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?
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.
Good quality practice materials (beware free PTE materials!)
Methods that work
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!
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!
PTE Scoring is a little confusing at first, but crucial to your understanding of how to approach your PTE exam.
This post from E2Language breaks down the PTE Scoring and provides insight into the different skill components required of you.
How is the PTE scored? We get this question a lot. And no wonder! The curious students who ask about PTE Scoring just get pointed towards the PTE Score Guide. But informative guides are LONG and hard to read (I don’t know about you, but, I still have not read my school’s Student Handbook).
Having a good understanding of PTE scoringis important. It can give you insights on where to focus during the exam. So, I am going to outline the basics of what a PTE Newbie will need to know about how the exam is scored.
The PTE Academic reports an ‘Overall Score’ which is made up of a combination of what they call ‘Communicative Skills Scores’ and ‘Enabling Skills Scores’. These scores are given on a scale that runs 10–90 (with 90 being the perfect score). PTE items are all machine graded.
What are “Communicative” and “Enabling” Skills?
The PTE measures the following Communicative Skills:
Different tasks throughout the exam will impact each of these scores.
The Enabling Skills are:
Grammar: The order that words are written in a sentence. Ex. Is the action verb written in the correct place?
Oral Fluency: The pacing of your speech. Ex. Is it smooth? Do you sound natural? Or are there a lot of pauses or stutters? Find our article on “How to Increase Oral Fluency” for tips on increasing your English fluency.
Pronunciation: The clarity of your words. Ex. Can a native speaker understand you easily?
Spelling: Spelling has to be correct
Vocabulary: The right words are used when appropriate
Written Discourse:Clear and correctly developed ideas/concepts in written form Ex. Are the ideas organized? How easy is it to understand and follow the text?
How do “Enabling Skills” affect “Communicative Skills”?
PTE scoring is complex. Your overall score is given by balancing all the skills that are evaluated through the exam’s tasks.
You can think of Enabling Skills as the “building blocks” or foundation of the Communicative Skills. An example of this is how during a speaking task your “Oral Fluency” and “Pronunciation” will directly affect your Speaking score.
Make sure that you are working to strengthen your enabling skills to boost your overall performance!
PTE Scoring can be thought of as a 3-step-process
It is important to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! If the task says to answer in a two-three word response; do that! Remember, the PTE is graded automatically by a computer. So, if it detects a long sentence where a participant was supposed to answer in a short response they will not receive any credit past “content”.
You can think of the grading system in a 3-step process:
Content is scored (Did you answer with the appropriate response/include the correct content? For example, if you were instructed to describe a diagram but speak about an unrelated topic, your content would be incorrect)
-If ‘Content’ is CORRECT then ‘Format’ is assessed-
Step 2:Form is scored (Did you answer “in the right way”?As I explained if the prompt asks for any specifics these guidelines must be followed. For example, a “summarize written text” response must be written in only one sentence.)
-If ‘Form’ is CORRECT then the other skills will be scored-
Step 3:Applicable skills are evaluated and marked (Depending on the task different ‘Skills’ will apply.)
This 3-step content-form-skills method makes it important to answer with the RIGHT content and form. You’ve studied so hard to improve your grammar and spelling, don’t waste your chance to boost your score, by neglecting the form in which you need to answer. By answering in the wrong form/content you will automatically lose the opportunity to gain any marks on critical skills (Spelling, Grammar, Writing etc).
Everyone always talks about “NEGATIVE” PTE Scoring
There are three sections on the PTE that use “Partial Credit” scoring to deduct (-1 point) for every incorrect answer.
There’s a common misconception that these tasks are graded with ‘negative scoring’. I will explain why, in fact, these tasks are not truly negatively scored.
The scoring is as follows:
NOW, the minimum (lowest possible mark) you will receive for any of these questions is 0. That’s right! ZERO.
Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers:
There’s a lot of confusion about how ‘Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers’ is scored on the PTE for both Reading and Listening.
The below explanation has been officially confirmed by Pearson.
Example: Suppose a question has four answer options: A, B, C and D.
A and B are the correct options.
-If you select A and B, you will score 2 points.
-If you select A, you will score 1 point.
*No points are lost for not selecting B*
-If you select B, you will score 1 point.
*No points are lost for not selecting A*
-If you select A, B and C, you will score 2-1 = 1 point.
-If you select A, B, C and D, you will score 2-2 = 0 points
Obviously, you should try to select all the correct answer options and avoid selecting any incorrect answer options to maximize your scores. However, if you want to be cautious, you can select just one answer option.
Highlight Incorrect Words:
This section has the same ‘Partial Credit’ (-1 point) for every incorrect answer. This task is graded in the same way as ‘Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers’. These sections are nothing to freak out about. It is impossible to receive a negative mark.
Having lots of questions can be scary, so, we wrote this post to clear up some of that PTE scoring confusion. And by now, you shouldn’t be a “Newbie” anymore. You have to focus on studying NOT worrying. So, if you have any further questions please leave us a comment!
When it comes to PTE writing practice, teacher feedback is almost always necessary. Otherwise, you will be left to guess whether or not your writing will make the cut for the PTE writing section, and you won’t have a clear sense of how and where to improve.
