Ace your PTE

Category: Test Preparation
Posted on January 15, 2019

How to Ace PTE Academic -

(Also, check All About PTE)

Pearson Test of English(PTE) Academic is computer-based testing on Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills of English language. A good preparation strategy, a good typing speed, and a good command over the English language are all you need to get the desired results. This article aims at providing you with some handy tips and strategies to better equip you for the PTE Academic test.

Section-wise Strategies

In the test, you will come across 20 different question formats. Since the test assesses real-life, academic English, you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will hear varied accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so practicing from varied sources for the listening and writing sections, will be favorable.



Read Aloud

  • Daily practice with tongue-twisters
  • Continue speaking even if you make a mistake


Repeat Sentence

  • Divide it into 3-4 phrases
  • Focus on the content and keywords
  • Repeat with meaning and intonation i.e. raise voice at important words, lower at end of the sentence
  • You can close your eyes to memorize the sentence


Describe Image

  • Start by introducing the image by saying a phrase like - “This image shows or depicts..”
  • Don’t re-start or repeat a sentence as there is a very limited time
  • Take help of words from the image
  • Stay calm & focused
  • Use about 35 seconds of time overall
  • Conclude with a single sentence, even if you are not sure that it is right or wrong as only your fluency is being scored


Retell Lecture

  • Make notes, especially note down 4-5 keywords from the lecture
  • Understand the theme & context
  • Remember to use titles like doctor instead of full names


Answer Short Question

  • Make use of articles like a, an, the etc. before some words





















Summarize Written Text

  • Read and understand the text
  • Note down the keywords
  • Summarize each para in a single sentence
  • Don’t try putting in information from your knowledge, rather use information from the given text only
  • Capture the whole essence of the text
  • Use key points and sub-points
  • Avoid using examples
  • Pay attention while using grammar and punctuations



  • 200-250 words are the ideal length of the essay to write in 20 minutes
  • Divide your essay into around 4 paragraphs to include the introduction, body in 2 paragraphs and a concluding para
  • Provide examples, arguments, and numbers from the text to support your answer
  • Make correct use of grammar and vocabulary in a given context.
  • There’s only one way to score high in an essay, i.e. to practice more and more















Multiple-Choice, Choose Single Answer

  • It is a good idea to look at the questions first and then read the text
  • Read and understand the central idea of the passage
  • Do attempt all questions as there is no negative marking on the wrong answers
  • As it is a multiple-choice question, use the rule of elimination
  • Read the last lines very carefully as you will get the central idea


Multiple-Choice, Choose Multiple Answers

  • Questions are not asked sequentially from the passage, so try to remember the information  that you read
  • Select only when you are sure of the options


Re-order Paragraphs

  • Look for an appropriate heading to start off.
  • The first sentence never starts with he/she/they/those etc. so eliminate those as the starting sentence


Fill in the Blanks

  • Attempt all the question as there is no negative marking
  • Look for the word that fits the context
  • Mostly missing word has a synonym in the given text




Summarize Spoken Text

  • While listening, close your eyes for better concentration
  • You are allowed to make notes of the recording so use it to your advantage
  • Begin your answer by stating that “The speaker was discussing”
  • Close the summary with something like “Finally he suggested”
  • Pay attention to the repetition of words, it will provide you with the theme
  • Limit the answer to 65-70 words


Multiple-choice, Choose multiple answers

  • Go through the questions first so that you can listen for the answers
  • These questions have a negative marking so be cautious of guesswork
  • Stay focused to listen for all the points


Fill in the blanks

  • Listen for even small details like if the word was singular or plural, etc
  • Use Notepad to make notes


Highlight Correct Summary

  • Try to determine the central idea of the speaker
  • Choose by elimination technique from the given options                         


Select Missing Word

  • By going half-way through you would be able to understand the central idea of the speaker


Highlight incorrect words

  • Beware of blind guesses, as this has negative marking
  • Before submitting, check once if there are any more incorrect words


Write from dictation

  • Understand the dictation, it will be easier to reproduce
  • Answer this one directly by typing on the computer
  • Proofread for any spelling mistakes, punctuation, articles, singular/plural etc.


Apart from these preparation tips, practicing the test itself is one of the best ways to get ready for the test. PTE has its official scored practice tests available that can be taken for an estimate on your score. Based on the results of this test, you can work on your grey areas. And once you apply these strategies, you will be appearing for your test more confidently. Thus, taking you a step closer to your dream college.


Priya Negi
Student Guidance Counselor & Avid Blogger
Priya Negi
Student Guidance Counselor & Avid Blogger

I am a Post-Grad in Finance who chose to quit my 5 years of Corporate job to eventually add value through words than numbers. I love helping my clients create fresh & innovative content that convey their brand value. My recent association with PlanAll enabled me to guide & counsel students academically towards making meaningful career choices. When I'm not writing, I can be found fulfilling the demands of my chirpy toddler at home.

Ekta Rao
August 13, 2019 - 04:57am
Ekta Rao August 13, 2019 - 04:57am

Good tips for PTE preparation.

Amey Bos
August 01, 2019 - 06:31am
Amey Bos August 01, 2019 - 06:31am

Thanks for the tips....Really helpful.

Deven Chabra
May 27, 2019 - 12:25pm
Deven Chabra May 27, 2019 - 12:25pm

Very good blog. Useful information.

Amina Chougle
April 29, 2019 - 06:37am
Amina Chougle April 29, 2019 - 06:37am

Nice. This blog helped me a lot.

Kiran Lamba
April 08, 2019 - 08:45am
Kiran Lamba April 08, 2019 - 08:45am

Thanks a lot for your suggestions. This blog really helpful to avoid common mistakes in PTE preparation/exam..

Soha Modsing
March 20, 2019 - 07:36am
Soha Modsing March 20, 2019 - 07:36am

I have no much knowledge about PTE. This blog really helped me to understand about it.

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