PTE Pearson Test of English Complete Guide

In this article, you will learn what the Pearson Test of English PTE is, the exam format, how it’s scored, where it’s accepted, and information on exam dates and locations. Finally, we’ll also provide you with some helpful exam preparation tips to help you ace the PTE test.

What is the PTE Test?

The Pearson Test of English Academic is a computer-based English language proficiency test that is globally accepted. It assesses and measures an individual’s language ability and proficiency in all four skills: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. 

This test is more inclined to assess one’s communication skills using the English language compared to the test-taking abilities of an individual. PTE Test is widely used and accepted for work, study, and visa applications in various countries internationally. The PTE Test is recognized worldwide by many academic institutions, government agencies, and other private organizations. And it is also accepted in more than 70 countries. 

In addition to that, the PTE Test is commonly used and accepted for visa and migration purposes. It is also used for academic admissions to universities and colleges. 

Aside from being internationally recognized, most candidates prefer the PTE Test because of its reliability and easy accessibility. 

One of the most compelling reasons to take the Pearson PTE is that the test is fully computerized. Plus, you can take the whole PTE Test in just three hours, and AI technology also powers it for its grading system. 

So it is not your typical scoring system for any language proficiency test, right? Instead, it delivers quick test results about 48 hours after taking the test. 

There are three types of the PTE Test:

  • PTE Academic.
  • PTE General.
  • PTE Young Learners Test. 

We will cover more about each of these PTE tests in-depth in the upcoming sections.

How Much Does the PTE Test Cost?

The Pearson Test of English is widely used in multiple universities and colleges here and abroad. And also one of the leading computer-based English language proficiency tests

Here are tabulated PTE Test fees in different countries worldwide. 

Countries that accept PTEPTE Exam Fee 
AustraliaAUD 375
(including taxes)
Additional AUD 82.50 for bookings done 48 hours within the test schedule. 
ChinaUSD 275
IndiaINR 13,700
(including taxes)
PhilippinesUSD 210

Where is PTE Test Accepted?

The Pearson Language Tests (PTE) Academic is trusted by over 3,000 well-known institutions around the world. By far, this is the most reliable, fast, and accurate English language proficiency test in the market. And the best thing about the PTE Pearson English Test is that it caters to all age groups. 

Besides the academic institutions that recognize this test, the PTE exam is also used by government offices, immigration, and other private sectors to prove their candidate’s English language proficiency. Thus, a very flexible and in-demand language assessment tool that is suited for everyone. 

PTE Is Mainly Accepted in The Following Countries: 

  1. Australia
  2. USA
  3. UK
  4. Singapore
  5. Canada
  6. New Zealand
  7. India
  8. Spain
  9. Russia
  10. South Africa
  11. Germany
  12. France
  13. Poland
  14. Argentina
  15. Italy 
  16. Japan
  17. Czech Republic
  18. China
  19. Brazil

Some Universities and Colleges in Australia that accept PTE:

  1. Abbey College Australia
  2. Abbott School of Business
  3. Adelaide College of Technical Education (ACTE)
  4. ALTEC College
  5. Ashton College
  6. Barrington College 
  7. Basair Aviation College
  8. Bedford College
  9. Brisbane Professional College
  10. Cambridge Academy of English
  11. Canberra Institute of Technology 
  12. Central Queensland University
  13. Chisholm Institute of TAFE
  14. Curtin College
  15. Danford College
  16. Deakin University
  17. Dhurakij Pundit University
  18. Education Centre of Australia
  19. Everest Institute of Education
  20. Global Business College of Australia
  21. Griffith University
  22. Harward International College
  23. Kaplan Business School
  24. Melbourne City Institute of Education
  25. Melbourne Polytechnic
  26. Murdoch Institute of Technology
  27. The University of Adelaide
  28. The University of Canberra
  29. Torrens University Australia
  30. University College London – UCL Australia
  31. University of Notre Dame Australia
  32. University of South Australia – UniSA
  33. University of Tasmania
  34. University of Sydney – UTS
  35. University of Wollongong
  36. UTS College
  37. Victoria University – VU
  38. VIT – Victorian Institute of Technology
  39. Wentworth Institute of Higher Education
  40. William Angliss Institute

Some Universities and Colleges in the United Kingdom that accept PTE

  1. Abbey College London
  2. Academy of English and Business Studies
  3. Aldgate Business School
  4. American Intercontinental University – London
  5. Blake Hall College
  6. Bloomberg College
  7. Brit College
  8. Brunel University London
  9. Central College London
  10. Cranford College
  11. East London Business College
  12. EF International Language Schools London
  13. Global Banking School
  14. Greenwich London College
  15. Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  16. Hamilton College of Advanced College
  17. HULT International Business School
  18. Inchbald School of Design
  19. Kensington College of Business
  20. Kingston College of London
  21. Leyton College
  22. London Brunel International College
  23. London Empire College
  24. London Film Academy
  25. Maritime Greenwich College 
  26. Mayfair School of English LTD
  27. Middlesex University
  28. North London College
  29. Oxford College International
  30. Park Royal College
  31. Pearson Example University
  32. Point Blank Music School
  33. Regents’ University London
  34. Royal Academy of Music
  35. Stanley College London
  36. TASMAC London School of Business
  37. The University of the West of England
  38. Tudor College London
  39. UK College of Business and Computing
  40. UK International College
  41. University of Greenwich
  42. University of Roehampton
  43. University of the Arts London
  44. University of West London
  45. University of Westminster
  46. Waltham Forest College
  47. Western University
  48. Westfield College
  49. Westminster College London
  50. Zen School of Shiatsu LTD

Some Universities and Colleges in the USA that accept PTE

  1. Abraham Lincoln University
  2. Academy of Art University
  3. Adams State College
  4. Arkansas State University
  5. Atlanta Metro State University
  6. Black Hills State University
  7. Bloomfield College
  8. Blue Mountain College
  9. Bridgewater State University
  10. Brookdale Community College
  11. California Northstate University
  12. Cambridge College
  13. Cameron University
  14. Chicago State University
  15. Clark Atlanta University
  16. Dakota State University
  17. Davenport University
  18. Dickinson State University (DSU)
  19. Dodge City Community College 
  20. Dominican University of California
  21. Fairmont Schools
  22. Felician University
  23. Florida International University
  24. Hampton University
  25. Huntington University
  26. Jacksonville University
  27. Kent State University
  28. Louisiana State University
  29. Madison College
  30. Michigan State University
  31. Monmouth University
  32. National Louis University
  33. New York University
  34. University of Alabama
  35. University of Central Missouri
  36. University of Charleston
  37. University of Chicago
  38. University of Houston
  39. University of Memphis
  40. University of North Georgia
  41. University of San Francisco
  42. University of South Dakota
  43. University of Utah
  44. University of West Florida
  45. University of Virginia
  46. University of Washington
  47. University of West Florida
  48. University of Wisconsin Stout
  49. Valdosta State University
  50. Valley City State University

Some Universities and Colleges in New Zealand that accept PTE

  1. Abacus Institute of Studies
  2. Alpha Educational Institute
  3. Auckland Goldstar Institute
  4. Ara Institute of Canterbury
  5. Canterbury College LTD
  6. Cornell Insitute of Business and Technology 
  7. Eastern Institute of Technology
  8. Elim Leadership College
  9. ICL Business School
  10. Imperial College of New Zealand
  11. International College of Auckland
  12. International College of New Zealand
  13. IPU New Zealand
  14. Laidlaw College
  15. Lincoln University New Zealand
  16. Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)
  17. National Tertiary Education Consortium (NTEC)
  18. National Trade Academy
  19. Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology 
  20. New Zealand Institute of Studies
  21. New Zealand Tertiary College
  22. Newton College of Business and Technology
  23. Northland Polytechnic (NorthTec)
  24. Royal Business School
  25. Southern Institute of Technology
  26. Tai Poutini Polytechnic
  27. Tasman International Academies
  28. Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
  29. UC International College
  30. Universal College of Learning
  31. University of Canterbury
  32. University of Otago
  33. University of Waikato
  34. Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ)
  35. Victoria University Wellington
  36. Vision College
  37. Waikato Institute of Technology
  38. Wellington Institute of Technology ((WELTEC)
  39. Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki
  40. Whitireia Community Polytechnic 

PTE Academic Test

The PTE Academic is available throughout the year, and it is best suited for students applying for universities, colleges, and other higher-level educational institutions. 