When you purchase a two tutorial or more package with E2Language, you are entitled to three or more written feedback reports on both writing and speaking tasks. That is, at least three writing and three speaking tasks. The more tutorials you book, the more tasks you can submit for feedback.
The quality feedback on your PTE writing practice will enable you to improve with each writing task. Having your errors identified means that you can correct them and not make the same errors in your next piece of writing. This process of:
learn –> do –> get feedback –> learn –> do –> get feedback
Learn: about the methods in the live classes and recorded webinars
Do: The practice tasks on the E2Language website
Get Feedback:In the one-to-one tutorials and from teacher written feedback on your assessment submissions.
Below are some sample PTE Writing practice assessments submitted by real students and assessed by real teachers. Read carefully; you might recognise your own level of skill!
PTE Writing Practice: Summarize Written Text
Ice is formed from “firn” material by close off the air pores of grainy substance and under continuous pressure some ‘firn’ depth is squeezed into ice that depth is range from few meter to 100m.
Ice is formed from “firn” (-material) by clos(ing) off the air pores of grainy substance(s)(,) and under continuous pressure(,) some ‘firn’ depth is squeezed into ice (at a depth of) few meter(s) to 100m.
Unfortunately, you managed to make repeated formatting and spelling/grammar errors which together reduced your score significantly. I have reduced the score for content and structure as it is difficult to understand what you are describing. For example, you can say ‘firn’ or ‘material’ but it is not quite understandable when you say ‘firn material’. I also noticed you have some errors with verb-noun agreement.
You’ll see videos on pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. There are several in each section with more being added regularly.
An ice sheet is a compressed firn which is formed from accumulated compressed buried snow with trapped air inside the ice that continues to circulate for thousands of years; the ice sheet can reach a depth of 100 m and the lower ice can appear in clear or bluish hue; however, the ice core can deteriorate if summer temperature reaches above freezing point.
An ice sheet is a compressed firn which is formed from accumulated [Comma] compressed buried snow with trapped air inside the ice that continues to circulate for thousands of years; the ice sheet can reach a depth of 100 m and the lower ice can appear in [a] clear or bluish hue; however, the ice core can deteriorate if [the] summer temperature reaches above [the] freezing point.
This is well written with only minor omissions indicated in the sentence above. One word of caution. Be careful of sentences that get lengthy as they can easily become run-on sentences and expose you to greater chances of making grammatical errors.
In today’s world, Smart-phones play a significant role in our lives. The various apps available on Smart phones are indeed the key factor for reducing our intelligence levels.This essay will discuss the merits and demerits of Smart-phones and how it is affecting human intelligence.
First of all, all information can be stored in the smart -phones. This makes it incredibly easier for an Individual to make notes of important dates, key passwords and things to do. Consequently, we seldom use our memory to memorise important tasks.For instance, birthdays, key meeting notes, etc can be saved and pop up messages can be triggered on due dates. This could lead to loss of memory due to excessive dependence on Smart- phones.
Secondly, Smart-phones are embedded with spelling dictionary. Though, this enables, easy typing of messages,this could weaken the vocabulary of young students. As a result, too much dependence on such smart- phones would deter their intelligence. Additionally, Smart-phones also have in built calculator and excessive usage of such device would eventually reduce the mathematical and logical reasoning of individuals. For instance, College students may use Calculators for completion of their thesis and assignments but may suffer drastically in an exam environment.
This essay discussed various features of smart-phones and how it could affect our intelligence. In my opinion, thought Smart- phones are indeed great device to store loads of information, it is slowly decreasing our intelligence due to excessive usage.
In today’s world, Smart-phones [The word smartphones is one word without a hyphen and does not need to be capitalized in this sentence.] play a significant role in our lives. The various apps available on Smart phones [See above.] are [Comma] indeed [Comma] the key factor for reducing our intelligence levels.This essay will discuss the merits and demerits of Smart-phones [See above.] and how it is [The word smartphones is in the plural form. The pronoun and verb must agree; i.e., they are.] affecting human intelligence.
First of all, all information can be stored in the [Remove the definite article the.] smart -phones [See above.]. This makes it incredibly easier for an Individual to make notes of important dates, key passwords and things to do. Consequently, we seldom use our memory to memorise important tasks. [Leave one space after a full stop.] For instance, birthdays, key meeting notes, [Only one space after a comma.] etc [A period and comma are needed after the word etc.] can be saved and pop up messages can be triggered on due dates. This could lead to loss of memory due to excessive dependence on Smart- phones [See above.].
While the final sentence in the introduction says that it will “discuss the merits and demerits of Smart-phones”, the paragraphs 1 and 2 only speak of the demerits. There is no argument in favor of smartphones and how they might enhance human intelligence. This defeats the purpose of an argumentative essay which is to present both sides.
Corrections are offered in the first two paragraphs. Many of the errors may have been detected with a quick edit before submitting. Punctuation and subject verb agreement were among the errors.
With the rise of urbanization and populations growing across the world, evaluation of teachers on the website has become the subject of heated debate. while it is possible to claim that supporting for evaluating educators provides various benefits such as improving a quality of studying plans and materials, others maintain that the side effects of grading teachers outweigh the advantages. This essay will discuss that this measurement might bring a positive outcome to society.
