What makes up the PTE Academic exam and how is it organized?

The PTE Academic test is a computer-based English language proficiency exam designed to assess the language skills of non-native English speakers who aim to study or work in English-speaking environments.

  1. Speaking and Writing (77 – 93 minutes):

– Personal Introduction: Test-takers are required to introduce themselves in response to a brief prompt. This section is not scored but is used to assess the test-taker’s ability to speak English.

– Read Aloud: Test-takers read a short text aloud. This assesses both reading and speaking skills.

– Repeat Sentence: Test-takers listen to a sentence and repeat it. This section evaluates listening and speaking abilities.

– Describe Image: Test-takers describe an image displayed on the screen, assessing their ability to speak and convey information.

– Re-Tell Lecture: A recorded lecture is played, and test-takers summarize the key points, assessing listening and speaking skills.

– Answer Short Question: Test-takers respond to a prompt with a brief spoken answer.


  1. Reading (32 – 40 minutes):

– Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer:  Test-takers read a passage and answer a multiple-choice question.

– Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers: Similar to the above, but test-takers can choose more than one correct answer.

– Re-Order Paragraphs:  Test-takers arrange a jumbled set of paragraphs into a logical order.

– Reading: Fill in the Blanks: Incomplete passages are presented, and test-takers fill in the blanks from a list of words.


  1. Listening (45 – 57 minutes):

– Summarize Spoken Text: Test-takers listen to a spoken passage and summarize it in writing.

– Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers: Test-takers listen to a recording and select multiple correct responses.

– Fill in the Blanks: A transcript of an audio recording is presented with blanks that test-takers fill using a drop-down menu.

– Highlight Correct Summary:  Test-takers listen to a recording and choose the summary that best captures the main points.

– Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer: Similar to the above, but test-takers choose the single best response.

Understanding the structure of the PTE Academic test is crucial for effective preparation. Test-takers should familiarize themselves with each section, practice under timed conditions, and develop strategies to manage their time effectively during the exam.