The PTE Academic is highly recognized by prestigious universities worldwide, including London Business School in the United Kingdom, Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and other universities and colleges. 

This test is also used among government offices and other organizations to test the English skills of non-native speakers who wish to apply for them. 

It is a computerized English language exam that mainly focuses on using the language in real-life settings, such as in an academic environment. The PTE Academic test is approximately three hours long, and the test results can be delivered within five working days. 

There are three sections for the PTE (Pearson Tests of English) Academic:

  • The first section of the PTE exam is the speaking and writing test, and the duration for this section is approximately 77 to 93 minutes.  , 
  • The following section is the reading test, and it lasts around 32 to 41 minutes.
  • Then, finally, and the last section of the Pearson PTE exam is the listening test, and the duration for this part is around 45 to 57 minutes. 

Below is the detailed test structure for each section. 

Speaking and Writing Test

Questions TypesNumber of ItemsThe Focused Communicative Skills and Enabling Skills
Read Aloud6 to 7Individual speaking and reading skills are the focus of this part. It also focuses on oral fluency and pronunciation.
Repeat Sentence10 – 12Individual listening and speaking skills are the focus of these questions, especially on one’s fluency in speaking and pronunciation. 
Describe an Image Presented6 to 7The speaking skill is the focus here. It also focuses on one’s fluency and pronunciation.
Re-tell Lecture3 to 4The listening and speaking language skills are tested in this section. It also focuses on one’s pronunciation, oral fluency, and content. 
Answer Short
Questions
10 to 12The listening and speaking skills are tested here. One’s vocabulary is also the focus of this test.
Summarize Written Text Given2 to 3Individual reading and writing skills are assessed in this part. It also includes proper grammar, vocabulary, and content. 
Write an Essay 1 to 2One’s writing skills are assessed on this part of the test. It includes your abilities in structure and coherence, grammar, content development, and general linguistic range. 
  • The first few sections (Read Aloud, Repeat Sentence, Describe an Image Presented, Re-tell Lecture, Answer Short Questions are provided a combined total of 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Summarize Written Text Given section is allotted 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Write an Essay section is alloted 20 to 40 minutes.

Reading Test

Questions Types Number of ItemsThe Focused Communicative Skills and Enabling Skills
Multiple-Choice Answer2 to 3The reading skills are evaluated on this part. 
Multiple-Choice Answer2 to 3 The reading skills are evaluated on this part. 
Re-order of Paragraphs2 to 3 The individual’s reading skills are assessed on this part. 
Reading: Fill in the Blanks4 to 5The reading skills are evaluated on this part. 
Reading and Writing: Fill in the Blanks5 to 6The reading and writing skills on this part of the reading test are the focus. 
  • The time allotted for this entire section is 32 to 41 minutes.

Listening Test

Questions Types Number of ItemsThe Focused Communicative Skills and Enabling Skills
Summarize Spoken Texts2 to 3Individual listening and writing skills are the focus of these questions. Particularly in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, content, and structure. 
Multiple-choice Answers2 to 3The listening skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test.
Fill in the Blanks2 to 3The listening and writing skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test.
Highlight the Correct Summary2 to 3The listening and reading skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test.
Multiple-Choice and Choose Single Answer2 to 3The listening skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test
Select the Missing Word2 to 3The listening skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test
Highlight the Incorrect Words2 to 3The listening and reading skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test
Write from a Dictation3 to 4 The listening and writing skills are the focus of this part of the PTE Listening test.
  • Summarize Spoken Texts section is alloted 20 to 30 minutes.
  • All the other sections (Multiple-choice Answers, Fill in the Blanks, Highlight the Correct Summary, Multiple-Choice ad Choose Single Answer, Select the Missing Word, Highlight the Incorrect Words, Write from a Dictation) are alloted a combined total of 23 to 28 minutes.

