PTE academic Experience

Few tips and points for PTE Academic

1. The first tip is about concentration. I gave PTE and I realized this while giving Practice test

exams. Concentration and alertness is very important for exam. Let me give you an example, in

Describe Image item type you will be given  25 sec to study the image and 40 sec to answer.

Now the question/instruction.  will be like this :

Look at the picture/image/graph  and within 25 sec describe blah blah blah.

Don’t waste your time reading the instruction. Timer of 25 sec vl start as soon as first image appears

so don’t waste time reading instructions. You should know that it is describe image question and

what you have to do. As son as describe image question comes, start observing the

image/graph/table and utilize 25 sec fully.

And same goes for other item types. 25 sec stil is good time. In case of listening item type say

multiple choice multiple answer, a person will speak on sm topic and you hv to answer a question .

for eg.

What are the reasons for draught in Australia ?

Now the recoring will start playing in 7 secs , so that means you have only 7 sec to read the question.

Because after 7 sec, person wil start speaking so if you haven’t read the question how would u know

what to hear for ..

2. The next is about headphones. I prepared for the exam using my in-ear canal ear fones that

completely cut the outside noice and I raised my laptop volume to 80% which enabled me

tolisten for listening talks quite nicely and I thought that I would get the same environment.

Though their headphones are good  bt don’t expect the sound to be as loud as u practices ,

atleast in my case I should hv taken dis into account. During speaking tasks I could hear other

speaking which distracted me but then you have to bring in the first tip into play ie

concentration. Concentrate on ur own taks and don’t listen to wat others are saying. Don’t

worry about others voice messing up ur score bcz dere microfone is real good nd enabled for

outside noice cancellation and wil listen for ur voice only.  Try giving the exam on weekday as

their  might be less people in the room. In my case there were total 5 systems in the room and

all were occupied i.e. we all were 5 includingme..i gave on weekday but stil it was full. I drank

strong coffee 20 mins b4 the exam for concentratin and alertness levels. So you might wana do


3. Next is regarding erasable notepad. The erasable notepad has 10 pages nd is long like a long

resiter. You wil get a market. Notepad has plenty of pages so u wont run out. In rare case if you

do then you can ask for more. You cant erase d notepad with ur hands. If it finishes then you

rasie ur hand nd d examiner vl get new one. Exam wont be paused or wat for ds time . also here

also I would like to mention is that when I was preparing for the exam I used to take notes on

notepad  on laptop. My typing speed is fast and I could easily take the notes. But on real exam I

had a terrible time taking notes as I couldn’t even figure out wat I wrote. So for real simulation

while u practice take notes using pen nd paper.  And regarind note taking u hv to take notes of

only main points. Don’t try to take notes word by word

4. Now would give a general overview of different item types that might trouble you. so there are

total of 20 diff item types and out of which 3 hav negative marking. Many people including me

found describe images and retell lecture tough. So will give few tips on dem. Frankly speaking I

messed them but stil got 90 in speaking which makes me think that their AI is bit leneitn and as

long as u r contiously speaking you are good to go. Yeah also for all speaking types where you

hae to speak , if you keep quite for more than 3 sec microfone vl stop recording and your

answer will be marked as completed. Don’t that 3 sec giv u jitters as wen u actually giv tests(or

practice test) it is quite a long time ..not like 1, 2, 3 nd over…also if you stil need time to gather

ur thoughts then u can fill the gaps using ums, ahh…now you might be wondering that will ums,

ahs  etc vl decrease your points. The answer is NO as long as you are not doing them very

frequently. So that means during speaking item types you can use ums, ahss etc etc but if you

are using very very frequently then it vl casue ur scores to reduce. I did used them during repeat

sentence, describe images and retell lectures.

5. Most of the tips for describe images are in the book so you may refer that. Here I would like to

mention is how to start the describe images questions. So you will get a  graph and u hv to

describe main points in 40 sec. there wil be title or heading given for e.g

Rainfall, UK, 2001.  Followed by graph

So you start that this graph shows/depicts/describes average rainfall in mm in UK for year 2001

from Jan to Dec, or during 1999 to 2010 etc etc. .after this you can start summarizing main

points, high , lows of graph. If time permits try giving conclusion.

6. Next is retell lecture. So re-tell lecture item types comes after describe images item types. There

will be 7-8 describe images question and 2-3 re-tell lecture questions. Now what happens is that

re-tell lectures sometimes are accompanies by image/picture which might make u think that this

is another describe image question . so dis might throw u out of balance so be aware of this. For

re-tell lecture grab ur erasable noteboard nd marker and get alert .listen to the recording ,

making notes of main points, supp points, numbers, dates , percentages etc. if there is a name

of the person in the recording for eg. Dr Henry kabutz or some othe r name you need not repeat

the name while giving ur response. A simple doctor, or researcher or person is fine. Re-tell

lecture means you hv to speak the SUMMARY. So you need not repeat evathing word by word.

