Secondly, However, In addition, On the other hand, etc_ Write paragraphs that use these signpost words.• Write 250 words on one essay topic on your computer and time how long it takes you to do this. Decide how much time you can spend planning your essay, how much time writing, and how much time checking.• Practise writing without using the spell-checker and grammar checker on your computer so that you learn to recognize wrong spellings.
Content courtesy: Pearson
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