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Here’s what you need to know before taking the PTE

The Pearson Test of English (PTE), test assesses the English language ability of non-native speakers and is used by governments and universities around the world for permanent residency and academic purposes. PTE tutor from Aussizz Migration in Melbourne, Mr Malcolm Kalwachwala tells SBS Gujarati about the test’s myths and some basic points to keep in mind to achieve a good score.

Some key points to keep in mind about PTE examination

What is PTE-Academic?

PTE-Academic is the Pearson Test of English which is recognized by the Australian government for a student visa as well as migration visa purposes. The test checks 4 core skills of English - namely - Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening and the total duration of the test is a maximum of 180 minutes and consists of approximately 70 questions.

Should students take PTE-A or IELTS?

Both are different tests of English, and the decision to select a test should be taken on the criteria of readiness to adapt to a computer-based test. PTE-A is a computer-based test, whereas IELTS gives 2 test options: computer-based as well as paper-based. Also, for certain occupations, the Australian government accepts only IELTS for the permanent residency visa. Thorough research should be done by the applicant before choosing the test.

Is it difficult for non-English speaking students to get a high score in PTE?

As they say, where there is a will, there is a way. Many students with a Gujarati background who have Gujarati as their mother tongue get a high score in PTE. Yes, the effort needs to be put in, but with a systematic approach to the test and proper feedback and guidance, it should not be difficult for Gujarati students to get a BAND 8.0 each equivalent score to IELTS in PTE, which is a score of no less than 79 out of 90 in each module.

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Is Speaking section difficult in PTE?

Many students have a phobia of English tests. Especially about the Speaking module. The Speaking section in PTE consists of approximately 40 questions and is designed to check the oral fluency and pronunciation of the applicant who is taking the test. If the test-taker understands that basic concept of Speaking well, then it should not be difficult at all to get a high score in Speaking.

What are the myths about PTE?

The most common myth about PTE is that PTE has changed the scoring guideline or the pattern of the test. The best source to disprove this myth would be the PTE website itself. And all concerned students/test-takers should definitely read it once to understand the guideline thoroughly.

Will PTE make changes in the future?

This question would be very difficult to answer by anyone except PTE. Instead of wasting our time in thinking about what changes might take place in the future, it would be best to focus on the present and try our best to clear the test.

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Does the choice of the test centre affect the score of the candidate?

No. All test centres are tested many times before they are allowed to operate as a test centre. But yes, since there are many aspects in a test, which include a headset, computer software, computer hardware, internet, and electrical issues, it is the duty of the test-taker to report any incident which happens in the test immediately by raising their hand at the time of the issue. Tell the supervisor about the issue which happened so that they can guide you accordingly.

Female test-takers do not get a good score in Speaking in PTE. Is it true?

No. It is not true. PTE software doesn't differentiate based on gender. But sometimes, if the voice of the test-taker is not captured by the software that may definitely affect the Speaking score. It is better to take a few mock or practise tests before sitting for the real exam.

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Should the Speaking section be done with a fake accent or a native-like accent?

No. The two main criteria on which the Speaking score is based are Oral Fluency and Pronunciation. Accent doesn't matter. But yes, the voice should be clear and without any hesitation.

Which type of English should be used for Writing in the test? British spelling or American spelling?

In the PTE score guide, it is clearly written that we should follow any one type of English per task. If possible, do not mix your English in a single task.

** We’d like to point out that the information contained in this segment is general and is not specific advice. If you would like accurate information relevant to your situation, you should ask your certified PTE tutor or check PTE Academic website

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