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This PTE material checklist is for you if you’re just starting out with your PTE preparation – these are the essentials you must have!

Test Structure

PTE is a three hours test. There are four sections.

  1. Speaking (30-35 minutes)
  2. Writing (40-60 minutes)
  3. Reading (32-41 minutes)
  4. Listening (45-57 minutes)

For more details on the test structure, make sure to check out the course available.

The Official Guide to the Pearson Test of English Academic and PTE Academic Practice Tests Plus

The Official Guide to the Pearson Test of English Academic is a book filled with helpful practice questions written by the test developers. The CD-ROM contains 200 additional questions – the equivalent of three practice tests. The Pearson Test of English Academic Practice Tests Plus is four full-length tests that come in a CD along with a book. The book also contains two full-length tests at the back of the book.

Nothing can prepare you for PTE better than practice questions from the creators of the test. However, a word of caution – PTE has changed slightly in regards to the structure after the publication of the above resources. Be sure to check the online resources that are updated weekly at our site.


It is easy to get complacent while doing practice questions. This is particularly relevant when you are doing the Speaking and the Reading sections where proper timing is critical. So make sure to use a stopwatch or a timer. That said, when you are first starting to prep you need to take it slowly. But once you’ve got the hang of things, it is ready, set, stopwatch!

Progressive PTE happens to have one built-in with the Unscored Practice Test and Scored Mock Test ;).


This is the only abstract item on the list—but that does not diminish its importance. Doing well on PTE is very much like doing well in sports. He/she who trains hardest does well.

I might add that there is smart training, and not so smart training. For instance, mindlessly going through 1,000 Reading questions or spending hours each day trying to crack fluency and pronunciation PTE Artificial Intelligence is checking for (and its explanation) that is far beyond your ability is probably not the smartest way to train for PTE.

Check out our online courses to maintain your highest level of dedication for the test.

Study Plan

Want to make the best use of your time? Want to make sure you are only prepping with the best materials out there? Want to find the schedule that best adapts to your time constraints? Study plans to fit your schedule (1 week to 1 year!) here.

Test Date

Choosing a test day may sound very obvious; thus it is the one to many people’s chagrin that really bites them. Simply put: the testing center is not rolling out the carpet for your big day. The only way you can get in is by securing an appointment via the www.pearsonvue.com/pte site. If you do not sign up in time, you will not get the appointment window that works best for you (nobody likes waking up at 6 in the morning for the 8 A.M. test). Although, I personally prefer the morning tests as I am at my optimal performance level at that time.

Worse yet, there may be no appointments available before your deadline. So make sure you signup as soon as possible once you are ready with your preparation.

Any other crucial checklist items you’d recommend for other test-takers? Leave us a comment!

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.