The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a computer-based English exam that is becoming more popular. PTE Academic is comparable to IELTS and Cambridge examinations.

English learners use PTE exam results for studying in and migrating to English speaking countries like New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the UK.

If you want to find out more about this exam, keep reading.

What is the PTE Academic exam?

  • A 3-hour exam that tests reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills
  • There are different kinds of questions, 20 in all
  • You will hear native and non-native English accents
  • Your results are marked by AI (Artificial Intelligence), which makes this exam unbiased. Other exams like IELTS and Cambridge are marked by people
  • Results are FAST – usually available in 48 hours
  • You can schedule an exam up to 24 hours before
  • There are around 350 test sites worldwide
  • You can send your score to multiple organizations for free

What is the test format for the PTE?

PTE Part One – Speaking and Writing

This part of the exam takes between 77-93 minutes. It includes:

  • Giving a personal introduction
  • Reading a text aloud
  • Repeating a sentence
  • Describing an image
  • Retelling a lecture
  • Answering a short question
  • Summarizing a written text
  • Writing an essay

PTE Part Two – Reading

This part of the exam takes between 32-40 minutes. It includes:

  • Filling in the blanks
  • Answering multiple-choice questions
  • Re-ordering paragraphs

PTE Part Three – Listening

This part of the exam takes between 45-57 minutes. It includes:

  • Summarizing a spoken text
  • Answering multiple-choice questions
  • Filling in the blanks
  • Highlighting the correct summary
  • Selecting a missing word
  • Highlighting incorrect words
  • Writing from dictation

How can I prepare for the PTE exam?

On the official website, you can access a free online prep course or use the official PTE Academic app. Likewise, you can enroll in a preparation course in your local area.

Unfortunately, unlike IETLS and the Cambridge exams, there aren’t as many free videos on YouTube. There are a few courses on platforms like Udemy, but read the reviews before you sign up for a course.

Which English exam should I take: IELTS, Cambridge, or PTE?

This depends on WHAT you need the exam for. If you are trying to study, live or work in an English-speaking country like the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK, or New Zealand, make sure you find out which tests are accepted first. 

In general, Cambridge exams like C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency are more difficult than IETLS or PTE. However, it depends on which score your institution or visa requires.

Final Thoughts

Studying, working, and living in an English-speaking country often requires taking an English exam if you are a non-native speaker. Choosing the best test for you can be difficult, so make sure you read the program or visa requirements carefully. 

More students than ever are choosing to take the PTE because of its fast, fair and useful results.

If you are preparing for the Cambridge B2 exam, check out these posts:

1. B2 First Reading and Use of English Part 2 Tips

2. B2 First Key Word Transformations Practice

3. B2 First Speaking Exam Part 1 Tips

4. B2 First Email/Letter Writing Guide

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