To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test center. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.
During the three-hour test session, there are three main parts to the test: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There is also an optional 10-minute break between the reading and listening parts. During the test, you will find twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.
PTE Academic assesses real-life, academic English, so you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will hear a range of accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so you will be exposed to the type of accents you will encounter in everyday life.
Part 1: Speaking & Writing (77 – 93 Minutes)
In Part 1 you will be tested on your speaking and writing skills. The time given to this section is 77-93 minutes.
To assess speaking, your skills will be tested by your ability to produce spoken English in an academic environment.
The writing section will require you to write responses in academic English using correct grammar and spelling.
Part 2: Reading (32 – 41 Minutes)
In Part 2 you will be tested on your reading skills. This single timed section contains 15-20 independent and integrated skills items, depending on the combination of items in a given test. Different response formats, including multiple-choice, re-order paragraphs, and fill in the blanks, are designed to test your ability to read, write and listen to information provided in English. Because PTE Academic is an integrated skill test, one item type in this part of the test also assesses writing skills.
Part 3: Listening (45 – 57 Minutes)
Part 3 consists of questions that are based on audio or video clips which begin to play automatically. You hear each audio or video clip only once so listen carefully. You are allowed to take notes.
For each question you have the opportunity to adjust the volume. While the audio clip is playing, move the control bar to the right to increase the volume or to the left to decrease the volume.