By: Eric Shrestha
3 min read
Over the years, I’ve expatiated on a number of techniques to help you improve your PTE score—from the most granular (fill in the blanks) to the general (improve your fluency and pronunciation for the Speaking section). But there may be a very effective means to boost your PTE score that I’ve yet to mention: meditation.
At the mere mention of this word, many of our minds conjure up monks in robes, high up in the plains of Tibet chanting Om (or worse yet, cults of bedraggled Hindu aesthetic trying to attain nirvana). But before you navigate to another page, you might want to take a look at the results of a recent study on meditation and performance on the verbal section of the GRE exam. Although, GRE is remotely relevant to PTE – I am presenting the facts here because it is relevant to PTE preparation.
This study took a group of undergraduates at the University of Santa Barbara and had them take the verbal section of the GRE. Next, the subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the nutrition group or the mediation group.
The nutrition group learned about the importance of healthy eating and was encouraged to keep a food journal, in which they wrote down what they consumed daily. I’m guessing that the study didn’t want a control group with the propensity to indulge in weekend beer benders and triple-cheese pizza runs at three in the morning.
After all, the other group was given special treatment: through a series of workshops they learned how to meditate and be more mindful. After two weeks of learning to focus their thoughts on the present, they were given a GRE reading comprehension passage.
The results are actually shocking: the average score before the meditation workshop was 460. Afterward: 520. This is with zero preparation!
Now, don’t forever close your web browser on Progressive Study and go join the Dalai Lama. PTE prep makes a huge difference–but that’s been long established. Meditation, on the other hand, is something that we are just learning can make a huge difference. I would encourage you to pursue meditation and mindfulness exercises, in conjunction with your PTE study plan. There are plenty of books on Audible, and I am sure there is a YouTube video on the how-to.
So you’re probably wondering about the nutrition group. Well, their scores on the GRE verbal section did not change whatsoever. So next time you feel you’ve hit a wall on PTE preparation, or are just stressing out, relax. Get into a meditation posture and be learn to be mindful of the present. That ability to ground yourself will definitely be an important come test day.
For a follow-up read on the topic have a look at the New York Times article.
P.S. Ready to improve your PTE score? Get started today.
About the Author
Eric scored 90 in all four Communicative Skills of PTE with 90 in all of Enabling Skills. He scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT with 117 out of 120 in TOEFL. He went on to graduate with a degree in Genetics and Biochemistry followed by 7 years of post-graduate study in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on cancer research. His GRE score was in the 99th percentile. Before migrating to Australia from the US, he attained 9 in Reading, 9 in Listening, 8.5 in Writing, and 8 in Speaking in IELTS. He is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life. He has years of tutoring experience and researches Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Automated Essay Scoring in his free time.