PTE General Test

The PTE General, known before as the London Test of English or the Pearson English International Certificate declared last December 2020, is a subtype of the PTE exam. This test is an international English language proficiency examination suited for those speakers of English as a foreign language. 

It is a consistent theme-based exam designed to test how well one can communicate using the English language in a realistic setup. Therefore, it does not solely focus on grammar and other vocabulary structures. 

The test uses real-life scenarios to test four English skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. There are five levels in the PTE General tests.

PTE General ScoringPTE Exam Duration
Level 52 hours and 55 minutes
Level 42 hours and 30 minutes
Level 32 hours
Level 21 hour and 35 minutes
Level 11 hour and 30 minutes
Level A11 hour and 15 minutes

PTE Young Learner Test

The PTE Young Learner Test is known before as LTEFC, and this exam is an English language proficiency test suited for young children from ages 7 to 12. 

It assesses those children that use English as a foreign language and evaluates the four English skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The exam is themed-based and is specially designed to be fun and motivating that are appealing to kids. 

The lower levels of the PTE Young Learner Test aims to test the children’s abilities in using the English language in terms of structure. For the higher levels, it focuses mainly on the language communicative tasks. This exam also uses real-life scenarios in the test rather than giving out grammatical exercises and types of questions. 

LevelPTE Young LearnersExam Time
1Firstwords1 hour
2Springboard1 hour
3Quickmarch1 hour
4Breakthrough1 hour and 15 minutes 

PTE Pearson Test of English Scoring

There are two types of PTE tests, and they are scored and interpreted differently. Check out below for the PTE Academic Scoring and PTE General Scoring. 

The PTE overall scoring is the total sum and average of your enabling skills and communicative skills. All of these enabling skills have a score range of 90 to 10 and communicative skills. 

To give you a clearer view about the enabling skills, these are your skills in grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse. As for your communicative skills, these are your listening, writing, speaking, and reading skills. 

Your PTE test scores report includes your overall test scores, your communication test scores, and your enabling skills test scores. 

PTE Academic Scoring 

The Pearson Language Test (PTE) Academic gives an overall scoring from 90 points as the highest up to 10 points which is the lowest. 

Note that the PTE uses an automated scoring algorithm which means that your test will be marked accurately, consistently, and fairly. In addition, the computerized scoring is based global scale and is designed according to how experts will check your test, which gives consistent and accurate results.  

You may think that the scoring will be biased, but no, it isn’t. Still, to assure you, the PTE has taken numerous data every year, with over 678,000 examiner responses inputted into their database. 

They have put together millions of responses and combined knowledge of experts in the English language to give you consistent, accurate, objective, and fast results. This PTE grading system is objective and free from human errors and biases. 

Below is the table for  PTE Academic Scoring and its descriptors. It will give you a comprehensive look at the PTE scoring levels and what abilities and skills are in each category. 

PTE Academic Scoring Description 
85 – 90Highest level of English ability. 
The individual is immensely comfortable in using the English language at the academic and professional levels. 
Has the ability to comprehend every detail heard or read.
Has the ability to give reconstructing arguments coherently.
Has spontaneity, fluency, and precision in using the English language in complex situations. 
76 – 84Has the ability to comprehend a wide range of contexts easily. 
Can express oneself fluently and spontaneously.
Has the ability to use the language in any setting, such as in the workplace or an educational environment. 
Can present clear, well-structured, and detailed information about complex topics with cohesion. 
59 – 75Has the ability to understand and get the gist of complex topics which contain abstract and concrete ideas. 
Has the ability to interact using the language with fluency and spontaneity without any strain. 
Can also present clear, and detailed view on a wide range of context, while pointing out the advantages and disadvantages. 
43 – 58Has the ability to understand main ideas on familiar topics usually encountered in school, workplace, community settings, and more.
Can handle certain situations where the language is used.
Can present simple connected ideas about a specific topic, which is familiar or of personal interests.
Has the ability to describe and give out opinions about events, dreams, and ambitions briefly. 
30 – 42Has the ability to understand the language and expressions used frequently in everyday situations or settings.
Can communicate using the language in a simple manner. 
Can present direct and simple exchange of information on familiar subjects. 
Has the ability to describe oneself in terms of background, personal information simply. 
10 – 29 Has the ability to comprehend very familiar expressions, words, and phrases used in daily activities.
Can introduce oneself and others using the English language.
Can ask and answer simple questions about personal details using the language. 
Has the ability to interact with another person, given that the other person talks slowly, clearly and is willing to help the individual communicate. 

