How to Prepare for PTE

PTE preparation


Be mindful that even if you are a native English speaker getting a good score in PTE is a completely different ball game. To succeed you will need to know all aspects of the PTE test and how to prepare, and knowing the language is just one aspect of it. Some of these aspects are preparatory material, test format, test scoring, task strategies, continuous practice etc.

Set a target score

Start with a target score that will help you to achieve your goal, whether it is admission to a university of choice or filing your PR. This is an important step as it gives you a score baseline against which you will be measuring your performance.

Buy the material

Once you have set a target score you need to start preparing to achieve that score and you must have the correct material to begin your preparation, we have tried to cut to the chase and provide you guidance on what you need to buy to prepare properly.


  • The official guide for PTE Academic for test takers by Pearson
  • PTE Practice Test Plus with Key, Vol 1 and 2

Scored practice tests and question bank

The scored practice tests and question bank come as a package. It’s recommended to buy a package as it is cheaper in comparison to buying these as separate items. The books need to be bought separately as they are not part of the package.

Understand the test format

To get a good score you must know the test format, It is important to know the sequence of the sections and tasks because once the test starts it zips through from one task to another and you get very little time to prepare for the task, this time should not be wasted in identifying the task. The best way to test if you are aptly familiar with the format is by asking a question to yourself a question when you attempt a practice test “Is my transition between sections and tasks smooth?” if the answer is yes you have a better chance of success in the PTE exam. If your transition is not smooth and you struggle with finishing the tasks on time please understand the tasks and their format in detail.

Points you should consider when familiarising with the test format are –

Sections – There are three sections in the exam

  1. Speaking and writing
  2. Reading
  3. Listening

Task/question types and quantity

There are 20 task/question types in the PTE exam.

Prompt for each task

Understand the prompt for each question.

Time allocated for each task

Know the time allocated for each task.

The layout of each task

Understand and familiarise yourself with the layout for each task

Understand how the test is scored

For a detailed guide on scoring refer to our post

Task strategies

There is a different strategy to attempt each task, you can check them here PTE Strategies


It is important to know when you should begin practising. Don’t start practicing immediately using the material on the internet as not all the material is good. First, learn the basics about the exam mentioned above. start by learning the strategies before you start practising as you will need to master the strategies during practice. It will take a lot of practice to master certain tasks depending on your weak areas.

Attempt un-scored practice tests

You will get unscored practice tests when you buy the PTE material (PTE Practice Test Plus with Key, Vol 1 and 2)

additionally, you will also get the question bank to practice if you buy the package.

Attempt a scored practice test

  • Based on your scores on the scored practice test you can plan your next steps.
  • If your test is not as per your expectation identify your focus areas
  • Practice till you are confident.
  • Re-attempt the score PTE test.
  • It is a better strategy to use scored practice tests to judge your preparation as it costs much less in comparison to the actual test.

Book the test

  • If your score matches your target score you can book your PTE test.

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