The following English tests are available from Pearson:

What is Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)?

PTE Academic is a computer-based academic English language test aimed at non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad. It tests Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. All answers are recorded on a computer. The answers are scored with the use of AI.

Questions often test 2 skills together, such as listening and reading or reading and speaking. The whole test is done in a single session, lasting 3 hours (180 minutes), and is taken in front of a computer in a secure test environment surveilled by CCTV cameras.

The sequences of the skills being tested are as follows:

  1. Speaking (30 – 35 minutes)
  2. Writing (40 or 50 or 60 minutes – depending on the question combination you are allotted by the computer)
  3. Reading (32 – 41 minutes)
  4. Listening (45 – 57 minutes)

For Speaking part, you speak into a microphone attached to headphones and your answers are recorded on a computer. The recording is transmitted to Pearson for marking by AI.

For Writing part, you answer 2 types of questions – Summarize Written Text and Write Essay. You type your response in the box provided at the bottom of each question. Your response is scored by Automated Scoring System.

For Reading part, you answer 5 types of questions with a total number of questions ranging from 15 to 20.

For Listening part, you answer 8 types of questions. The total number of questions range from 17 to 25.

There are several advantages to taking a PTE test over other English Language Tests.

The first advantage of this test is that you get your results very quickly; usually 48 hours.

The second advantage is that the test is predictive as automated testing technologies are limited in testing the range of human language skills.

The third advantage is that there are more than 250 test centers which offer up to 5 tests a day 365 days a year.

In addition, PTE is recognized in Australia, New Zealand and the UK with Canada in the process.

Apart from PTE Academic, there is another type of PTE test known as Pearson Test of English General.

What is Pearson Test of English General?

Formerly known as The London Test of English, Pearson Test of English General is designed to reward positive achievement in English Language Learning. The test consists of two parts: a written paper and an interview.

There are six levels of the General test. Each level is set at one of the CEFR levels.

CEF Levels

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF or CEFR) was put together by the Council of Europe as a way of standardising the levels of language exams in different regions. It is very widely used internationally and all important exams are mapped to the CEFR.

There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. These are described in the table below.

 Council of   Europe levels




 The capacity to deal with material which is academic or cognitively demanding, and to use language to good   effect at a level of performance which may in certain respects be more advanced than that of an average   native speaker.
 Example: CAN scan texts for relevant information, and grasp main topic of text, reading almost as quickly as a   native speaker.


  Effective           Operational   Proficiency

 The ability to communicate with the emphasis on how well it is done, in terms of appropriacy, sensitivity and   the capacity to deal with unfamiliar topics.
 Example: CAN deal with hostile questioning confidently. CAN get and hold onto his/her turn to speak.



 The capacity to achieve most goals and express oneself on a range of topics.
 Example: CAN show visitors around and give a detailed description of a place.



 The ability to express oneself in a limited way in familiar situations and to deal in a general way with   nonroutine   information.
 Example: CAN ask to open an account at a bank, provided that the procedure is straightforward.



 An ability to deal with simple, straightforward information and begin to express oneself in familiar contexts.
 Example: CAN take part in a routine conversation on simple predictable topics.



 A basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way.
 Example: CAN ask simple questions about a menu and understand simple answers.


PTE General Structure

There are six levels of the General test:






 Level A1

 75 mins

 5 mins


 Level 1

 95 mins

 5 mins


 Level 2

 95 mins

 7 mins


 Level 3

 120 mins

 7 mins


 Level 4

 150 mins

 8 mins


 Level 5

 175 mins

 8 mins

The writing paper tests listening, reading comprehension, and writing skills.



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.