A Postgraduate Guide To The Pearson Test Of English (PTE) Academic
Launched in 2009, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) is one of the more recent and popular English language tests. PTE is an entirely computer-based test, including the speaking section, and it is graded by using an algorithm.
What is PTE?
PTE is designed for non-native English speakers to prove their proficiency in English, from study to employment to visa applications. In particular, the most unique aspect of PTE is that the score is tested by a computer-based algorithm, which means scores are graded and ready in as little as 48 hours.
How does PTE work?
PTE is a 3-hour test with 3 sections, speaking and writing, listening, and reading. The question formats are similar to those of IEFTS and TOEFL; with multiple-choice questions and essay-based writing.
The sections are broken down into the following;
- Reading – You should aim to complete this section in 30 to 40 minutes. You’ll have to answer multiple-choice questions, fill in blanks and rearrange paragraphs to make the text make sense.
- Speaking and writing – You should aim to complete this section in 70 to 90 minutes. Although paired together, speaking and writing are tested separately. For the speaking part, you’ll be speaking into an audio mic to complete the tasks. The writing section requires you to summarise a passage with a short word limit and complete a short essay in response to a question.
- Listening – You should aim to complete this section in 45 minutes. The final part of the test will also assess your reading and writing skills. You may have to find which written passage summarises the audio you heard, or you may have to transcribe a short audio clip.
What grade do you need?
Similarly to the other English language tests, the requirements will vary from institution to institution, but the higher your score, the better position you’ll be in. However, PTE recommends aiming for a minimum score of 57-67. Get in touch with your prospective institution to find out their minimum required score.
Typically, you will receive your results within 5 working days.
The PTE certificate lasts 2 years from the date of your exam.
Below is a comparison of PTE scores compared to IELTS and TOEFL grades.
Who accepted PTE?
Although a relatively new qualification, PTE is recognised by over 3000 institutions across the world. You can find which university accepted PTE here. It is also accepted by the Australian, New Zealand and the UK government for visa purposes.
Where can you take a PTE?
You can take a PTE test in more than 400 global test centres in over 50 countries. PTE test is offered almost every day of the year, making it one of the most flexible tests available. In many countries without test centres, you can take an online version of the test at home.
Costs for the test vary from country to country, with prices such as:
- UK – £180 ($237 USD)
- Australia – $385 AUD (£224/$294 USD)
- India – 14700 INR (£149/$195 USD)
- Germany – 228 Euros (£190/$250 USD)
- Nigeria – 76000 NGN (£139/$183 USD)
- USA – $200 USD (£152)
If you have any disabilities, you should contact Pearsons or the test centre before booking a test as they will have to make sure they can accommodate your special needs. You can find more information on their website.
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