Summarize Written Text

Summarize Written Text

Reading Time: 20 minutes

Part 1: Writing

SUMMARIZE WRITTEN TEXT

Made Easy

  • Length of text: up to 300 words
  • Reading and writing time: 10 Minutes
  • Maximum number of words: 75
  • Number of these tasks: 1 -2

Summarize written text tests your ability to understand an academic text and give a summary of the most important points in one sentence.

Read the passage below and summarise it using one sentence. Type your response in the box at the bottom of the screen. You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.

It has long been established that octopuses are highly intelligent creatures whose thinking works in a very different way from humans. New research has now revealed that the arms of an octopus can, if need be, make decisions in coordination with each other but completely independently of the brain.

While observing octopuses engaged in various tasks, researchers tracked movement and neural activation, using a computer program to identify patterns. In this way, they ascertained whether the actions of the tentacles were being executed independently or in coordination with the brain. They found that the suckers on the neuron-packed arms received external sensory information which was then communicated to other suckers, allowing coordination with the other arms and bypassing the brain completely. In fact, the animal’s brain is often not even aware of the location or actions of the arms. Consequently, the tentacles can work together to make independent decisions, such as how to manoeuvre and react appropriately to their external environment.

The significant advantage of this mode of operation is speed – the shorter neural pathways avoiding the brain enable signals to be received, processed and transmitted more quickly, allowing the animal to catch prey and react to danger much more rapidly than otherwise.

  • Reading
    up to 12 points
  • Writing
    up to 14 points

Top Strategies for Success in Summarize Written Text

Summary structure: A good written summary should:

include all the main points and any important supporting information but none of the minor points;

be presented in a logical order;

only include ideas from the text, not your own ideas;

be shorter than the original;

mostly use different words from the original.

  • Practice Tips
    Follow To Succeed
  • Practise summarising short texts from serious books or newspaper articles. Find some texts (2–5 paragraphs), giving information on a range of topics (e.g. science, technology, education, the environment). Then do the following.
    Find out the writers’ main point and purpose (e.g. to inform, argue, warn, criticise, describe, persuade, explain, etc.)
    Practise locating topic sentences, which can help you to identify the main message.
    ◾ Identify cohesive devices. For example, highlight a word like this or it and then the idea it refers to. Or find a word for an idea that’s repeated and then highlight each synonym of that word to follow the idea through the text.
    Review the uses of punctuation, especially the semi-colon (;). This is particularly useful for joining two related sentences to make one.

    Become comfortable using a range of techniques in your writing. These will allow you to include more ideas into one sentence. Here are some examples.
    Use conjunctions (e.g. also, because, for example, as a result of, etc.).
    Use subordinate clauses (parts of a sentence that depend on another and can’t exist alone). In the example below, the underlined subordinate clause doesn’t make sense without the information at the beginning of the sentence.
    The reason people like PTE-A is because it has several different types of tasks.
    Use nominalisation (using nouns instead of verbs or adjectives, which can often sound more academic).
    The intelligence of octopuses is high.
    Observations of octopuses led to some interesting research.

  • Language focus

👉 Learn academic vocabulary
– it really helps with these tasks! Research shows that an excellent way to improve your vocabulary is to do lots of reading on a range of different topics. Highlight any unfamiliar words in the texts you read and guess their meaning from the words around them. Then check in a dictionary.

👉 Look for prefixes and suffixes. Knowing how to add these to base words will help to broaden your vocabulary.

👉 Create lists of words with their synonyms. A thesaurus can help you to find new words with the same or similar meanings.

👉 When you learn a new word, record an example of how it’s used in context.

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School

BEFORE WRITING

First, spend one minute skimming the text to understand the general topic, then read carefully for the main ideas and key supporting ideas.

Take two minutes to read the passage more carefully and make notes on the main and supporting ideas, either mentally or in the erasable booklet.

Decide which information to include in your summary sentence, and which to miss out. You can’t include everything, so choose wisely.

Arrow RL Icon- Process-steps- PTE School

WHILE WRITING

Spend five minutes writing the one-sentence summary, and two minutes comparing your summary to the original passage.

Start with the main idea and then add supporting details. Imagine you are writing this summary for someone who has not seen the text.

Use a range of vocabulary. Remember to pack lots of information into the sentence. Try to paraphrase the text, rather than using the same words from the text.

If necessary, use a semi-colon (;) to join two related sentences into one.

Aim for a sentence that clearly conveys the main ideas. Don’t make it too complicated. The maximum of75 words is not a target. The best answers are usually much shorter than this. You don’t get more points for using more words.

Make sure you really have just one sentence.

Use linking words to join two parts of a sentence together (e.g. Octopuses are intelligent and they can do many things.)

Move parts of the text around as much as you want using the ‘Cut’, ‘Copy’ and ‘Paste’ buttons.

Check the time as you write, to make sure you have time to complete the task and review it.

AFTER WRITING

Make changes where necessary.
Check the content of your summary.
• Does it communicate the main ideas?
• Does it only include the most important details?
• Does it flow smoothly and logically?

Check the form of your summary.
• Is it one single complete sentence?
• Is it 5–75 words?

Check grammar, spelling and punctuation.
• Does the sentence begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop?
• Have you written it in small letters, using capitals only where appropriate?

Remember, What To Do What Not To Do In Summarize Written Text

Practise Summarize Written Text 2 here, if you want to try Read aloud without a time limit. Think about the strategies mentioned above. Then follow the task instructions.

Read the passage below and summarise it using one sentence. Type your response in the box at the bottom of the screen. You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.

A common experience for international students is the adjustment period when they move to a new environment and have to adapt to completely different educational, cultural or social settings, or a new language. Students can expect to feel anything from excitement and wonder to frustration and confusion, from anywhere between several weeks to several months. The common term for this is ‘culture shock’, and it typically stems from the challenges of learning what is appropriate in your new surroundings and what is not. The positive news is that this learning helps most people to develop a more flexible and open attitude, and with this you will be better able to meet these challenges and benefit from them.

Typically, there are three distinct phases: the honeymoon, distress and recovery. In the initial phase, you enjoy the novelty of everything, feeling excited and confident. Before long, the second phase sets in and you begin to miss your usual way of life and question or even criticise the new environment. Being immersed in a different language starts to exhaust you, and your health may suffer. Fortunately, when you make it to the final phase the result is usually regained confidence and comfortable adjustment. You may even surprise yourself and find a new preference for some aspects of your new home.

In order to reduce the experience of culture shock, there are some simple practices you can follow. Firstly, remember it is very common and there will be others who are going through something similar. You’ll also benefit from sharing your experiences with friends and family. Make sure you keep to a healthy diet and exercise routine and get plenty of rest and recreation. Lastly, join some social clubs and make sure to explore your new home and learn as much as you can about it.

1. Read your response. Use the checklist below to decide what you did well and what you need to practise more. Set aside time to work on each area that you want to improve.

2. Read a model answer for this task below. Compare it to your own response. What are the differences? Are you happy with your response? What could you improve?

Culture Shock, a typical experience for most international students, consists of three distinct phases (the excited ‘honeymoon’ stage,  a ‘distressed’ period, and a final comfortable time of recovery and acceptance) and its varying emotional states can be alleviated by following some simple practices: remembering you’re not the only one with the problem; incorporating a healthy lifestyle including adequate rest; maintaining an active social life; and embracing your new life and everything it offers.

Common Mistakes Problems Errors In Summarize Written Text

Writing tasks have specific requirements you must meet in order to succeed in the task. Read the question carefully and make sure you understand its demands.

You have 10 minutes for Summarize written text and 20 minutes for Write essay to plan, write and check your work. Use the time wisely.

Most Repeated Summarize Written Text Questions in 2024

1. When the Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799, the carved characters that covered its surface were quickly copied. Printer’s ink was applied to the Stone and white paper laid over it. When the paper was removed, it revealed an exact copy of the text—but in reverse. Since then, many copies or “facsimiles” have been made using a variety of materials. Inevitably, the surface of the Stone accumulated many layers of material left over from these activities, despite attempts to remove any residue. Once on display, the grease from many thousands of human hands eager to touch the Stone added to the problem. An opportunity for investigation and cleaning the Rosetta Stone arose when this famous object was made the centerpiece of the Cracking Codes exhibition at The British Museum in 1999. When work commenced to remove all but the original, ancient material, the stone was black with white lettering. As treatment progressed, the different substances uncovered were analyzed. Grease from human handling, a coating of carnauba wax from the early 1800s and printer’s ink from 1799 were cleaned away using cotton wool swabs and liniment of soap, white spirit, acetone and purified water. Finally, white paint in the text, applied in 1981, which had been left in place until now as a protective coating, was removed with cotton swabs and purified water. A small square at the bottom left corner of the face of the Stone was left untouched to show the darkened wax and the white infill.

