PTE Exam: Pattern & Complete Guide - A.I.B.E | Aadharsila Institute of Basic Education

PTE Exam: Pattern & Complete Guide

The PTE Academic, also known as the Pearson Test of English assesses the Speaking, Writing, reading, and listening skills. It provides secure English language testing for study applications worldwide and for visa applications for work and migration in countries like Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada.

It is a fully computer-based exam and is generally conducted in a single session. The scoring is done by artificial intelligence and human rates to ensure a fair evaluation.

The overall testing time of PTE exam has been decreased from 3 hours to 2 hours approximately. The optional break was removed before the listening section which was of 10 minutes. Let us discuss the entire pattern in detail.

The test begins with 1 minute personal introduction which is not calculated in the scores. It is just done for authentication.

Speaking and Writing section

The speaking and writing time has been decreased from 77-93 mins to approx. 54-67 minutes in which the topic remains the same viz: Read aloud, repeat the sentence with a number of questions remaining the same in these two topics i.e. 6-7 for read aloud and 10-12 for repeat sentence. However, in the other three topics i.e. Describe an image the questions have been reduced from 6-7 to 3-4, Retell lecture from 3-4 to 1-2, and answer short questions from 101-2 to 5-6. In the writing section both the topics are the same which is summarizing written text and essay rioting but the number of questions in summarizing written text has been reduced from 2-3 to 1-2. The essay writing has 1 or max two essays to write.

The topics are as follows:

  1. READ ALOUD – You will be given only 35-40 seconds to read the text as loud and clearly as possible.
  2. REPEAT SENTENCE – You will hear a sentence and you need to repeat it as accurately as possible.
  3. DESCRIBE AN IMAGE – You will see an image or graph and you will get 40 seconds to describe that image in your own words.
  4. RETELL LECTURE – A lecture of 60-90 seconds is played and sometimes an image is also shown along with it. You have to re-tell the lecture in your own words and the time given to you is 40 seconds.
  5. ANSWER SHORT QUESTIONS – An answer short question is a short answer speaking item type with a single correct response. It tests your ability to understand a question presented in a recording and provides a brief and accurate response. After this task, it takes you to the writing part which has two tasks but the speaking and writing tasks are timed together.
  6. SUMMARIZE WRITTEN TEXT – You will be given a passage and you need to give a one-sentence summary of the passage in 10 minutes.
  7. ESSAY WRITING – You will have 20 minutes to plan, write, and revise an essay about the topic given.

Reading Section

In this section, there are five topics. However, the time for the reading section has been reduced to 30 minutes approximately. Fill in the blanks, fill in the blanks: reading and writing, and reorder paragraphs The number of questions is the same as previous viz 4-5, 5-6, and 2-3 respectively. On the other hand, the number of questions for multiple choice: choose single option had been reduced from 2-3- to 1-2, and for multiple choice: choose multiple options, it has gone down from 2-3 to 1-2 again carrying negative marking also.

  1. Multiple choice, Choose Single answer – You will need to read a paragraph and select the correct answer from the choices given.
  2. Multiple choice choose multiple answers – Here a paragraph will be given to you and you will be required to select multiple options.
  3. Reorder paragraphs – You will need to rearrange jumbled paragraphs to form a coherent passage.
  4. Fill in the blanks –  Reading and Writing- A paragraph with blanks is given and each blank is followed by choices, one needs to fill in the correct choice from the drop-down menu.
  5. Fill in the blanks – A paragraph with blanks is given along with choices. One needs to fill the blank with the correct choice.

Listening Section

This section has 8 different topics with the total number of questions in the new format being 12-20. The topics are as follows: Summarize spoken text, which is an important topic, and the number of questions has been reduced from 2-3 to 1-2 in the new format. Moreover, for topics like Multiple choice: choose a single option, multiple choice: choose multiple options, highlight correct summary, and select missing word, the number of questions has been reduced from 2-3 to 1-2. However, in highlighting correct words, the number of questions remains the same which is 2-3, and lastly in writing from dictation, which is again an important topic the number of questions remains as 3-4 only. This is the last section of PTE. Tasks in this section include:

  1. Summarize Spoken Text – You will hear a short audio clip and write a summary of it.
  2. Multiple-Choice, Choose Single Answer – You will listen to an audio clip and choose the correct answer from multiple choices.
  3. Multiple-Choice, Choose Multiple Answers – Similar to the previous task, but you may need to select multiple correct answers.
  4. Highlight Correct Summary – You will hear a recording and choose the summary that best represents it.
  5. Fill in the Blanks – You will listen to an audio clip and fill in the missing words.
  6. Highlight incorrect words – In this words in the passage do not match with the words in the audio. You need to highlight those words.
  7. Select missing word – The last word will be missing in a recording and choices will be given, one needs to select the correct word which will be after the beep.
  8. Write from dictation – One needs to write the correct words in the same order as spoken by the speaker.


To conclude, one must practice different types of questions and give as many mocks as possible. A.I.B.E helps to practice these tests after completing each section, we take sectional tests and see where a candidate is lacking and then brush up on those skills. Once the candidate is good with all sections, we take 3 full-length mocks and assess the candidate by giving the scores. Once a candidate is getting the desired score in the mock, he can book the and score in PTE exam.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *