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If you are preparing to sit either the PTE Academic or PTE Academic UKVI test in January 2024, then you need to be prepared to face one or two new question types in the PTE exam. This post will tell you everything you need to know about these new trial questions and give you sample questions to practise, so you will be fully prepared for test day. 

Overview

There are TWO new trial question types that you may see in the PTE test. Both of the new question types are in the SPEAKING section. They are known as Respond to a Situation and Summarize Group Discussion. We will outline each of these in full detail below. The new trial questions are similar to other PTE Speaking questions and test the same Speaking skills. These new questions will not be highlighted in any way, and can appear anywhere within the Speaking section. You will not be scored on these new trial questions, but you should still attempt to complete them to the best of your ability so as not to break your rhythm during the test. The new trial questions will no longer be seen in tests after January 31 2024.  

Why the New Trial Questions are Included

The new trial questions have been added to the PTE exam as part of Pearson’s ongoing research. They want to test the questions out to gather data on how well candidates perform on them and how well the questions work within the test. This research will help Pearson to make informed decisions on how best to improve the PTE test to ensure that it provides the most accurate reflection of your English proficiency. 

How the New Trial Questions Will Be Scored

The most important thing to remember is that you WILL NOT be scored on the two new PTE question types. Your performance on these new trial questions will not be counted towards your Speaking score or your overall PTE test score. The results will only be used by Pearson as part of their research to see how well the questions work. 

How to Prepare for the New Trial Questions

To prepare for the new trial questions, read the information about them below and complete the sample questions. This will familiarize you with the question types so that you know exactly what to expect on test day. You can also watch the useful videos at PearsonPTE.com

You should also sign up for free to E2’s PTE Academic Test Preparation course. Watching the methods videos and completing the practice items in the Speaking section will help you to become familiar with the skills being tested and how to get the highest PTE score possible. 

To find out more about how to prepare for the PTE exam, read this article.

Remember to approach the trial questions with an open mind and a flexible strategy. The ability to adapt to new question formats will showcase your linguistic versatility and readiness for real-world language challenges.

Respond to a Situation

For this trial question type, you will listen to and read a description of a situation. The situation will be something you would encounter in an academic setting. You have to provide a spoken response to describe what you would say in that situation. Below is an example of a Respond to a Situation question. Read the instructions and the situation. Then think about what you would say in response and record yourself giving your answer. 

PTE Sample Question


Listen to and read a description of a situation. You will have 10 seconds to think about your answer. Then you will hear a beep. You will have 40 seconds to answer the question. Please answer as completely as you can. 

You have been assigned a group project, but one member of your group has been unresponsive. You are worried that they will not contribute to the project. You want to ask your professor for a new member to join your group instead. You go to your professor’s office. What do you say to her?
 

Summarize Group Discussion

In this new PTE trial question type, you first listen to three people having a discussion. Then you give a spoken summary of the discussion. You have up to two minutes to give your response, after a short preparation time. Below is an example of a Summarize Group Discussion question. Read the instructions, listen to the discussion and then record yourself giving your summary. 

PTE Sample Question


You will hear three people having a discussion. When you hear the beep, summarize the whole discussion. You will have 10 seconds to prepare and 2 minutes to give your response. 

Conclusion

As PTE Academic test-takers, embracing change is an integral part of your journey towards linguistic proficiency. The introduction of new trial questions by Pearson for tests in January 2024 reflects their commitment to providing an assessment that mirrors the complexity of language use in diverse contexts. While these questions won’t impact your overall score, engaging with them offers a valuable opportunity for growth and adaptability in your language skills. Stay informed, practice diligently using  E2’s PTE Academic Test Prep, and approach the trial questions with confidence as you embark on the next phase of your PTE Academic journey. Best of luck!

Author Bio: 

E2 is the world’s leading test preparation provider. Our expert teachers are fully accredited English teachers, with TESOL, British Council or PTE certification, and years of PTE examiner or PTE teaching experience.

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