2. If your recruiting efforts attract job applicants with too much experience—a near certainty in this weak labor market—you should consider a response that runs counter to most hiring managers’ MO: Don’t reject those applicants out of hand. Instead, take a closer look. New research shows that overqualified workers tend to perform better than other employees, and they don’t quit any sooner. Furthermore, a simple managerial tactic—empowerment—can mitigate any dissatisfaction they may feel. The prejudice against too-good employees is pervasive. Companies tend to prefer an applicant who is a “perfect fit” over someone who brings more intelligence, education, or experience than needed. On the surface, this bias makes sense: Studies have consistently shown that employees who consider themselves overqualified exhibit higher levels of discontent. For example, overqualification correlated well with job dissatisfaction in a 2008 study of 156 call-center reps by Israeli researchers Saul Fine and Baruch Nevo. And unlike discrimination based on age or gender, declining to hire overqualified workers is perfectly legal. But even before the economic downturn, a surplus of overqualified candidates was a global problem, particularly in developing economies, where rising education levels are giving workers more skills than are needed to supply the growing service sectors. If managers can get beyond the conventional wisdom, the growing pool of too-good applicants is a great opportunity. Berrin Erdogan and Talya N. Bauer of Portland State University in Oregon found that overqualified workers’ feelings of dissatisfaction can be dissipated by giving them autonomy in decision making. At stores where employees didn’t feel empowered, “overeducated” workers expressed greater dissatisfaction than their colleagues did and were more likely to state an intention to quit. But that difference vanished where self-reported autonomy was high.

3. Mammals can be one of the hardest-hit groups by habitat loss, and a lot of research has been carried out to find the best ways to conserve mammal diversity. Much of this research has focused on very large-scale changes in land use and the impacts this will have on overall mammal diversity. However, many important decisions about land use are made at much more local scales, for example at the level of individual landowners. Now, in a detailed study led by Imperial College London that looked at mammal diversity across different small-scale landscapes in Borneo, researchers have identified previously logged forests as an overlooked source of refuge for mammals. These ‘selectively logged’ forests, where only certain tree species are removed, are often considered to be degraded and are frequently cleared to make way for plantations. The new results, published in the journal Ecological Applications, suggest they should be better protected. The team recorded mammals using trap-and-release techniques and motion-sensing cameras over three years, creating an unprecedented 20,000 records of species in three land-use types: old-growth forest, logged forest and oil palm plantation. This is one of the most intensive studies of rainforest mammal diversity ever undertaken. To their surprise, they found that mammal diversity for large mammals, like the clouded leopard and civets, was similar for both old-growth forests and logged forests. For small mammals, such as squirrels and rodents, the diversity was actually higher in logged forests.

4. The world is shrinking rapidly with the advent of faster communication, transportation, and financial flows. Products developed in one country—Gucci purses, Sony electronics, McDonald’s hamburgers, Japanese sushi, German BMWs—have found enthusiastic acceptance in other countries. It would not be surprising to hear about a German businessman wearing an Italian suit meeting an English friend at a Japanese restaurant who later returns home to drink Russian vodka and watch Dancing with the Stars on TV. International trade has boomed over the past three decades. Since 1990, the number of multinational corporations in the world has grown from 30,000 to more than 63,000. Some of these multinationals are true giants. In fact, of the largest 150 “economies” in the world, only 81 are countries. The remaining 69 are multinational corporations. Walmart, the world’s largest company, has annual revenues greater than the GDP of all but the world’s 21 largest countries. Between 2000 and 2008, total world trade grew more than 7 percent per year, easily outstripping GDP output, which was about 3 percent. Despite a dip in world trade caused by the recent worldwide recession, the world trade of products and services last year was valued at more than $12 trillion, about 17 percent of GDP worldwide. Many U.S. companies have long been successful at international marketing: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, GE, IBM, Colgate, Caterpillar, Boeing, and dozens of other American firms have made the world their market. In the United States, names such as Sony, Toyota, Nestlé, IKEA, Canon, and Nokia have become household words. Other products and services that appear to be American are, in fact, produced or owned by foreign companies.

Quick Tips Strategies For Better Score!

When you have written your response, check to make sure that it is only one sentence, with a capital letter at the beginning and only one full stop at the end.

Your response must be between 5 and 75 words so check the word count using the 'Total Word Count' counter below the response box. If you write fewer than five words or more than 75 words, your response will not be scored:

Your response must be expressed within one sentence, so you will need to use a complex or compound sentence to be able to summarize the main point of the passage and also briefly mention the supporting detail.

For example, look at the clause structures used in these summaries to link supporting ideas to the main point:

Content: Does your response summarize the main points in the passage?

Content is scored by determining if all key points of the passage have been addressed without misrepresenting the purpose or topic. If your summary misinterprets the topic or the purpose of the passage, you will not receive any score points for your summary on any of the four factors. Your summary will be scored zero. The best responses clearly summarize the main idea and condense essential supporting points. They focus on the topic, including only key information and essential supporting points.

Form: Does your response meet the requirements of a one-sentence summary? If your summary contains fewer than five words or more than 75 words, you will not receive any score points for your summary on any of the four factors. Your summary will be scored zero.

Grammar: Does your response demonstrate correct grammatical usage?

Grammar is scored by determining if the basic structure of the sentence is correct. The best responses usually consist of a main clause and subordinate clause.

Vocabulary: Does your response demonstrate correct and appropriate word choice and usage?

Vocabulary is scored according to its relevance to the passage and its appropriateness in an academic environment. The appropriate use of synonyms is also scored. The best responses use words from the passage appropriately, demonstrate an understanding of the context and use synonyms effectively to show variety in language use.

Note

• Your response is scored as either correct or incorrect based on the appropriateness of the words in your response. No credit is given for no response or an incorrect response.


• Your listening and speaking skills are not tested by this question type.


• For more information download the Score Guide.

Read the passage below and summarise it using one sentence. Type your response in the box at the bottom of the screen. You have 10 minutes to finish this task. Your response will be judged on the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the key points in the passage.

It has long been established that octopuses are highly intelligent creatures whose thinking works in a very different way from humans. New research has now revealed that the arms of an octopus can, if need be, make decisions in coordination with each other but completely independently of the brain.

While observing octopuses engaged in various tasks, researchers tracked movement and neural activation, using a computer program to identify patterns. In this way, they ascertained whether the actions of the tentacles were being executed independently or in coordination with the brain. They found that the suckers on the neuron-packed arms received external sensory information which was then communicated to other suckers, allowing coordination with the other arms and bypassing the brain completely. In fact, the animal’s brain is often not even aware of the location or actions of the arms. Consequently, the tentacles can work together to make independent decisions, such as how to manoeuvre and react appropriately to their external environment.

The significant advantage of this mode of operation is speed – the shorter neural pathways avoiding the brain enable signals to be received, processed and transmitted more quickly, allowing the animal to catch prey and react to danger much more rapidly than otherwise.

English Speaker’s Response

Research has shown that, if required, the arms of an octopus can make decisions in coordination with each other while bypassing the brain; hence the suckers on the tentacles receive external sensory information which enables the animal to catch prey and react to danger much more rapidly than if the brain were involved.

Read the three sample answers for this task. Each sample answer provides an example of a response given by test takers at a C1, B2 or B1 competence level.

Scientists who have conducted studies into the thinking of octopuses found that these animals use neurons spread throughout their arms to receive information from the external environment, then process this information independently of the brain, thus being able to react to their surroundings more quickly than if the brain was involved.

Feedback:

👉 This response summarises the main point of the passage correctly and includes the essential supporting information. The summary sentence flows smoothly and clearly presents the information from the lecture.

👉 The sentence structure is grammatically correct. The test taker is able to summarise the passage in their own words. The vocabulary used in the response is accurate and allows the reader to fully understand the argument.

👉 The response is written in one complete sentence of fifty-one words, which is within the required word count.

While it is a well-known fact that octopuses are very intelligent and think differently from humans, new research has shown that octopus arms can make decisions independently of the brain, which means that the animal can do things quicker.

Feedback:

👉This response summarises the main point of the passage correctly. However, it does not state how the octopus’s brain is bypassed, which is important supporting information that should have been included in the summary.

👉The response also contains one grammatical error: the test taker uses the adjective quicker instead of the adverb more quickly. The vocabulary used is correct and shows a very good understanding of the passage.

👉The summary is written in one complete sentence of thirty-nine words, which is within the required word count.

New research shows that the arms of the octopuses can make decisions in coordination with each other and without the brain.

Feedback:

👉 This response summarises the main point of the passage correctly but does not include information on how octopuses’ tentacles bypass the brain and why this is an advantage.

