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Study Abroad Guide

PTE Preparation Tips

February 2016

Pearson Test of English Academic is an international computer based English language test. It measures the English language ability and can be used to apply to educational institutions and professional organizations. This test is divided into three sections- Speaking and Writing, Reading and Listening and lasts for a duration of approximately three hours.

PTE Exam Preparation Tips

Tips on each section


Read aloud

Use the 40 seconds you are given to go over the text quickly.

Be loud and clear when you begin speaking. Use the punctuation to help you decide where to pause

Do not be in a hurry, you have plenty of time

Repeat Sentence

There is no tone before the microphone opens in this task, begin speaking as soon as the status box changes to recording

Speak as clearly as you can

Do not try to copy the accent that you hear

Describe Image

Use your 25 seconds to understand what the graph/chart is showing you

Don't just focus on the details, include developments and conclusions

You cannot mention every point on the graph. Describe the overall changes if any and mention the significant differences

Re-tell Lecture

Do not try to write every word that you hear. Use key words to note the main idea of the lecture

Stay attentive and keep taking notes until the lecture stops

After the audio stops, you only have ten seconds before the tone sounds, use this time to organize your points accordingly

Answer short question

State your answer as soon as the status box changes to recording

Click on Next to move on to the next question

Once the microphone closes you cannot change your answer

If you think that your first answer was not correct. Keep speaking and give the correct answer. You have ten seconds to give your response

Do not pause for longer than three seconds. The recorder will move on to the next question leaving your answer incomplete


Summarize written text

Your response must be one sentence only, between 5 and 75 words. Ensure that you use punctuation that allows you to include all your points within one sentence

Your summarization should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop

Your response will not be scored if your sentences have full stops in between or if it is all written in capital letters

Take a few minutes to check your grammar and vocabulary.

At the end of ten minutes, the screen will stop responding

Write essay

While writing your essay, make sure to fully answer the questions the task is asking of you

Make sure that your essay is well organized, with a new paragraph for every new idea

Save a few minutes to check your essay. You will lose marks for poor grammar and spelling mistakes


Multiple- Choice, Choose Single Answer/Choose Multiple Answer

Always read the question before you read the passage

If you don't know an important word in the text, try to guess its meaning from the context

Make sure that you do not spend too much time on one task

Re-order paragraphs

Skim through the sentences, look for the sentence that introduces the topic

Check that your selected sentence contains no reference to any information stated before it

Look for linking words in the other sentences. Be on the look out for words like however or in addition to or pronouns replacing nouns already mentioned

Use these markers to put the information in the correct order

Fill in the blanks

Skim through the text to get an idea of the topic at hand

Look at the words around the first blank. Identify the idea being expressed in the sentence, and think what word will create meaning in the context

Check to see if the word fits the grammar and meaning of the text

If you cannot fill one blank, move on to the next one. The more blanks you fill in, the easier the missing ones will be

Read through the text to check if the meaning is consistent


Summarize spoken text

As you listen, take down notes. Do not write down everything you hear. Use key words to capture the main and supporting ideas

A high score is given if all relevant aspects of the audio are mentioned

Keep to the word limit of 50-70 words, you will lose marks if you exceed

Save a few minutes to check for grammar and spellings

Multiple-Choice, Choose Multiple Answers/ Choose Single Answers

Read the question and skim the options before the audio begins

Be aware of the development of the speaker's ideas

Once the audio is done, eliminate options that contain incorrect information

For multiple answers, the candidate is required to select more than one option

Fill in the blanks

Skim through the text to gain a general idea of the topic

As you hear the missing word, type the word in the blank. Make sure that your spellings are correct. will be marked zero for incorrect spellings

Follow the speaker, so you do not miss a word

After the audio stops, read the sentence and check if the word makes sense

Highlight Correct Summary

Skim through the options quickly to get an idea of the topic

Focus on listening, take down notes once your audio begins

Once the audio stops, refer to your notes to select the correct option

Eliminate any option that may hold incorrect information

Select missing word

Skim through your options to get an idea about what the speaker might talk about

Do not worry about any words that may sound new to you, focus on the overall ideas of the speaker

Highlight incorrect words

Use the time before the recording begins to skim though the text

Pay attention to the speaker

As soon as the recording starts, move your cursor along each sentence

Always ensure that you keep up with the speaker

Do not make random guesses, you will lose out on marks if you have selected a correct word that was in the recording

Write from dictation

Focusing on the meaning of the sentence will help you remember the sentence

Ensure that the words are spelt correctly. Marks are given for every word that is correctly spelt

Also read: Canada: An Ideal Higher Studies destination To Opt For


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