What is oral fluency in PTE?

Oral fluency is one of the six Enabling skills that the PTE-A scores you on. In linguistics, oral fluency refers to the ease with which a speaker would get his/her message across to the listener through spoken words in the clearest manner. However, I think oral fluency is defined a bit different from the formal definition of it by the PTE content writers.

Oral fluency is defined, and I stress that this is my own personal deduction, which has come through observation and comparison of hundreds, if not thousands, of my students’ performance with their PTE score reports after they sat the PTE-A. Oral fluency is defined in my book as “the number of words spoken in a minute”. Now in the PTE test, especially in the speaking section all items are recorded within a certain time.

In the Read Aloud section of the speaking module, for instance, this time is between 30 to 40 seconds depending on the length of the RA text. So, if a candidate reads this section with a lot of pauses such as Em, Er, silence and stutter, the number of words that the PTE voice-to-text software manages to get out of the recorded audio will be divided by the time given and the result is the oral fluency for that specific item number. Your oral fluency score is a mean of all test items in the speaking section that contain this element.

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