PTE Academic-2018 Overview

Nidhi Bahl Updated On: 20 Aug, 2018 16:57 IST

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About PTE Academic

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) is a computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration. PTE Academic is a fast, flexible, fair and secure English test, which is trusted by universities, colleges, and governments around the globe. The test is conducted in over 250 test centers around the world over 360 days of the year. PTE Academic basically assesses a candidate on the basis of his/her listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. The results of PTE Academic are typically available within five business days.

Step by Step Process

Step 1 – Register

In order to appear for PTE Academic, you will first have to create your Pearson account online. After creating the account, you will receive an email within 48 hours with your login details.

Step 2 - Schedule Your Test

Once you have created your Pearson account, you can sign in and schedule your test.

Step 3 – Prepare

Even if English is your first language, you must prepare for PTE Academic. In some cases, people who have been extremely fluent in English end up scoring less on the exam day because of lack of preparation. You must complete the preparation path to maximise your chances of scoring high on the day.

Step 4 – Take the Test

At the test centre, you will be required to show your ID, check in with the Test Administrator, and sit for your test in a secure computer room.

When you will reach the venue, the Test Centre Administrators will guide you through the check-in process to make sure you understand and are comfortable with our rules and procedures.

They will ensure you are ready to take the test by requesting copies of your ID, asking for a digital photograph and signature, scan your palm, and assign you a locker to check-in your belongings.

Step 5 – View Scores

You will be able to access PTE Academic scores via an online account. You will receive an email informing you that your scores are available. After you receive this, you will need to log in to the Pearson VUE account that you created to book your test.

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How to Register for PTE Academic

Go to read all the information on the page. In order to book your PTE Academic test, you will need to follow the step given below:

  • Click ‘Sign in Now’ & enter your details. Once you have successfully logged in, click ‘PTE-A: Pearson Test of English Academic’ under Exam Catalogue.
  • Select ‘Schedule Exams’ on the right-hand side.
  • Provide answers to all the required questions then click ‘Next’.
  • Select your desired location and click ‘Next’. Search for available dates and times.
  • Once you have confirmed your location, date & time you will be asked to review your booking information and proceed to checkout.
  • Confirm all the details and make full payment to secure your booking.
  • Once you have completed your booking you will receive an email confirmation. The email will contain details on test center location, directions of how to get there and a few points to remember on the test day.
  • In both cases, ensure you have read the ID policy on the following page and that your ID is valid at the time of registration and on the day of the test.


  • The Standard Test fee* is INR 10,255 + 18% GST.
  • Subject to availability, you can book a test 48 hours in advance or less as per your desired test time.

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PTE Academic Exam Pattern

As part of PTE Academic test, you will have to visit a secure Pearson test centre, where you will be provided a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.

During the three-hour examination, candidates will be evaluated based on three parts of the test, including speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There will be twenty different question formats, which will include multiple choice as well as essay writing and interpreting information.

During the test, you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will also be listening to a range of accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so you will be exposed to the type of accents you will encounter in everyday life.

Section-Wise Test Format:

Part 1: Speaking & Writing (77-93 minutes)

Part 2: Reading (32-41 minutes)

Part 3: Listening (45-57 minutes)

Personal introduction

Fill in the blanks

Summarize spoken text

Read aloud

Multiple choice questions

Multiple choice questions

Repeat sentence

Re-order paragraphs

Fill in the blanks

Describe image

Fill in the blanks

Highlight the correct summary

Re-tell lecture

Multiple choice questions

Multiple choice questions

Answer short question


Select missing word

Summarize written text


Highlight incorrect words

Essay (20 mins)


Write from dictation

What to Expect in PTE Academic Test?

Part 1: Speaking & Writing

In order to assess you based on your speaking skills, the test conducting authority will take into account your ability to produce spoken English in an academic environment. On the other hand, the writing section will require you to write responses in academic English using correct grammar and spelling.

Part 2: Reading 

This single timed section contains 15-20 independent and integrated skills items, depending on the combination of items in a given test. Different response formats, including multiple-choice, re-order paragraphs, and fill in the blanks, are designed to test your ability to read, write and listen to information provided in English. Because PTE Academic is an integrated skill test, one item type in this part of the test also assesses writing skills.

Part 3: Part 3: Listening 

Questions in this section will be based on audio or video clips that begin to play automatically. You will get to hear each audio or video clip only once so you must listen carefully. You can take notes while listening to the audio or watching the video. For each question, you will be allowed to adjust the volume. 


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How to Prepare for PTE Academic

Understand Your Current English Proficiency Level 

You can take Pearson's Practice Tests to determine your strong and weak areas (which may include grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse) and to analyse your communicative skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing). You may then work on the required areas to improve your English language ability.