There are several reasons why the evaluation of teachers on the websites can have a positive impact on both students and educators. Take the evaluating teachers on university websites for example, teachers can have feedback regarding their curriculum and then they may develop the way to educate students. By doing this, the well-structured studying plans and a quality of academic resources can be provided, which leads to benefits in society.
On the other hand, it is often argued that grading teachers is unnecessary. First and foremost, misleading of teacher’s reputations could be a significant factor to be considered. Proponents of this argument assert that teachers may be discouraged by the grading system and perhaps academic productivity can be reduced for students.
In conclusion, considering what has been discussed above, while a negative outcome can be created, it would be wise to say that evaluation of teachers by students is beneficial for both. Without a doubt, this measure is also advantageous to society and education system as a whole.
Your arguments are clear and your essay’s structure is logical.
while it is possible to claim that supporting for evaluating educators provides various benefits…(should be >>) While it is possible to claim that support for evaluating educators provides various benefits…
Without a doubt, this measure is also advantageous to society and education system as a whole. (should be >>)Without a doubt, this measure is also advantageous the education system and society as a whole.
Make sure to check your work before submission:
…debate. while…(should be >>) …debate. While…
Make sure that you look at the e2language.com core skills videos – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfV4dbtV-ZnyqSrKc6zbDtg
You’ll see videos on pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. There are several in each section with more being added regularly.
These days with the number of phone applications and digital photo software, images of models can be edited to look unrealistically perfect. These images could have negative consequences to those that view them. Therefore, this essay will discuss whether or not the media should include more normal looking people in their advertisements.
The inclusion of average looking people in advertisements would reduce the insecurities feelings customers could have. Customers would not feel inferior and have advertised images that they can relate to. For example, Boo, a women’s clothing brand has ditched supermodels for larger looking women to advertise their clothing. Therefore, this has reduced the inferiority complex feelings that women can have once they see an advertisement with as supermodel.
On the other hand, media should be able to choose whom they desire to be on their advertisement. The media should not be concerned about what people’s opinions and feelings are towards photoshopped supermodels. They should do what is best for their business and not try please everyone. For instance, some fashion brands only hire a specific type of women to advertise their clothing because it fits within their business model. Hence, the media should be able to put up advertisements of whoever they want.
In conclusion, this essay has discussed whether or not more normal people should be included in advertisements. The essay has looked at two main points, the inclusion of average looking people to reduce insecurities and that the media should choose who they want at their own discretion. In my opinion, I believe media should include more average looking, people because it reduces insecurities some people might feel.
These days with the number of phone applications and digital photo software (software is an uncountable noun, so be careful when combining both uncountable and countable nouns with ‘number of’. It would be better to say ‘the number of phone applications and the amount of digital photo software…’)
These images could have negative consequences to (consequences on or for, not to. Also consider ‘impact on’)
…Therefore, this essay will discuss whether or not the media should include more normal(-)looking people in their advertisements.
The inclusion of average looking people in advertisements would reduce the insecurities feelings (“feelings of insecurity”) customers could have. Customers would not feel inferior and (would) have advertised images that they can relate to. …this has reduced the inferiority complex feelings (feelings of inferiority) that women can have (may experience) once they see an advertisement with as supermodel.
On the other hand, (the) media should be able to choose whom(ever) they desire to be on their advertisement(s). The media should not be concerned about what people’s opinions and feelings are towards (P)hotoshopped supermodels. They should do what is best for their business and not try please everyone. For instance, some fashion brands only hire a specific type of wom(a)n (or ‘specific types of women’) to advertise their clothing because it fits within their business model. Hence, the media should be able to put up advertisements of who(m)ever they want.
.Very good. You write extremely well and present well thought-out arguments. Above are a number of suggested improvements to your writing.
Also, for clarity, it can help to rephrase “more normal-looking people” so that it is no ambiguity about whether you mean “more normal-looking” or “more models”. This can be achieved through “models who are more normal-looking” or “more models who are normal-looking”.
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
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
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 #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
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!
When your future depends on your PTE test result, it’s time to get serious about your preparation. Trust me, I know this from experience.
It’s happened to all of us at some point: we’ve tried our best at something and been disappointed. I remember staring in disbelief at my GRE (Graduate Record Examination) score a few years ago, and the embarrassment and anger that followed. I had studied for months and put everything I had into that exam. I had locked myself away every night after work and spent my weekends with my face buried in a math textbook. And yet- I still couldn’t reach my desired score in the quantitative (math!) section of the test.
It seemed like all of that time, energy and drive was for absolutely nothing. I wanted to storm into the test centre and demand a refund. I wanted to rip my math textbook in half and burn it in my backyard. I wanted to give up on my dream of getting into graduate school and live on a deserted island for the rest of my life.
In my work at E2Language, I’ve talked to so many competent, intelligent and motivated people who are feeling exactly the way that I felt a few years ago.
They feel like they’ve done everything they can to achieve their desired PTE test result, but nothing they do is good enough.
Every time I meet these people, I’m transported back to my own feelings of hopelessness, frustration and anger, and it reminds me that I am now in a position to share the lessons I learned from my own experience with high-stakes testing.
With the passage of time, I can now look back and see what I wasn’t ready to accept back then. I want to share my insights with you now so that you don’t fall into the same trap that I did. You see, 22-year-old Kaia eventually gave up on achieving my desired GRE score, and I ended up choosing a different path. I don’t regret this at all- it got me to where I am now- but I do realize now that I could have succeeded if I had made different choices in my test preparation.
