Top tips for taking PTE

You probably know everything about IELTS, which is so popular among most students for admission to diploma programs in New Zealand. But we want to tell you about other exam options that are suitable for continuing your studies at foreign universities. Today we’ll talk about the PTE test.

It is very easy to sign up for the exam, and you will have to wait for the result for no more than 5 days. Usually, the result is sent within 24 hours. We have tried to provide you with up-to-date and useful information on PTE. We hope this will help you get closer to your dream.


What is PTE (Pearson Tests of English)

PTE (Pearson Tests of English) is an international English language exam for non-native speakers.

After passing the PTE and gaining a certain score, you will be able to enter foreign educational institutions and present when applying for a job, as it is recognised in many countries of the world.

The PTE certificate has no statute of limitations, which gives it a significant advantage over IELTS. However, one must be prepared for the fact that admissions committees of foreign universities may require “fresh” results of language exams (no more than 2 years from the date of testing).

The test is completely carried out on a computer, which is undoubtedly an advantage since the result depends only on your real knowledge, and not on the mood and subjective assessment of the examiner.

It is worth noticing one more positive side of PTE – according to many reviews of people who passed this exam, it is easier to prepare and pass it than IELTS. But this, of course, does not exclude the fact that the preparation must be approached with all seriousness and responsibility.

What is the exam for

  • Admission to foreign educational institutions;
  • Employment in English-speaking companies;
  • Determination of the current level of English;
  • Immigration.

The maximum possible number of points is 90. For admission to level 8 and 9 programs, as well as applying for residency, it will be enough to score 58 points. For admission to Level 7 – 50 points.

Types of PTE exams

  1. PTE Academic is an academic module for future students since its result is presented when entering a foreign educational institution. It is also recognised for immigration purposes, available for taking from 16 years old. Children under the age of 18 will need to provide written permission from their parents.
  2. PTE General is a general module that focuses on assessing the ability to communicate in English rather than passing tests. Not recognised for immigration purposes.
  3. PTE Young Learners is an exam for children from 6 to 13 years old.

There is also the Business English Test, which is not part of the official Pearson line of exams but is listed on the official website as one of the exams provided by the company. The Business English Test is conducted in conjunction with LCCI International qualifications. The exam is for candidates seeking certification to work in a business environment.

PTE Academic structure

The structure of PTE is somewhat different from the well-known IELTS. But it also consists of sections: Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening.

Speaking & Writing

Duration 77-93 minutes, consists of several small tasks for understanding the text:

  • A short story about yourself (25 seconds for preparation and 30 seconds for the answer). Your answer will not be scored and will not affect your test score in any way, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore this task. Prepare the text in advance, memorise it. This will help you not to think and give the most complete answer to the question.
  • Reading aloud. The main secret to the success of this assignment is practice. Spend at least 15 minutes reading daily, you will notice the result in a week.
  • Repeating a sentence after listening. If you are not in an English-speaking environment, this task may seem quite difficult for you. Get used to speaking English, watch movies in English, listen to English-language news channels, subscribe to interesting podcasts. It is important to note that you will see more progress when you choose topics that are of interest to you.
  • Description of the picture (graph / table / process). You have 25 seconds to look at the picture, and only 40 seconds to answer, so you should take care in advance and memorise the phrases most often used in describing graphs and tables.
  • Retelling the lecture you listened to or watched in your own words. Advice is simple – just practice.
  • Answers to short questions. The answer usually consists of one word or word and the article (the or a), depending on the context. The questions are quite simple and do not require deep knowledge in various fields.
  • Essay writing for 200-300 words. You will have 20 minutes to complete it. The main task is to reveal the topic, bring two facts for, two facts against, and your conclusion. This advice is not the only correct one, it is only based on the experience of taking PTEs by many students. It is important to note here that when passing PTE, the text is typed on a computer and the number of characters is calculated automatically, which is very convenient and helps to save time. Try to use Backspace as little as possible, highlighting errors with the mouse and retyping.


Duration 32-41 minutes, includes tasks for choosing the correct answer, ordering the text and filling in the gaps in sentences.

