Try FREE now

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. 

I also recommend the E2Language Mini Mock Tests and PTE listening practice tests to develop useful methods and practice for all the PTE tasks.

PTE Listening Test

The PTE Listening Test tasks:

Each of the 8 tasks on the PTE Listening Test focuses on testing different skills.

Summarize spoken text 

In the “Summarize spoken text” task you will see an audio recording box on your screen with a blank text box beneath it.

Summarize Spoken Text

After 12 seconds, a recording will automatically play and will last for approximately 60-90 seconds. After it finishes, you must write a brief summary of what you heard in the text box provided.

You must write between 50 and 70 words, and include what you think were the most important points made by the speaker in the recording.

Watch the time …

Keep a strict eye on the time and aim to finish at 35 seconds. Practice 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 practice you do, the more prepared you will be, so ensure you practice 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.

Listening multiple choice, choose multiple answers

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.

PTE listening test checklist

Fill in the blanks

This task tests your ability to understand academic PTE 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 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.

Practice 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 practice 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!

Written by David Williamson

All Comments 17
  • I am a paid member of E2L since Jan 2017. Initially I subscribed to the basic package for practice and attempted my first exam on 22 Feb 2017. I scored L:71 R:69 S:67 W:74 G:81 O:73 P:61 Sp:86 V:90 WD:90. I was very disheartened. I strictly followed your methods during the exam. After the exam, I posted my feedback on the white board and emailed Jay for any help. As per his recommendation, I have taken post test review and decided to upgrade the E2L package to ‘I’m desperate’. All my E2L teachers – David, Lee etc given very good feedback while doing my 5 online sessions but unfortunately I scored very poorly in my second attempt – L:68 R:64 S:55 W:80 G:62 O:59 P:62 Sp:73 V:58 WD:90. Moreover I have taken the second test after practicing all E2L mock tests.
    I’m really not sure if upgrading the E2L package had really helped me and if there is some solution to my problem. Can someone work with me to overcome the situation?

    • Hello there,

      I’m so sorry to hear about this situation, it sounds like you are working very hard but are just not seeing the results. Have you had another post-test follow up yet? It’s possible that the PTE may not be the right test for you. Please make sure you book your follow-up appointment right away (email us or ask for the link on whiteboard!) and bring these concerns to the teacher you speak with. Clearly, there needs to be a different approach here, maybe even a different test. Whoever you speak to will absolutely spend the time with you to figure out what to do next. Once again, I’m so sorry to hear about this experience! We’ll talk to you soon!!

  • Hi:
    I appeared for PTE on 29th April’17 and scored poorly in Speaking (57) and listening (64). (got the result within 14 hrs!!).
    Speaking section was full of surprises. (scored 82 in speaking in the mock test)
    I am planning to re-appear for PTE within few days. Any online crash course with new material to improve my skills?
    I have used all available PTE material.

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Hi Tejas,

      Sounds like you could really benefit from our PTE express package, which is built for people with short timelines who are close to their PTE goals but need practice and guidance. It includes full access to live online courses, webinars, lessons & live mock tests, as well as heaps of PTE practice questions! Good luck with your next PTE attempt!!

  • Royal Luthra says:

    I have a question. In write from dictation, should i use numbers where necessary or only words.
    For e.g.
    The lecture has been shifted to 10:30
    The lecture has been shifted to ten thirty

    Which one of the above is correct.


  • Hi
    I have given the PTE-A two times. And received the same result for speaking. Can anyone tell me where am I loosing the marks.
    I am frustrated because both the times I score 79+ in all other sections. Below are my scores.

    Test 1: L75, R90, S84, W80

    Test 2: L75, R90, S79, W87


  • In write from dictation what is the marking guide?? If I make a mistake or loose any task is it possible to get 65 in listening???

    • Hello Haider,

      The marking for each section is confidential. We have no idea as Pearson doesn’t reveal the sectional breakdown.


  • Hi E2!

    Are you sure about the instructions in summarise spoken test?
    It looks like retell lecture:
    ” a 35- 40 second summary of a spoken text.” ;
    ”After you have listened to the spoken text and taken notes, you will have ten seconds to organise them.”;
    ”Keep a strict eye on the time and aim to finish at 35 seconds. ” and so on….


    • Hey Gustavo,

      That is correct, good catch! 🙂

      We have made the change and thank you for bringing this to our notice.


  • Hello guys, i took the test for the first time 8 days ago(13th March) after 3 weeks of preparation using your free materials and youtube videos, they’re very very helpful as i wouldn’t been able to do the tasks without following your methods, and the official mock tests and sample questions.
    But i got a really disheartening result:
    Overall: 87 L:78 R:90 S:87 W:87 G:90 OF: 69 P:90 SP: 90 V:90 WD: 90 :˜(((
    I’m taking the test again in 3rd April, any tips on how to improve my listening? I know all the methods but i have a hard time with select missing word(s) and specially write from dictation.

    Thanks guys!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.