Since your overall score is based on your performance on all test questions, focus on the weaker areas and plan how long you’ll need to study to increase your skills up to the desired level.

Know the Test Pattern

You should be completely familiar with the format of PTE Academic test. Understanding the paper pattern as well as types of questions is important for obtaining a good result. The test format will include details like its different sections (Speaking & Writing, Listening and Reading), length and timing, number of questions, layout of the test, Important Instructions as well as the type of questions

Understand How the Test is Scored

All questions in PTE Academic are 100% machine scored. Scores for some questions are based on correctness alone, while others are based on correctness, formal aspects and the quality of the response.

Go for Quality Preparation Material

There is a growing range of free and paid preparation material available from PTE Academic. You may refer to the same for improving your chances of scoring well in the test.

Join an English Course

If you feel self-study is not the most effective way of reaching your full potential, you can always consider taking up preparation courses offered all around the world ranging from intensive week-long courses to courses that last for up to six months, to help you familiarise with the test and improve your English skills.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

This could be the best way to prepare for the test. You may improve your English listening, reading and writing skills by spending at least 5 or 10 minutes every day on activities that build your knowledge. You can become more fluent in the language by speaking English at your home, school or workplace. You may also join English-speaking groups that offer the opportunity to improve both speaking and listening skills. You must avail every opportunity to write in English. Reading newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and books as well as watching English programmes on television and listening to radio broadcasts are some of the ways you can adapt to improve your fluency. You may also observe native speakers and listen to the language used in different contexts.

General Tips & Tricks for Exam Day

  • Carry the correct documentation and ID to the test centre.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to reach the test centre.
  • Read all test instructions carefully.
  • Use correct punctuation for writing tasks: full stops, capital letters, commas, etc.
  • Answer the question. If the question asks you to write or speak about sport, write or speak about ‘sport’ NOT ‘science’.
  • Stay within the word limit given for writing tasks.
  • Respond quickly and keep speaking during speaking tasks. The microphone will close after 3 seconds of silence and stop recording.
  • Do not spend too much time on a single question.
  • Spend any available time checking your answers.


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PTE Academic Result

The results of PTE Academic is usually announced within five working days of the test date. Once you are through with the test, you will receive an email from us regarding your Score Report. The report will have details on how you can access your score.

The Score Report will be available in a PDF format and it will only be accepted by an institution if your report is sent through Pearson's secure online website. 

Sections of the Score Report:

  • The first section will feature personal information and photograph taken on the test day.
  • You Overall Score will be shown in the middle of the Score Report.
  • The final section provides a detailed insight into your performance in the test. The scores for Communicative Skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) are shown, along with the scores for the six Enabling Skills (grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and written discourse).

This detailed profiling will be extremely useful for you if you wish to review your strengths and weaknesses, and want to know where you need to focus in future.

How to View Your Score Report?

  • In order to view your score, you will have to log into your Pearson account at
  • Click ‘Sign In’ and enter your username & password and click ‘Sign In’
  • After logging in, click the ‘Current Activity’ link.
  • Then click on the ‘View Score Report’ link for the score.
  • The Score Report will be displayed in a PDF format, and you can use Adobe Reader to view the same.


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PTE Academic Conducting Body

Pearson VUE is popular for delivering millions of tests for over 450 clients from a broad range of industries and sectors including health care, government, information technology, financial services, military, and academia. Every year, millions of people across the globe take these tests. Those who are seeking professional growth or preparing for a post-graduate programme as well those who are pursuing immigration take these tests, which are carried out in the most secure testing environments.


1. How many times can I take the test?

You are allowed to take PTE Academic as many times as you want. The only condition is that you must wait to receive your scores before you can book your next test.

2. Do I have to take PTE Academic in my home country?

No. You can take it at any of our test centres around the world. Make sure you check what type of ID you have to use. Refer to the Acceptable ID policy. If you are outside your home country, you will probably be asked to show your passport at the test centre.

3. On the exam day, what happens if I have to leave for an emergency?

If there is any unavoidable situation, you can raise your hand and explain your situation to the invigilator. He/she will advise you further.

4. On the day of the exam, can I leave early if I finish the test?

Yes. You can raise your hand and ask the test administrator to give you permission to leave.

5. Do I need computer skills to take the test?

While you do not need any special computer skills, you should know some basics about operating the computer. To familiarise yourself with the online test pattern, you may review the test preparation resources. You also take one of Pearson VUE's Scored Practice Tests to get used to the timing and moving through each type of question.

6. Will I be penalised in speaking tasks for not having an accent from a native English speaking country?

No. PTE Academic has been designed to recognise speech from non-native speakers of English representing over 100 different native languages.


Important Dates

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