Five-step Guide to Preparing for PTE
Five-step guide to preparing for PTE: If you’re new to PTE or English proficiency tests, the preparation journey may appear overwhelming. Fortunately, our five-step guide will assist you in planning how much to prepare and what to prepare for.
Five-step guide to preparing for PTE
1. Know your target score
A good starting point is to comprehend your current English proficiency level and the PTE score you need to attain. Scored Practice Tests will aid you in understanding the score you could achieve on the real test. Further, it provides individual scores for each of the communicative skills (listening, reading, speaking, and writing). Hence, this allows you to identify areas where you may need to enhance your skills to obtain the desired score.
Additionally, if you have recently taken a different English test like IELTS or TOEFL, try our courses to obtain an estimate of how these test scores compare to PTE Academic scores.
2. Know the test format
Familiarize yourself with the structure of PTE Academic to improve your results. Further, understanding its format and the types of questions you should expect is crucial.
Ask yourself the following questions as you familiarize yourself with the test:
- Understand quantity: How many parts are included in the test? How many questions?
- Understand instructions: What task needs to be completed for each question type? How are responses recorded?
- Length and timing: How long does each part of PTE Academic last? How much time is allowed for each question type?
- Layout: How is each question presented on screen?
- Question types: What tasks need to be completed? What skills are assessed? How are responses scored?
3. Understand how the test is scored
The PTE Academic marks all questions with 100% machine scoring, ensuring accurate, consistent, and fair evaluation of every test. Notably, each test taker receives a score ranging from 10 to 90 to indicate their level of English skill.
How are scores given for each question?
Some questions base their scores on correctness alone, while others consider the correctness, formal aspects, and the quality of the response to determine the score.
- Formal aspects refer to the form of your response: for example, whether your response is significantly over or under the word limit for a particular item type.
- The quality of your response includes your abilities in areas like oral fluency, pronunciation, and comprehension. We call this set of abilities your ‘Skills Profile’.
What skills are tested in each question?
Questions that test ‘communicative skills’ (speaking, writing, reading, and listening) will test either an individual or a combination of skills. For example, a question may test just reading, or it may test reading & speaking at the same time. Each question contributes to the score for that particular communicative skill. These are shown in more detail in your Score Report.
How will scores be shared with me?
Your scores are compiled in your Score Report and accompanying Skills Profile, which will be shared with you after you complete your exam.
Your Score Report contains the following sections:
- Overall score – this is your main PTE Academic score, graded between 10 and 90.
- Communicative Skills– You achieved these scores for your proficiency in each of the skills for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Each skill is also graded between 10 and 90.
When you receive your Score Report, it will include a Skills Profile that displays your performance across eight language skill categories, including ‘Short Writing,’ ‘Multiple-skills comprehension,’ and ‘Open Response Speaking and Writing.’ Additionally, each category will feature a progress bar indicating your level of proficiency.
Moreover, each category also offers personalized recommendations to help guide you on further improving your English language skills and help you identify where to focus if you need to improve your score.
4. Choose your preparation resources
Explore our official preparation materials
Now that you know more about the score you need to achieve and know how the test works, we recommend that you explore our range of free and paid PTE Academic preparation tests.
Get more advice on our blog
The test tips & advice segment of our blog is a great resource for expert guidance on all aspects of test preparation, such as:
Consider a PTE or English language course
Practice, practice, practice!
Practice your skills by making the most of those spare minutes.
- Complete short, 5-10 minute practice activities each day to maintain and build your knowledge.
- Practice speaking English at your home, school or workplace.
Join English-speaking groups. They offer the opportunity to practice both speaking and listening skills.
- Find every opportunity to write in English. For example, sending emails to friends or contacts, or keeping a journal.
- Read widely from sources like newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and books.
- Listen to English-speaking media, like television (use English subtitles if available) and radio broadcasts.
- Observe native speakers and listen to the language used in different contexts.
Five-step guide to preparing for PTE
5. Tips for test day
Make the most of those spare minutes to practice your skills:
Before the test
- Please make sure you possess the correct documentation and ID required for the test center.
- Ensure that you allocate ample time for yourself to arrive at the test center.
During the test
- Carefully read all test instructions.
- Ensure you use the correct punctuation for writing tasks, including full stops, capital letters, commas, etc.
- When answering a question, make sure to write or speak about ‘sport’ if the question specifically asks for it, rather than ‘science’.
- Strictly adhere to the given word limit for writing tasks.
- Respond promptly and continue speaking during speaking tasks.
- The microphone will close after three seconds of silence and stop recording.
- Avoid spending excessive time on a single question. Utilize any remaining time to review and check your answers.
Preparing for the PTE demands dedication, perseverance, and a well-structured study plan. By understanding the exam format, assessing your skills, creating a study plan, practising consistently, and seeking professional guidance, you can greatly increase your chances of achieving a high score. Remember that effective preparation involves not only improving your English language skills but also comprehending the exam’s requirements and implementing strategies to showcase your abilities. With diligent effort and a positive mindset, you can attain success in the PTE.