PTE Describe Image- A Comprehensive Manual

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Aug 10,2023 01:08 PM IST

Acing the PTE is a dream for many students. This blog aims to accelerate this dream by providing in-depth information on the Describe Image question type, a critical element of the PTE test. Learn the strategies and follow the tips to boost your scores today.

To be able to study abroad is a dream for many students. Countries like Canada, Australia, and The USA are at the top of students’ priority lists. However, getting into these countries requires clearing the PTE test, an English proficiency test for non-native English speakers. The PTE test, short for the Pearson Test for English, measures one’s ability to understand and comprehend English in both the academic and professional spheres. Moreover, it assesses a person’s ability to communicate effectively in English as a foreign language speaker. The PTE Academic is a computer-delivered test with four sections- Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

PTE Speaking

The Speaking module is an integral element of the PTE test that judges one’s speaking and writing abilities to a certain extent. It lasts for around 54 to 67 minutes and mainly entails five different question types-

• Personal Introduction
• Describe Image Questions
• Answer short Questions
• Repeat Sentence Questions
• Summarize Written Text Questions

PTE Speaking- Describe Image Questions

The Describe Image Questions in the Speaking module are challenging yet highly scored if tackled correctly and appropriately. As the name suggests, the Describe Image questions evaluate an individual’s ability to analyze an image and verbally describe it as accurately as possible. There are no set rules for the image type. It can be a bar graph, line graph, pie chart, map, photograph or diagram. Sometimes, there is more than one image, which can also include a piece of text. Each person is provided around 25 seconds to analyze the image, followed by the next 40 seconds to describe it in detail critically. 

When it comes to Describe Image questions, many individuals find it rather complicated and tricky as it is open to interpretation with no correct answer. Therefore, one must have a strategy and game plan to answer these questions. They must know what they are looking for to answer these questions efficiently. As soon as the picture is displayed on the screen, one should always look out for three key things and mention them in their answers- 

TitleIt is located at the top of the image and should ideally be mentioned in the beginning of the answer.
Distinctive FeaturesOnce the title is introduced, quickly move to the distinctive features of the image. Try to include at least three components.
EndingFinally, end the answer with a conclusion that reflects what one has inferred from the image or a suggestion they would like to make.

Also read: PTE Eligibility


Following a template is the way to go while answering Describe Image Questions. Besides the three elements mentioned above, everything else in the answer remains the same. Take a look at a sample template given below for a bar diagram. - 


The bar graph [Image type] reflects ---- [Overview from title]. After a close look at the image, it can be inferred that the image has multiple features and trends.  

Main Body

To begin with, the X-axis/ represents ------[Point 1] whereas, the Y-axis showcases------- [ Point 2]
From the image, it is evident that --------, -------- and -------- [Feature 1, 2 and 3]
Moreover, it can also be observed that -------- [Another key feature


Overall, it can be concluded that the image depicts--------- [conclusion]

Also read: PTE exam pattern

Points to Remember

Now that the Describe Image question type has been presented thoroughly, specific salient points must be understood and remembered. Have a look at them below- 

Manage Time Wisely

Time management is essential for every task in the PTE but more so for the Describe Image questions. Less time is provided for this question. Therefore, one should analyze the image for the first 20 seconds and look for the most prominent details. Try to soak in the picture entirely. Similarly, when delivering the answer, utilize the time appropriately. A person who wishes to score more than 79 on the PTE test is suggested to speak for at least 30 seconds. People speaking for lesser time than that have a chance to lose out on marks. 

Structure the Answer

It is advised that one must always structure their answers according to the three elements described above. An opening sentence, a main body and an appropriate conclusion makes the solution more appealing and easy to understand. Refrain from using over-complicated sentences. Try to be crisp always, and be precise and short with the sentences to avoid mistakes. Ensure to conclude the answer with a closing line within the tile limit.

Emphasize Vocabulary and Fluency 

As established before, the PTE Speaking module tests a candidate's speaking abilities. Therefore, one must have a firm grasp of their vocabulary. Try to use professional words and avoid using casual words and sentences. Flaunt your language skills and limit the usage of similar words in an answer. In the same way, one must practice fluency and tone. These two factors matter greatly in the Speaking test and carry significant weightage.

Watch Out for Fillers

Time provided in the PTE Describe Image task is minimal, so don't waste it on fillers such as 'umm', 'uh', 'so', 'because' and so on. Apart from taking up time, these filler words interrupt an individual's fluency and portray a lack of confidence.  


The Describe Image questions can pose an obstacle for many individuals and can shatter their future goals of studying abroad. But, with the correct guidance, strategies and preparation, it can be a piece of cake. Therefore, always being prepared and staying one step ahead of others is advisable. Familiarity with the question types, their samples, format etc., can prove to be highly useful. 


No, as time is limited, one is only expected to mention the most distinctive features that come to mind while looking at the picture. Instead of wasting time on insignificant details, focus on the prominent ones. 
The time for speaking in the Describe Image questions is 40 seconds. If an individual stops talking before that stipulated time, there is a chance of losing marks. Having said that, one should avoid including irrelevant information in their answer to fulfil the time limit. Remember quality over quantity!
While there is no set rule, one can expect bar graphs, pie charts, flowcharts, diagrams and other photographs to appear in the test.
There are three factors based on which the scoring is done for this question type: Pronunciation, Content and Fluency. Other factors contributing to a better score are voice quality, intonation, speed, and rhythm.
Yes, time plays a critical role in this task. As time is minimal, one must use their time wisely and smartly. One should practice beforehand to improve their time management skills by using the help of an instructor or online material etc. 

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