How to Prepare for PTE Academic Test: Study Guide & Tips

Do you feel lost with PTE Academic Preparation?

No worries, you are at the right place; we are here to help you!

Taking PTE Academic is an essential step in your life. This exam will define whether you can pursue your studies abroad or immigrate.

We prepared this article to help and instruct you. Below, you will get answers to all of the PTE test preparation questions. Find tips for PTE academic speaking, PTE academic writing, PTE academic listening, PTE academic reading.


Go! 🏁

⌛ PTE Academic Preparation. How Long Does It Take?

This is one of the most popular questions. Expectedly.

Imagine how hard it is to say how much time do you need individually. The duration of preparation is not the same for everyone.

Some people need one month, others half a year.

The article will help you figure out the approximate time required, based on what PTE Academic preparation includes.

PTE Test Preparation Total Time

What is the minimum amount of time?

📅 One month. One or two weeks are certainly not enough.

Well, it can be enough if you are close to the level you aim for. One month is fine when you need to get used to the exam structure and have a little training. But there are other cases. If you know that you need to upgrade your overall English level before the exam, you’ll need more time.

Schedule as much extended period as possible. This way, you will save yourself from stress and have some extra time for revision.

PTE Test Preparation Daily Planner

When it comes to planning your preparation, be honest with yourself:

  • How much time are you ready to spend getting ready for the exam?
  • How often can you do it?

Remember that consistency is the key factor.

Here are the PTE Academic tips for organizing your daily training effectively:

💁🏻1-2 hours a day is enough.Regular short sessions are better than long ones in any case. If you can prepare every day, you will finish your studies much earlier.
💁🏽Take a PTE free mock test on the first day of preparation.You will know what you have and what do you want to get. Then work on each part of the test separately. Take mock tests once a week to see the progress and your weak spots.
💁🏿Special attention to the least developed skills.Focus on improving your scores in the weakest areas. For example, train them twice more than the other parts of the PTE Academic exam.
💁🏻Start each session by watching tutorials or reading articles.During the second part, leverage the knowledge. You will see if the new information works for you and develop the most suitable strategies.
💁🏽Don’t forget to balance.When you have too many things to learn every day, your productivity may decrease. Try to find your comfortable pace.
💁🏿Track your study progress.Make a planner where you will write down everything related to your PTE Academic preparation. Create a schedule and regular to-do lists, review the progress and sum up what you’ve done.

🗃️ How to Prepare for PTE Academic Exam: Structure

Pearson Tests of English lasts three hours. It is a computer-based test where each student has a separate computer and a headset.

There are three parts:

The picture depicts the PTE Academic exam structure and details for each section.

How to Prepare for PTE Academic Speaking

Although PTE Academic Speaking technically comes with PTE Academic writing, you have to prepare for it separately.

🗣️ This section checks your fluency and reaction.

You will have to complete six tasks:

The picture depicts the contents of PTE Academic speaking section.

1️⃣ Personal Introduction

Thirty seconds to briefly describe yourself + twenty-five seconds to prepare your answer according to the prompt. This part is not scored.

How to prepare?

  • Rehearse your self-introduction with a timer.
  • Be ready to speak about yourself in several different ways.
  • Practice until your speech feels 100% natural and confident.

2️⃣ Read aloud

There will be a text of not more than 60 words. Preparation lasts for 30-40 seconds.

How to prepare?

  • Train reading texts on different topics aloud.
  • Pay attention to your pronunciation.
  • Learn how to maintain appropriate intonation and tone.

3️⃣ Repeat a Sentence

You will listen to several recorded sentences and repeat them one by one.

  • YouTube, TEDx, and other video resources can become great teachers.
  • Pause the player and repeat the last sentence you’ve heard.

4️⃣ Describe an Image

You will see an image on your screen; 25 seconds to prepare, 40 seconds to describe what you see.

How to prepare?

