What is PTE (Pearson Test of English)? – PTE Academic Exam Preparation

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Pearson Test of English
Pearson Test of English

Many students dream of studying abroad. But your English proficiency can make or break this dream. Want to study in the USA? Or are you more inclined to explore the opportunities in England or Canada? Well, whichever country you choose, get ready to prove your English language proficiency. But this applies if English isn’t your first language.

The Pearson Test of English is a good option. Check the eligibility criteria of any institute. You’re bound to notice the PTE amongst the acceptable proficiency tests. Now, this exam isn’t so challenging that you’d need expert help at every step. But it’s no walk in the park. Australia, New Zealand and the UK also accept this test for visa applications. So, clearly, this exam has gained recognition for its assessments.

What is the Pearson Test of English?

The Person Test of English is a language proficiency test. In other words, it tests your English skills. Naturally, if you’re planning to study in a foreign land, you must be able to communicate well. So, this exam puts you through the grind. It assesses your English reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Pretty simple, isn’t it? These four skills are all your need for a smooth experience in a foreign land.

Why is the PTE so popular? Let’s check out its characteristics:

·        Entirely computer-based exam

·        Results within 48 hours

·        Accepted for work & migration visas

·        Unbiased results

·        Utilization of AI technology

·        Recognized by institutes worldwide

The PTE exam embraces modernity. It doesn’t stick to the age-old pen-and-paper test. The online exam is so efficient and quick that it has become more preferred than the IELTS or the TOEFL. The quick results are certainly the best feature. Now let’s check out some more details about this exam.

PTE Exam Eligibility

·        Candidates must be at least 16 years old.

·        Candidates below 18 must have written consent from their parents or guardians.

·        Candidates of all educational backgrounds can take the exam.

Even though the minimum age for appearing for the exam is 16, you can always start preparing early. It’ll increase your chances of scoring well. But you can’t dive into it without a strategy. The PTE exam is very competitive. A low score might not help you get into some of the top colleges and universities. So, read this article to figure out how you should proceed.

PTE Academic Exam Preparation Made Easy

So, you’ve decided to appear for the PTE Academic. But you don’t know where to begin? Worry not! It’s not rocket science. Follow these tips, and you’ve got this exam in the bag.

1. Understand the exam pattern

Figuring out the exam pattern is the first step to planning a study routine. You should be familiar with the types of questions you can expect. The timing is essential too. Since each section is timed, you can’t afford to spend too long on any one section. Check out this brief overview of the exam pattern:

PTE Exam SectionApprox. DurationApprox. Number of QuestionsTypes of Questions
Speaking & Writing54 – 67 minutes28 – 36·        Image description ·        Personal intro ·        Short questions ·        Essay writing ·        Read aloud ·        Summarize text ·        Retell lecture
Reading29 – 30 minutes13 – 18·        MCQs – Single answer ·        MCQs – Multiple answers ·        Fill in the blanks (reading) ·        Fill in the blanks (reading & writing) ·        Paragraph reordering
Listening30 – 43 minutes12 – 20·        MCQs – single answer ·        MCQs – multiple answers ·        Fill in the blanks ·        Correct summary highlight ·        Summarize spoken text ·        Choose the missing word ·        Dictation writing

This should tell you about the types of questions you can expect. The number of questions can vary. The kinds of questions you get depend on luck. So, it’s best to prepare for everything. You never know what you might be expected to solve.

2. Figure out your target score

You need a target score to motivate you. Now, the PTE score ranges from 10 to 90. So, don’t expect to score 80+ on your first try. Be more realistic. Review the minimum cut-off PTE scores for colleges and universities abroad. You’ll notice that the average score required is 60 and above. So, keep that target in mind and work hard to achieve it.

3. Understand how the PTE is scored

Let’s check how the PTE score is calculated. Remember the three sections you’ve covered in the first point? You will receive a score between 10 and 90 for each of those three sections. Next, you have a section for enabling skills, which includes the following –

·        Grammar

·        Oral fluency

·        Written discourse

·        Spelling

·        Pronunciation

·        Vocabulary

Add the scores of every enabling skill score and divide it by  6 to obtain the average. Now, your total PTE Score is –

(Speaking & writing score + Reading score + Listening score + Average enabling skill score)/5

How will this help you? Well, when you review the scoring rules, you’ll notice a few vital details:

·        Sections for which you get partial credit

·        +2 marks for well-written content

·        Marks deduction for spelling and grammatical errors

·        Scores added or deducted based on word count

Knowing these details, you can be careful while giving the exam. You’d think twice about exceeding the word count. Instead of rushing, take time to check your answers. You don’t want to lose those additional points, do you? 

4. Prepare from reliable sources

When preparing for the PTE Academic, take care to review official preparatory materials only. Just check the official PTE website. You’ll get access to official coursebooks (paid), free practice tests, important tips and strategies, and more. You can also download the official PTE app on your phone to quickly access such materials.

5. Focus on your weak sections

As a non-native English speaker, you can’t expect to be on the same level as native speakers. Your writing might be up to the mark. But it won’t be surprising if your speaking needs work. That’s because you don’t really get the opportunity to speak to others in English, do you? So, you might not be as fluent as a native speaker. Well, you need to identify such shortcomings. Once you do, you can focus your attention on fixing those issues. Let’s check out some solutions.

If you want to improve your listening skills, try these out:

·        Watch movies or dramas without subtitles.

·        Listen to educational podcasts.

·        Follow academic lectures.

Similarly, if you want to improve your reading skills, read online articles, blogs, research papers, and newspapers, fictional and non-fictional books. Note down new vocabulary. Put in a lot of effort, and you’ll be able to bridge the gap in no time.

6. Solve practice papers regularly

Try to solve as many practice papers as possible. It’ll give you a better idea of the exam pattern, help you understand how long you spend on each section, and assist in tracking your progress. You want to see an upward curve in your improvement. That’s only possible if you learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the subsequent papers you solve.

To sum it up,

The Pearson Test of English remains one of the most popular English language proficiency tests. You can appear for it to study abroad, obtain a visa or migrate to another country. The exam utilizes high-end AI technology to provide a fair assessment of a student’s skills. Try it out to check your English proficiency.