PTE Exam Pattern and PTE Exam Syllabus

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14 December 2022 by aecc

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PTE Syllabus, Pattern, and Preparation

Understanding the PTE exam pattern can help test takers effectively prepare for their PTE academic test and score highly. The PTE exam format is put together and divided in such a way that it helps to find out test takers' English proficiency more accurately than other English proficiency tests. This blog is for you if you are a student aspiring to take PTE academic for your foreign education. Continue reading to get detailed information about the PTE exam pattern and syllabus and how to prepare for the PTE exam at home.

 

PTE Exam Syllabus

PTE exams have a time duration of 2 hours. In the period of 2 hours, the test taker has to take 20 different question types. The questions range from multiple choice questions to writing a decent-length essay. To score high, it is necessary to review the different question types. 

The PTE exam syllabus is divided into three parts. They are:

  • Part 1: Speaking and Writing
  • Part 2: Reading
  • Part 3: Listening

 

PTE Exam Format

Time

Number of questions

Skills Tested

Part 1: Speaking and Writing

54-67 minutes

7 different question types

English speaking and writing skills will be tested

Part 2: Reading

29-30 minutes

5 different question types

English writing and reading skills will be tested

Part 3: Listening

30-43 minutes

8 different question types

English listening, comprehension and retaining skills will be tested (through audio and video clips)



PTE Exam Pattern

Part 1: PTE Speaking and Writing

 

This part of the PTE exam syllabus is the longest of all sections. Test takers are assessed on their ability to speak and write the English language according to academic standards. Before starting with the question types under this section, the test taker will get a chance to self-introduce themselves. 

 

Note: Self-introduction does not award any points to the test takers

 

Following are the seven different question types under this section:

1. Read Aloud

PTE Test takers will be shown a text on the computer screen. They will have 30-40 seconds to read and prepare. After hearing the short tone, the test takers must read the text loudly into the microphone.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 60 words

Skills Assessed

Reading and Speaking

Time to Answer

Varies depending on the text

 

2. Repeat Sentences

PTE Test takers are made to listen to an audio clip. When the audio is completed, the test takers are expected to repeat the played audio into the microphone precisely as dictated in the clip in a loud and clear voice. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

3-9 seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and speaking

Time to Answer

15 Seconds

 

3. Describe Images

PTE Test Takers will be provided with an image on the computer screen. They will have 25 seconds to study the image before a short tone signals them to answer. Then, the test takers must describe the image in detail. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Not Applicable

Skills Assessed

Speaking

Time to Answer

40 Seconds

 

4. Re-tell Lecture

PTE Test takers are presented with an audio lecture with or without visual images on the computer monitor. Following this, the test takers will be given 10 seconds to prepare before the short tone. Then, they have to re-tell the whole lecture in their own words into the microphone. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Upto 90 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Speaking

Time to Answer

40 Seconds

 

5. Answer a Short Question

Test takers will be asked a question through an audio file with or without visual images on the computer monitor. After hearing the audio, the test takers are expected to immediately answer the question with a single word or a few words. There won’t be a short tone as a signal to answer this question type.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

3-9 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Speaking

Time to Answer

10 Seconds

 

6. Summarise Written Text

PTE Test takers are provided with a written text of around 300 words. The test takers will have 10 minutes to read and write a summary of the test (including all the main points) in one sentence with a maximum count of 75 words.  

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 300 words

Skills Assessed

Reading and Writing

Time to Answer

10 Minutes

 

7. Essay

Test takers are presented with 2 to 3 sentences, based on which they have to write an essay of 200 to 300 words. The time limit to write the essay is 20 minutes. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

2-3 Sentences

Skills Assessed

Writing

Time to Answer

20 Minutes

 

Part 2: PTE Reading - PTE Exam Pattern

 

Part 2 of the PTE exam assesses the test takers’ reading skills. This part is relative to all three parts. The time limit is 29-30 minutes. Here English language reading is assessed on academic standards. Since PTE Academic is an integrated skill test, test takers are also reviewed in their writing in the first question type of this part. 

