BEWARE Free PTE Materials! | Choosing Quality Test Preparation Materials

Jay from E2Language warns PTE test-takers to beware free PTE materials which can be misleading and detrimental to your PTE success. 

Yesterday I gave a tutorial to a PTE candidate named Josh. We looked at his PTE writing. In particular we looked at his Summarize Written Test examples. They were quite good. Apart from a few grammatical issues and some structural problems it would have gotten him a PTE 79.

Then Josh started asking me about PTE Reading (Check out our blog article on PTE Reading Tips for Nervous Readers!). He was extremely confused. He had studied the proven method for PTE multiple choice and PTE reorder paragraph but when he was applying them to his practice materials, it didn’t make any sense.

So WHY did Josh’s method fail?

free PTE materials
Question your learning style and ensure you get the most out of your study habits and methods!

I know the method we teach works. We’ve helped 1000s of PTE candidates secure the grades they need to start their new lives in a different country or get the job they want. Why, all of a sudden, would the method not work?

They do work. The problem is that Josh was using free PTE materials. And the material that he was using was completely faulty. It didn’t look anything like the authentic PTE practice materials or the E2Language materials.

Free PTE practice tests can do a lot more damage than good. Be careful of the junk you see on Youtube. Ask yourself “Who created these free PTE practice materials?”

I’ve been writing PTE materials now for over two years. I have taken the PTE in order to write these PTE materials so that they are as close as possible to authentic PTE practice tests.

I have read and deconstructed the PTE score guide and I have spoken with Pearson about certain aspects of the test. I can tell you that writing good PTE material is not easy!

There are two reasons why free PTE materials are dangerous!

First, the writer of the free material may misunderstand the linguistic aspects of the test. Each PTE task is designed around a particular linguistic point.

Second, the writer does not understand the PTE task format. There are a lot of details that you need to get right in order for the PTE practice test to be valuable.

After I explained all of this to Josh he felt relieved. But he was also angry. He had wasted a lot of time preparing with these poor free PTE materials. In fact, he had downloaded a bunch of Youtube PTE videos!

I told him to put them in the computer’s bin, because if you are going to practice for the PTE then you need to use high quality practice PTE materials that make sense and that reflect the actual PTE test.

Expert advice for PTE success!

Imagine if you prepared using poor free PTE practice tests and then on test day you look at your the computer screen and it looks different to anything you have ever seen.

Don’t do that! Instead, prepare properly.

I always tell my students that there are three things you need to succeed.

  1. Good quality practice materials (beware free PTE materials!)
  2. Methods that work
  3. Feedback on your speaking and writing

These three ingredients will lead you to success. Why? The quality PTE practice materials will give you a simulation of the real thing. The methods will tell you how to pass the various PTE tasks. And the feedback is critical for success on PTE writing and PTE speaking.

Study quality practice materials! 

free PTE materials
Check out the E2Language PTE Practice Activities to get started! 

Don’t waste your time (and money!) on free PTE training materials. Spend a bit of money to save a lot of time and stress. Good practice PTE materials along with proven methods and expert feedback will deliver you the PTE scores that you need.

Josh completely agreed with me and promptly moved his free PTE tests into the trash bin where they belonged!

See this article for PTE preparation tips from an E2Language student who scored straight 90s! 

For more helpful advice on PTE materials check out the E2 PTE Academic Youtube Channel and watch Jay answer your PTE questions below! 

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Written by Jay. 

Fill in the Blanks: PTE Reading Tips

This article provides an in-depth review of the “Fill in the Blanks” task of the PTE reading section and explains in detail a number of critical PTE reading tips that will help you score highly on the PTE reading test.

Visit E2Language to see what package is right for you!  

Grammar Essentials: Collocations, Idioms & Common Expressions 

Taking a systematic approach, developing your core skills and using effective methods will definitely help you to reach a positive outcome and your desired score in the PTE reading test.

Do you know what all these expressions and pairs of words that I just used are?! They are called collocations, which are words that often occur together to form natural-sounding speech. So they could be adjectives plus nouns, such as: a systematic approach, adverbs plus adjectives, as in closely related or verbs plus noun combinations, such as gather information.

As you can see these occur naturally throughout the language, especially in academic writing. Therefore, acquiring extensive knowledge of collocations, common expressions and idioms is of vital importance in the Fill in the Blanks reading section, and is equally important as understanding the central concept of each text and having sound grammar knowledge!

Keep practicing your English grammar through trial and error 

PTE reading tips
Acquire knowledge by putting together the jigsaw puzzle of your English language proficiency.

Fill in the Blanks Task (What does it test for!)

In the Fill in the Blanks (drag and drop) reading section there are 4-5 texts of up to 80 words each with 6 ‘blanks’ or words missing. Your job is to work out the correct word choice for each one based on the part of speech that is required – so does it need to be a verb, noun, adjective, based on the words before it and immediately after it, as well as choosing the correct word for the overall meaning of the sentence and the natural collocation that it may form.