So, what kind of test preparation mistakes did 22-year-old Kaia make? Let’s find out.
Mistake #1: I barely studied for my first test
The first time I wrote the GRE, I had barely even glanced at the textbook before. I figured “I’ll just see how it goes, I might be able to get the score I need without even needing to study!” BIG MISTAKE. I failed the math section by a lot, and my confidence took a massive hit. I see this mindset all the time with PTE test-takers and it always turns out the same way. The PTE evaluates more than your English skills, and if you don’t know the format of the tasks back-to-front, you’re not going to get the PTE test result you want.
Take it from me: it’s not worth $300+ to “see how it goes”.I can tell you how it goes for 99% of test-takers: You go in, you don’t get your score, you lose confidence in your ability. Want to know the number #1 reason why people give up? They’re not confident that they can succeed.
Don’t set yourself up to fail from the very beginning by sitting the test before you’re ready.
Want to know how likely you are to get your desired PTE test result? Fill out the form below to request a free PTE mini-mock test webinar from E2Language!
Mistake #2: I thought doing practice questions would fix my score
After my first disastrous GRE attempt, I convinced myself that all I needed to do was more practice questions. I figured: “Practice makes perfect”. What I didn’t know was that this tired old saying is only true when you have actually mastered the skills you are trying to perfect. At this point in my preparation, I still didn’t understand basic mathematical concepts and I had no idea what the questions in the GRE quantitative section were even trying to test.
So, what did I do? I tricked myself into thinking I understood by doing practice questions, then checking the answers (I ALWAYS got them wrong) and convincing myself that I understood why I got the wrong answer. Needless to say, after months of practice questions, I failed the GRE quantitative section yet again.
Again, this is a trap that I see may PTE test-takers fall into. One of our awesome students, Vishal, told us that he took PTE over and over again (5 times in total!) because he assumed that the more he did it, the better he would get. I understand how this seems logical to many (heck, I did the exact same thing!), but in reality this approach rarely works, and it’s also a very expensive route to take!
Why? Because you’re not actually learning anything new; you’re memorizing responses to set questions that you aren’t even going to see on the PTE, and you’re not understanding the purpose behind them. Believe me, your PTE test result will reflect this.
Remember: practice questions are what you do after you’ve mastered the skills for the test!
Mistake #3: I wasn’t willing to invest in my preparation
Throughout the whole traumatic GRE experience, I stubbornly refused to pay for any practice materials or help from a tutor. Part of the reason for this was that I was too proud to admit I needed help. On top of this, I thought I was resourceful enough to teach myself everything I needed to know. After all, I am a millennial who knows as well as my peers that one can google pretty much anything. We live in the age of youtube videos and free streaming, of free blogs, forums and “how-to wikis”. In this environment, it’s pretty easy to convince yourself that you have all of the knowledge you could possibly need.
Here’s where I got it wrong: There is plenty of information available online, yes, but information is not the same as knowledge. And what’s more, there is a lot of bad information out there. Most of the free GRE materials I found online were completely useless to me, and some of them even impacted my score negatively.
When I googled “free PTE materials” recently, I saw the exact same problem. There is free material out there- but every little of it will truly help anyone. AtE2Language, we provide some free materials because we think it’s important for there to be quality information out there. The difference between our material and most of the material in the “Free PTE” google search is that all of our content is created by qualified teachers, linguists and test experts, all of whom have actually taken the test themselves.
If you take nothing else away from this article, please remember this: you can’t trust 99% of the free material out there. And, more importantly, none of the free PTE material you find is going to match your learning needs 100%. You are going to have different strengths and weaknesses than the next person taking the PTE, and you need to find the methods and strategies that work for you. When you invest in good materials and personalized support like one-on-one tutoring, you are investing in the tools that will get you to that PTE test result you need.
Check out our PTE YouTube Channel for free resources you can trust, and feel free to email us to find out which PTE preparation course is right for you!
Your PTE test result is directly determined by your approach to preparation
22-year-old Kaia thought she could walk into a complex, difficult standardized test without any preparation whatsoever and get the score she needed. 22-year-old Kaia walked out with nothing but bruised confidence and less money.
Next, 22-year-old Kaia decided to try practice questions over and over again in order to boost her score. Again, 22-year- old Kaia walked out of the test with bruised confidence and even less money.
Finally, 22-year-old Kaia decided to teach herself math concepts (that she had never understood in the first place!) using free materials only. And, as we all know, 22-year-old Kaia walked out of her third and final test and gave up. 22-year-old Kaia blamed the test for destroying her dream.
26-year-old Kaia can now recognize that she was actually much more in control of the situation than she thought. If she had admitted that she needed help, found quality materials, and stopped trying to take the test when she wasn’t readyfor it, 22-year-old Kaia could have reached her goal. As I said before, I don’t regret how my life has gone since my GRE experience, but I am grateful for the lessons I learned from that time.
If you’re someone who is in a similar situation with their PTE preparation (discouraged, frustrated, desperate), please evaluate what you are doing and how you are doing it. If you are making any of the same mistakes that 22-year-old Kaia made, you’re not going to get the PTE test result you need anytime soon.
