MY PTE Academic success journey from 62 to 90

A few words of introduction

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for choosing this website.  This is not just a website to portray my PTE success, but rather a platform to help other people like me succeed in their PTE quest with insights and overall strategies from my personal journey as I tried to get a 79+ score in PTE.


It all started when I decided to file my PR for Australia in July 2016. As most of you would know one of the biggest hurdles & milestones (Yes, I call it both), for the PR process is to get a 79+ score in PTE, as it gives you the most marks in your PR application hence greatly increasing your changes for securing a PR. I also joined that bandwagon in my pursuit of an Australian PR.

Biggest Dilemma

I contacted a lot of visa agents to understand the process, Fees, Do’s and Don’ts, and which English exam to take. some of them recommend IELTS while others recommend PTE, The same happened when I consulted some of my friends who had got their PRs. It was not too late before I started asking the question which one should I choose ? As my dilemma grew so did my research, I researched on the internet and slowly and slowly I came across cases where people had indeed succeeded in PTE. Mind you I am in no way against IELTS, its just that PTE made more sense to me because of the following points:-

  •  Proof of people getting 79+ overall score.
  • Computer-based online exam. (Zero human error or bias)
  • The PTE exam results come in 5 business days, sometimes 3 business days.
  • PTE is accepted in Australia & New Zealand.

My Goal

Once I was convinced that PTE was the test for me, I set a goal of scoring 85 in PTE. Though at that time didn’t know how, when, or if I would be able to achieve it. The next step was to collect the study materials needed, like books, online material, etc.

Initial strategy

During my earlier research on PTE, I came across quite a few cases where people got stuck in a vicious cycle of Many PTE attempts without achieving their desired score. I wanted to avoid that situation. Because I knew that the increase in the number of PTE attempts was inversely proportional to both my confidence and money. So, I created my strategy as below: –

  • Prepare for PTE for 7 to 10 days.
  • Attempt a PTE Scored practice test. (It costs much less in comparison to the real test).
  • Access my readiness based on the test result.
  • Ascertain my weak / low-scoring areas and identify the root causes, make a strategy to improve those areas.
  • Re-attempt a practice test to gauge my preparation.
  • Once I score near my target score book the actual exam.

Practice test result

My first score was an eye-opener for me as I didn’t get the score I was expecting. I got an overall score of 62. The expectation was partly because English was my main subject in my graduation and I have always been good in English throughout my academics, but PTE was altogether another beast.

Even though I had failed to get the desired scores it was evident from the PTE report the areas where I lacked and needed to work harder.

first attempt of practice test

Road Ahead

I realized that my speaking score was way too low and was dragging my overall score down. This was definitely the prime area of focus, but where was I lacking? After all, I was good at speaking English.

The answer was the enabling skills of oral fluency and pronunciation. I thought that if I could improve these 2 areas, I could certainly bring my overall score to the 70’s.

Next Attempt

I deliberately delayed my next attempt by a month so that I could improve my fluency and pronunciation. After practicing for nearly a month I got to a level where I was extremely smooth in my free speech with accurate grammar.

Second attempt of practice test

First Indication of Success

The result of this test really made me happy as I realized how close I was to success; my speaking score had jumped dramatically to 85 and my overall score was now at 85. Remember this was the goal I had set when I started out. I immediately booked my PTE test.

Another road-block

Finally, the day arrived when I was to take my PTE test,  I was feeling confident and excited on my way to the testing center. My test started on time and everything was going well until I was doing my first essay, somehow, I made a huge mistake of not submitting the essay within the time limit. This drastically impacted my score and also my flow during the exam and impacted my performance during the listening section of the test as my mind was still occupied in the mishap that happened during the writing essay task.

PTE Academic test first attempt report

Change in strategy for writing section

After analyzing my report, I came to the conclusion that I had to somehow save time in doing my essay questions maybe 3-4 minutes so that I could submit my essays on time.

Sweet success at last

I booked another test at the earliest possible date. This time when I attempted the test, I made a mental note to be alert, especially in writing essay tasks, and complete them 3-4 minutes before time. However, After I submitted my PTE test and came out the PTE administrator asked me a question that nearly stopped my heart. He asked “Did you complete the test, or mistakenly skip a question or two?” the reason he asked this was because I had somehow completed my test 20 – 25 minutes before time and he had never seen anyone complete it so quickly.

I didn’t know how to react at that time should I be happy? or did I actually miss a question?

Even though I told him that I had completed every question, However, in my heart I was not convinced.

Finally, the PTE result came and my happiness knew no bounds when I saw an overall score of 90.

Final PTE Academic test report


The takeaways from my experience mentioned above are

  • Start with a target score.
  • Practice for a couple of weeks to understand the various tasks and how they are marked.
  • Practice the various tasks over and over till you feel comfortable.
  • Gauge your level by first giving a scored practice test available on the PTE Academic website.
  • Identify your focus areas where you need to improve and create a strategy accordingly.
  • Attempt a re-test of the practice test once you are ready.
  • Based on your score of the practice test schedule the actual test.