You just hv to give main points. So if there is an example in the recording then you need not

describe it compeltelty. You can shorten it. Here also the  key is that don’t stop speaking. Keep

speaking. Proper note taking helps a lot. Also one more tip suppose recording starts and you are

not able to listen or understand some words , don’t panic. I repeat don’t panic. Listen remaining

of the recording and  keep taking notes. Don’t worry about wat u hv missed or didn’t

understood. After the recording is over , repeat wat u understood in your own words. If you

panic then you might mes up the whole re-tell lecture. So ignore wat  you haven’t understood

and move one. There are only 2-3 re-tel l lecture so don’t worry much about them.

7. Writing is the easiest of all. Writing is the part where ielts makes us fool. In PTE it is the easiest. I

need not talk much about writing but jst exhibit range of vocabulary, spelling should be accurate

and jst follow normal ielts tips that we know. I.e. introduction, main body (2 or more para ,

conclusion. This is for essay type. In essay type cover evathing that the essay is trying to ask you.

if it asks you to give examples, references then don’t forget dem.  Next question you would ask

is hw we wil write 200-300 words essay in 20 mins. Then I think since we are from IT we wont

have any issues. Also there is cut, copy paste available which you can utilize. Also word count

will appear below the area where you are typing so don’t worry about you exceeding the

number of words unlike ielts .

The other task in writing is summarizing written text. Here there will be a paragraph and you have to

summarize it in ONE LINE. I repeat 1 LINE AND should be between 5- 75 words.  There is another item

type in listening namely  SUMMARIZE SPOKEN TEXT. Here you will listen to a recoring and summarize,

however the diference is that in latter you can write more than 1 line. However in former you have to

summarize in ONE LINE. You wil get 10 mins for this. Many ppl find this as tough as how to summarize a

paragraph. Key here is to find topic sentences, main points and using your words, synonyms to

summarize the paragraph. I don’t think so you will find issues in this. You can easily do it. Jst keep in

mind that you have to summarize a paragraph so you have to understand what the paragraph is about

and wat it is trying to communicate. Try to show range of vocabulary, spelling.

Since we are talking abot writing one important tip is puncatuatino. It is very important in all writing

tasks. So things like Capital letters appropriately (start of sentence, nouns), then commas,semicolons etc

should be put wherever necessary. Another is to practice spelling of confusing words like believe ,

achieve etc etc .

Lastly don’t worry muh about writing as it is easiest of all.

8. Speaking and Writing will happen in one go i.e. together.  In case of writing you have 10 mins for

summarizing text. Don’t think that if you complete it b4 10 , then remaining time wil be added in

next section. Afer this we have reading section which is a bit tough because time is less. Time for

reading varies between 32-41 mins and in this time you have to complete 13-17 item types. The

reading item types ARE NOT indivual item types. So once you complete the question ,move on

to next. In reading the tip I can give u is read fast. Wen u read fast it not only wil save time bt

wen we read fast we understand and fathom much easy compared to wen we read slow and

word to word. Here also keep track of time. Don’t panic. Don’t rush. Read the question for

multiple choice question clearly. Sometimes they put NOT so beware of that. For eg. What is the

speaker NOT trying to say ? in reading section tthere is one item type namely multiple choce,

choose more than one option that has got negative marking so choose the options wisely. A

similar item type is there in listening as well.  Re-order paragraphs are not difficult and you will

do them. for rest of sections key is to read fast and try to understand what the topic is about,

what the writer is trying to say. Understanding the writers intention is very important .

9. After reading section there will be 10 mins break. Insructino for break wil be communicated you

in start of the test so don’t worry about that. After 10 mins the last section is listening section

and it is also easy. After writing this is the easiest section.  Here also you have to show in your

concentration and listening skills. You can increase your headset volume . this should be done

infact at the start of the test.  In listening section there can be multiple speaker with different

accents so it is possible one person is speaking first 4 lines and rest by other speaker. Don’t let

that distract you. most of the item types are easy and I feel you wil be good to go.

10. There is one more item type that I missed that people face problem in speaking section viz

Repeat sentence. Here you wil hear a sentence and you have to repeat  it exactly as you hear it.

You need not show accent like the speaker but u can use stress and intonation as necessary. The

key to repeat sentence is don’t try to remember it (memory do  play a role) but try to

understand the sentence, menaing of sentence for e.g  the library is located northwest of the

chemistry lab. If you focus on meaning then our brain has more chance of repeating it. Also in

this item type you have to hold the sentence in your brain cache for few sec. what happens is

that you will hear a recording and then microphone will open after some time so once it opens

you have to start speaking.