Give yourself the right learning tools and don’t put yourself in a test setting before you are ready. If you do this then I promise you that at the end of it all, you’ll have more money, more skills, and most importantly, more confidence in yourself.
Follow us on social media for all the latest PTE tips, strategies and updates!
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.
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.
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).
Remember to tick off the tasks as you practice them to let yourself know how much work you are really doing!
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
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!
Warning: This PTE Academic Reading Tips article contains a lot of memes. Very few of them (okay, none of them!) are going to be funny. I apologize in advance. If you don’t recognize a meme, I have helpfully linked each meme to its definition so that we can all laugh at my hilarious jokes together.
Let’s face it: Reading is one of the most difficult skills ESL learners need to master for a test like the PTE Academic. Sure – it looks easy on the surface – and it’s less stressful than speaking another language confidently, but reading well is somewhat of a gift.
Don’t worry, a lot of native English speakers struggle with reading comprehension questions too- I remember that most of my university English courses involved learning how to “skim”, “scan” and “read between the lines” on what seemed like 10 million random texts.
Okay, we get it: Reading is hard. Now what? I think what is most important to remember is this: Good reading skills take time to develop. So, if you’re a nervous reader or you’re failing the PTE reading practice tests and you’re writing the PTE next week, RESCHEDULE RIGHT NOW! If reading is your weakest skill, you’re going to need at least a month of preparation if you want to give yourself a fair shot.
With this in mind, here are some PTE Academic Reading tips for all those nervous readers out there:
PTE Academic Reading Tips: Become a person that reads for interest
I know, these people are totally weird. But they’re also great readers, and that’s what you should be doing! Science Daily, BBC and National Geographic are fantastic sources of content for you to read daily. As a bonus, a lot of PTE reading material relates to history, science or current events, so these sources will also be useful in putting you in the right mindset for the PTE reading material!
At least once a week, complete this independent reading exercise:
Step 1: Choose an article of about 250-300 words (the same length as the texts on the PTE!)
Step 2: Quickly scan the article and try to identify and write down the keywords in the text.
These might be:
Words that repeat themselves (e.g. The word “sperm-whale” in an article about marine preservation)
Words that match or mean the same thing as the article’s title (e.g. The title of the article is “Drinking too much water can be damaging to health” and you see the word “over-hydration” in the text)
Words that introduce an idea or action (e.g. A word that describes what the subject of an article thought or did, like “The diver explored the most elusive caves in the Indian Ocean”, or “The author concluded that drinking more than 10 glasses of water is detrimental to the human body”.
Step 3: Now, “speed-read” the text to try to fill in some context around your keywords.
Watch out for:
Any sub-headings, bolded or underlined phrases in the text
An introductory or topic sentence, points the support the topic sentence, and a concluding sentence. Keep in mind,the information in the introduction and the conclusion will often be the most useful!
Step 4: Now that you’ve finished speed-reading, take a moment to write down what you think the most important points in the article are.
Try to answer these questions:
From what perspective is this article written (i.e. was it written by a journalist or researcher, or maybe by the subject of the article him/herself?)
If you had to choose the 3 most important pieces of information given in the article, what would they be?
What is the article’s main message?
Step 5: Once you have written down your answers, read the entire article slowly, paying close attention to the details. Compare what you read with your notes – do you think you captured the main points and important keywords in the text? Was your “speed-reading” process almost as helpful as your careful reading of the complete article?
This exercise will not only get you started on the path to becoming a reader, it will also let you know how much work needs to be done. If you aren’t getting the important information from an article when you try to identify keywords, speed-read and take notes, you are not even close to ready for the PTE Reading questions!
Remember to PRACTICE this exercise as much as you can.
PTE Academic Reading Tips: Develop Your Vocabulary
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but an extensive vocabulary is key when it comes to succeeding on a reading test like the one on the PTE Academic. Think of it this way: The more words you know, the fewer you don’t know! This means that fewer words will confuse you and take away from the overall meaning of a text. One of the best PTE Academic Reading tips I can give is to get to work on your vocabulary now. Like right now.
When improving your vocabulary, pay special attention to developing your knowledge of these word types:
Synonyms: These are the alternatives to any given word. The PTE reading section is notorious for containing synonyms of keywords in its texts, so make sure you’re prepared.
Vocabulary Goal: Try to learn 5-10 new synonyms from thesaurus.com every week.
Collocations: Collocations are words that are often grouped together in the English language. The terms “abstract concept” and “critical thinking” are great examples. The PTE reading section is filled with collocations, and the more you know, the better!
And make sure you download our super helpful PTE Collocation word list:
Homonyms & Heteronyms: Homonyms are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently, like “male” and “mail”. Heteronyms are words that sound different or have completely different meanings, but are spelled identically, like “row” (line) and “row” (fight). Knowing your homonyms and heteronyms will ensure you aren’t getting words confused on test day.
Vocabulary goal: Memorize 5-10 words from the homonym list and 5-10 words from the heteronym list every week. Make sure you know how to use them differently!
PTE Academic Reading Tips: Identify your reading level
Wow, I really should have put this one of the top of the reading tips list- but I’ll just hope that you have made it this far in my article (I may like reading, but I’m a lazy writer!) Knowing your reading level is crucial in knowing how to study for a reading test and build your reading comprehension skills. How can you do this?
