A very interesting question type in the PTE Listening section is the Highlight Correct Summary. In this question, you will hear an audio and select the correct summary from a number of options given to you. The key skills tested in this are your Listening ability as well your reading ability.
By listening properly, you should be able to identify what is the key information and the theme of the audio. Then you should be able to match it with the options provided.
Let’s look at the basic information for this question type:
|Number of questions||2~3|
|Scoring||Contributes to your listening and reading scores.|
|Time to answer||No time limit for individual questions. Be mindful of the overall Listening section time limit.|
You should focus on understanding the theme of the audio. Some people just try to catch some words and then have a difficult time remembering how the words relate to each other. However, if you understand the theme, you will not face this problem. Give yourself a daily dose of listening practice, YouTube or websites like TED have good audios that you can listen to. After listening to the audio, try to summarize it in a couple of sentences. This is the best daily practice that you can give yourself.
Use the time before the audio starts to have a quick glance at the options given. You will not be able to read the full summaries, but you can definitely catch a few words from each option. This has two benefits – it will give you a better idea of what you are about to listen to, and it will also help you shortlist options while listening.
When the audio starts, try to understand the main idea – the theme of the audio. Take some notes and at the same time visualize what you are listening to. This will help you remember the main points of the audio. When you are listening, keep an eye on the options in front of you. Often, you can eliminate or shortlist couple of options at the same time as you listen to the audio.
Once the audio ends, read the summary options in detail and look for the ones which carry the key points that you remember and that are in your notes. The option that includes all or most of the key points mentioned in the audio is the one that is correct. For example, if Option 1 has 2 key points, but Option 2 has 3 key points then Option 2 is the correct one, provided all the key points in the options are the ones that were actually in the audio. So, if there is Option 3 which has 3 points but 1 one of them was not mentioned in the audio, it is not your correct summary.
It is helpful to think of this as a multiple-choice question. After all you have a number of choices from which you have to select one correct choice.
Follow these suggestions to get a high score in the PTE Highlight correct summary questions.
Read the options before hand
A lot of you will say that there is not enough time to read the options before the audio begins. That is correct! You cannot read all the options completely. But you can skim through the options. You can catch some words from each option. This will at the least give you an idea of what to expect in the audio. Once your mind has got a hint, it will catch the words faster and you will find it easier to understand the theme of the audio.
Listen with the intent of understanding
Do not listen to just catch some words. When you listen to the audio, you should try to understand the theme and the main ideas in the audio. This will make it easier for you to remember what you have just heard.
It is helpful to take some notes when listening to a long audio. Do not try to write down everything. That will only make you lose focus. Instead, write down the words that contain the most information. For e.g. any names, years, events, etc.
Keep the options in mind when listening
When you are listening to the audio, keep an eye on the options in front of you. Often you can eliminate an option or two at the same time as you are listening to the audio. In the end, you will only have to confirm your decision. For e.g. if an option says, “Only 10% of the people pay taxes on time…”, but you hear in the audio “Majority of the people pay their taxes on time…”, then you can eliminate the option right away.
Use your visual memory
Don’t depend only on your ability to remember the words or on the notes that you have taken. Add your visual memory to the mix and it will make things a lot easier for you. Try to draw a mental picture of what you are hearing. If the audio is about a state government and taxes, then imagine seeing government officials, money and an online website for taxes. Our mind remembers visual information much more than just the words.
Confirm each option in the end
In the end, when you finalize an option, make sure you have looked at each and every option. Don’t be too confident and go with the first option you feel is right. You should have a definite reason for why you are ruling out other options. This way you will not lose marks due to silly mistakes.
Now try this practice test and see how well you do in these Highlight Correct Summary questions!