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Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Pearson Test of English - Academic

What is PTE Academic?

The Pearson Test of English Academic is yet another language proficiency test like TOEFL, IELTS, and TOEIC that non-native speakers can take in order to prove their level of language knowledge. It is part of the Pearson Language Tests which otherwise includes the PTE General and the PTE Young Learners. This examination was launched in 2009 and is endorsed by the GMAC. The specialty of the examination is that the examination is graded completely by a computer with absolutely no human grading influence.

The examination is delivered through the Pearson Virtual User Environment centers and has a test score that is aligned to the levels defined under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or CEFR. It is aimed at students who wish to enroll for university-level education at institutions that require a certain level of proficiency in English.

Why take the PTE Academic?

The PTE Academic test is accepted by thousands of institutions spread across the world with over 6000 of them accepting the test as soon as it was launched in 2009. The test has also been approved for visa and immigration categories in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Candidates who wish to study or work abroad and are non-native speakers of English will be able to take the PTE Academic in order to prove their level of expertise in the language as a means of gaining admission.

Clearing this test implies that the candidate has a command over all four aspects of English and that they can conveniently study and live in an English-speaking country. Thus, a good score in PTE Academic helps the candidate to take admission in the institution of their choice anywhere in the world. Academic institutions in the top study destinations of the world like the USA, UK, Australia, etc. accept the test score of PTE Academic in providing information for international candidates. As a matter of fact, taking this or a similar English language test is mandatory to seek admission in an educational institution abroad, especially for non-native English speakers.

There is also an added advantage of taking the PTE Academic when compared to tests like TOEFL and IELTS which is the fact that candidates will be able to schedule the test up to 24 hours in advance all throughout the year. The lack of a human grading system ensures that the score calculation is unbiased and provides the score reports with as little delay as possible.

Eligibility Requirements for PTE Academic

There is no particular eligibility requirement for taking the PTE Academic but the few factors that the candidate ought to know before applying for the test are as follows- A PTE eligibility criterion is different from the eligibility criterion for applying to an educational institution. Candidates will often have to submit other documents like their transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. along with their PTE Score report in order to get the admission they desire. Receiving high grades in the PTE Academic will boost their application above the others but will not be the only factor under consideration during the admission process.

Registering for the PTE Academic

Candidates that are interested in taking the PTE Academic will have to create an official account on the Pearson website. Within 24 hours of creating the official account they will receive a login ID and password on their registered email ID. Candidates will be able to log in to their account using the password provided from where they will be able to schedule a test date.

In order to set a test date, they will have to provide their desired location for taking the test through which they will be able to find the empty slots that are available for them to choose from. They will be able to book the date and center of their choice and complete the registration process by paying a standard fee of $205 which can vary from place to place. Candidates will be able to check the fee they will have to pay by clicking here.

Exam Pattern in PTE Academic

The PTE Academic test has 3 sections in all and is provided a total time of 3 hours. The 3 parts are Speaking and Writing, Listening and Reading. Candidates will be provided with a 10-minute break between the reading and listening sections of the examination. The examination is quite different from other proficiency tests since it includes over 20 different question formats with all of its content taken from everyday life and including a wide range of accents that candidates are prone to encounter in their daily life.

The test format for the different sections are as follows-
Speaking and Writing77-93 minutes
Reading32-40 minutes
Listening45-57 minutes

The question types for each of these sections are as follows-

Speaking and Writing



Scoring in PTE Academic

The criteria with which the scores are calculated through the enabling skills like grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse. The score range is between 10 and 90 for the examination. The score report for PTE Academic will contain the candidate’s personal details, photograph, Test registration ID, and a score report code. It will have their overall score along with a detailed breakdown of their performance in the test.

The scores can be compared with IELTS scores in the following manner:
PTE ScoreIELTS Score

The score comparison with TOEFL is as follows-
PTE ScoreTOEFL Score

Preparing for PTE

The choices candidates generally have to prepare for the PTE Academic examination is to either join for an online course, to employ a private tutor, or to engage in self-study. Collecting the best books and sample question papers can be of help to candidates whether or not they enroll in online courses that claim to help them achieve the highest scores possible. But the preparation should start from understanding the test and the test format of the examination including the question types that are generally provided for the examination so that the candidate can prepare the most in the least amount of time possible.

Taking diagnostic tests and establishing a base score and an aim score will be beneficial for creating the perfect study score and also in analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. A minimum of 6 weeks is generally recommended to prepare for the PTE Academic test. Even if the candidate is confident in their language skills, the 6-week window will let them excel in pacing their time enabling them to score well.

Choosing PTE over Other Proficiency Tests

PTE Academic, due to its completely computerized nature, provides results faster than any other proficiency test available. Candidates will be able to view their results as early as within 48 hours of taking the examination. This aids students who are applying to institutions abroad at the last minute. The test also focuses on everyday aspects of the language instead of an advanced level of learning proficiency tests generally gauge.

There is a certain level of flexibility in the testing through which candidates will be able to apply for the test within a 24-hour window if they so choose. The test also provides centers in over 70 countries. Due to the absence of human graders and usage of AI, the scoring system of the PTE Academic is completely unbiased.

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