By Eric Shrestha

PTE is a long, complex exam that requires many hours of preparation. Students (like you) are bound to have various questions as they progress through their studies. Thankfully, our test experts have thoroughly analyzed the most prevalent questions and provided their answers in our PTE FAQ blog post series. Find the answers to all of our students’ PTE frequently asked questions (PTE FAQs) below!

PTE FAQ: Basics

What is PTE-A or PTE Academic?

PTE stands for Pearson Test of English. PTE Academic is the English test you can use to prove your English ability as part of all Australian visa applications and college/ university admissions requirements. PTE Academic is accepted by all Australian universities, as well as by professional associations and state government departments. In short, everyone refers to PTE-A as PTE only. So, don’t get confused.

How much does PTE cost?

Everyone who takes PTE must pay a mandatory $375 test registration fee. However, there may be late fees, rescheduling fees, and other costs depending upon your situation. Every time you retake a test, you have to pay a new fee.

How long is PTE?

The test length is three hours. This includes:

Speaking Section – 30-35 minutes

Writing Section – 40-60 minutes

Reading Section – 32-41 minutes

Optional Break – 10 minutes

Listening Section – 45-57 minutes

Who can take PTE?

Actually, anyone can take PTE. Usually, students take PTE after completing high school degree to pursue an undergraduate degree in an English speaking country. Additionally, PTE is accepted by professional associations and state government departments.

How important is PTE?

PTE is one factor in your undergraduate admissions. It’s not the only factor, but at least one section of the admission process. When you apply for Permanent Residency in Australia, PTE provides points towards your application.

79+ score in PTE = 20 points

65 score in PTE = 10 points

Most students require 79+ score due to the competitive nature of the application process. This is where we come in – our courses are designed to boost your score within a short time.

What does PTE measure?

PTE measures your English language proficiency in Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening.

How is PTE administered?

PTE is a computer-based test, so you’ll take it at a testing center in a room full of computers. This means that it’s important to become familiar with the test interface beforehand—for example, by taking an online practice test.

I have never worked on a computer in my life or I hate computers. Is this test going to be difficult for me?

Remember, you never started running as soon as you were born, or for that matter, you never really started using a spoon to eat just like that. You learned everything. And as you grew, you developed the capability to learn things, develop habits by yourself. Of course, you were taught the basics and now with such a wide level of assistance available, it is indeed easier to learn. So, wave off to your fear of computer illiteracy because with practice you will only get better. It is all about acceptance, friends.  

I am confused about starting my preparation. Should I join classes or start self-study?

It really depends on you, your comfort, and your option availability. We have extensively discussed Classroom Plus Online Learning and also about cracking PTE through self-study. All we can say is that first set a goal as to when you must clear your test if there are any deadlines or how much time would you like to invest in the preparation or is it important for you to get 79+ score. Decide your priority and weigh your options. Let us know if you need any assistance with that, we are just a message away.

I am struggling with a particular question type. How do I improve?

Most of the areas where PTE test takers struggle are Writing and Speaking. Ultimately you learn to answer Reading and Listening with a decent amount of practice. But many of us are not so fond of Writing. There are various materials specific to the questions available online. Progressive PTE provided materials like Essay Essentials in PTE Writing, and Guide to Describe Image in PTE Speaking. These materials elaborate on cracking these specific tasks and talk about the question format, scoring, and provides the best ways to answer, all in an organised way.

I practised the test and ran out of time in the test. How can I increase my speed and yet give the right answers?

Wow, we are happy you realised the importance of time in PTE Test. Not many acknowledge that. So, managing time is indeed possible and if you do that well, you can increase your scores. Time management and learning essential PTE skills will go hand in hand. The more you practice a certain skill, you get close to becoming proficient in it, and thus, you increase your speed in utilising that skill. Progressive PTE gives you time-based test analytics so that you can understand where you are losing marks by consuming a large amount of time to answer a question.

There are plenty of sites claiming that after referring to their materials I will get 79+ score. How is it guaranteed?

Here what matters is you at least try a platform. Like on Progressive PTE, you have 5000+ sample questions, model answers and their explanations, video tutorials, practice tests. Additionally, there are features like study plan, test analytics, options to connect with nearby test takers, have discussions, and more to enhance your practice. It is a complete one-stop destination for your preparation. As far as the guarantee of score is concerned, you must follow the tips and strategies in the right manner and keep a periodic check on your performance. Blindly practising certain things at a humongous stretch of time is simply never the solution. As mentioned previously, have a goal, develop a plan to achieve it and work towards it with regular performance check. If you want some expert to examine your tests, then you can also opt for evaluation services.

Should I seek extra assistance with my PTE practice?

Logically, when you are appearing for any test, your judgement of your performance is limited. If at all you assess yourself on all factors, it is possible that you miss out on some really impactful one or some hidden factor. For this, you can first go for scored Mock Test practice. At Progressive PTE, you will get a scorecard similar to that of the actual test and above that, you will be able to analyse your results with the help of test analytics and test results feature. It is one feature from which many of the test takers have benefitted. You can check the Scored Mock Tests here.

Are all the advice and tips related to the PTE genuine?

The tips and strategies available widely are a result of the experience of the experts and experienced people. So, it cannot be totally false. Genuineness cannot be decided on the working of those tips. Because your way of approaching an answer is going to be different than others on account of the different levels as well as the method of understanding with which you are acquainted. However, technical tips definitely work and are genuine most of the time. Try to read from credible sources who have depicted their abilities via testimonials or scorecards. You can again establish your trust by exploring the entire material provided by a particular source.

Overall, we hope we have cleared your doubts. If you still got any query you are always welcome to ask us. Without further delay get on with your practice by Signing Up here if you haven’t already done that.

This list is limited due to the nature of the blog. For more PTE FAQs, sign up for our courses.

P.S. Ready to improve your PTE score? Get started today.



Eric Shrestha

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.