PTE Exam Pattern: Format, Syllabus, Tips

6 minute read
PTE Exam Pattern: Format, Syllabus, Tips

The Pearson Test of English Academic Exam (PTE) is widely taken by prospective students to prove their English Language proficiency for overseas education or professional training. It is a globally acclaimed test which uses modern technology to evaluate and assess the test-taker’s grasp of the English language. Skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are tested through a diverse set of tasks. This article aims to provide an overview as well as a detailed analysis of the PTE exam pattern. 

Why Should You Take PTE?

Here are some reasons why you should take the PTE exam in 2024:

  • The test is graded by a computer with the help of artificial intelligence which provides an impartial and objective assessment.
  • Like the IELTS  and TOEFL, the PTE exam offers as much acceptance at universities and organisations, if not more. 
  • PTE exam takers can receive their results in less than 5 business days.
  • An important advantage of taking the PTE exam is that scores can be sent to as many universities as you want. In comparison, the TOEFL charges extra if you choose to send your scores to more than four institutions.
  • The speaking and listening sections are tested simultaneously.

PTE Exam Pattern 2024: An Overview

Adhering to a set pattern for any given examination can help candidates create a viable plan for their exam preparation. Being acquainted with a fixed exam pattern can give applicants a viable preparation window for preparing for the said exam. The detailed exam pattern is as follows:

PTE Duration2 Hours and a single test session
MediumComputer-based with headset
ModeConducted in a test centre/home edition
Test TypeAssesses real-life English

PTE Exam Pattern: Section-Wise Breakdown

The PTE exam consists of four sections, namely Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. A candidate comes across a diverse mix of assessments and tasks which measure skills across these four sections. Following is a list of the section-wise breakdown:

Speaking and Writing ( 54-67 minutes)

In a uniquely designed PTE exam pattern of testing, the PTE exam examines skills of speaking and writing concurrently. The question tasks have been mentioned below:

  • Personal Introduction:

This is an ungraded section which begins with you being asked to introduce yourself in about 35 seconds. Prep time: 25 seconds.

  • Read Aloud:

In response to a 60-word prompt, you need to read aloud the content of the text. Prep time: 30-40 seconds; Time to answer: varies

  • Repeat a Sentence

After the test-taker hears a recording, you are asked to repeat it as accurately and clearly as possible. Time to answer: 15 seconds

  • Describe an Image

An image is displayed on the prompt. Test-takers need to describe the image in detail. Time to answer: 40 seconds

  • Retell a Lecture:

This is a retelling task. A lecture is either played or its transcript is shown. Based on the test-taker’s comprehension, you need to explain it in his own words. Time to answer: 40 seconds.

  • Answer Short Question:

In response to a short question, you are asked to answer it in one or a few words. Time to answer: 10 seconds

  • Summarize Written Text:

A text of 300 words is displayed. Based on its understanding, you are asked to write a single sentence(max 75 words) summary. Time to answer: 10 minutes

  • Essay:

This is a topic-based writing task wherein you are required to write a 200-300 word essay. Time to answer: 20 minutes.

Listening (30-43 minutes)

The listening section of the PTE exam pattern comprises different sub-sections. These have been summarized in the following paragraph:

  • Summarize Spoken Test:

Write a maximum 70-word summary based on a listening prompt. Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer: 

Choose all correct answers from the given choices based on a listening prompt. 

  • Fill in the Blanks: 

Fill in the missing word based on your understanding of the listening prompt.

  • Highlight the Correct Summary:

Select the summary that closely resembles the information in the recording.

  • Multiple Choice, Single Answer:

Choose the correct answer among the displayed choices based on the information in the recording

  • Select the Missing Word: 

Pick the correct missing word from the displayed choices that complete the recording.

  • Highlight the Incorrect Words: 

Identify and select the words that differ from the content of the listening prompt. 

  • Write from Dictation:

Correctly type the sentence after listening to the audio recording.

Reading (29-30 minutes)

There are four sections within the reading section of the PTE exam pattern. These have been mentioned below:

  • Fill in the Blanks: 

A 300-word passage has gaps. Select the correct word from the list of options.

  • Multiple Choices, Multiple Answers: 

Based on a 300-word passage, a question is displayed. Choose all correct answers from the given choices.

  • Re-order Paragraphs:

Based on the reading of a 150-word text, rearrange displayed text boxes in the correct order.

  • Fill in the blanks:

An 80-word text has many gaps. Fill them in with a list of displayed choices.

  • Multiple Choices, Single Answer: 

A 300-word text is displayed. Based on the understanding of it, pick one correct answer from the list of options.

PTE Exam Syllabus 2024

To ace any given examination, it is imperative for applicants to get acquainted with the latest syllabus. Keeping abreast of the ins and outs of a syllabus can help candidates create a feasible blueprint to prepare for the examination. The details of the PTE exam syllabus are discussed below:

PTE SectionPTE Exam SyllabusTotal Questions and Duration
Speaking & WritingPersonal Introduction, Read Aloud, Repeat Sentence, Describe Image, Re-Tell, Lecture, Answer Short Questions, Summarize, Written Text Essay No. of Questions: 28 – 36

Duration: 54 – 67 minutes
Reading SectionPersonal Introduction, Read Aloud, Repeat Sentence, Describe Image, Re-Tell, Lecture, Answer Short Questions, Summarize, Written Text Essay No. of Questions: 13 – 18

Duration: 29 – 30 minutes
Listening SectionSummarize Spoken Text, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer, Fill in the Blanks, Highlight Correct Summary, Multiple Choice, Single Answer, Select Missing Word, Highlight Incorrect Words Write From Dictation No. of Questions: 12 – 20

Duration: 30 – 43 minutes

5+ Tips to ACE the PTE Exam

PTE Tips: Here are some of the best tips to help you ace the PTE exam in 2024.

  • Familiarise yourself with the test format, question types, and scoring criteria.
  • Numerous resources are available online and in libraries to help you practice all four PTE sections (Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening). Utilise official practice materials and mock tests whenever possible.
  • Expose yourself to a wide range of English through reading, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and watching English-language media.
  • In the speaking section, aim for clear pronunciation, natural pace, and proper intonation.
  • Practice structuring your written responses effectively and using a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures.
  •  Be familiar with the time allotted for each section and practice completing tasks within the timeframe.
  • Exam anxiety can hinder performance. Practice relaxation techniques and focus on giving your best effort.
  • Analyse high-scoring PTE answers to understand what examiners are looking for.
  • Identify your weaker areas and dedicate focused practice time to improve them.

So that was all about the PTE exam pattern. Hope the blog has answered your queries regarding the topic.

                                                              Related Blogs 
PTE Writing Essay-Questions SamplesPTE to IELTS – Academic Score ConversionDuolingo vs PTE: Which is the Best Test for Students?
PTE Exam Pattern for Academic and GeneralPTE Exam Pattern – How to Crack the …PTE Syllabus – Know It Inside Out


Is PTE easier than IELTS?

Both PTE and IELTS have their difficulty level, so none of the either of the two is easier than the other.

Does Canada accept PTE?

Yes, PTE is accepted in Canada.

Can I get PR with PTE in Canada?

No, you cannot get PR in Canada with PTE.

Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college. Reach out to Leverage Eduon 1800572000 and schedule a free session today.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *