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The PTE writing section may seem intimidating, especially the part where you are required to write an essay.

Writing an essay has always been somewhat of an art, even for native English speakers. While many just want to know the “right” way to write an essay, there never seems to be only one answer!

The most important thing to understand about the write an essay task is that it needs to be done according to a PTE-specific format. Adopting this format will showcase your ability to organise written ideas in a clear, logical and grammatical way. Some impressive (and correctly used!)

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With this in mind, we are sharing with you some strategies to help you improve your PTE “write an essay” score.

PTE Writing tip #1: Keep it simple.

Long, convoluted sentences with lots of punctuation are your enemy. The more you try to extend your sentences, the more likely you will be to make grammar and punctuation mistakes! The Pearson test assessors are not looking for long, impressive sentences; they are looking for sentences that are clear and logical.

Look at this example:

Although many people are in support of standardized testing, I disagree with it for a few reasons and I will talk about these reasons below, including about the fact that it allows students to cheat more easily and stifles creativity in people.

WOW. What a complicated sentence! The ideas are all there, but they sure are hard to follow.

Let’s try this instead:

Although many people are in support of standardized testing, I am not one of them. In my opinion, standardized testing makes it easier for students to cheat and stifles their creativity. I will discuss these ideas further below.

“When I wrote the PTE exam, I adopted this simple writing style and I took absolutely no risks with my punctuation. My result was a score of 90 across all writing-related skills, including written discourse and grammar”. -Kaia, E2 PTE student

PTE Writing tip #2: Take the time to plan your points.

A lot of people run out of time writing their PTE essay because they change their minds about their arguments halfway through and must begin again. People often think that the best tactic is to just begin writing, get the ball rolling and the ideas will follow. Unfortunately, this is rarely how it works.

Creating a plan will save you from having to stop and restart.

People will often say that they don’t write out an essay plan because they’re afraid of wasting valuable time. We can promise you that it really doesn’t take long to jot down a few quick ideas on your erasable booklet, especially if you have a method. The E2 Test Prep method breaks “planning” into 3 easy steps that take less than two minutes. You can find this method in our PTE “Write Essay” webinar, included in our PTE course preparation packages.

Here is a planning hint from our webinar:

PTE Writing tip #3: Use the “right” format.

When many of our PTE students hear the word “essay”, they automatically understand it to mean a text with 5 paragraphs that includes an introduction, three arguments and a conclusion. They panic because they realize how unrealistic it is to write all of that content in just 20 minutes with a 300-word limit!

Here’s the thing: you are NOT expected to structure your essay this way. In other words, the standard 5-paragraph template that everyone knows is not the “right” template for the PTE essay section. You don’t have enough time to complete an essay in this style, and you probably won’t be able to think of enough arguments to support your ideas either!

So, what can you do instead?

Keep in mind that there may be multiple “right” answers when it comes to structuring your essay, so here are two examples of essay structures that consistently work for PTE:

Structure 1: Weigh the arguments

Paragraph 1: Introduction of the topic

Paragraph 2: Arguments for

Paragraph 3: Arguments against

Paragraph 4: Conclusion – tell the reader which argument is most convincing (in your opinion)

Structure 2: Choose a side and stick with it

Paragraph 1: Introduction of the topic

Paragraph 2: Argument 1 (e.g. against)

Paragraph 3. Argument 2 (e.g. against)

Paragraph 4: Conclusion – sum up the arguments you made in paragraphs 1 and 2

Each of these paragraphs needs only be a few sentences long to clearly get your point across. Again, for more information about essay structure methods, our PTE “write essay’ webinar is a great place to start! In addition, check out this great article about writing essay conclusions in English.

PTE Writing Bonus Tip: Brush up on your academic vocabulary!

“I am a native speaker of English who has published academic articles in the past and I STILL didn’t get full vocabulary points on the PTE. I got an 89, so I’m not that upset – but my score really illustrates to me how important it is to know the vocabulary that the PTE is looking for” – Kaia, E2 PTE student.

