PTE academic: an overview
The PTE Academic is a test designed to check one’s ability to use English and is accepted by several universities across the globe as an admission criterion. Unlike IELTS, this is a computer-based test. It is a three-hour test that assesses your reading, listening, reading and writing ability. The scoring too is automated and the final report consists of two main sections, Communicative Skills and Enabling Skills, each based on a 10-90 scale. The test can be scheduled up to 24 hours ahead of the date you want to write, and the result is usually delivered within 5 working days of taking the test.
The test is divided into three main parts. Part I may last from 77 – 93 minutes and is meant to assess your speaking and writing ability. It consists of 8 different question types, including a 200- 300-word essay. This is followed by the reading section, which has5 different question categories and lasts for 32-41 minutes. Section 3, the final section, assess the listening ability and once again has 8 different question categories. This section lasts for 45- 57 minutes.
Since PTE is a computer-based test, time is very critical. The test is conducted in a PTE approved and managed center. Once you check in, you are assigned a booth. A center usually has up to 10 stations that are separated with partitions. Each candidate is provided a headset, a computer, and an erasable board or a booklet with a marker. During the test you may hear other test takers speak, so it is important to stay focused on your task.
There is tight surveillance during the exam, so focus on your own work only. Also answer questions very carefully; as once you answer a question, you can’t go back to it. Do not ignore any of the four parameters that is reading, writing, listening and speaking. Make sure during speaking exercises, you do not give more than three second gap, otherwise the microphone will close. If you need time to think of an answer, make some kind of sound, but avoid too many fillers.