Also there are some item types in speaking which DON’T HAVE TONE.  And they are  Repeat Sentence

Item types. So in this item type you have to speak as soon as recording appear(ofcourse u can leverage 3

sec period, vich believe me is not that panicking as it seems).

11. Also in the shared drive I have kept few pdfs downloaded from longsman website .there are

total of 20 pdfs corresponding to each item type along with practice questions. If you have time

you can read specific pdfs as per the topic you find you are having touble with.

12. Regarding listening item types Write after dictation , this one is similar to repeat sentence , the

difference being in repeat sentence we have to speak and this one we have to write.  Here since

my typing speed is real fast so I thought I will write as the speaker is speaking. While this is

possible I couldn’t do it and used to miss few words. So wat I did is I heard d complete sentence,

kept in short term memory(just like repeat sentence) and then wrote it.


This is the sequence I used in order

1. Read the official book . bought from amazon for 438 along with 2 practice cd (cds are there  on

shared drive, in case smbdy has the book but not the cds). Keep in mind the book is 2012, there

is no new edition so like I said earlier that don’t expect the order to be same as given in the book

, however 80% it was same. Also the book is mostly about the format of each item type so you

have to be prepared for the format. Wat each item type rquires so you don’t waste time reading

the prompt.  While reading the book I did all the exercise that came along. I copied the audio cd

in my phone and listened to simple responses and compared with my recoreded responses(on


2. After reading the book , I knew I had trouble with describe images and re-tel lecture. So I started

watching youtube videos on describe images. Watched more than 20 diferent describe images

etc . after this I searched for graphs images on google images and then used to set the timer as

per exam timing I used to describe the graph and listened back my response. I wanted to make

sure that my describe images were perfedct b4 I gave online paid practice test A and practice

Test B. if you have bought both test , then I suggest you give practice test b4 10 days frm ur

exam so that if you fail u need to work on some item type you have couple of days b4 u give

practice test B. again this depends upon person to person. I gave practice test A 6 days b4 exam

and practice test B , one day b4 the exam. I didn’t had time to do test boosters provided along

with the practice exams but they are useful . you neeed not do dem all just do for item types

you find difficult.

3. After this I read the one thread on expat forum on the exam. It is 177 pages long and I have

summarized important points in a word document(it is on shared drivce). So you don’t have to

read that thread.

4. After this I did longsman pdfs. I did al the 20’s as I required 79 + and I didn’t wanted to leave any

stone unturned. Now I know that that I could have easily avoided reading longsman pdfs. But

they are good and 5-6 pages long. Wont hurt reading them

5. After this I did practice test A and got overall 64. I was scared of my performance on speaking as

I got 57. I knew that practice test are tougher and 64 meant I can get 79. But I speaking I was 57.

57 , again because of describe images and retell lecture. So I started preparing again. This time I

did 3 practice test  that came with CD’s . they wont assign you marks but they have sampel

asnwers which give u ideas how to respond on item types. For 3 practice test I only did speaking,

reading and listening. Writing is easy so I didn’t waste time on that. After this I gave second

practice test B and got 67 overall. Again my speaking was 59 and I was scared that even if I get

79 + in others I would get less than 79 in speaking.

6. Day of final exam. Exam was at 10:30 am in the morning in south Bombay, marine lines at

edwise centre. I reached at the venue at 8:30. So I had 2 hours. The centre was closed. It opened

at 9 am and they were good enough to allow me to come inside and sit inside ac. I sat there and

slept for 30 mins. Felt good. Then I woke up and went down and had a strong strong coffee. I

had a samosa pav wen I reached i.e 8:30. I knew that I needed concentration and alertness so I

made sure I didn’t east heavy. Finally the exam started . after the exam they gave me printout of

the confirmation of the exam. Now wat to brign at the exam. Passport  of course in original and

also printout of test  schedule . I didn’t got printout of test schedule but I had taken screenshot

it in my phone and I showed that and it worked.

PTE academic Experience

62 thoughts on “PTE academic Experience

  1. Aman Verma says:

    Hi ,

    Somehow I was not able to find link to shared material like document, pdfs. Can you please be kind be kind enough to reshare them.



  2. AU Dream says:

    Great writeup, thanks for sharing this, About the Test Center how was your experience. There is more test Center in Andheri. Links are still disabled, is there another way to get the documents


    1. Even I had the same query about the test centre, Did you finally take the exam at Edwise test centre in Marine Lines or Pearson test centre in Andheri? How was your experience? Do let me know. I was planning to take the test next week.


  3. Karan says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Am planning to give test in July. How to download the longsman pdf’s? Can you please share the links?


  4. Hi
    Any of you who has given pte, which one do you find easier: PTE or IELTS
    My requirement for score is 80 in all four skills in PTE or 8 in IELTS. Which test is easier?