  • Exercise by describing paintings, photographs, comic book panels.
  • Develop your abilities to notice details and give characteristics to people and objects.
  • Practice completing this task according to the PTE timing.

5️⃣ Retell a Lecture

Listen to a lecture and take notes. When the audio finishes, you will have 10 seconds to prepare and then retell what you’ve heard.

How to prepare?

  • Work on your vocabulary. Good summaries and paraphrases come from a wide word choice.
  • Start with short educational videos and train to retell them.

6️⃣ Answer a Short Question

You will listen to a recording and then answer a question about it. There are usually one to three words in the answer.

How to prepare?

  • Make sure you understand everything you hear while preparing for the test.
  • Do exercises with a similar structure.

How to Prepare for PTE Academic Writing

Writing goes right after Speaking in the first section.

✒️ Here you need to show how well you can write a summary being laconic and informative at the same time.

You will get 10 minutes for the first task and 20 for the second one.

The picture depicts the contents of PTE Academic writing section.

1️⃣ Summarize Written Text

The first part of PTE Academic writing is a summary of a passage. You will need to write no more than 75 words. The summary is only one sentence which makes the task a bit tricky.

How to prepare?

  • Write summaries to short articles and posts. They should cover different topics and have a diverse vocabulary range. Try to fit in one sentence.
  • Make plans for the texts you read. This exercise will help you to structure your thoughts and distinguish the critical ideas of the text.
  • Learn vocabulary. Make a list of unknown words, choose the most common ones (you can check this online), and learn.
  • Focus on the key ideas and features, use synonyms, and paraphrasing.

2️⃣ Essay

In the second part, you will have to write an argumentative essay. The word count is between 200 and 300 words. Remember that the examinators consider every aspect: grammar, vocabulary, structure, logic, spelling, and style.

How to prepare?

  • Read and analyze essay samples. This is even more helpful if you compare your writing with the samples. Try to find your weak spots and eliminate them.
  • Write an essay with a timer. See if 20 minutes can be enough for you to finish the task.

How to Prepare for PTE Academic Reading

The Reading module tests your ability to understand and analyze written information.

📚 If you aim for a high band score, vocabulary is the main factor that determines your success.

The picture depicts the contents of PTE Academic reading section.

We will give you some advice on preparation for each of the five parts of this section.

1️⃣ Reading & Writing Fill in the Blanks

You get a text with some missings. Right next to each gap, there is a drop-down list with the options to choose from.

How to prepare?

  • The more words you know, the easier it will be. Learn new words each time you read or listen to something.
  • Grammar can also save you. You need to understand which gap is a noun and which one is a verb. Do similar exercises.

2️⃣ Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer

Answer multiple-choice questions about the text’s content and style by choosing all appropriate options.

How to prepare?

  • Again, vocabulary to understand the context of each question.
  • Once you’ve read the question, look for the keywords and synonymic phrases in the text. There are plenty of tests of this format online.

3️⃣ Re-order Paragraphs

This task requires you to find the logic of the text: fix the random order of the text parts and make it correct.

How to prepare?

  • Practice by paying attention to the storylines of the texts you read.
  • Look for the words that link paragraphs. For example, if the same word or its synonym is used.
  • Terms like “this,” “that,” etc., also refer to something from the previous paragraphs or sentences.

4️⃣ Fill in the Blanks

Here you need to feel the gaps again, but there are no separate lists for each missing. You have a common list of words for the whole text – the tricky thing is that there are more options than gaps.

How to prepare?

  • Start with the most straightforward words, those you feel most confident about.
  • The method of exclusion can help you.

5️⃣ Multiple Choice, Single Answer

Another multiple-choice task but this time with the only answer. Read a text and choose the best option.

How to prepare?

  • As in the previous tasks, look for similar words or their synonyms in the text and questions.
  • Define repetitive patterns. Eliminate the impossible answers.

How to Prepare for PTE Academic Listening

The final part of the PTE Academic exam – listening. Here we combine all the knowledge we have.

