The race to study/ work abroad has only increased in its intensity. With more and more candidates aspiring to reach a life beyond the Pacific, the importance of tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE becomes all the more apparent. Now, tests like IELTS and TOEFL that have achieved some degree of popularity on Indian shores often outshine tests like PTE in preference. Yet, PTE offers nearly the same levels of success which may prove to be providential to students. This article will focus on the clout offered by PTE, along with a few reasons why it might be considered a slightly more handsome package.
The Overall Picture of PTE
To put PTE and IELTS into perspective would be to compare two similar propositions. One is much more popular while the other is comparatively cheaper, nearly managing to offer the same features. If you will excuse that simplified account you’ll find the real-life scenario to be not so different.
PTE follows IELTS footsteps, especially in the division of its tests. The Academic and General versions of the IELTS test are slightly different. When the PTE Academic follows the formula (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing), PTE General has two test divisions further divided into the remaining test formats.
PTE Academic vs. PTE General
As the name suggests, the Academic version is directed toward study-related programs abroad, while the General test is oriented toward the workplace. The validity of the scores also differs where the former lasts only two years and the latter has no expiry.
The Academic version does take precedence over the General format when it comes to testing dates. One can register for the Academic test at their convenience given that the test dates are available throughout the year. However, in the case of the general test, there are only three slots in the entirety of the year.
Last but not least, the time durations of both tests vary slightly, with the Academic test having a time limit of 2 hours while the General test takers have anywhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours. In each case, the PTE exam means to test your English language skills concerning all four aspects, Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
With that said, let’s take a good long look at the PTE Academic test, given that it’s the focus of this article.
Test Format of PTE Academic:
- Speaking and Writing (54-67 minutes)
- Reading (29-30 minutes)
- Listening (30-43 minutes)
Part 1: Speaking and Writing
- It starts with a Personal Introduction session which isn’t a part of the assessment but a mere formality that helps you familiarize yourselves with the subject.
- A Read Aloud assignment where test takers are required to read lines of text into a microphone.
- A session of Sentence Repetition where an audio recording will be played first following which the student repeats whatever he/she has heard.
- Describing an Image is yet another task where students have 25 seconds to observe an image and provide its description.
- Re-tell Lecture is an assignment that requires you to re-tell whatever has been heard in the audio file, usually a lecture. The audio playback will accompany an image related to the topic that is being mentioned.
- Test takers listen to an audio recording of a question and then reply in a few words.
- Writing a summary of a text in 10 minutes with no more than 75 words. Text from the passage may be utilized as well.
- Last is an Essay of 200-300 words based on a topic/ essay prompt. Parts of the prompt can be utilized in the essay.
Part 2: Reading
- Reading and Writing: Fill in the blanks involves selecting the correct/appropriate words from a list to fill up the blank spaces in the text.
- Up next is the Multiple Choice/Answer part of the test where multiple choice questions with more than one answer are presented to the test taker. The selected options will be qualified as responses that apply to the question.
- Paragraph Re-Ordering needs you to restore the order of the passage by rearranging text boxes in the correct format.
- Fill in the Blanks is an exercise similar to the first; answers will be taken from a help box on the side. There are more options than blank spaces, so select after deliberating on the possible answer.
- A Multiple Choice, Single Answer question requires one to read a passage and then answer the questions that follow by selecting a single option.
Part 3: Listening
- Starting with Summarize a Spoken Text that requires you to listen to a 60-90 second recording followed by writing a 50-70 word summary. The time limit for the entire exercise is 10 minutes.
- Yet another exercise Multiple Choice Multiple Answers requires you to listen to a recording and then answer questions that have more than one answer.
- Fill in the blanks requires test takers to listen to a recording and then fill in the blanks that are found in the audio transcript. The recording is played only once and test takers can move between blanks to fill up their answers.
- Finding the correct summary for an audio recording forms the basis of the next task Highlight the Correct Summary. Test takers have to listen to the audio and then select the correct option that summarizes the recording.
- Similar to the second task on this list Multiple Choice Single Answer needs you to listen to the audio and select a single correct option for each question.
- In Select the Missing Word, the last word, phrase or string of words has been replaced with beeps in the audio recording. Test takers have to find the correct option that fits the blank clip. There are several possible options but only one’s correct.
- Finding mistakes takes precedence in the next activity Highlight the Incorrect Words. Students are given the transcript of the audio recording carrying several wrongly placed words. Based on their comprehension of the audio recording, they are required to rectify the errors.
- And at last, we have to Write from Dictation where test takers hear a short sentence which is to be transferred into the response box at the bottom of the screen.
That sums up the structure of the PTE Academic test. The Academic test has both the conventional “paper and pen” test route and the online route.
We’ll be taking a look at the latter now.
The Online test is for individuals who can’t reach a test center. The test format and material remain the same, the only trump card being access to a private and secluded area to take the test.
- The test has virtually the same questions as the conventional option
- All you have to do is download the test software and sign in with your registered account
- ID checks and locked browsers make sure that test takers won’t have any unfair edge
- Results are given within 48 hrs
PTE Academic Online is suitable for those who don’t have a localized PTE Test Center or have any impairment that supports the need for an at-home test. The only caveat in the online testing format is that you’d have to verify with the institution beforehand whether they accept online test scores or not.
That’s more or less the basics about the Academic test. If this post helped you, do leave us a comment below. For more similar articles, visit our website.