PTE exam preparation – The step-by-step guide

  • Whether you plan to join a PTE coaching center or prepare for the PTE exam on your own, it is important that you work hard consistently.
  • There are multiple resources on the internet to help you prepare better.
  • Apart from the online resources, you could also make use of the coursebooks.
  • Don't wait till the exam nears you. The sooner you start preparing, the easier it will be for you to ace the exam.

How to prepare PTE exam at home?

  • Make use of the resources available on the official PTE website.
  • Make it a habit to regularly read books, newspapers, magazines and academic journals.
  • Join online English-speaking groups.
  • Join an online PTE coaching center.

PTE Study Material

If you are preparing on your own, then you can benefit from the official PTE coursebooks. Listed below are some of the official PTE study material guides to help you prepare better:

  • The Official Guide to PTE Academic
  • PTE Academic Practice Test Plus - Volume 1
  • Practice Test Plus of Pearson Test of English Academic - Volume 2
  • PTE Academic 79 Plus l Two Full-Length Practice Tests With Answer Keys

PTE Preparation Time

With consistent practice, it takes between 4 and 6 weeks to prepare for the PTE test.

PTE Online Practice Test

You can make use of the online resources available on the PTE website. Follow these steps to access the PTE preparation resources on this website:

  • Log in to PTE website.
  • Register for the PTE preparation account or sign in if you already have an account.
  • Gain access to the online PTE practice resources.

PTE Offline Practice Test

You can take the full version of the PTE Academic test offline by downloading audio files, PDFs, sample answers to get an idea of the test format and structure.

PTE Study App

You could download the official practice app (PTE Academic Official Practice App). Following are the benefits of using this application:

  • The app explains in detail the PTE exam pattern, structure and scores.
  • It offers both offline and online practice tests.
  • You will receive simple preparation suggestions and tips and a study planner to help you track your progress.

PTE Academic Reading Test

The PTE Reading Section is designed to test the candidate's reading skills.

Total Duration: 32-41 minutes

Question Type
Task
Skills Tested
Maximum Number of Words
Multiple choice, choosing a single right answer
Read the text and select a single response based on the tone or content
Reading
Approximately 110 words
Choosing multiple right answers from multiple choices
Read the text and chose multiple right answers based on the tone or content
Reading
Approximately 300 words
Reordering paragraphs
Sequentially rearrange the boxes that are arranged in the wrong sequence.
Reading
Approximately 150 words
Reading: Fill in the blanks
A passage with several blanks will be given. Drag and drop the apt words into the blank spaces.
Reading
Approximately 80 words
Reading and Writing: Fill in the blanks.
A passage with several blanks will appear on the screen. Fill in each blank with the correct response from the drop-down list.
Reading
Approximately 300 words.

PTE Academic Reading - Preparation Tips

To ace the PTE Reading Section, you must be fluent in reading and be able to easily comprehend texts. Here is a list of preparation tips for the reading section - 

Multiple-choice - Single answer:

  • Comprehend the central idea of the given passage. Pay attention to the keywords to find the right answer.
  • Before you start answering, read the questions carefully and understand what you should be.
  • Understand the frequency of the words like only, always, never, sometimes. By getting rid of these options, you can find the right answers easily.
  • This section does not carry any negative markings. Therefore, it is always better to answer it even if you are not sure of the right answer.
  • You must keep in mind that the details in the passage are not chronologically arranged according to the question. More than 50% of the answers can be found either in the first or last two lines.
  • You must be capable of paraphrasing the answers without changing the meaning.

Multiple-choice, multiple Answers:

This part carries negative marking. Therefore, if you are unsure about your answer, it is advisable to not answer the question.

Re-ordering paragraphs

  • Try to figure the headline and the central concept of the passage first.
  • Keep in that the first sentence cannot start with pronouns like it, he, she, them, they and those.
  • For contradictory sentences that start with words like however, but, although and other additional phrases like besides and moreover, you can start by finding the sentence that goes before them.

Fill in the blanks:

  • This part carries no negative marking. Answer the questions even if you are not sure of the right answer.
  • Pay attention to parts of the audio before and after the gap. This will help you find the missing word.
  • You can find the synonym of the missing words within the given passage.

PTE Academic Listening Test

The PTE Listening section assesses the candidate's listening skills. The questions will be based on audio and video clips. The audio and video clip will be played only once.

Duration: 45 - 57 minutes
Question Type
Task
Skills Tested
Maximum Number of Words
Summarize spoken text
Listen to the recording and write a summary within 50 to 70 words.
Listening and writing
60 to 90 seconds
Multiple choice questions, choose multiple answers
Listen to the recording and answer the MCQ based on the tone and content
Listening
40 to 90 seconds
Fill in the blanks
A transcript of a recording with several blanks appears on the screen. Listen to the audio and fill the missing blank with the right word
Listening and Writing
30 to 90 seconds
Highlighting the correct summary
Listen to the recording and choose the passage that aptly summarises the content.
Listening and Reading
30 to 90 seconds
Multiple choice, choosing a single right answer
Listen to the audio and choose a single right answer based on the tone or content of the audio
Listening
30 to 60 seconds
Selecting the missing word
Listen to the recording and choose the right word that completes the audio
Listening
20 to 70 seconds
Highlighting the incorrect word
The transcript of the recording will be displayed on the screen. Select the words in the transcript that are different from the actual recording.
Listening and Reading
15 to 50 seconds
Writing from dictation
Listen to the recording and type out the sentence.
Listening and Writing
3 to 5 seconds

PTE Academic Listening - Preparation Tips

Here is a list of preparation tips to ace the listening section

Listening Tips - General:

  • You learn to listen actively - listen to news audios, podcasts, YouTube videos, songs and pay attention to parts that you find easy and difficult to understand. After you understand where your difficulty lies, work towards improving those specific issues.
  • Try watching movies with subtitles first and then without subtitles.