1. PTE Reading & Writing: Fill in the Blanks

Test takers are presented with a test passage with gaps in between. The gaps come with a button to access the drop-down list with various words. The test taker has to select the best-suited word and fill in the gap. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 300 words

Skills Assessed

Reading and Writing

Time to Answer

Not Applicable 

 

2. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer

Test takers are presented with a passage of text to read. After reading, they should answer a multiple-choice question on the tone or context of the passage. Test takers need to select more than one response as there is more than one correct answer.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 300 words

Skills Assessed

Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable 

 

3. Re-order Paragraphs

Test takers are presented with text boxes in random order. The expectation is to re-arrange the text boxes in an order that makes sense. The test boxes can be rearranged by selecting and dragging them in the order of your choice. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 150 words

Skills Assessed

Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

4. Fill in the Blanks

Test takers are presented with a passage of text with missing words/gaps. The test takers must fill up the gap by selecting the best-suited words from the blue box provided. Since the blue box contains more words than the gaps in the passage, test takers need not use all the words provided.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

Text up to 80 words

Skills Assessed

Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

5. Multiple Choice, Single Answer

Test takers are presented with a passage of text. After reading the passage, test takers are expected to answer a multiple-choice question. Unlike the second question (in Part 2), this question only has one correct answer.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Syllabus 

Prompt Length

Text up to 300 words

Skills Assessed

Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable



Part 3: PTE Listening 

 

This part of the PTE exam is the second longest. The time limit of Part 3 is 30-43 minutes. The test takers' English Language listening skills are assessed according to academic standards. The question types will be based on audio or video clips. The audio or video clips can be viewed only once. However, test takers are allowed take notes while watching the audio or video clips.

1. Summarise Spoken Text

Test takers are provided with an audio recording. After hearing the audio, they need to write a summary of the clip in 50-70 words. The test taker will have 10 minutes to listen and write the summary. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

60-90 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Writing

Time to Answer

10 minutes to listen and write

 

2. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers

Test takers will be presented with an audio recording. After hearing the recording, they have to answer a multiple-choice question based on the audio. The test takers will have to select multiple answers as there is more than one correct response in the given choice.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

40-90 seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening

Time to Answer

Not applicable

 

3. Fill in the Blanks

Test takers will be presented with an audio recording. The recording can only be played once. After hearing the audio, a transcript of the recording will be given with multiple gaps in it. Test takers must recollect the audio and type the missing words in the gaps.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

30-60 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Writing

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

4. Highlight Correct Summary

Test takers will be presented with an audio recording. After hearing the recording, the test takers are expected to select/highlight the paragraph that best summarises the recording. There will be multiple choice paragraphs but only one right answer.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

30-90 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

5. Multiple Choice, Single Answer

Test takers will be presented with a recording. The recording will only be played once. After hearing the recording, the test takers are required to answer a multiple-choice question. There is only one correct answer.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

30-90 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

6. Select Missing Word

An audio recording is provided to the test takers for which there are multiple missing words (replaced with a beep sound). The test taker has to select the best-suited word from the options given. 

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

20-70 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

7. Highlight Incorrect Words

Test takers are provided with a transcript and then made to hear the audio recording for the transcript. The transcript has words different from the words that have been said in the recording. The test takers need to highlight the error words.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

15-50 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Reading

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

8. Write from Dictation

A short sentence will be dictated to the test takers. After hearing, the test takers must enter the sentence in the response box at the bottom of the screen.

 

Key features of this question in PTE Exam Syllabus 

 

Prompt Length

3-5 Seconds

Skills Assessed

Listening and Writing

Time to Answer

Not Applicable

 

How To Prepare For PTE Exam At Home?

 

  • Know your current English proficiency level. One way to do this is by taking the paid-scored practice test by Pearson PLC. You can also find your proficiency level by comparing your IELTS or TOEFL score (if you have already taken one).
  • Understand the PTE test pattern, such as question types, timing, layout, and instruction. Thereby prepare your skills accordingly.
  • Know how the test is scored. You should be aware of what each score means and how the score is given.
  • Make use of the preparation material provided by Pearson PLC. PTE academic preparation material is available on the PTE official website. The preparation material is chargeable.

Follow test day guidelines such as carrying the correct ID and documentation, reaching the test centre on time, reading the instructions carefully, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on the test taker. PTE exam pattern offers an adaptive test approach when compared to the fixed number of questions in IELTS. However, both exams test writing, reading, listening and speaking skills.

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 PTE exam has a time limit of 2 hours 15 minutes. This time is divided into three parts/sections: speaking & writing, reading, and listening.

 

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If you fail in PTE exam, you can apply for a revaluation. However, the revaluation application (if needed) should be submitted within 14 days of the initial score. 

 

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