3 word article rule: When reading an article, make sure there are less than 3 words you don’t understand in its first paragraph. If it’s a short article (300 words or less), skim the text to find all the words you don’t understand and write down their definitions. Then, read the article using your written definitions to help you get past those big, scary words!
Practice questions: Be careful with these. There are heaps of reading comprehension practice questions out there, but many of them are poor quality and are nowhere near the level of the real PTE Academic Reading questions. Practice with our free PTE materials on the blog, or sign up for a free trial of the E2Language PTE preparation course for PTE-level reading activities and questions.
Here’s the important thing: Only use practice questions to identify your reading weaknesses. You’ll learn absolutely nothing from doing the same thing over and over, so once you know where you are struggling, stop doing practice questions and start working on the skills you need to build, like your vocabulary or “skimming/scanning” abilities! If you don’t take this approach, none of the PTE Academic Reading tips or practice questions in the world will make any difference to your score. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, drop us an email and we’ll help you get on track!
Overall, you have nothing to lose from improving your reading. Good readers are the best writers, so you’re basically getting double the profits by investing your time and effort in your reading abilities! Just don’t become like me and waste all of your time reading funny Buzzfeed listicles…
I hope you found my PTE Academic Reading tips helpful! 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.
Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!
The PTE Listening Test can be tricky if you don’t pay attention to the prompts and lack good preparation. If you are looking for PTE Listening material to study with, this article will be a good guide for you.
Each of the 8 tasks on the PTE Listening Test focuses on testing different skills.
Summarise spoken text
It is what it says: a 35- 40 second summary of a spoken text. It tests your ability to take notes; identify a topic; summarise the main ideas; organise your sentences and paragraphs in a logical way; use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Actively listen from the first word—not wait until it makes sense! It may not make sense until the end, in which case at least you will know what the topic is. So, note the keywords from the moment the speaker starts speaking. A keyword may be a single word or short phrase.
Listen for keywords …
Keywords may include main ideas, dates, people’s names, place names, statistics and numbers. Write these down on your erasable notepad.
After you have listened to the spoken text and taken notes, you will have ten seconds to organise them. Group similar ideas together. You need 5 to 6 good keywords and you probably have more notes than you need. Be selective to capture the main ideas from the text.
E2Language members are provided with a framework to use. Select your keywords from your notes and insert them into the framework. Elaborate on one or two sentences.
Watch the time …
Keep a strict eye on the time and aim to finish at 35 seconds. Practise watching the time as you speak. This will let you know that you need to shorten your sentences or elaborate a little on your keywords. The more good practise you do, the more prepared you will be, so ensure you practise the tasks under Listening, Summarise Spoken Text on the E2language website.
You will be awarded marks for content, form, grammar, vocabulary, spelling. Marks count for Listening and Writing.
In this task, you will be tested on your ability to comprehend the main ideas in a text and determine which connections between pieces of information. There is negative marking where points are deducted for incorrect options. So, if a test taker scores 2 points for correct options, but the scores -2 for two incorrect options chosen, they will score 0 points overall for the item.
Skim the possible options. Listen very carefully. You may take notes to help you focus and remember, especially names and numbers. Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select the correct ones. Check your answers and submit.
You will be scored 1 for each correct response and -1 for each incorrect response. 0 is the minimum score.
Fill in the blanks
This task tests your ability to understand academic vocabulary and identify words and phrases appropriate in a context.
The best way to improve your score in this section of the PTE Listening Test is to improve your vocabulary. Read three articles from www.sciencedaily.com daily and use the E2Pronounce app as a dictionary to find the meaning of words that you are unfamiliar with. By reading you will increase your vocabulary which will improve your reading as well as your listening comprehension.
You will be scored 1 for each word spelled correctly, with 0 the minimum score.
Highlight Correct Summary
This task tests your ability to identify a topic, follow a sequence of information and comprehend a different accent.
You will listen to a text of 60-90 seconds. You will then select the correct summary from a list of possible options. Only one summary will be correct. The other options may be similar but there will only ever be one correct option.
Read every word in each option before you make your selection. Sometimes some words or phrases that you heard are in each option, but do not be tempted to select the first option that you think is correct on this basis, but rather read each option from the first word to the last. The meaning may change during the sentence!
Marks are awarded as 1 for a correct response and 0 for an incorrect response. These marks count towards both your PTE Listening Test and PTE Reading Test results.
Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer
Similar to the Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answer, in this task, you will be tested on your ability to comprehend the main ideas in a text and determine connections between pieces of information. Skim the possible options. Listen very carefully. You may take notes to help you focus and remember, especially names and numbers. Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select the correct one. Check your answer and submit.
Marking is 1 for correct response and 0 for an incorrect response.
Select Missing Word
In the PTE listening ‘select missing word’ task, you will be tested on identifying a topic, theme or main ideas and form a conclusion from what a speaker says. As the instructions state:
You will hear a recording about (topic). At the end of the recording the last word or group of words has been replaced by a beep. Select the correct option to complete the recording.
Do not take notes. Listen for meaning. You will either know or not know the answer.
Practise often from the E2Language site to build your confidence.
Marks are 1 for a correct response and 0 for an incorrect response.
Highlight Incorrect Words
You will hear a recording and read a transcript of the recording which differs from what the speaker says. You will click on the words in the transcript that are different.
