PTE Test Format

The PTE test comprises of 3 sections,

  1. Speaking & Writing
  2. Reading
  3. Listening
  • The duration of the test is three hours.
  • Test 20 different types of question formats.
  • The test will comprise of excerpts from lectures, view graphs, and charts.
  • PTE Test will analyse candidate’s ability to comprehend different accents of English.

Note: All the responses can be recorded only once.

Part 1: Speaking & Writing

Speaking and Writing Test Pattern Duration is 77 – 93 minutes.

Subsection 1.1: Personal Introduction

Duration given: 25 Seconds to read a prompt text and prepare a response, 30 seconds to record the response. It is not scored but sent together with the Score Report.

Subsection 1.2: Read Aloud​ 

Duration given: 30-40 seconds to prepare the text before the recording begins. Text length goes up to 60 words or more.

Candidates have to read aloud a text that appears on the screen. Candidates get a short tone which is buzzed, then, candidates have to start speaking after that tone. Progress bar changes from recording to completed once the time is over. In case candidates remain silent for 3 seconds or more, the recording box will automatically stop.

Subsection 1.3: Repeat Sentence

Duration given: The prompt length is of 3 to 9 seconds. Response time is to record the response is 15 seconds

In this component, candidates have to listen a recorded sentence and repeat it. Listening, memorising and speaking skills are assessed. When the audio of sentence begins to play and candidates have to listen it carefully. There is no short tone, record the response immediately. Once the time limit is out recording changes to completed. Candidates cannot replay the audio.

Subsection 1.4: Describe Image

Duration given: 40 seconds to describe an image and 25 seconds to study the image and prepare the response 

Candidates have to describe an image that is displayed on screen. Analysing and Speaking skills are assessed in this component. A countdown is active after which the microphone is active to record. A short tone is played, candidates have to speak right after the tone.

Subsection 1.5: Re-Tell Lecture

Prompt length is of 90 seconds. Duration given is 40 seconds to record the response, and 10 seconds to prepare the response’s short tone

In this component, after watching/ listening a lecture candidate have to re-tell it in their own words. Interpreting and Speaking skills are assessed. An audio is played with an image related to it. After the audio, ten seconds are provided to prepare the response’s short tone, candidates have to speak after that immediately.

Subsection 1.6: Answer Short Question

Prompt length is of 3 to 9 seconds. Response time is 10 seconds to answer the question.

Candidates have to reply to a question in one or few words. Audio is played along with an image. There is no short tone, after the audio stops response is to be recorded immediately. Response cannot be replayed.

Subsection 1.7: Summarize Written Text

Prompt length is of 300 words. Response time is 10 minutes to write the response. For the Text length, the passage should not be more than 75 words. Available options are Cut, copy and paste options are available to write the summary.

One sentence summary of the given passage is to be written. Compiling, reading and writing skills are assessed. There is a word count on the number of words that candidates write. 

Subsection 1.8: Essay

Prompt length is of 2-3 sentences. For the Text length, a minimum of 200 words but not more than 300 words is recommended. Response time is 20 minutes to write the answer. Available options are Cut, copy and paste options are given to edit the answer

A topic is given on which a word essay is to be written. Thinking ability and writing skills are assessed. A comprehensive and argumentative essay is to be written. Word count is provided to count the number of words written.

Test Tips for Speaking and Writing

  • In read aloud component use punctuation marks as to know where to pause while reading. Stress the words that convey some important meaning or information.
  • For repeating Sentence carefully listen the phrasing of sentence when it is read aloud. notice stressed upon words and copy the same. 
  • While describing an image focus on the leading information. describe the image in an organised and sequenced way.
  • In re-telling a lecture, an image is also displayed on the screen. Use the image to figure out the theme/topic of the lecture. Utilise full 40 seconds speaking time to convey the response.
  • When answering short question, try to keep the answer short. Do not take long pauses as recording stops after 3 seconds of pause.
  • In order to summarize written text in one sentence, do check that the response is in correct form. keep an eye on the word count. while practicing make use of compound and complex sentences.
  • Analyse the essay prompt and discuss whether you agree/disagree with the statement given. 

Part 2: Reading Test Pattern

Duration given is 32-40 minutes with 15-20 independent and integrated skill questions. 

Subsection 2.1: Reading and Writing fill in the blanks

Prompt length is 300 words to assess reading skills.

A text is given with gaps in between. Candidates have to fill in those gaps from the word box given. Beside each gap, there is a drop-down word list to select answer from. Select the option the fills the gap best. In order to change the response, left click to choose different option.

Subsection 2.2: Multiple Choice with Multiple Answers

Prompt length is of 300 words.

After reading the text given, a MCQ question based on the content and tone of the text is to be answered. Candidates have to select more than one option. Candidates have to select response options that they think are correct from the list of options. Options selected are highlighted in yellow. Candidates can change their response by left click and selecting alternate response. 

Subsection 2.3: Re-Order Paragraphs

Prompt length is of 150 words.