How can you build this vocabulary? Well, you can READ! Read newspaper articles, read novels, read autobiographies, read whatever you can get your hands on! Reading not only increases your vocabulary, but it also enhances your understanding of context. We’ve all had an experience where we’ve attempted to use a new and exciting ‘big word’, only to have someone point out that we’ve used it incorrectly!

Speaking of reading, E2Language has an academic word list that goes hand in hand with our pronunciation app (e2pronounce) so you can practice your vocabulary and pronunciation simultaneously!

Remember, the PTE writing section (including the PTE Summarize Written Text task) is not about making you write the next literary masterpiece, it’s about assessing your ability to organise ideas clearly and logically, using good grammatical structure and vocabulary. That’s it. And trust me, anyone can do this if they have the right tools.

Check out E2 PTE YouTube to improve your PTE Writing!

Do you think you have the right tools to ace the PTE Essay task? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

For those who like to multitask, a podcast is a handy way to prepare as you can listen in and learn while preparing dinner for the family, commuting or doing some exercise. With a new episode every week, the Everyday English podcast will help you improve your English fluency. 

If you love podcasts, you can’t miss Everyday English with E2. There’s a new episode every week!
All Comments 74
  • This is a very important post. The points are vital. I have certainly learned something new. Each time I visit this blog, I learn something new. Thanks Kaia and the E2 team; you’re doing a great work here.

  • These are really helpful tips! But I’m confused about the word limit. Should we stick to the lower side (e.g. 210) or higher side (e.g. 280) of the word limit for max score since, time is really short and max limit is way too much?

    • Kaia Myers-Stewart says:

      Hi Neha,

      Thanks for the comment! I would definitely recommend aiming for the higher side in order to showcase as much of your writing ability as possible. You can still make the sentences short and sweet to avoid errors, but the content should take up 280-300 words. The time limit really is short, but if you can plan out your points efficiently you’ll be able to put in all the content you need to make your argument. It comes down to practice against a clock. ALWAYS time yourself when practicing writing your essays. And don’t be afraid to be a bit longwinded in your introduction or conclusion if you are under the word count by a lot when you have your points written out! 🙂

      • Hi Kaia,

        I am bit confused over the PTE marking criteria for Writing section.
        I have wrote PTE three times. Below are my scores for Writing for these attempts.

        First Attempt: Score: 89 Enabling scores: Grammer-90 Spelling-90 Vocabulary-83 Written Discourse- 81

        Second Attempt: Score: 75 Enabling scores: Grammer-77 Spelling-88 Vocabulary-67 Written Discourse- 51

        Third Attempt: Score: 74 Enabling scores: Grammer-73 Spelling-87 Vocabulary-70 Written Discourse- 90

        For the last attempt,i strictly followed E2language strategy to improve Written Discourse course. However, i could score only 74 in this attempt.

        Note: During the first attempt, where i scored 89 in Writing, i did not follow any specific pattern and in all the three attempts i wrote essays with 300 words.

        • Hello Prashant,

          Hmm! That is really upsetting to hear 🙁

          It is entirely possible that you would have required feedback and/or a tutorial to identify the areas you were missing out on when you were implementing the methods. Feedback is key in such aspects and we recommend taking a look at our packages that provide writing feedback.


  • Dear Kaia,
    Can I follow the structure 1 with all below three essay types?
    -Type 1: Argumentative essay
    -Type 2: Discussion essay
    -Type 3: Advantages outweigh disadvantages

    • Kaia Myers-Stewart says:

      Hi Shoaib,

      Thanks for the question! You can certainly do type 1 and 3, however type 2 doesn’t rely apply. The PTE essay question always asks you to pick a position, so it’s not enough to just discuss both sides. However, you can discuss both sides BRIEFLY and THEN pick your position. You just have to make sure that you’ve made your opinion on the subject completely clear. So you can structure this type of essay the following way:

      1. Introduction, introducing the topic
      2. One side of the argument
      3. The other side of the argument
      4. Conclusion, with your opinion CLEARLY stated about which side you fall on

      This is perfectly acceptable! That being said, I always favour the following method for my essays:

      1. Introduction of the topic and of my point of view/opinion about it
      2. Supporting arguments for my opinion
      3. Conclusion restating my opinion

      That’s just me though! Both are equally valid. Just make sure you always make your opinion clear and SUPPORT it (say why or why not).

      Hope this helps! We do writing assessments as part of most of our course packages too, you should check them out! 🙂

      • Hi Kaia,

        I gave my third PTE attempt yesterday and the essay, i received was asking for my solution on the global warming issues. So it was not neither ‘Argumentative essay’ nor ‘Advantages outweigh disadvantages’ essay, but it was ‘Discussion essay’.

        It is very well possible that, they might have introduced this type of essay recently.


        • Hello Prashant,

          Thank you for pointing that out. You can use the same structure for this type of essay as well. Just ensure that you modify the content according to the questions.

  • Syeda HUma Ambereen says:

    Hello E2 Team,

    Thanks a lot, Truly speaking E2 has helped me to handle PTE in the simplest way by their methods…

    appreciate your work…

  • Hello Kaia,

    Can you explain little bit about the conclusion ?
    Should we write only one sentence for conclusion ? Or is it a separate paragraph with multiple sentences ?


    • Kaia Myers-Stewart says:

      Hi Yoshan,

      Thanks for the question! Best practice for the conclusion is to write around 2-3 sentences. You need to wrap things up without being too abrupt!

      For example (topic of extreme sports):

      Overall, although I do understand why some people avoid extreme sports, I think they are beneficial and healthy. Extreme sports keep me grounded and help me express my frustrations in a fun and harmless way. I think this statement is likely true for a large part of the Australian population as well, and that life would be more enjoyable if everyone thought this way!

      Obviously you’ll want to keep the tone and style that you like, but try for around 2-3 sentences to get the length right! 🙂

      Hope this helped!

    • Hi Tommy,

      Forgetting a full stop at the end of your conclusion will not cause you to fail- however you might lose a point in either ‘Grammar’ or ‘Written Discourse’ because you didn’t add the appropriate punctuation. Basically, the overall impact will be small and you certainly won’t fail because of that.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Hi there
    The essay writing structure is fabulous. But when I write the essay in accordance to the format mentioned in the webinar video the length only goes upto 200-210. 50-60 for introduction, 50-60 for argument 1 and 2 each, 50-60 for conclusion. Is that word count sufficient for augmenting the score?

    • Kaia Myers-Stewart says:

      Hi Nischal,

      Generally, 250-299 is the magic number. You are right on with your introduction and conclusion length, but it looks like you could add a bit more content to your arguments. All that means is adding one or two sentences more. For example, you could use a clarifying sentence beginning with something like this: “In other words”, “In line with this point,” etc.

      You won’t necessarily be docked points for an essay that is 210 words, but I would add a bit more detail to your arguments and aim above 250 words in general! 🙂

      Good luck!

  • Hi
    The essay tips that I see in webinar videos are amazing. Would you please let me know the structure of conclusion part? In introduction we have background, rewrite the question and “This essay will” sentence. Is there any such for conclusion?
    Thank you

    • Kaia Myers-Stewart says:

      Hi Rebina,

      I’m so glad to hear that! The E2Langauge structure and method for the conclusion is actually a separate webinar, one that is specifically built into our course for paid users. Here’s what I can tell you: The conclusion should be around 60-70 words and needs to reiterate the main thesis statement and your core ideas from the essay.

      And here’s a snippet of a strong concluding statement : “Overall, the topic of extreme sports is quite a controversial one. While many people (including myself) contend that extreme sports are dangerous and reckless, there are a lot of people out there who find these sports satisfying and beneficial to their mental health.”

      Hope this helps you out a bit, thanks for following us! 🙂

  • I have a question how the enabling skills reflects on you communicative skills? As you know there are 2 sections in the report card of PTE.
    if someone scored more than 85 in these area : vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, written discourse and still he got 69 in writing overall. can anyone help how to get more score in writing.


  • hello i just want to know after finishing every paragraph in essay how many time do we have to press enter to start a new paragraph.