    1. I haven’t taken them – maybe one day I will. But I teach both 🙂
      And they are very different, as different as chalk is from cheese. Preparing for IELTS will in no way ensure that you are ready for PTE and vice-versa. Speaking for IELTS is not the same as it is in PTE.

      You have a very stiff target to achieve – in both IELTS and PTE. But overall, I should say that in PTE you will stand a better chance. 8 in writing in IELTS is quite difficult to achieve though the other 3 aren’t impossible targets. On the other hand, 80+ in PTE is more within reach. That’s because it is a computer-based test and there are some basic tricks to maximize your score.

      All the best. But whichever you finally choose, do work hard and regularly.


  5. well it varies from person to person…some people find it more comfortable to sit in front of computer and say things….IETLS marking is rigged so they have made it more difficult that what it is….I recommend going for IELTS first….but do not mark immigration as purpose for appearing in the test


  6. Hey!! Thank you for sharing your experience. I am planning to take the test next week. Scored 62 overall in practice test A. Listening-71, Reading -67, Writing-84, Speaking-38. Some issue in speaking due to microphone. I thought it is using my headset microphone but after i got this score i checked and realised it was using my laptop microphone and so probably couldnt register my voice clearly.

    Just wanted to check how was your experience at the test venue. Are the facilities good enough? No issues with headset or microphone etc? The other option is Pearson test centre itself in Andheri. But not many dates are available at that centre.

    Also, wanted to check with 67 in reading and 71 in listening during mock test, do you think it is possible to achieve 79+ in actual test? i know i made silly mistakes in listening and reading in couple of questions which could have been avoided so i am hopeful. what say?


      1. Kunal Thakkar says:

        Nothing special actually. In fact I scored low on vocabulary. Only 46. I think I scored higher in writing due to grammer and spelling, in both of which I scored 90.


  7. vaibhav says:

    Please enable the link to download mentioned documents. i am really very scared for test.. i dont know how i will perform. i am not able to concentrate. Dont know how to prepare.


  8. Pratik Purushottam Kulkarni says:

    I recently took the PTE and earned an overall score of 89 with the following breakdown:
    Listening: 90
    Reading: 81
    Speaking: 90
    Writing: 90

    If anyone is interested I can list down the strategies that I used in further detail here. Let me know! 🙂


  9. ashish saxena says:

    Pratik, could you please share your preparation tips. Like most of the people in the blog, I would need 89+ in PTE and planning to give the test in early sept in AUS


  10. TINA says:

    raj_gemboy said…

    Is the below true? I waited for time to complete before I click next.

    ***CLICK NEXT***In your computer screen AS SOON AS You finish speaking, go to the next question if not you will be marked zero for the particular question regardless of the right answer.


    I think it is true because I have done my last exam very well and again I haven’t got desired scored in speaking got only 55 however I got above 70 in other three section and I do remember that I was clicking next button very quickly so my answers may not get recorded. PLEASE GUYS DO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE REGARDS THIS AS MANY OF US ARE NOT ABLE TO GET SCORES ON SPEAKING BECAUSE OF THIS SILLY REASON….


  11. Myra T says:

    Hi there I have my PTE academic in two weeks . Just lend into your site, think that it will be useful , My weaker sections are listening and writing . i have appeared for PTE earlier too and got 62 in W and 58 in L. Though in need 65 + in all but i am working very hard to score 79 + . Iam afraid that practicing more in L & W does not short my scores in R & S .What more can i practice and how can i get the online practice material (real time ) kindly suggest ? . I badly need to clear this. Plz reply soon as i dont have much time with me . Waiting eagerly for your reply.


  12. Noor says:

    My PTE exam is today and this blog is very useful especially the part where you mentioned taking notes is not allowed on laptop, the summarize section …Thanks buddy


  13. Gaurav says:

    Thanks for the tips. These are really quite useful.
    Can you please share and enable the drop-box link mentioned.



  14. Bhavna says:

    Hey, I tried visiting the dropbox link but I got following error message:

    Error (429)
    This link is temporarily disabled. The person who shared it hit their daily limit of traffic or downloads. Learn about traffic limits.

    Can you please look at an alternate way of sharing it ?



  15. Ozair says:

    Your post was of great help! However, the dropbox link has been disabled and I will be very grateful to you if you could please enable the link again. I’m in a very dire need of the material. Thanks!


  16. Neha Jattiwal says:

    Hi guys, I just received my scores.

    Communicative Skills:
    Listening – 90
    Reading – 83
    Speaking – 90
    Writing – 90

    Enabling Skills:
    Grammar – 90
    Oral Fluency – 90
    Pronunciation – 90
    Spelling – 90
    Vocabulary – 77
    Written Discourse – 88

    If you need help, email me at:


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