Low Score in PTE Listening? Improve With Expert Tips

5 minute read
Improve PTE Listening Scores with Expert Tips
Improve PTE Listening Scores with Expert Tips

The PTE listening section can be extremely daunting for some students. Even students who know the language and have spent years studying it sometimes face difficulties in understanding what is being conveyed by the recordings. However, if prepared for and done correctly, the PTE listening section is a goldmine of opportunities for students to improve their scores on the PTE exam.

Full Exam Name Pearson Test of English Academic
Short Exam Name PTE Academic
Conducting Body Pearson PLC Group
Language of the Exam English
Mode of Application Online
Mode of Exam Online
Exam Duration 2 Hours

Segment-Wise Tips to Boost Listening Section Score

The listening section of the PTE exam is further fragmented into various types of questions. To ace this section, candidates must make a plan and be well-prepared in advance. For the benefit of the candidates, we have prepared the below specific tips for each type of question:

Question Type Grading criteria Tips
Summarize Spoken Text – Listen to the recording provided and prepare a summary Content of summary
Word count
Prepare pointers for the recording while it is playing.
Cross-check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. 
Refer to your pointers to ensure all aspects are covered.
Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers – Listen to the recording and answer the MCQ questions that follow which have more than one correct answer Ability to analyze and interpret the recording Make notes with details from the recording such as date, time, place, the events happening, etc. 
Remember that there can be more than one correct answer.
Fill in the blanks – Listen to the recording and fill in the blanks accordingly Analysis of the recording and ability to interpret Before the recording, go over the provided transcript.
Make notes of the pronouns you hear in the recording.
The nouns appearing during the recording may provide hints to the answers.
There is a partial grade awarded if some fields are correct while others are incorrect. 
Highlight the correct summary – As the name suggests, hear the recording and then select the correct summary.  Listening
Ability to interpret and comprehend. 
Go through all the options provided
While listening to the recording, prepare pointers as to the main idea being conveyed by the recording.
Do not read the options while listening to the recording. 
Multiple questions, single answer –  Listen to the recording and answer the MCQ questions that follow. However, this time there is only one correct answer.  Ability to analyze and interpret the recording Before playing the recording, familiarise yourself with the question and answers. 
Subsequently, focus on the information you require while listening to the recording. 
Select missing word – A recording will play and you have to fill in the missing word using the given options.  Ability to understand the recording 
Attention to detail
Before playing the recording, familiarise yourself with the question.
Subsequently, focus on the information you require while listening to the recording. 
Listen to the audio carefully.
Highlight incorrect words – A transcript is displayed after which a recording is played. Candidates have to mark the incorrect words according to the recording.  Ability to understand the recording and transcript
Attention to detail
Read the transcript first and then listen to the recording. 
While listening to the recording, move the cursor over the transcript and select the word that sounds different or wrong.
Be attentive while listening and do not be in a hurry
Write from dictation – As the name implies, candidates will hear a recording and he/she then needs to write down what he/she heard. Attention to detail
Attentive listening 
Maximum score shall be awarded for getting all words right. A few mistakes may lead to the award of a partial score.
Take notes while listening 
Keep an eye out for spelling errors
Use your grammar skills to ensure sentences are correctly framed. 

Also Read: Last-Minute PTE Test Tips

General Tips for Improving Your PTE Listening Score

The above section talked about specific tips for specific topics which can be implemented by candidates to improve their performance and scores in the listening section of the exam. However, some tips are useful for every fragment of the section. These are as follows:

  • It is recommended to read the question first and then listen to the recording.
  • Listen to the recording carefully, as you can hear it only once.
  • Practice questions of the PTE listening section every day.
  • When answering the questions, try not to make wild guesses.
  • Review your answers before submitting them.
  • Improve your vocabulary by reading newspapers and recommended books.
  • Avoid using the same words over and over again.
  • Listening to English audiobooks, songs, etc. is also a good way to improve your listening skills. 

PTE Listening Section Pattern

Since the listening section of the PTE exam is subdivided into further smaller fragmentations, there is a specific time awarded for each question type. Candidates can use this time duration to plan while preparing for how to approach every section. The details are as follows:

Question Type Time duration Total questions
Summarize Spoken Test 60-90 seconds to retain, 10 minutes to write         1-2
Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers 40-90 seconds to prompt         1-2
Fill in the Blanks 30-60 seconds         2-3
Highlight Correct Summary 30-90 seconds         1-2
Multiple Choice, Single Answer 30-60 seconds         1-2
Select Missing Word 20-70 seconds         1-2
Highlight Incorrect Words 15-50 seconds         2-3
Write From Dictation 3-5 seconds         3-4
Total time allotted 30-43 Minutes Total: 12-20


How many questions are there in PTE listening?

PTE listening contains 8 types of exercises which would take around 45 to 57 minutes to complete. There will be a total of 15-20 questions for the listening module. 

Which is the hardest section in the PTE exam?

Among all sections, the reading section is considered to be the most difficult section of the exam.

How much time is allotted for each section of the PTE exam?

The reading section is for 29-30 minutes while the listening section is for 30-43 minutes. Further, the speaking and writing section is for approximately 54-67 minutes. The total time of the PTE exam is 2 hours.

In this blog, we have discussed tips for candidates to improve their scores in the PTE listening section. Candidates can use the tips provided herein with their ideas and look to improve their scores further. 

English language certifications are instrumental in securing admission to leading universities with high scores increasing your chances of admission. Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers to get closer to a spot in your dream college. For any help with your PTE preparation or study abroad journey, you can reach out to us at 1800-572-000.

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