    • Hi Bhinder,

      It’s up to you (the format of spacing is not assessed directly, but your essay will make more sense with spaced out sections!), but I would reccomend 2 spaces in between each paragraph.



      Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Hi
    I liked your videos, but had a question about the template.
    In case, if we got two essays then can we use the same template for both the essays?

    • Hi there,

      You can indeed, just make sure you are addressing the unique essay question each time. Your format can stay standard! 🙂

        • Hi Varun,

          Remember, using the same template doesn’t mean that you are writing the same thing again. It is simply using the same recipe or structure to address different topics. It’s never a good idea to copy the same wording, sentences or points in a second essay, but using a universally accepted template (e.g. introduction, 2 supporting ideas, conclusion) more than once is absolutely acceptable. You are of course welcome to use another type of template if you like (e.g. introduction, weigh both arguments, conclusion), but either option is equally valid.

          I can speak from my own personal experience here as well. When I wrote 2 essays for PTE, I used the same template format (introduction, 2 supporting points, conclusion) for both essays and scored a 90.

          In the end, if you think you’d like to showcase more than one template, that’s okay too! Whatever you think is best! I hope this helps, good luck!

  • Shaik Arifulla says:

    I want to write an essay about ur team…
    But I will follow your TIP # 1. “Keep it simple”.
    So no words to say about your team…… great work.. Love you E2

    • Hello Shaik,

      Hahaha, good one! Thank you very much for your kind words 😀

      Needless to say, we love you too, my friend!


      P.S: Glad to see that you are the following the tips 🙂

  • E2 Team, you guys are just awesome, although you all are native speakers, your accents are audible to understand.

    I just want to know that, Do I still get the great scores if I use simple Grammer and basic vocabulary instead of using complex sentences and vocabulary?

    Sorry for my bad English 🙁


    • Hello Kinjal,

      Your English is not bad at all, trust me! 🙂

      Yes, that is correct. As long as the vocabulary and sentences are right with regards to the context of the questions, you can score marks.

      Hope this helps.


  • Jatin Moharir says:

    Hi !
    I recently attempted the PTE-A, and my scores were funny!
    My scores were the following and I would like your interpretation of it –

    Overall Score- 72

    Listening- 63
    Reading- 79
    Writing- 56 🙁

    Oral Fluency-87
    Pronunciation- 90
    Spelling- 90
    Vocab- 84
    Written discourse-55 ::((

    P.S – I probably missed the last two write from dictation prompts and left my essay 85% complete.

    Thanks for reading 🙂

  • If i will write about both sides in my first and second paragraph and then i have to pick one side that I’m with that side, but how i will write my sentence “this essay will discuss ” in introduction.(option 1 or2)
    1. “This essay will discuss ” about both advantages or disadvantages.
    2″This essay will discuss ” opinion side even if i have written arguments about both side.
    If 2nd option is correct how can i write about other argument?

  • Hello there,

    I need some help to review my writing tasks and to get some method to improve them.
    Can someone please help me out.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  • Shanmuga Sundaram says:

    I am having a doubt, so please help me. When I finish my first paragraph (i.e. introduction), should i just click enter and start next paragraph. But it looks congested. Can I click two enters to make it look good?


  • Hi E2 team,
    You people are doing excellent job here!
    This is an excellent blog site to get your doubts clear about PTE. I have two questions here.
    1- Editing while writing Essays and summaries effect the overall writing score?
    2- If one is 100% sure that he didn’t commit much typing or spelling mistakes and still
    getting spelling score of about 20. What could be the reason? Is it because of mixing
    British and American spelling?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Hello Jawad,

      Thank you very much for the thumbs up! 🙂

      With regards to your queries:

      1. Could you please elaborate? If I have understood this right, you do not have to worry about the overall writing score as long as you make the changes before the timer runs out.

      2. Well, not sure what happened there. It’s better to stay consistent and stick to one format. Did you use any short forms/acronyms?