Summarize Spoken Test:

  • Limit your answers to a maximum of 70 words.
  • Start your sentence with phrases like 'The speaker said’.
  • Understand the central focus and pay attention to the repeated words and keywords.

Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers:

  • This part carries negative marking. Therefore, pay extra attention to it and refrain from making wild guesses.
  • Make sure to pay attention till the end of the audio.

Fill in the blanks:

  • For this section, it is advisable to use a notepad to take notes.
  • Listen to the audio carefully and determine if the word is with or without an article if it is singular or plural and so on.

Highlight the correct summary:

  • Understand the central focus and the idea conveyed by the speaker.
  • Follow the elimination method to narrow down your options.

Select the missing word:

You must be able to understand the main concept of the audio in the first half. By the next half, you should be able to predict the ending.

Highlight the incorrect words:

  • This part carries negative marking. Therefore, before you submit your answers, review them thoroughly.
  • Pay attention while clicking on a word as double-clicking it will unselect the word.

Write from dictation:

  • Instead of taking notes, try to type your answers directly on the computer. This will help you save time.
  • Pay attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar.

PTE Speaking and Writing

The PTE Speaking and Writing Sections test the candidate's writing and speaking skills. 

Total duration: 77-93 minutes

Question Type
Task
Skills Tested
Maximum Number of Words
Read aloud
Read the given out loud.
Reading and Speaking
Depends on the length of the text
Repeat sentence
Repeat the sentence after listening to the audio
Listening and Speaking
15 seconds
Describing the image
Describe in detail the image provided
Speaking
40 seconds
Re-telling lecture
Listen to the audio and retell the lecture in your own words.
Listening and speaking
40 seconds.
Answer short questions
Listen to the audio and answer the question in a single word
Listening and speaking
10 seconds
Summarise a written text
Read the text and summarise it in a single sentence
Reading and writing
10 minutes
Essay
Write an essay on the given topic within 200-300 words
Writing
20 minutes.

PTE Academic Writing Preparation Tips

The writing section consists of two parts. Here is a list of preparation tips to help you do better in both these sections.

Summarize the written text:

  • If you are proficient with your grammar and vocabulary, you can score a 90 out of 90. 
  • If your grammar and vocabulary skills are average, you can score around a 73.
  • Limit your answers to a maximum of 45 words. Avoid long sentences as the scoring algorithm may not evaluate them accurately.
  • Capitalize all nouns and the first word of the sentence.
  • Avoid the first-person narrative. Use third-person instead.
  • Summarize each paragraph in a single sentence and provide examples only if it is mentioned.
  • Pay attention to the punctuation and focus on the last paragraph as it summarizes the main concept of the text.

Essay Writing:

  • Understand if it is an opinion essay, problem essay or pros-cons. Then decide on the format of your essay.
  • Pay attention to spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • Make sure to follow this pattern while writing - Introduction in the first paragraph, the body of the essay in the second and third paragraphs and conclusion in the final paragraph.
  • Give examples and statistics in the body paragraphs.
  • Limit the word length between 200 and 300 words.

PTE Speaking Preparation Tips

Follow these tips if you would like to perform well in this section

General Speaking  Tips:

  • Watch videos online to improve your pronunciation and oral fluency.
  • Make use of Google and YouTube IPA and Phonemes to enhance your pronunciation.

Read Aloud:

  • Pay attention to the intonation when you speak.
  • Do not pause if you make an error, continue reading.

Repeat Sentence:

  • Listen to the audio carefully and try to memorize the sentence
  • Once the audio ends, start speaking immediately.  There is no sound or text to indicate the end of the audio.
  • Try to remember the keywords and repeat them if you are unable to remember the whole sentence.

Describe Image:

  • Make use of words like illustrate, elucidate, depict and demonstrate.
  • Figure out whether the image is a bar chart, line graph or pie chart. Each of these serves a different purpose. Line graphs use timelines, pie charts use slices and bar charts compare.
  • Do not pause for more than 3 seconds while recording.

Retell Lecture:

  • Pay attention to the keywords and try to understand the central idea
  • Jot down the most important sentences and retell the lecture using them.

Answer Short Question:

  • Add articles 'a, an, the' wherever necessary.
  • Repeat the words in the question if you do not know the answer.

Wondering what to do after completing your English proficiency test? Explore our top courses to study abroad or just fill in the enquiry form on this page! Our AECC Global's expert counselors are here to guide you in helping you choose a course and institution that matches your career inspirations. Get in touch now!

Floating Buttons