If you don’t know one, you can leave it and come back to it once you have eliminated other options by completing the ones you do know – but make sure you come back to it as you will lose a mark if a space is left blank.

Fill in the Blanks Example 

PTE Reading Tips
Here is what the fill in the blanks question type looks like.

Student Case Study

There’s no doubt about it, these short, authentic texts on academic subjects, including humanities (various aspects of human culture), natural sciences and social sciences are definitely ‘cerebrally challenging’ at times, even for native speakers! However, as a student said to me once: ‘‘You have to love PTE to get love back!” This student had been feeling quite depressed and deflated and had lost a lot of confidence after having sat the PTE test 3 times and had not been able to get the score he needed, which was 65 in each section.

As he ‘soldiered on,’ he progressed with his study and started to get more and more right answers and was making less and less errors. Then one day he announced to me: “I now love PTE because my English has improved a lot in a short time.” His grammar knowledge was much better, he knew a lot more about collocations and verb/ adjective/ noun plus preposition expressions and his vocabulary on a range of subjects was much wider.

The student felt happier and more confident in himself because of all the hard work he had put in and what he had achieved, especially in his study with the PTE reading section. He then went on to get an overall score of 72 the next time he did the test and got his permanent residency! So ‘take heed’ of those ‘wise words from this student: “You have to love PTE to get love back from PTE!’’

In other words, if you adopt a positive and committed approach to your study and use the PTE reading section as an opportunity and vehicle to improve on your vocabulary, collocations and grammar, not only will you have amazing knowledge on a myriad of subjects to impress your friends with when you go out to dinner, but your English and your overall PTE score will improve greatly!

PTE Reading Tips for Fill in the Banks (drag and drop)

PTE reading tips

PTE Reading Tips #1: Vocabulary

  • Develop a broad vocabulary by reading widely on academic topics. Read and engage with academic subjects and academic articles as much as possible every day to build up your PTE academic vocabulary. This is very important for PTE as the texts are on everything from elephant tusks to tree trunks! You can check unknown words in the dictionary and create your own vocabulary lists with the meaning and synonyms for this word and a sample sentence of how it is used.

PTE Reading Tips #2: Reading Skills

  • Read every day to increase your speed and reading comprehension ability: you need to work like a computer or a machine – to be comfortable reading fast and able to quickly take in the information. To master this you can read a text thoroughly and then see if you are able to then summarise the main idea in the text, then build up your speed each time with these reading skills. (This will also greatly develop your summarising ability, which is a vital skill for PTE also).

PTE Reading Tips #3: Collocations and Expressions

  • Learn collocations, common expressions and idioms as mentioned above. This will help a lot. A great resource for this is the PTE academic collocations list. Also, become acutely aware of which prepositions are used after common adjectives, nouns and verbs. For example: a demand for… have an aptitude for..   be interested in… an increase/ decrease  in…. be concerned about…. be concerned with….know something about….be aware of…

PTE Reading Tips #4: Grammar and Parts of Speech

    • Improve your grammar! Learn the parts of speech: so whether a word is a noun/ verb/ adjective/ adverb, etc. and the standard basic word order of English: i.e. subject + verb + object, etc. Also, make sure you have an in-depth knowledge countable and uncountable nouns and know that if it’s a countable noun, it will need to have a/an/ the in front of it and can be in the plural form with an ‘s’ at the end.


    • But if it’s an uncountable noun, it cannot have a/ an in front of it ( but it can have ‘the’) and will not have a plural form – so no ‘’s’’ unless it’s an exception, such as: news, or academic subjects, eg. politics, economics and therefore is always written in the plural form though it’s treated as a singular noun. Just as importantly, practice subject verb agreement- so if a singular noun/subject, you need to make sure the present tense verbs are also in singular form, etc.


    • Learn to recognise suffixes for the different parts of speech so even if you don’t know the meaning of the word, you can identify whether it is a noun or an adjective. For example: celebrate (verb suffix), celebration (noun suffix) and celebratory (adjective suffix). Then practice changing a word from a verb form to a noun to an adjective and even an adverb if you really want to show off! Eg.  happy, (adjective), happiness (noun), be happy (verb form), happily (adverb).


PTE Reading Tips: Fill in the Blanks Methods Webinar

Make sure you watch the PTE Reading Playlist on the E2 PTE YouTube Channel, including this one!

I hope you found these PTE reading tips for the fill in the blanks task useful! Feel free to comment if you have any of your own reading tips, or if you have any concerns about the PTE reading section in general.

Written by Danielle

Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!

How Much PTE Preparation Time Do I Need?

Ensuring that you have sufficient PTE preparation time is essential for achieving your PTE target score. But how much PTE preparation time do you need? 

Allocating the right amount of PTE preparation time can be tricky and depends on many factors including:

  • What are you currently scoring?
  • What score do you want?
  • How much time do you have?