🎧 Your best friends here are a pair of headsets and limited time to complete the tasks. Don’t forget that you can listen to each recording only once.

There are eight tasks:

The picture depicts the contents of PTE Academic listening section.

1️⃣ Summarize Spoken Text

You will have 10 minutes to write a summary of a recording in 50-70 words.

How to prepare?

  • Pay attention to the primary and supporting points, and it is better if you include them all.
  • Train grammar, spelling, and punctuation to get a high score.

2️⃣ Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer

Listen to the recording and find all appropriate answers from the options offered.

How to prepare?

  • Train the ability to notice the words and phrases that you see in the questions while listening.
  • Eliminate the choices contradicting the information that you heard.

3️⃣ Fill in the Blanks

Look at the recording transcript with several gaps. Listen to the audio and fill up the missings.

How to prepare?

  • Pay attention to the general idea of the passage rather than to details.
  • Write down the draft of what you think might be the correct answers while listening.

4️⃣ Highlight Correct Summary

You will hear a recording once; your task is to find a paragraph that sums up the text the best.

How to prepare?

  • The given passages are too long to read before you hear the recording. Better use your time to take some notes on the key points and ideas.
  • Choose the option that matches your notes.

5️⃣ Multiple Choice, Single Answer

A multiple-choice task with questions about the text you hear once. Choose the correct answer from multiple variants.

How to prepare?

  • Read the questions carefully and try to find out what kind of information you need.
  • Look through all the options to know what to choose from. Do your best to finish reading before the recording starts to play.

6️⃣ Select Missing Word

In this task, you need to complete a sentence with a word or phrase that is beeped in the recording. Choose the correct answer from the suggested list.

How to prepare?

  • To prepare for this task, learn more vocabulary and try to find logical connections while listening.
  • Pay attention to the context; there are many clues for the correct answer.

7️⃣ Highlight Incorrect Words

You see the transcript and later hear the recording. The trick is the transcript doesn’t match the recording fully – find the discrepancies.

How to prepare?

  • Skim the text before the audio starts to play.
  • While listening, follow the text and select all the words which sound odd to what the speaker says.

8️⃣ Write from Dictation

Listen to a short sentence and reproduce it in a written text.

How to prepare?

  • Devote some time to learn the spelling of the new vocabulary.
  • If you can’t recognize the word while listening, grammar can help you. Think about a part of speech that is correct here and try to guess the word.

📈 How to Score 79+ in PTE Academic

How high is 79?

Scoring 79+ on PTE Academic test means you are an advanced English user. It is somehow similar to 8.0 on IELTS or C1 CEFR level. You need a lot of work and devotion to achieve and maintain such a level, but it is one hundred percent possible.

CEFR English levelsPTE Academic scores
📍 A224-42
📍 B136-58
📍 B251-75
📍 C167-84
📍 C280+

As you can see, the scores vary and depend on how well you understand the test structure. Below we prepared some helpful advice for future test takers.

PTE Academic Test Tips You Need to Know

Here are the top ten tips to help you to achieve your dream score:

💡Regular practice.It is what gives you actual results. You need to study regularly to become proficient in something. Forget staying up all night or studying all day before the test. It will do more harm to your stress level.
💡Studying plan.You can constantly adjust it and make it better. But at the beginning of your journey, you need a timetable and a clear understanding of what you need to do next.
💡Improve your overall English proficiency.If your scores are far from the desired ones, you probably need to work on your general knowledge. Hone your grammar and vocabulary knowledge and then proceed to the test exercises.
💡Mock tests.Do PTE free mock test once a week to see if you are progressing. You should also analyze which areas need more improvement and time.
💡Work on your speaking.Stress and intonation are essential when it comes to evaluation. You may never pay attention to it in real life because you never read texts aloud. Try repeating sentences after native speakers to see which words do they stress. Work on your pace too. You need to develop a habit of speaking correctly without much effort.
💡Become a grammar guru in your writing section.It is good to know some complicated grammar. Try to use every new structure you learn in your essays. Compare your early essays with the last ones to see if they look more sophisticated than before.
💡Do listening in your free time.Listen to podcasts and music while performing routine tasks. You can switch to English when you watch YouTube, movies, or TV shows. It is always possible to watch with subtitles if you find it hard at first. Then turn off the subs and get used to the fluent speech.
💡Work with a timerWhen you do exercises and mock tests, don’t stop when the time is up. Finish the task. Then reflect on what you can do to fit in timeframes.
💡Revise.Always devote the first 10-15 minutes of your studying session to revise the key points of your last lessons. Make a dictionary to skim new vocabulary every day.
💡Practice completing all types of test exercises.Some of them seem more interesting than others. Some take more time. Some are more challenging. Remember that they all will be on the test, and you need to work on everything.