Here is a table showing the PTE scoring in comparison to CEFR levels. This table gives comprehensive details of the CEFR levels. 

PTE Academic ScoringCEFR Level EquivalentCEFR LevelCEFR Level Description 
85 – 90C2Mastery Level of the English LanguageCan understand the language with ease.
Establish fluency, precision, and spontaneity when using the language. 
Can construct effective arguments of various contexts with coherence.
76 – 84C1Advanced Level ProficiencyHas the ability to understand the language in a wide range of contexts. 
Show spontaneity and fluency.
Can use the language effectively in various settings.
59 – 75B2Upper-Intermediate Level Proficiency Has the ability to understand the main ideas of texts with concrete and abstract topics. 
Can interact with native speakers fluently.
Can present clear and detailed information regarding different topics. 
43 – 58B1Intermediate Level ProficiencyHas the ability to pinpoint main ideas in everyday situations or happenings. 
Can produce simple contexts about familiar topics or related to personal interests. 
Can give simple and short discussions about experiences, events, dreams, and ambitions. 
30 – 42A2Elementary Level ProficiencyHas the ability to comprehend sentences presented with familiar ideas. 
Can establish communication using the language in simple and routine tasks.
Can identify and describe using simple terms. 
10 – 29 A1Beginner Level ProficiencyHas the ability to understand simple conversations. 
Can introduce oneself and others using the language in the simple form.
Has the ability to ask, interact and answer questions about personal details. 

Here is a table showing the PTE scoring in comparison to IELTS levels. This table gives comprehensive details of the IELTS levels. 

PTE Academic ScoringIELTS Band EquivalentIELTS LevelIELTS Level Description 
85 – 90Band 9Expert UserHas the ability of excellent command of the English language. 
Shows accuracy, fluency, and appropriateness in using the language.
76 – 84Band 7 – 8Very Good/Good UserShows excellent and operational command of the English language.
Encounters occasional inaccuracies while using the language. 
Has the ability to handle complex and detailed argumentation and reasoning. 
59 – 75Band 5.5 – 6.5Competent/Modest UserHas an adequate command of the English language. 
Shows inaccuracies, inappropriate usage of the language, and misunderstandings during conversations. 
Can handle basic communication in familiar situations. 
43 – 58Band 4 – 5Modest User/Limited UserHas only limited competency of the English language.
Commits multiple errors in using the language.
Has frequent problems encountered, especially in expression and understanding of contexts given. 
Cannot comprehend and use complex language.
30 – 42Band  3 – 2Extremely Limited/Intermittent UserShows great difficulty in understanding spoken and written English. 
Can simply understand general ideas in very familiar situations or settings. 
Shows frequent breakdowns in communication. 
10 – 29 Band 1 – 0Non-User/ Did Not Complete the TestHas no ability to use the English language except only very few familiar and isolated terms. 

PTE General Scoring

The PTE General scoring is in line with the CEFR level descriptors. It means that the scoring for the four English language skills in the PTE General Test is mapped out with the CEFR level. It is to ensure standardized and accurate scoring results. 