Negative marking applies. So, if you score 2 points for correct options but then score -2 for two incorrect options you will score 0 points overall for the item.
Listen and be prepared to act quickly. If you are uncertain about whether to click on the word or not, do not click on the word.
Write from Dictation
Here you will be tested on academic vocabulary, follow an oral sequencing of information and use of correct spelling.
You will be asked to listen to a sentence and type the sentence in a box exactly as you hear it. You will only hear the sentence once, so listen very carefully and write as much of the sentence as you can.
Listen carefully and write the sentence down on the erasable pad. You can then type the sentence on to the screen. If you are a very good typist then you can type directly on to the screen as you listen. Work quickly and accurately.
Marks are awarded as 1 for each word correctly spelled. 0 for each incorrect or misspelled word. Marks count towards the PTE Listening Test and PTE Writing Test.
To do well in the PTE Listening Test, register and attend the E2Language Live Listening Classes. This will give you a chance to complete a PTE listening practice test.
Our E2 PTE YouTube Channel has some useful PTE Listening videos, including this one:
Remember to familiarise yourself with each part of the PTE Listening Test and practise to ensure that you know what each section is asking you to do. Understand the marking, and work as accurately and efficiently as you can.
Feel free to leave a comment and I look forward to seeing you in a live class or a tutorial!
Follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates!
Manjunath is an E2Language student who recently took the PTE and received straight 90’s on his first try! He kindly offered to write a blog for us in order to provide PTE preparation tips from a student’s perspective.
I would like to share an inspiring story about the PTE Academic with you guys. I scored a low 6.5 in the writing section of my IELTS in my second attempt. I required 8 in all bands of the IELTS for my immigration and was struggling to get the desired score. I started thinking about alternative English exams which could potentially get me over the line. Ultimately, I started researching other tests such as the PTE, TOEFL ibt and OET. I found that PTE Academic was a good option and started reading about the different tasks. It is also vital to know and understand the scoring guide.
PTE Preparation Tips For Newbies
To begin with, I would like to say that it is essential for you to choose the right test. IELTS is good for people who find it difficult to speak to a computer. The reading and listening sections of the IELTS are comparatively easier. The PTE Academic writing section is much simpler to crack, whereas the speaking and reading modules are slightly complicated. Having said that, with continuous practice and perseverance, you can crack both the modules. It is also important for you to improve your typing speed (if you are slow in typing) which is a key factor in the writing task.
It is also very important to prepare properly. I do not think you can prepare for 2 weeks and get a 79+ in all modules. I started my PTE preparations 5-6 months back and put in extra effort in the last 1-2 months. I purchased the actual PTE mock tests from the official Pearson website.
Once you get a basic idea about the tasks and practice a few questions using the Pearson book or YouTube, you should take both scored PTE practice tests. These tests give you an experience of the actual PTE and the algorithms used for marking are the same as the real PTE exam. In my first practice attempt, I scored 84 (Speaking), 75 (Reading), 74 (Writing), and 76 (Listening).
Do not be disappointed if you get a low score. You will get an idea about where your focus should be. This will help you in working out methods to tackle obstacles in the actual testing environment. I would suggest people use this test as an opportunity to improve their overall language skills. This will not only help you in the exam but also in your future endeavours. As a non-native speaker, it was very important for me to revise basic vocabulary and grammar which was helpful in the reading and writing tasks.
The only issue with the PTE was the lack of practice material available. I started watching YouTube videos and came across an interesting online teaching platform called E2Language. I started watching the free videos such as the Core Skills classes, methods webinars, and mini mock tests. I required more practice and signed up with E2Language. I took the ‘I’m nervous’ package with them ($250 AUD) which gave me enough practice materials to work with.
The teachers were extremely nice and friendly. I would like to thank Jay, Kaia, Colin, David, Jamal, and the other members of E2Language for their continued support, motivation, and guidance. I could not have achieved this amazing score without their assistance. They provided feedback & assessment on the different tasks, plenty of PTE preparation tips, and all the necessary techniques & strategies I needed to improve my scoring.
There are several free PTE methods webinars on the E2 PTE Youtube channel, and you can access a methods webinar for all of the PTE tasks when you become a paid student.
PTE Preparation Tips For Test Day
On test day, it is very important to relax and calm your nerves. Once you enter the exam room, just go through the instructions thoroughly and check the headphones. It is mandatory to check the microphone and check your recording. If you feel that the recording is not proper, get your headphones changed.
The Speaking tasks came first and just came one after the other, so it is very important for you to know the sequence and pattern beforehand. You must speak with minimal or no hesitation, because it contributes to your oral fluency score. Speaking is scored based on content, oral fluency, and pronunciation.
The next task was Writing which was the easiest for me. I practiced a variety of summarize written text and essays which helped me in the actual exam. Getting assessment for these tasks from E2Language was helpful during the test.
Reading was tricky and I was running out of time. You should have a method to tackle all the reading tasks and vocabulary is important in answering them correctly. It is also crucial to have a good understanding of the different parts of speech and basic grammar to answer these questions. I used the process of elimination technique to get the right answer for the multiple choice questions.
Listening was comparatively easier and, like Reading, time management is key. The tasks after summarize spoken text are not individually timed, so you need to handle the allocated time efficiently.