Text boxes appear on screen in random order. candidates have to put the boxes in correct order. Candidates have to restore the text boxes in original position. Text can be moved in two ways: Left click on the box (will be outlined in blue), hold the left mouse button and drop it to right location. Left click to select the box and use left/ right or up/down arrow buttons to move the box across. In order to deselect a box, candidates can left click on the screen anywhere.

Subsection 2.4: Fill in the Blanks

Prompt length is of 80 words.

Text is displayed on screen with gaps in between.  A passage is given with missing words along with a list of words to fill in the gaps in the text. Words provided are more than number of gaps. All words are not to be used. Left click on the words to select it and drag it to the desired gap. In order to remove a word from the gap, drag it back to the word box.

Subsection 2.5: Multiple Choice with Single Answer

Prompt length is of 300 words.

Based on content and tone of the given passage a MCQ question is to be answered. There can be several suitable responses but only one best option is to be selected. The option selected is highlighted in yellow. Candidates can change their response by left click and selecting alternate response.  

Test tips for Reading

  • While filling in the blanks once skim the text to get an overall meaning. Read before and after the given blank to identify the correct word.
  • Recall words that are often heard or used together. To fill in the blanks see what part of speech is missing and choose the option accordingly.
  • Notice key words in prompt and always evaluate the response.
  • If repeated phrase/word occurs in options of MCQ, they are somehow related to the text. Note such options. 
  • To re-Order paragraphs, have a quick glance at all the text boxes before re-ordering them.

Part 3: Listening Test Pattern

Duration given is 45-57 minutes, questions with audio and video clip. 

Subsection 3.1: Summarize Spoken Text

Prompt length is of 60 to 90 seconds. The Duration given is 10 minutes to write the summary. For the Text length, a minimum of 50 words but not more than 70 words is recommended. Available options are Cut, copy and paste option is available to edit the response

A word summary is to be written after listening a recording. Candidates can listen to the audio only once.  Word count at the bottom of screen, marks the number of words written. 

Subsection 3.2: Multiple Choice Questions

Prompt length is 40 to 90 seconds.

A MCQ question based on content and tone of text is to be answered. After listening to the audio, candidates should select response from the list of options provided. Options selected are highlighted in yellow. Left click selects and deselects an option.

Subsection 3.3: Fill in the Blanks

Prompt length of the text is 3- to 60 seconds. Available options: Candidates can take down notes in Erasable note board when audio is played 

Transcript of a recording comes up on screen with gaps in between. candidates have to listen to the recording and fill in the missing word in each gap. Candidates have to restore the transcript by typing the missing words. Left click on the gap to type the missing word.

Subsection 3.4: Highlight the Correct Summary

Prompt length is of 30 to 90 seconds.

A recording is played and candidates have to select the summary that best describes the recording. Listening and reading skills are assessed. There are several possible answers but only one is correct. Option selected is highlighted in yellow.

Subsection 3.5: Select Missing Word

Prompt length is of 20 to 70 seconds.

Last word or group of words in a recording are replaced with a beep. Candidates have to select the correct option to complete the recording. 

Subsection 3.6: Highlight Incorrect Words

Prompt length is of 15 to 50 seconds.

Transcript of an audio is provided which contains errors. candidates have to listen to the recording and read the transcript. after which the incorrect words are to be highlighted. 

Subsection 3.7: Write from Dictation

Available options: Erasable board is provided to take the notes 

A short sentence is played, candidates have to hear it and type the sentence in the response box. recording can be listened to only once. Listening, spelling and writing skills are assessed.

Test Tips for Listening

  • Do make sure that all the important information with supporting points is included while summarizing the spoken text.
  • While answering MCQ questions, answer should be sought out on the basis of meaning.
  • Remember to use Erasable Note board while listening the audio and take notes.
  • In questions where several possible options seem to be correct, try to see the question differently.
  • When Highlighting incorrect words read the transcription quickly and then listen to audio.
  • Use the cursor and follow the text simultaneously.
  • To Write Dictation type correct words as many as possible in the response box.

PTE – Details on Scores 

PTE scores are approved/accepted by Australian and New Zealand govt universities and for immigration purpose and is valid for a period of 2 years from the date you appear for the exam. You can take the PTE test as many times as you can. But need to wait for the results of the previous test. Also, PTE scores are Acceptable for study applications by thousands of universities/colleges around the world (USA, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Australia). 

Score Report Display

The result is downloaded in PDF format with details of personal information such as name, country, registration ID and photograph, test day details such as date, centre and centre code, result detail such as result date, and validity of the score, overall score is mentioned in the second section, detailed performance of the test. No hard copy of the result is provided by Pearson.

PTE Re-Scores

Candidates who are not satisfied with of the most recent PTE Academic test, can request to revaluate their test. Since it is a computer scored test, it is improbable that the overall scores will change. Spoken responses and open-ended responses only will be rescored. In case the score change, it will replace the previous score and score report will be reissued.

Candidates can only request for the rescoring Within 14 days of the availability of score report, candidates should contact Pearson Customer Service to demand rescore. In case overall, communicative or enabling skill score is modified, the rescore fee is refunded.


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