  • Hi guys,

    First of all: thanks so much for the helpful videos!
    I took 2 official Pearson mock tests and I admit, I did it without proper preparation, which showed in the results I got: 72 at first and 74 at second attempt. Not bad … however, I need the 79+ score for my visa application. The part I struggled on most was the written discourse (essay and summarize written text). My written discourse totally lacked any form of structure, it was pretty much all over the place 🙁

    I’ve been watching your YouTube videos and reading your blog. Thanks to your methods I’m now pretty confident I’ll get the desired scores on test day.

    I still have one question on the essay though: all your tutorials assume a prompt with a pro/con opinion. However, I stumbled upon some different types of prompts online, for example: “Why can some people not balance their personal and professional life? How do you think we can balance them?”.
    As you can see, there aren’t any pro/cons in the question itself.
    I’m not sure about the actual relevance of this type of questions, but I’d hate to run into one on test day. I don’t think the method can be used on this type of prompt, can it?
    Have you heard about this form of questions at all?

    Thanks so much, keep up the good work!

    (FYI, I’m Belgian from the Dutch speaking part 🙂

  • Hi,
    How does PTE assess the writing score? Below is the writing score I got from two pte tests. It really confused me.

    My first PTE writing score is 80 (Grammar-76, Vocabulary-68, Spelling- 23, Written Discourse-63)
    My second PTE writing score is 77 (Grammar-80, Vocabulary-81, Spelling- 55, Written Discourse-85)

  • Hello,

    Could you please advise on how to answer a question prompt that has two independent questions that you should answer in your essay?

    I’ve learned from Jay’s youtube videos the below structure. However, this structure assumes that the question prompt has only one question in it.

    -Sentence 1: “Background Statement”
    -Sentence 2: Rewrite the Question Prompt
    -Sentence 3: This essay will…

    2-Paragraphs 1 & 2
    Sentence 1: Opening Sentence
    Sentence 2: Supporting sentence
    Sentence 3: Evidence sentence
    Sentence 4: Closing sentence


    Sentence 1: This essay discussed…
    Sentence 2: In my opinion…

    How does this structure become for the below question prompt that has two independent questions in it:

    “The claim that animals have “rights” has been the subject of much debate since the 1970s. Are zoos helping or hurting our animals? Should zoos be banned? Do you agree or disagree?”

    Thank you so much.

  • Two types of essay may come in PTE. They are descriptive and argumentative essay. Can you provide the structure to follow for descriptive essay. The essays given in my course list are argumentative essays. Can you please help me how to write a descriptive essay and how to identify a descriptive essay.

    If I write a descriptive essay in the same structure of argumentative essay as given in e2language website, the marks I get will be less?

  • Team,
    I found that the essays shared by your team are all less then 250 words, still they are in 90 score. There are so many asking for the word count and it was suggested to over 250, then how the essay’s you have shared came under 90 score. Please help me to understand.

  • I had your basic plan to go through all the topics Jay mentioned in the plan. I could not go over 65+, struck at 64, again at 60., but could not go over 65 which i am looking for. Looking for some help

  • Dear Jay,

    This is Kali, i was in confusion whether i can clear pte or not but after i visiting your e2language blog i got confidence…………..I need to practice more and more i will do ti and clear PTE soon.

    Thank you Jay

  • I’m a native English speaker and university graduate. After writing the IELTS twice, my results were always the same. L9 R9 W7.5 S9…every single time. I felt the grading was biased and not reflective of my actual writing capabilities. I also found the grading criteria unhelpful, as I felt as though my writing matched the criteria of an 8 or 9. I decided to try the PTE instead, as this would remove the possibility of human bias when grading my writing skills. I just got my results today. Perfect 90’s! If anyone is struggling with IELTS writing specifically, I would suggest trying the PTE if you are able to. I watched all the e2 language writing/speaking related videos which helped familiarize myself with the question types and methods to do well, so thanks a lot for your videos. I can’t stress enough how important it is to go in to the speaking questions with a plan of what to say. Follow the e2 method.

  • hello,

    I have problem in writing session compare to others . can we use simple sentence structure instead of complex one. my English also not so good . can you please advice me which idea and template good for writing tasks.

    thank you

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