The Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academics is divided into 3 sections: (i) speaking and writing (ii) listening, and (iii) reading. The PTE tests for both individual and integrated skills. A number of sections assess up to 2 integrated skills in each question and category.
We’re going to focus on practicing for the listening section of the PTE, which offers a highly unique feature. Test takers have the option to choose from several English accents. This will ease navigating through the listening tasks in one’s preferred accent.
PTE wants individuals to maximize their listening comprehension when assessed in this section. The easier you understand the accent the better you can focus on your responses while listening carefully to each recorded exercise. The following are the PTE listening categories and exercises:
The listening section allocates 45-57 minutes. In each test category, the materials provided are a series of audio and video clips that are between 30-90 seconds long. During testing, each clip is played once.
Tip: While listening to each clip, take notes on the Erasable Notebook Booklet that is provided. This will aid in efficiently writing your responses within the allocated period of time.
Summarize The Spoken Text
This portion tests listening and writing skills. First, you will listen to a recording that will be between 60-90 seconds in length. Then you have 12 seconds to prepare your written answers.
Next is 10 minutes to write a summary of the recording. This should be at least 50 words, but not more than 70 words. The context of your writing is to summarize a lecture for an absent student.
This section takes up a significant portion of the overall section as well as a significant portion of your score. Use your time wisely.
Scoring: 2 points for content, 2 for form, 2 for grammar, 2 for vocabulary and 2 for spelling.
Multiple Choice Questions/Multiple Answers
This portion tests for listening and reading skills.
First, you will read from a list of answers to choose from. Next, you will listen to an audio that will be between 40-90 seconds long. Then you will be prompted to provide all relevant answers. Pay attention to the details when you respond.
Scoring: 1 point gained/correct answer; 1 point loss/incorrect answer. A Score cannot go below 0.
Fill In The Blanks
This portion assesses listening and writing skills.
First, you will begin with reading text for 7 seconds. Next, you will listen to a 30-60 seconds recording.
After the audio, you will be prompted to type the correct word in every blank space as you hear them. You don’t want to miss any blank spaces. Take a bit of time to review your answers.
This is another section that will take time, as well as factor considerably towards your score. Plan outsmart time management during this section.
Scoring: 1 point/correct word that is also spelled correctly.
Highlight Correct Summary
This portion will test your listening and reading skills.
You have 10 seconds to review the options for your answers when prompted during the 30-90 seconds recording. Choose the best answers, only one response is correct.
The correct answer will be the one that focuses more on the big picture instead of specific detail. Even if you are unsure of the correct answer, you will not lose any points in this section.
Scoring: All responses are marked correct or incorrect.
Multiple Choice Questions/Single Answers
This portion assesses listening skills.
First, you are instructed to read the information that will prepare you for the listening portion. The audios are between 30-60 seconds long.
This portion is formatted similar to the multiple answers portion. The one difference is that in this portion you choose only one response that is best suited to all the questions.
Scoring: All answers will be marked correct or incorrect.
Select The Missing Word
Your listening skills will be assessed in this portion.
Each 20-70 seconds long recording will be missing a word or a phrase at the end. You will be prompted to give answers that fill in the missing word or phrase.
Scoring: All answers will be marked correct or incorrect.
Highlight The Incorrect Word
In this portion, your listening and reading skills will be tested.
You will have 10 seconds to become familiar with the transcript of the audio. When you listen to the 15-50 seconds audio recordings it is your task to identify which words do not match the transcript.
Scoring: 1 point/correct answer; 1 point deducted/incorrect answer. Score will not go below 0.
Write From Dictation
This last portion assesses for listening and writing skills.
First, read the instructions in 7 seconds. Next, you will be listening to 3-5 second recordings. As you listen you will be prompted to type your response. Scoring: 1 point/correct word. 1 point/words written in the correct order and spelled correctly. Points will not be deducted for incorrect words.
The final question involves 5 seconds to listen to a sentence followed by 7 seconds to write down exactly what you heard.
Scoring: 1 point/correct word
Keep in mind that this final portion, Summarize The Spoken Text and Fill In The Blanks sections take up a bulk of your test-taking time as well as the overall listening score. Use your time wisely during these portions of the listening section to improve your chances for a better score.
Whether you are taking the PTE to study abroad or to immigrate, the bottom line is you want the best possible chance to get a passing score to allow you to achieve your goals. Studying on your own is one option, but not always the most effective one.
There are several categories to prepare under the listening section, which is one of three sections that contain several categories in each section. A resource of tools would be the best way to track all three sections and their subcategory of questions.
There are many online resources. You want the most effective both in preparation and cost.
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