Looking For Ways To Ace The PTE exam? Here You Go!


Last Updated: December 3, 2022
no preview

You must be aware that you need to give certain exams to get in your dream university! One such exam is PTE. So, what exactly is PTE? Let’s find out! The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a computer-based exam designed to gauge the English language skills of a candidate aspiring to study at overseas universities in English-speaking countries. Like the name suggests, its the Pearson PLC group that conducts the exam. Just like most English language test, this also measures your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to see if you’re ready for learning in an international environment. Sounds fair, right? 


A good score in PTE serves as an avenue into colleges and universities around the world and makes you stand out from the crowd for your expertise and prowess in the English language. As compared to traditional tests such as TOEFL and IELTS, PTE is a new entrant, starting in 2009, but is unique in the regard that it is completely done online and a candidate can book a slot just 48 hours before taking the exam. PTE scores are accepted in English-speaking countries across all continents and the exam has quickly established itself as a formidable gauge of a candidate’s English language skills.

The PTE exam comes in three types – 

  1. PTE Academic Exam – Designed for testing English language skills suitable for the university level. 
  2. PTE General Exam – For gauging English language skills suited for an international work environment or similar settings. 
  3. PTE Young Learner Exam – Designed for children aged 7 to 12. 

Out of these, the PTE Academic Exam is the most popular among students aspiring to study abroad. One needs to be at least 16 to take this test, but candidates between the ages of 16 and 18 need parental consent. There is no maximum number of attempts but a 5-day gap period is mandatory between any two attempts. 

PTE has three sections –

  • Speaking and Writing. 
  • Listening. 
  • Reading. 

These sections include a mix of MCQs, short answers, essays, reading aloud, objectives, etc., and are designed to not specifically look for a candidate’s advanced level knowledge of English but rather a competency in daily spoken English in countries where the language is spoken as the first choice by the majority of the people. 

Candidates have 180 mins to attempt all sections and the final overall score is an average of scores achieved in the four communicative skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Your results will be out within 48 hours of taking the test. The PTE score plays a massive role in Visa and university applications.

As you see, the PTE is unique as compared to other English language tests and is catered to a rather comprehensive approach to gauging a candidate’s readiness. This calls for a slightly different approach. Let’s look at some pointers that may help you achieve a formidable score. 

Pick the ideal study materials

Scouring the internet aimlessly is not the ideal approach for finding study material. It’s always advisable to stick to one or two trusted sources and plan your preparation around it. Pearson, the organisation that conducts the exam, themselves offer an official guide that contains information on each section, study plans, skill-building, and other important aspects of the PTE exam. 

Pearson also offers a practice test set which helps boost your preparation as it comes with comprehensive studying tips, sample questions and answers, and listening and speaking tasks, among other things. 

Have a Solid Study Plan! 

For the preparation for any exam, having a comprehensive study plan is ideal and that extends to PTE as well. A good plan includes time management, a method of preparation, and gauging yourself along the way. Starting off with time dedicated, ideally, you should invest anywhere between 2 and 3 hours a day into studying, more if you can manage it. 

Secondly, going over repeated questions is always going to be helpful in any exam. These are going to give you a feel of the type and level of questions asked in the exam. Mock tests are a brilliant way to keep track of your progress. Start off with one, get your base score, and from there, every minute you put into studying is aimed at building on that number. Mock tests are also crucial in increasing your speed in exams. In the actual exam, you have to attempt up to 80 questions in 180 minutes and that is not an easy task, right off the bat. 

Recollection is key for PTE and for that to happen, revision is your number one tool. Before going to bed, you should set aside a few minutes to go over the content you’ve studied throughout the day. Remember that PTE is a test of your spoken English and to help in this regard, you can utilise popular media such as movies and TV series to familiarise yourself with the accents and specific vocabulary of the countries you’re targeting for your university. 

test prep

Lets Look At Section-wise Preparation

1. Writing 

This is a section where you can score well if you’re well versed in English grammar and vocabulary. Since the exam is conducted by artificial intelligence, you need to write answers accordingly. Keep your sentences short and reasonable as the computer will have an easy time interpreting them accurately. Secondly, your answers should be between 35 and 40 words. 


2. Listening

Active listening is going to be paramount in this section. To get a hang of different accents and specific vocabulary, invest time in listening to English songs, movies, and TV shows. You can try and exercise where in the first run you keep the subtitles on but disable them the second time. This is going to help you self-evaluate and internalise the accents and pronunciations.


3. Speaking

In this section, you need to be clear and concise with your intonation and speed of talking. You have to learn to incorporate punctuation marks into your speech to make yourself sound more authoritative and authentic. A proven method to do this is recording yourself while speaking, evaluating the recording, identifying your mistakes, and incorporating the changes gradually.  


4. Reading

The reading section does not have negative making and you can attempt all the questions even if you are not confident about any. Reading involves having a good combination of speed, clarity, and pronunciation. This can be done by practising reading. Start off with easy content and gradually build up the level of vocabulary. This will help you not only get better at reading but also improve your ability to paraphrase the content. 

Make Use of Coaching if Necessary!

PTE is a unique exam and you could do it with the help of experts that have years of experience in preparing students for it. Many coaching classes offer various programs to guide candidates on their journey to achieving mastery of the English language. Pearson themselves have launched an online preparation tool that is completely free of cost and consists of study materials such as test structure, audio-visual guidance, and practice tests. 

PTE is a reputed exam worldwide and doing well in it opens up a lot of doors for you in terms of universities. Depending on your ability and the time you can invest throughout the day, a candidate may feel ready to appear for the exam from anywhere between 1 and 3 months. The key is to have a solid timetable and judiciously stick to it. This is not only going to help you prepare for the exam itself but also internalise the content so as to make it a part of yourself, resulting in it being authentic and helping you give an edge over others. 

Do you have aspirations of studying abroad but are unsure or simply uninformed about it? Well, here’s another Mentoria article that walks you through its pros and cons to help you decide better!