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A Complete Overview of the PTE Exam

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Overview of the PTE Exam

What is PTE Exam?

The PTE, or the Pearson Test of English, is a computer-based English language proficiency test that has gained prominence worldwide for its use of AI technology to guarantee accurate and unbiased scoring. The test reviews a candidate's English skills in reading, speaking, listening, and writing through a series of tests designed by top English scholars worldwide.

While the PTE is a relatively newer addition to the list of English language proficiency tests, it has established itself as a reliable choice to assess a candidate’s skills. That’s why the PTE Academic scores are taken into consideration for admission purposes in thousands of educational institutes across the UK, the USA, New Zealand, etc.

Types of PTE Exams

The PTE exams can be divided into three categories: PTE Academic, PTE General, and PTE Young Learners.

PTE Academic

If English isn’t your first language, then you must be able to prove that your English skills are up to global standards before you can apply to an educational institute abroad. Therefore, the PTE Academic is designed to test the English skills of a candidate who wishes to study in an English-speaking country.

Test Pattern: Includes three modules – Reading, Speaking& Writing, and Listening

Test score validity: Scores are valid for two years from the PTE date of obtaining the results.

PTE General

The PTE General test is designed to check a candidate's mastery of the English language. Unlike the PTE Academic, the PTE General scores cannot be used for visa purposes or to gain admission to an institute abroad. There are six proficiency levels for this test – Level A1 (Foundation) and Levels 1 to 5.

Test Pattern: Includes two modules – Writing (evaluative listening, reading & writing) and Speaking (Interview)

Test Validity: Scores are valid indefinitely.

PTE Young Learners

The Young Learners version of the PTE is a fun English exam for children aged between six and thirteen to test their communicative skills. The test evaluates whether the candidate can use proper structures and functions when communicating in English.

Test Pattern: Includes two modules – written and spoken

Test Validity: Scores are valid indefinitely.

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Importance of the PTE Examination

The PTE Academic is one of the most respected English language proficiency tests recognized worldwide for its accuracy in assessing a candidate's English communicative skills. The three primary reasons millions of people take this exam are –

PTE test scores are accepted globally

Over 3,300 educational institutes in 70+ countries worldwide accept the PTE Academic scores for admitting international students to their programs. Top countries where the PTE Academic scores are recognized include – the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.

PTE test scores for higher education

International students whose first language is not English must prove to the admission board that they have enough skills to carry out high-level English conversations and comprehend complex instructions. With high PTE test scores, it becomes easier to meet the eligibility criteria at some of the most exclusive institutes abroad.

Global employers accept PTE exam scores

International companies that operate globally have a wide variety of clients and seek employees who can hold their ground and carry out conversations flawlessly. Thus, a high PTE exam score inevitably boosts your chances of landing a job with a global employer.

PTE Exam Eligibility Criteria

The Pearson PLC Group has established a few eligibility requirements for candidates to appear for the PTE examination:

Age requirements

A candidate appearing for the PTE exam must be at least 16 years. Those younger than 18 years must obtain a signed consent form from their parents or guardians to be eligible to sit for the exam. There is no upper age limit.

Educational qualification requirements

Candidates of all educational qualifications and levels can appear for the PTE exam.

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Why is the PTE Exam Required?

The PTE exam scores are necessary to seek admission to educational institutes abroad where English is the primary language, obtain visas for work and immigration purposes, and secure a job with global employers. The computer-based examination tests a candidate’s English speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills – all the crucial aspects needed for communicating properly with native English speakers.

In Which Countries Is the PTE Certification Accepted?

The PTE is accepted globally in 70+ countries, including the following:

Since the PTE exam has been recognized for educational and immigration purposes in multiple countries, it is one of the most in-demand and respected English language proficiency tests, right next to the IELTS or the TOEFL.

What is the PTE Exam Pattern?

The PTE exam pattern divides the test into three modules – Speaking & Writing, Reading, and Listening. Here’s a summary of the kinds of questions you might encounter and the time limit for each section.

PTE Exam Section

Types of Questions

Duration & Total Questions

Speaking & Writing

  • Introduce yourself
  • Read a text aloud
  • Describe an image
  • Short answer questions
  • Text summary
  • Lecture re-telling
  • Sentence repetition
  • Essay

Duration: approx. 67 minutes

Total number of questions: approx. 28 to 36


  • MCQs with a single answer
  • MCQs with multiple answers
  • Correct summary identification
  • Paragraph order rearrangement
  • Fill out the blanks (reading & writing)
  • Fill out the blanks (reading)

Duration: approx. 30 minutes

Total number of questions: approx. 12 to 18


  • MCQs with a single answer
  • MCQs with multiple answers
  • Summarise spoken text
  • Choose missing words
  • Identify wrong words
  • Write a dictation
  • Fill out the blanks
  • Identify the right summary

Duration: approx. 30-45 mins

Total number of questions: approx. 13 to 20

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Tips and Tricks for the PTE Exam Preparation

The PTE exam is an essential prerequisite to fulfilling your dreams of studying abroad or immigrating to a foreign country for work opportunities. So, here are some excellent preparation tips and tricks that are bound to help you ace the exam on your first attempt.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the test format to determine the number of questions, types of questions, exam layout, and timing for each section.
  2. Take the help of reliable study materials.
  3. Figure out how the scores are compiled into two sections – the Score Report and the Skills Profile.
  4. Listen to educational podcasts on various platforms of a wide range of speakers.
  5. Practice your spoken English with someone to build confidence.

And finally, the most crucial suggestion – Belief in yourself!

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Hire our consultants and look forward to a hassle-free journey up ahead.

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Frequently Asked Questions

It’s difficult to determine whether the PTE or the IELTS is more difficult than the other because the two are quite similar. Both evaluate a candidate’s English speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills. While some students consider the writing section of the PTE easier than the IELTS, they also admit that the reading section of the PTE is more challenging.

To cancel or reschedule your PTE exam, you must:

  • Log in to your myPTE account
  • Go to your booking information on the account dashboard
  • Click on ‘Reschedule’ or ‘Cancel’
  • Follow the instructions

Reschedule the test 14 or more days prior to the exam – No rescheduling fees.
Reschedule the test 8-13 days prior - Pay half of the test fees.
Reschedule test 7 or fewer days prior – Pay full new test booking fees.

If you want to cleat the PTE exam on the first try, follow these tips:

  • Solve mock tests regularly to track your progress.
  • Understand the test pattern and question types.
  • Listen to podcasts, videos, interviews, etc., to become familiar with accents.
  • Sign up for professional coaching at and get personalised coaching from reliable experts.

There is no limit to the number of times you can appear for the PTE exam. If you’re not satisfied with your performance, you must wait till the results are published before you can apply again. However, experts recommend waiting at least a week before appearing for the exam.

The PTE is not as difficult as some people make it out to be. The exam tests a candidate’s English speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills and evaluates whether the candidate has enough knowledge to comprehend complex instructions. If you dedicate at least 3-4 months to practicing for the PTE test, you should be able to ace it easily.

The Pearson PLC Group has not stated an upper age restriction for candidates who wish to appear for the PTE Academic exam. However, candidates must be at least 16 years of age and have a signed consent form from parents or guardians if below 18 years.

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