The Ultimate Guide: Get to Know PTE Academic Exam



Are you a non-native English speaker wanting to study abroad and looking to sit the PTE Academic exam soon? Here at SCOTS, we specialise in teaching English with a range of bespoke courses and we are pleased to share that SCOTS will be launching a 12-week evening PTE Academic Preparation classes from April 12th 2021, visit our webpage here.

Below, we will walk and guide you through all the test characteristics, so you can get ready to start your studies:

What is PTE Academic Exam?

This is an English test which the result is used for academic and immigration purposes, basically to use as a proof of English. The difference is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to make the most unbiased English test, so, you are not tested by a human, but by a computer. The test assesses the 4 skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening.

Where is it accepted?

In many institutions around the world and approved by New Zealand and Australian government for immigration purposes as well as student visas, if requested. The number of countries recognising PTE has been growing, which gives more options for students.

How can a computer assess language like this?

Firstly, AI scoring means that no human will assess your English, but instead, a clever algorithm that mimics how human markers would score based on many responses. There is an experienced team of test developers who create tests that reflect real-life scenarios for the whole text including essay writing, listening tasks, multiple-choice as well as storytelling exercises. After that, according to Pearson, they ask hundreds of people from all around the world to answer these questions, then, each response is evaluated by experts who rate them on things such as use of language, content, or pronunciation. Finally, these expert ratings become the sample data from PTE’s computers to understand what kinds of responses deserve what kinds of marks. Finally, the machine, using AI, can imitate the expert rating and assign human-like ratings to responses. So, when you take the test, your response is simply compared to the previous responses and how they were scored, giving consistent results that cleverly evaluates your English and its own merits. How cool is that?

How long does it take and when do they usually give the result?

This is a computer based 3-hours test, where you need to book at one of PTE’s test centre. You need to book by their website. After the test, they usually send the results in up to 48 hours.

What are the sections?

PART 1: Speaking and Writing, that take between 77 and 93 minutes.

This part will test some of your speaking, listening and writing abilities. You need to focus on pronunciation, content and fluency, which means the more naturally you speak, higher are your chances to reach a good score. You need a lot of practice to avoid hesitation, because it can make your score goes down.

In terms of writing, there will be just two sections, testing your essay ability and how you know to summarise a written text.

PART 2:  Reading, which takes between 32-40 minutes.

This part tests your vocabulary, text interpretation and attention. Your time-management needs to be very good as you cannot spend too much time on those.

PART 3:  Listening, which takes between 45-57 minutes.

The final part is the Listening and you will need to pay a lot of attention on this one as if you miss one word, it can decrease your score. The most important section of this part is the last one called “Write from Dictation”. You will listen to a sentence and after that, write exactly what was said.

How does the score work?

In PTE’s exam, all the sections are connected. You can obtain Speaking and Writing points from Listening, for example. You need to do the test very relaxed, otherwise, it will impact on your score and you need to keep in mind the sections are all connected, so if you are not paying attention, too nervous or not concentrated enough, you might lose points in more than one section. The range for the overall score is 10-90 points.


Where and how can I prepare for the PTE-A Exam?

This is the best part! As we have mentioned before, we are happy to announce that SCOTS will have PTE evening classes from 12thApril 2021 You can learn more about the test and the best techniques by our amazing teachers, good material and TWO FREE official mock tests!

PTE does not necessarily prove if your English is good or bad, but you need to KNOW how to do the test. It is tricky and you need to be very prepared. Here at SCOTS, we are going to guide you through on your journey!

How can I get more information about this course at Scots English College?

Now that you know a little bit about the exam, you can either contact your agent to ask all the questions or simply, contact us either via email or Social Media channels

See you soon! 

By Isabela Vital, 15 March 2021


Download Course Flyer HERE.


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