During the three-hour test session there are three main parts to the test: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.

To complete a PTE Academic test, a candidate needs to attend a secure Pearson test center. The candidate will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions. There is no limit to the number of times the candidate can take the test.

PTE Academic assesses real-life, academic English, so the candidate will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts.

Test Format

Part 1: Speaking & Writing (77 – 93 minutes)
  • Personal introduction
  • Read aloud
  • Repeat sentence
  • Describe image
  • Re-tell lecture
  • Answer short question
  • Summarize written text
  • Essay (20 mins)
Part 2: Reading (32 – 41 minutes)
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Re-order paragraphs
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Multiple choice questions
Part 3: Listening (45 – 57 minutes)
  • Summarize spoken text
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Highlight the correct summary
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Select missing word
  • Highlight incorrect words
  • Write from dictation

Certain sections of PTE have negative marking.

PTE scores are not considered by Canada.