🎲 PTE Free Mock Test

Mock tests are an essential part of your preparation. Practice is the best thing you can do to be ready and feel confident about yourself. They can also keep you motivated to study.

If you see the improvements, you are rewarded for your hard work 🏆

If you see weak spots, you know what to train before taking the new test 🤸

It is vital to complete the test from A to Z – not just a part of it – to see the whole picture. This way, you keep yourself disciplined and get used to the test conditions.

Do PTE Academic Free Practice Test Regularly

Do you find it challenging to choose the materials for your studies? We found the best sites for your PTE test preparation. This list of free PTE Academic mock tests will help you to start training:

📎PTE Academic Free Practice Tests by Exam EnglishFree test samples
📎PTE Tutorials OnlineFree practice tests
📎PTE Academic – Free PTE Practice Test OnlineTest samples for each section + study tips
📎LDOCE | PTE Academic | Free English language exercisesFree exercises for PTE Academic reading and PTE Academic listening
📎PTE Academic Practice Tests & Sample PapersFree test samples for registered users
📎PTE PracticePTE Academic practice for each section
📎Preparing for PTE Academic from FutureLearn | Class CentralFree preparation course & practice tests

🧠 PTE Test Preparation Mindset

Now let’s abstract away from honing your language skills.

Here is, what we think, an equally essential part of PTE Academic preparation.

Working on the overall attitude of the exam is 50% of the success.

Look at what we offer to do:

The picture depicts tips on building a successful PTE exam mindset.
1️⃣First of all, turn passing the exam into an exciting challenge. Under no circumstances consider it a life-changing event (well, in some sense, exam can change your life, but not on its own). Set a goal to hit the highest score you can and work for it, not for what this exam might bring to you in a global view.
2️⃣Remember that you do it for yourself and don’t compare your results with other people’s progress. They all have their own goals and time limits.
3️⃣Don’t plan tight deadlines. You can’t make a maximum out of it if you have one or two weeks. Booking on an earlier date can cost you some points.
4️⃣When it comes to preparation, don’t make the test score your only goal. Focus on English. It is going to be useful in many other aspects of life. Your future career, traveling, and any random communication can offer you more opportunities with English fluency.
5️⃣When you pass the test, don’t stop practicing. Of course, you don’t need to do exercises anymore. But you can still watch, read and listen to anything in English. Find a speaking partner or use your skills in your job or while traveling.

And now we can let you go, have a break, and start your PTE Academic preparation.

We tried to give you the PTE test preparation knowledge to the fullest. Now it’s your turn to line up your studying process wisely. Relax and use all the tips above. You’ll nail it!

We wish you lots of luck and patience 🍀

🔗 References

  1. Pearson English Language Test | PTE Academic
  2. How To Prepare for PTE Academic in 30 Days | by PTE Voucher | Medium
  3. How I achieved 90 score in PTE exam | by Avinash Adluri | Medium
  4. PTE Exam Preparation Tips for Reading, Listening, Speaking & Writing Test
  5. How to Score 79+ PTE Academic in a Week [Tips & Tricks]
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