Unfortunately, many people come to E2Language after failing the test multiple times. Believe it or not, most students who fail the test don’t score badly in all of the skill categories. In fact, these students often score over 65 in three areas, and miss the fourth area by only three to four marks. If you are one of these people, you’re not alone.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Failing to achieve your target score is only a setback. Try and remove all the negativity of failure from your previous experiences and see this as an opportunity to perform better in the next test. Instead of feeling discouraged about a low score, try and learn from your mistakes, and break down each section of the PTE by asking yourself: “What do I need to do to achieve my target score in each section?”

The team at E2Language can help you stay focused and achieve your target score by providing the support you need. By turning your weaknesses into strengths and setbacks in opportunities, you can realize your goals by doing the following:

  • Set realistic time frames
  • Stick to your study schedule as much as possible
  • Set the appropriate amount of study hours
  • Adopt a successful attitude and mindset.
PTE Preparation Time
The path to PTE success isn’t always easy. Don’t let a failure destory your confidence.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

We cannot emphasize this enough! Studying with the right amount of determination and attitude will influence your score. If you’re prepared to study productively and put the required hours in, you can achieve a 90 if that’s what you are realistically targeting. If you are determined to get a 79, you will. If you want to achieve a 65, you can with the right materials and focus. The point is that your goal will determine your grade. Practice makes perfect and your results will reflect your study habits, preparation and attitude.

Often I hear you ask “But how much time do I need to prepare?” The answer is, “It’s different for everyone!” However, as a general rule- those who wish to increase their PTE score by 10 points or more should set aside at least 4-6 weeks for targeted studying.

E2Language Study Plan – Use your PTE preparation time wisely!

Study schedules are an excellent way to keep track of your study program, ensuring you are covering of the PTE tasks.

Our 4 Week Study Schedule below shows that you need to study for 3 hours a day, for six days over 4 weeks if you want to cover every task in detail. Wow! Take a closer look at how each PTE parts are broken down.

PTE Preparation Time
E2Language PTE Study Plan: Four weeks @ 3 hours a day, six days a week.

Let’s say you need to go from a 65 to a 79 on your next PTE exam. Your best plan of action is actually to set your new goal higher than 79 in all sections and work hard to achieve it over four to six weeks. It’s more beneficial to put in the work for 4 weeks than it is to study for 2 weeks and hope for the best.

Now take a look at the 6 Week Study Plan which shows that you need to study two hours a day, for six days a week, over a period of 6 weeks. This is the optimal PTE preparation time for people who need 15 or more points (e.g. PTE 50 to a PTE 60).

PTE Preparation Time
E2Language PTE Study Plan: Six weeks @ two hours a day over six days a week.

Remember to tick off the tasks as you practice them to let yourself know how much work you are really doing!

Setting a goal of 90 can be realistic too. Read the success stories on our E2Language PTE Reviews page, and learn the PTE scoring tips from students who received perfect scores.

The PTE Preparation Cycle For Success

Every E2Language package will bring you closer to achieving your target score. I highly recommend focusing on getting feedback from tutors for speaking and writing sections. The learning cycle goes like this:

  • Learn from the webinars
  • Do the practice tasks
  • Get the live feedback in your tutorial and written feedback on your assessment tasks
  • Learn from your feedback and correct your errors
  • Do more practice tasks
  • Get feedback in the tutorial and on your assessment tasks
  • Keep going!
PTE Preparation Time
Follow the E2Language Preparation Cycle for PTE Success!

The PTE Learning materials available on the E2Language website are up to date and specific for each task. I recommend that you closely follow the model answers in all the sections of the test. Why?Because you want your answers to be model answers too!

In Re-tell Lecture and Describe Image, pay close attention to the structure of your content by imitating the model answers. The three areas that you are being marked on are: Content, Pronunciation and Fluency. Your content needs to be structured as the method suggests, and your pronunciation and fluency need to be learned and then practiced.

Attending live classes will lead to a better understanding of the methods as well as give you regular practice throughout the week.

PTE Scoring Tip: To score well you need to complete each task on time accurately

Efficiency is the key to the PTE. Familiarity through preparation and repeated practice will allow you to react efficiently on test day. Remember that YOU are preparing for a test! Like any test, there will be surprises and challenges, so be open minded and prepared.

The best grades are earned by persistence, determination and preparation. Don’t practice old mistakes, and always look for ways to correct your errors. The E2 PTE YouTube channel has great recordings of native speakers and focus on each task including read out-loud, re-tell lecture, and describe image. Remember to allow up to four to six weeks preparation for your PTE exam by sticking to a rigorous study plan.

Subscribe to the PTE Youtube Channel to watch methods webinars and tips videos like this one!

If you become a paid member with E2Language, we help you calculate your PTE preparation time and create personalized study plan just for you. Get the score you need by attending our live classes, utilizing resources such as the PTE practice tests, and getting regular feedback from your tutors.

Follow us on social media for all the latest PTE tips, strategies and updates!



Written by: David

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