A Definitive Manual of PTE Academic

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic is a computer-based online test which is meant to test the key skills of a person such as reading, listening, speaking, and writing. This test is only for non-native English speakers who wish to study abroad. So, if you are opting for some specific higher studies in abroad, then PTE Academic is one of the primary gateways to choose for the same.

The main objective of the Pearson Test of English is to ensure that when a candidate opts for higher studies, he or she does not face any issues concerning getting adapted with a foreign language. Unlike other examinations, PTE Academic can be taken any of the 365 days of a year at 200 locations. An aspiring candidate can merely apply by filling out the PTE Academic Application Form 2019.

This article will cover the test format, how a candidate is supposed to prepare for it, and much more.


Test Format of PTE Academic

In the three hours of the exam, with the help of three combined tests of speaking and writing, listening and reading, a candidate is judged. There is also an option to opt for a ten-minute break within these two test modules. Let us analyse how the test format of PTE Academic works.

Speaking and Writing

This combined session is crucial for a candidate to complete successfully and the time allotted for this section is 77 to 93 minutes. There are eight sections to this module including the following:

Personal introduction – This is a space where you are supposed to record your introduction in 30 seconds, and this will go to all the institutions in which you are applying.

Read aloud –In this, you are expected to read aloud a piece of text which appears on the screen. The time to answer can vary depending upon the length of the word given.

Repeat sentence – You are expected to repeat a sentence which has been played a few seconds ago before you. You cannot replay the audio, and there is time allotted to you within which you can record your version of repeating the sentence.

Describe image –In 40 seconds you are supposed to describe an image which appears on the screen.

Re-tell lecture – You have to reframe the lecture you have heard/watched in your own words.

Answer the short question – A question will be presented to you for which you need to answer in a few words.

Summarise written text – You have to summarise a paragraph into a one-liner.

Essay – On a given topic, you need to write an article of 200-300 words.


You will be allotted 32-41 minutes for this particular section which consists of the following:

Multiple choices, single answer – After reading a question, you need to select only one option from the various options given to you.

Multiple choice, multiple answer – After reading the question, you need to select the possible options from the multiple choice.

Re-order paragraphs – You have to arrange the series of texts given to you correctly.

Fill in the blanks – You need to fill in the gaps from the options given to you in checkboxes.

Reading & writing fill in the blanks – You need to fill up the blanks in a 300-word paragraph from the options given to you.


This section is backed up by audio & video clips from which you need to listen properly. 45-57 minutes are allotted for this module, and you are also allowed to take notes. The sections of this include:

Summarise spoken text: You need to write a 50-70 word summary to the audio/video clip which was played before you.

Multiple choices, multiple answers: Based on the recording, you need to choose the right set of options for the question.

Fill in the blanks: Based on the audio; you need to fill in the gaps in the sentences.

Highlight correct summary: Based on the audio, you need to select the most appropriate summary.

Multiple choices, single answer: Based on the recording, you need to choose the correct option for the question provided.

Select missing word: Based on the audio; you need to choose the missing word from the options given.

Highlight incorrect words: Based on the audio, you need to identify the wrong words shown in the transcript of the audio.

Write from dictation: You need to type a sentence based on the recording provided to you.

Marking Scheme of PTE

On finishing the PTE Academic, the score is calculated with the help of a machine via PTE Academic’s automated scoring system. An exact and transparent system, any response from the candidate’s sheet is either correct awarding him/her one mark or is incorrect giving no marks.

However, there are cases where answers are partially correct, and in that case, some but not all score points are awarded.

Preparation Tips

The following expert tips can prove to be useful for any potential candidate who is willing to devote his or her utmost attention to scoring reasonably well in PTE Academic

Make yourself a realistic timetable and keep slots for practicing papers and relaxing. Revise your basics daily to avoid silly mistakes. One needs to carry on with his or her practice regularly because practice makes a man perfect. Evaluate yourself regularly. Keep writing down what you think is essential and might forget in the long run. Make a set of instant notes and keep them handy.

Regular sessions of revision can strengthen the concepts which are always desirable. One can also chalk out his or her schedule according to the alignment of the months, but it is recommended that one should not leave the last moment entirely for revision.

Charu decided to unite her Honors Degree in New Media and lifetime of geekiness to pursue a career in tech and gaming journalism. You can usually find her writing about a variety of topics and drooling over new gadgets and games.