VERSANT English speaking test might be quite useful for output practice

G’day mate. How’re are you going? Today, I am going to talk about a piece of my analysis with respect to “VERSANT English speaking test“. Prior to this, I haven’t taken this test yet, to be honest with you. So, if I am wrong, please let me know.

VERSANT English speaking test is sponsored by Pearson, which I know this organisation very much indeed. The reason is that I’ve taken the PTE exam and haven’t taken but mulling over taking some IT certification tests before. Amongst Japanese, the PTE is unfortunately not popular at all, but I think this test is the best one for learners to boost their practical English competency. By the way, VERSANT English speaking test consists of part A to F: namely Reading, Repeat, Short Answer Questions, Sentence Builds, Story Retelling, and Open Questions. The score is 20 (the Lowest) to 80 (the Highest). Please refer to the below images:

Reading, which I quote ‘the candidate reads printed, numbered sentences, one at a time, as prompted.

My Analysis: This task tests your reading fluency and of course correct 44 sounds of English pronunciation. VERSANT has a strong resemblance to the PTE exam in terms of question types. For the PTE, this type of question is like ‘Read aloud’. If you do practise Read aloud, Internal monologue every day at home, you should be able to smash this question quite easily. No specific practice for this task is needed. Needless to say, if you reckon you essentially lack basic grammar, vocabulary and accuracy of pronunciation, then you’re not ready for the test.

Repeat, which I quote ‘candidates are asked to repeat sentences that they hear verbatim. The sentences are presented to the candidate in approximate order of increasing difficulty. Sentences range in length from three words to 15 words. The audio item prompts are spoken in a conversational manner’. This task is also the same as Repeat Sentence in the PTE exam.

My Analysis: Oral fluency and pronunciation are crucial. If you’re thinking and repeating at the same time, then you start hesitating or pausing intermittently. You just fake it until you make it! This task doesn’t require you to perfectly repeat the sentence, you rather speak smoothly without thinking. There’re heaps of YouTube videos about Repeat Sentence questions, so you can practise anytime with your smartphone or lappy!

Story Retelling, which I quote ‘test takers listen to a series of brief stories and retell the stories in English using their own words’. Your performance of this task feeds into oral fluency, pronunciation, sentence mastery, and vocabulary scores. This question type looks like the PTE Retell Lecture question. Almost synonymous!

My Analysis: Since I know pretty much everything about the PTE exam, I can easily guess what sort of performance is required to score highly. This task seems quite simple, because what you ought to do is to take some keywords on your note booklet and rearrange them into full sentences logically. Good note-taking skill might be paramount. Test takers should focus on oral fluency rather than too much on contents. If you’re thinking and speaking at the same time during this task, then it is highly likely that you hesitate or pause intermittently, which leads to *staccato.

*staccato/stəˈkɑːtəʊ – a series of short, sharply separated sounds or words. Origin: Italian, literally ‘detached’.

Overall, this English test strictly tests your four skills (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking). And more than that, your general knowledge will be judged. Of course, it’s not too easy, but as I said before, daily practice including Read Aloud, Internal monologue and of course reading English articles, books, magazines are more than enough to be able to crack straight all 80s in VERSANT within 3 months.

Here is the link:

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

Have a good one.

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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