PTE General ScoringPTE Exam DurationCEFR LevelCEFR Level Description 
Level 52 hours and 55 minutesC2 Proficient – Mastery LevelCan understand the language with ease.
Establish fluency, precision, and spontaneity when using the language. 
Can construct effective arguments of various contexts with coherence.
Level 42 hours and 30 minutesC1 – Advanced LevelHas the ability to understand the language in a wide range of contexts. 
Show spontaneity and fluency.
Can use the language effectively in various settings.
Level 32 hoursB2 – Upper-Intermediate Level Has the ability to understand the main ideas of texts with concrete and abstract topics. 
Can interact with native speakers fluently.
Can present clear and detailed information regarding different topics. 
Level 21 hour and 35 minutesB1 – Intermediate LevelHas the ability to pinpoint main ideas in everyday situations or happenings. 
Can produce simple contexts about familiar topics or related to personal interests. 
Can give simple and short discussions about experiences, events, dreams, and ambitions. 
Level 11 hour and 30 minutesA2 – Elementary LevelHas the ability to comprehend sentences presented with familiar ideas. 
Can establish communication using the language in simple and routine tasks. 
Can identify and describe using simple terms. 
Level A11 hour and 15 minutesA1 – Beginner LevelHas the ability to understand simple conversations. 
Can introduce oneself and others using the language in the simple form.
Has the ability to ask, interact and answer questions about personal details. 

PTE Exam Registration and Requirements

If you plan to take the PTE exam, you must be at least 16 years of age. And for those applicants below the age of 18 years old, you need to present a parental consent duly signed by your parents or guardians. You can download the consent form on their official website. 

To register for the PTE exam, you need to have an official account on their website. Then, you need to complete the registration, fill in the required information, and are also asked to choose the PTE exam that you are going to take, either the PTE Academic or the PTE General. 

You are to choose the testing centers that are near you and the schedule of your exam. Note that the PTE General exam is only administered a year thrice. And for the PTE Academic, it is given once a month. Therefore, the validity of the test score is termless. 

Should you wish to cancel your PTE exam schedule, you can do so and can claim a full refund for the exam fee if you processed it 14 days before your scheduled test date. 

In connection with that, if you have canceled less than 14 days but at least seven days before your schedule, you can still get a 50% refund of the PTE Test Fee. However, there will be no refund for the test fee for those cancelations done in less than seven days. Again, you can process the cancellation through the PTE official website. 

How to Prepare for the PTE Exam?

Like any other English language proficiency test, you also need to prepare for the PTE Pearson test. There are many ways for you to prepare for your upcoming PTE exam. 

Let us help you ace the PTE test with a few but effective strategies we have come up below. 

1. Explore Different PTE Practice Test 

There is many available PTE practice test that you can access on their official website. Do your research on the different online practice tests. In addition, the PTE offers PTE Academic Question Bank with over 300 practice questions and sample speaking and writing tests. 

They also have ebooks about the Official Guide to PTE Academic loaded with expert advice, tips in reviewing for the PTE, and more digital Pearson PTE  practice tests. 

Plus, they also have the PTE Academic English Booster that contains many academic English language practices and activities that you can do. It will help you boost and enhance your English skills. 

Or, if you want, you may also enroll in various programs that focus on basic English language skills. Note that PTE focuses more on communicative skills, so better go for the speaking courses. You can also do self-evaluation and concentrate on your specific language skills that need more improvement. 

2. Create a Study Plan 

Creating a study plan that suits your schedule well is an excellent way to start your preparation. For example, you may create an outline of your schedule and plot them daily, weekly, or even on a monthly basis.  Be sure that you have specific goals scheduled daily in relation to your preparation for the exam. 

Like, today, you need to add five new vocabulary words, or you may also schedule a weekly speaking session. All the activities you plot are in line with the PTE test format, whichever you will take. 

And also, spare an hour or more for your review per day. Make sure that you also have time to refresh the things that you have studied. It will help you assess if you have retained the lessons you took or not. 

3. Take a lot of Practice Tests

Yes, you need to take as many practice tests as you can. It may sound exaggerating, but it will help you in the long run. These practice tests will help you hone your skills one step at a time. 

These Pearson PTE practice tests will expose you to the test formats to know what to expect and get you comfortable answering them. For sure, you have heard the adage, practice makes perfect, right? So trust us on this one, and do not skip those practice tests. 

These tips are only a few; it is made that way so you will not stress too much about what to do — what to prepare and all the crazy stuff in preparing for the test.

We do not want to burden you with a long list of to-dos. Instead, a few but comprehensive ways will always suffice. 

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