PTE Exam: Everything You Need To Know

5 minute read

The Pearson Test of English, also known as the PTE test is conducted to assess the spoken and written skills of candidates. The main idea behind conducting the PTE exam is to judge and gauge whether a candidate will be able to thrive and study in any international country and speak as well as communicate in the universally understood language of English. In this blog, we will introduce you to all the important aspects related to the Pearsons Test of English exam or the PTE.


PTE Exam: Types

Before delving into the details pertaining to the PTE Academic, it is important to know about the other three tests offered by Pearson. Here is a brief description of each one:

Pearson Test of English Academic

Acknowledged by universities, governments, and corporations across the globe, the PTE Academic is one of the many tests conducted by Pearson. This PTE exam is an AI-based online test that assesses the candidate’s abilities in reading, listening, speaking and writing. Due to this algorithmic nature, there are fewer chances of errors. Further, the students can appear for the exam in any of the 250 centers spread across 50 countries. 

Pearson Test of English General

Specifically designed as an assessment test for those who have English as their second or foreign language, the Pearson Test of English General is a six-level proficiency exam. While the paper consists of the reading, writing, listening and speaking sections similar to that of PTE Academic, the topics are sectioned into written paper and speaking test. The test focuses on building effective English language communication in place of just ability-testing. 

Note: It should be noted that the General Test is not acknowledged for cases of immigration and only the PTE Academic Test is recognized.

Pearson Test of English Young Learners 

Another type of the PTE exam, the Young Learners test is aimed to examine students who fall in the 6-13 age bracket or students from pre-A1 up to A2 level as per the Common European Framework of Reference. This exam assesses the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills of students through written and spoken texts. The primary objective is to gauge through a candidate’s ability to structure the answers in simple language. 

Pearson Business English Tests

Offered in collaboration with LCCI International Qualifications, the Pearson Business English tests are a set of English language qualifications and diplomas suited for communication in a business setting. It is conducted at more than 4,000 centers worldwide spanning disciplines of Marketing, Customer Service, Business Administration, IT, Finance, Business English for International Managers, Spoken English for Industry and Commerce, English for Tourism amongst others. 

Focus Areas of PTE 

The main focus areas of the PTE are very similar to the other English language exams which are conducted to judge the comprehension and communication skills of candidates. The three major sections of the PTE are:

  • Listening Section
  • Reading Section
  • Speaking and Writing Section

The following components come together to form the PTE:

  • Question – This is one part of the exam where you need to be prompt. You are given time to read the text. The time given to you depends on the length of the written text.
  • Devise an Answer – You are given time to think and construct an answer in your mind. The average time given to gather your thoughts ranges from anywhere between 10 to 15 seconds. 
  • Give the Answer – The time to perform is here. You have to give the answer for the particular question asked. The answer you give is recorded when you speak and saved as text when you write.

PTE Academic Exam: Structure

The PTE exam format consists of sections that assess the applicant’s reading and listening skills apart from speaking and writing ability. Further, unlike the GRE, there is no cap on the number of universities where scores can be sent and your results will be sent to you in as little as 5 days. For every correct answer, one mark is awarded but there is no negative marking in case of wrong answers. A section-wise breakdown has been mentioned below.

Also Read: Eligibility for GRE

Speaking & Writing (77-93 minutes)

Unlike the IELTS and TOEFL, The Academic Speaking and Writing section on the PTE exam evaluates the candidate’s speaking and writing skills simultaneously. While the speaking section consists of questions based on communication in an academic learning environment, the writing section examines the written text through different modes. Listed below are the 8 sections of testing: 

Pattern of Segment  Time Duration 
Personal Introduction Preparation Duration: 25 seconds
Answer Duration: 35 seconds
Read Aloud  Prompt Length: 60 words
Preparation Duration: 35 seconds
Repeat Sentence  Prompt Length: 3-9 seconds
Answer Time: 15 seconds
Describe an Image
Preparation Time: 25 seconds
Answer Time: 40 seconds
Re-Tell Lecture  Prompt Length: up to 90 seconds
Preparation Time: 10 seconds
Answer Time: 40 seconds
Answer Short Question  Prompt Length: 3-9 seconds
Answer Time: 10 seconds
Summarize Written Text Prompt Length: 300 words
Answer Time: 10 minutes
Answer Length: 75 words Maximum
Prompt Length: 2-3 sentences
Answer Time: 20 minutes
Answer Length: 200-300 words

Also Read: PTE to IELTS

Reading (32-40 minutes)

Pattern of Segment  Time Duration varies on the length of the Text Prompt
Reading & Writing Fill in the Blanks Prompt Length: 300 words
Multiple Choice, Multiple Correct Answers Prompt Length: 300 words
Re-order Paragraphs  Prompt Length: 150 words
Fill in the Blanks  Prompt Length: 80 words
Multiple Choice, Single Correct Answer Prompt Length: 300 words

Note: The short tone will not be played during this task. 

Listening (45-57 minutes)

Pattern of Segment Time Duration 
Summarize Spoken Test  Prompt Length: 60-90 seconds
Word Limit: 50-70 words
Answer Time: 10 minutes
Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer  Prompt Length: 40-90 seconds
Fill in the Blanks  Prompt Length: 30-60 seconds
Highlight the Correct Summary  Prompt Length: 30-90 seconds
Multiple Choice, Single Answer  Prompt Length: 30-60 seconds
Select the Missing Word Prompt Length: 20-70 seconds
Highlight the Incorrect Words  Prompt Length: 15-50 seconds
Write from Dictation Prompt Length: 3-5 seconds

Also Read: PTE Syllabus

PTE Exam: Indian Cities

In India, the PTE exam is not only conducted in top tier cities but also in tier-2 cities such as Ludhiana and Rajkot. The below-mentioned table shows the full list of cities: 

New Delhi/Noida Chennai Jaipur
Rajkot Patiala Pune 
Jalandhar Ludhiana Nagpur
Bangalore Ahmedabad Cochin
Kolkata Chandigarh Hyderabad
Mumbai Vadodara Vijayawada

Note: The fee for standard registration is INR 13,300 and for late registration it is INR 13,965.

To ace the PTE exam, one needs a comprehensive strategy along with consistent motivation and efforts. If you are looking to appear for it any time soon, the expert counselors at Leverage Edu can assist you in preparing a personalized study plan which will help you gear up for the exam effectively. 

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