  • Answer the question by choosing one of the options. After reading the text up to 300 characters long, you must choose the only correct option.
  • Answer the question by choosing several options from the proposed ones. The principle is the same as in the previous paragraph, but you need to remember that there are several correct answers in this case.
  • Arrangement of paragraphs in the correct order. The screen will display approximately 150 words of text, divided into several randomly arranged paragraphs. With the help of the mouse, they need to be moved so that the order becomes correct. Before completing the assignment, it is important to quickly read each block of text and try to understand their meaning. This will help you navigate and give you a better chance of a successful result.
  • Filling gaps in the text. You can use the words below the text to fill in the gaps. They can be dragged with the mouse. It should be remembered that there are more suggested words than spaces, so some of them will remain unused.
  • Filling in gaps in the text. A similar task, the only difference is that when you click on the space, a drop-down list appears, from which you must select the correct option. A careful reading of the entire sentence and understanding its meaning will help determine the correct answer.


Duration 45-57, consists of tasks based on listening to audio and watching video recordings. All of them start playing automatically and are played only once, so you need to listen to them very carefully. In this case, you can take notes.

  • Summarising the information heard. In the first task of this part of the exam, you need to listen to the recording and write a short summary of it 50-70 words long in 10 minutes. Make sure you can convey the main point of the text.
  • Answer the question by choosing several options from the proposed ones. When listening, pay attention to the details and message of the text. Try to choose answers that fit the meaning. Remember that answers that contain words heard in the recording are not always correct.
  • Filling in gaps in the text based on the listened recording. Try to quickly skim the text before starting the task. While listening, try not to concentrate on the correct spelling of the words. Write them down in your notes the way you think you hear them. After you finish writing, you can read the text and, using your notes, identify the missing words and how they are spelt. Only then type them into spaces.
  • Choice of the answer, which correctly conveys the meaning of the audio recording. Do not try to read the options before or while listening, it may confuse you. Instead, take notes and then use them to choose the answer that suits you best.
  • Choosing the only correct answer based on the listened recording. Simple and effective advice: scan the question and the suggested answers before starting the audio playback.
  • Choosing of missing words. For each case, there will be several answer options, but only one will be correct. Listen carefully and now you are halfway to the correct answers.
  • Choosing the wrong words. Audio transcription will be presented on the screen. While listening, it is necessary to highlight those words that do not correspond to the words in the recording. Don’t try to take notes, focus on checking the text with the cursor while listening.
  • Dictation. After listening to the sentence, you will need to type it. Try to type as many words as possible in the correct order.

It is noteworthy that the PTE Academic test is taken online, without the participation of an examiner. For three hours, the candidate works on the computer: reads the text into a microphone, listens to audio fragments in headphones, makes notes in a special program, which frees the applicant from a personal conversation with the examiner. Don’t neglect setting up your microphone to avoid unnecessary noise and help you recognise your pronunciation more clearly. Find recommendations on this on Youtube.

A detailed description of each stage and little tips can be found on the Pearson PTE Academic official website.

Registration of the PTE and receiving results

Applicants wishing to take part in the PTE testing must first register on the official exam website, i.e. create their own account. Next, you need to select a test and pay for participation in the exam. The application must be submitted 4 weeks before the selected test date. This rule does not apply to the PTE Academic exam, as you can register for it up to 24 hours before testing starts, but you will have to pay extra for this.

PTE Academic scores come within 5 days after testing. Most often, the result is on hand within the first 48 hours after the exam. Each candidate, along with an official certificate, receives an analysis of the results of the language exam for each of the four components (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Where To Take

Unfortunately, there is no PTE centre in Russia. The nearest place for delivery is Turkey or Kazakhstan. Detailed geography can be viewed on the Pearson PTE Academic official website.

The Cost

Regular Price – Around USD $ 115.00

Late registration – about USD $ 143.75

The price depends on the country in which you plan to take the test

Pros of PTE Academic

  • Possibility to register for testing 24 hours before the start;
  • High speed of obtaining a test result within up to five working days;
  • The ability to send your results to all universities from the Pearson database;
  • No exam queue, flexible time and date selection;
  • The minimum required score for admission to study or apply for residency is less than in IELTS;
  • The test is taken on a computer in an online format;
  • Accepted in almost all universities, as well as in order to obtain visas to New Zealand and Australia;
  • PTE results can be sent to an unlimited number of educational institutions, which are located in the Pearson database. This option is provided free of charge;
  • You can retake the exam an unlimited number of times;
  • The opportunity to take a free trial testing, which will help you get acquainted with the test format, identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Useful links for preparing for the exam

Good luck with your exam!

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