👉 There are lexical and grammatical mistakes, which, however, do not have infl uence on communication. The test taker used and instead of but in in coordination with each other and without the brain, which is incorrect as it does not show contrast.

👉 The test taker summarises the passage in one complete sentence. The word count is twenty-one, which is within the required word count.

In this worksheet, you are going to practise identifying the main ideas in a reading text and practise techniques for including the necessary information in one single sentence

1. Are the sentences about the Summarize written text task true (T) or false (F)?

2. To create a good summary, you need to identify the main idea in each part of the text. Read the text and match paragraphs 1 – 3 with main ideas a – c.

a Ways to deal with culture shock
b A definition of culture shock
c The different stages of culture shock

1. A common experience for international students is the adjustment period when they move to a new environment and have to adapt to completely different educational, cultural or social settings, or a new language. Students can expect to feel anything from excitement and wonder to frustration and confusion, from anywhere between several weeks to several months. The common term for this is ‘culture shock’, and it typically stems from the challenges of learning what is appropriate in your new surroundings and what is not. The positive news is that this learning helps most people to develop a more flexible and open attitude, and with this you will be better able to meet these challenges and benefit from them.

2. Typically, there are three distinct phases: the honeymoon, distress and recovery. In the initial phase, you enjoy the novelty of everything, feeling excited and confident. Before long, the second phase sets in and you begin to miss your usual way of life and question or even criticise the new environment. Being immersed in a different language starts to exhaust you, and your health may suffer. Fortunately, when you make it to the fi nal phase the result is usually regained confi dence and comfortable adjustment. You may even surprise yourself and fi nd a new preference for some aspects of your new home.

3. In order to reduce the experience of culture shock, there are some simple practices you can follow. Firstly, remember it is very common and there will be others who are going through something similar. You’ll also benefit from sharing your experiences with friends and family. Make sure you keep to a healthy diet and exercise routine and get plenty of rest and recreation. Lastly, join some social clubs and make sure to explore your new home and learn as much as you can about it.

3. Read the extracts from paragraph 1. Which provides the best definition of culture shock to include in your summary?

1 the adjustment period when they move to a new environment
2 anything from excitement and wonder to frustration and confusion
3 the challenges of learning what is appropriate
4 learning … to develop a more flexible and open attitude

4. Some parts of a text may give a general idea or statement together with some examples. Read
the extracts from paragraph 3. Which gives the general idea?

1 You’ll also benefit from sharing your experiences with friends and family.
2 Make sure you keep to a healthy diet and exercise routine.
3 In order to reduce the experiences of culture shock, there are some simple practices you can follow.

Your summary needs to give the general idea but some or all of the examples can be omitted.

5. For your summary, you will need to take ideas from different parts of the text and put them together to create just one sentence. Which of 1–4 are already complete sentences?

1 Culture shock, which is the effect of adapting to a new environment.
2 Culture shock is the effect of adapting to a new environment.
3 Culture shock, an experience caused by adapting to a new environment.
4 Culture shock is the effct of adapting to a new environment and it usually has three stages.

🔹 One way to add extra information to a sentence is to use conjunctions (linking words,
e.g. and or because), for example:
Being surrounded by a foreign language can be tiring and you may become stressed as a result.

🔹 Some linking words are not suitable for this task because they usually need you to start a new
sentence, for example:
Being surrounded by a foreign language can be tiring. Furthermore, you may become stressed as a result.

6. Choose the conjunction that allows you to continue the same sentence. In one case, both answers are correct.

1 You should remember it is a common experience, also / and others are feeling the same way.
2 You may feel confused or exhausted for a time, but / however this will pass.
3 You may miss your way of life, and / in addition you may feel critical of the new environment.
4 People usually benefit from the challenge of a new environment, but / although they may feel frustrated at times.
5 Students benefit from the experience because / this is because they gain a more open attitude.

🔹 Another way to add information is by using a relative clause, for example:
Often, the result of moving to a new environment is culture shock, which has three stages.

7. Use a relative clause to join the sentences. Note that commas alone cannot link parts of your sentence.

1 You are surrounded by a different language all the time. This is exhausting.
2 To reduce culture shock, you should make friends and join social clubs. This will allow you to share your experiences.
3 This first phase involves enjoying the novelty. This phase does not last long.
4 Culture shock is the effect of adjusting to a new environment. It has three phases.

8. Write your own summarising sentence for the text in Exercise 2. Then use the checklist to check your work. Answer Yes or No.