In A Nutshell…
I had an amazing experience with the PTE Academic. Enjoy each task as it comes. Do not think about the next or the previous task and just concentrate on the task at hand. This will help you in improving focus and concentration, which is of paramount importance in the PTE. Moreover, get proper guidance from E2Language before taking the exam. They will give you important PTE preparation tips and strategies which you can use in the test and get a high score.
Good luck and never give up. I hope my story inspires you guys into achieving something great. My PTE Academic and IELTS scores are as follows….
The E2Language team would like to congratulate Manjunath on his amazing (and well-earned) PTE success!! Make sure you check out his detailed PTE Academic Success Story video on Youtube. Manjunath, thank you for taking the time to share your PTE preparation tips and experience with fellow test-takers!
Make sure you follow our social media for more PTE resources and updates:
Many of our students are confused about whether they should take PTE or OET for immigration and employment purposes, so we decided to provide some facts about which test may be right for your situation.
Hi my name is Jay and I’m one of the expert teachers at E2Language. E2Language is the OET’s only authorised ‘feedback provider’. We are the only institute trained by the OET to give feedback on writing and speaking. We have an online OET course that is second to none. Our materials and our methods get students the score they need.
But is OET the right test for you? Although you are a medical professional, you can take other tests, such as the PTE. Should you take the OET? Here are some reasons why and why not that you should consider…
PTE or OET: Why you should take the OET instead of the PTE.
The main reason doctors, nurses and physios take the OET instead of the PTE is because they feel more comfortable with the vocabulary associated with their profession. In the OET writing sub-test you must write a letter using vocabulary that you are familiar with. You will not be faced with a question prompt about ‘spaceships’ or ‘global warming’. The same goes for reading and listening: The words you hear will be medical words; they will be familiar to you.
The other big reason why doctors, nurses and physios choose the OET over other tests is because they feel it relates to their professional development. The tasks that you do in the OET are ones that mirror the workplace environment. Listening to a consultation and taking notes in the listening sub-test, for example, is one such real-life task. Writing a discharge letter is another. The test can prepare you for your upcoming job in the hospital or clinic whereas the PTE will not really apply.
PTE or OET: Why you should take the PTE instead of the OET.
The cost of the PTE is substantially less than the OET, so if money is an issue then PTE might be a better option.
The results of the PTE are released within 2-3 days of taking the test, so if time is an issue for you then the PTE might be a better option.
It has more tasks
Why would more tasks be a better thing? Wouldn’t that make it a worse test to take? Well… it depends on your attitude towards taking the test. If you see the PTE or OET as a barrier that you have to get through then it doesn’t really matter what you have to do, but if you see these tests as an opportunity to improve your spoken, written and comprehension of English then the PTE is arguably a more ‘rounded’ English tests. It tests more aspects of your language and as such gives you more opportunities to improve your English all ‘round. For example, in the reading section of the PTE there are five different tasks, each of which tests a different aspect of reading and vocabulary. Preparing for the PTE, then, gives you a better insight into English language.
I’m not sure about you, but I can’t write with a pencil anymore. Years of typing on a keyboard has rendered my handwriting skills redundant. While I haven’t taken the OET, I have taken the PTE and the IELTS. Typing, for me, is far easier than writing by hand.
There aren’t many OET preparation materials
One of the problems with the OET is that the preparation materials are extraordinarily difficult to create. As such, there are very few ‘sub-tests’ on the internet to practice with, and usually what you find is sub-standard. E2Language is different in that our preparation materials are top quality. However, if you need HEAPS of practice materials because your English is low, then you should opt for the PTE because we have more practice materials. On the other hand, if your English is already very good, then you should consider doing the OET because you don’t need that much practice.
If you decide to take the PTE, make sure you visit the E2 PTE YouTube channel for webinars and video lessons like this one:
What else do you need to know about the OET?
If you are leaning towards the OET as your preferred test, there are some other things you should know before you go ahead and book your test.
A) Get feedback
Vocabulary and grammar aside, the way that you write a referral or a discharge letter is quite complicated. The method of selection, transformation and organisation requires practice, and more importantly, it requires feedback. You shouldn’t just get any old feedback, however. You need expert feedback from people who are officially trained by the OET – in other words, us. We know what you need to do to get an A or B on the OET writing.
B) Learn methods
OET Reading Part A is a real killer. You have 15 minutes to answer about 30 questions – or 1 question per 30 seconds. Without a method – without a step by step approach to this sub-test it is virtually impossible to score highly. There are two skills that OET candidates consistently fail and they are writing and reading.
PTE or OET: What should I do now?
If you need to become a registered nurse or practice medicine in Australia, for example, and you need to pass the OET or another test like the PTE then you should start your preparation immediately. Don’t underestimate how challenging these tests are. We’ve had candidates who have completed a four year nursing degree in Australia – who have written essays and done workplace practice – yet fail the OET several times because they did not prepare adequately. This is the final step before you land your dream job – don’t let this test stop you.
If you decide to take the OET, make sure to visit our E2 OET YouTube channel for some free webinars and video lessons like this one:
Do you still feel like you need some expert advice about whether you should take PTE or OET? Contact us and one of our knowledgeable tutors can help you make your decision and select the PTE or OET preparation course that best suits your needs!
Follow our social media for more PTE & OET resources and updates!