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PTE Exam - Exam Pattern

Like other English language proficiency exams, the PTE Academic exam has four modules: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. But, in PTE, the Writing and Speaking questions are combined into one module, and reading and listening are separate. Unlike IELTS, The speaking test is conducted along with other modules simultaneously. While the PTE General has one section where Writing and Speaking questions are combined.

Section Duration Topics
Speaking & Writing 54-67 mins
  • Personal Introduction
  • Read Aloud
  • Repeat sentence
  • Describe Image
  • Re-tell Lecture
  • Answers short question
  • Summarize written text (10 minutes)
  • Essay (20 minutes)
Reading 29-30 mins
  • Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice answers
  • Re-order paragraphs
  • Reading: Fill in the blanks
  • Choose single answer
Listening 30-43 mins
  • Summarise spoken text
  • Choose multiple answers
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Highlight the correct paragraph
  • Multiple choice question: choose one correct option
  • Select missing words
  • Highlight the incorrect word
  • Write from dictation

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Speaking & Writing

Personal Introduction

You have to give your introduction, but there is no score for it as it is the best opportunity for all the test-takers to get familiar with PTE test technology. You will have 25 seconds to prepare your answer and 30 seconds to record your response.

Read Aloud

In this type of question, you have 30-40 seconds to read as the text length is up to 60 words. The candidate will hear the short tune before the beginning of your Recording. After that Recording, you have to speak; if you remain silent for three seconds, your Recording will stop automatically.

Repeat Sentence

In the repeat sentence question, you have to listen to the sentences and repeat the same as the speaker, and the prompt length is 3-9 seconds. All the students are requested to answer as clearly as they can. Moreover, you can write the sentence on the note paper, which will be given to you before the beginning of the test.

Describe Image

In this question, an image appears, and you have to describe as much as you can. You will have only 25 seconds to prepare the answer. Try to cover all the given information within the time, and students are requested to focus on the primary information of the Image.

Retell Lecture

After listening to or watching a lecture, you have to repeat the same lecture in your own words or formation. The prompt length of the lecture is 90 seconds, and you have to answer the question very clearly in 40 seconds, but you do not need to rush. While the audio is playing, you can make notes on the erasable note board that will be provided to you before the beginning of the test.

Answer Short Questions

In this question type, you have to listen to a question and answer based on that question within 10 seconds, as the prompt length of the question is 3-9 seconds. It is recommended that all the test-takers give a long answer and continue speaking for a long while answering because computer software will automatically turn off the mike if candidates can speak for a short time.

Summarize written text

In this task, you should read the text carefully and write one sentence summary of the passage. Moreover, the prompt length of this task is up to 300 words, and you have only 10 minutes to complete the answer, but make sure to cover up all the bloody points of the passage in the correct form to score well on the test.


There is a topic given to you, and you have to write an essay of 200-300 words on the same topic, as it is an excellent opportunity for all the test-takers to show their skills in English. You have only 20 minutes to complete this task and write at least 200 words but at most 300 words. If you exceed the word limit, you may get a low score in this module as the counting of words is clearly shown on the screen on the left or right corner of your computer screen.


This module contains five questions, and you have only half an hour to complete all the given questions.

Reading and Writing: Fill in the blanks

A passage is given to you with missing words and a button with a drop-down list beside each gap. You have to fill in the blank with suitable options. It is recommended to all the students to skim the paragraph or the overall meaning as several meaningless options are mentioned to divert the student's minds. It would be best to read before and after the blank to identify the correct word, but there is no time limit to complete a single blank, as you must complete the reading test within 30 minutes. The prompt length of the text is up to 300 words.

Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers

There are multiple-choice questions on the content, and no time limit is applicable for this task. You must note the repeat words in the option to score well in this Module. When you select more than one, it will highlight in yellow.

Re-order paragraphs

In this task, several Text boxes appear randomly on your computer screen, and you must put those boxes in the correct order. It will help if you read all the text boxes quickly, as some students spend a lot of time performing this task. You must know about the topic or main heading to get a good score in this task because putting other boxes in the correct order will become easier.

Fill in the blanks

This task is almost similar to the first task, but the prompt length is only 80 words. Furthermore, a passage is given to you but with some words that need to be added. Use your grammar to choose a correct answer.

Multiple-choice, Single answer

You will receive a text and must answer the Multiple-choice question by selecting one response. There are various choices; you must note all keywords in the prompt before reading the text.

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The listening test takes up to 43 minutes and contains eight different questions. All the questions are based on audio and video clips; you only have to hear the pins and audio once.

Summarize Spoken Text

When a lecturer gives you a lecture, you should write a summary of the same lecture, but there is no need to write each and everything. Candidates must summarize only the main points and remember the punctuation and spelling.

Multiple Choice, single answer

The audio begins to play automatically and answers a multiple-choice question by selecting more than one option. Remember that you should note the main points to support your answer.

Fill in the blanks

You will be given a Paragraph with some gaps, and the speaker will answer those blanks. You must listen to that answer carefully and fill in the blanks. The recording will only play once, and no sample answer will be given to you.

Highlight Correct Summary

Several summaries are given to you, and you have to select the Correct summary. You should note the main points to help you select a correct summary quickly.

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

The audio begins to play automatically, and there are several options, but only one is correct. It would help to skim the question and answer before listening to understand the topic.

Select Missing Words

When the speaker speaks the sentence, you need to concentrate more on that sentence because there are some words that the speaker will not talk about at the end of the sentence, and candidates have to select the missing word from the option, but the exact answer will not be given to you. You have to choose the correct answer according to the formation of the sentence.

Highlight incorrect words

It is one of the most straightforward tasks as the speaker will speak strong words instead of accurate words, and you have to identify them. Computer software will automatically highlight your answer in yellow color. Moreover, you have to read parallels. As the speaker said, if your speed of reading the content is slow, you cannot highlight the word.

Write from Dictation

In this task, you must type the sentence as the speaker said in the recording. All the candidates should type more correct words as much as they can. Every single work carries a score in this task.

Special Tip

It is important to note that once you have selected the answer and clicked the following button, you cannot go back to the previous question and cannot re-correct that answer. While speaking, it is requested that all the candidates speak clearly and fluently and ignore the background noise of other students, as the computer records only your voice. It has been witnessed that some students speak very loudly or shout in front of the computer, which is the wrong way to give speaking tests as the computer system may not record that.

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