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Pearson Test of English (PTE): All You Need to Know

    The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a computer-based English test for people who wish to study and work abroad. It is a test for the English language to assess the readiness of candidates who wants to gain university admission, but whose native language is not English, using English as the medium of instruction.

    In addition to testing students seeking university admission, the PTE is also used to evaluate non-native English speakers jopining establishments with an English-speaking environment.

    PTE test has the certification of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organization responsible for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

    The PTE test lasts for a maximum of three hours and it requires examinees to use a computer and headset to answer the questions. The test comprises of three main components with each necessitating examinees to answer twenty question formats. You have the option of taking a ten-minute break between the reading and listening components of the test. Candidates are to listen to lecture extracts and view charts and graphs. While taking the tests, the examinees will encounter different accents, these accents include American, British, and non-native speakers. This exposes examinees to various types of accents that they encounter every day.

    Pearson Test of English Structure

    The Pearson Test of English comprises of three main components: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening. Each segment assesses precise areas in the English language.

    Speaking and Writing

    The Speaking and Writing component of the PTE basically assesses the speaking and writing skill of examinees. You are expected to complete this section within 93 minutes. Your speaking skills are evaluated based on their aptitude to speak English in an academic environment. Candidates are required to correctly write their responses in academic English for the writing component.

    For this section, the candidates will be asked for an introduction, repeat a sentence, read text aloud, describe images, re-tell a lecture in their own words, answer short questions, summarize written text, and answer an essay.


    This component of PTE test evaluates the Reading skills of examinees. You are expected to complete this section within 40 minutes. It contains 15 to 20 combined and independent skill items. The exact number is determined by the combination of the items in the test.

    This component of test has to do with filling in the blanks, re-ordering paragraphs, and multiple-choice. These tests are designed to check your skill in reading, writing, and listening to information provided in the English language.


    For the Listening component of the test, you will to listen to audio or video clips that will play automatically. Listen carefully – the audio or video clips will be played just once. However, they can take down notes. You are allowed to adjust the volume for each question. They can increase or decrease the volume by shifting the control bar to the right or left.

    You are then required to summarize spoken text, take a multiple-choice test with multiple or single answers, highlight incorrect words, select missing words in a sentence, write text from dictation, fill in the blanks, and highlight the correct summary.


    Apart from the Graduate Management Admission Council, many universities around the globe accept The Pearson Test of English. These include:

    • Harvard Business School
    • Yale University
    • Stanford Graduate School of Business, United States
    • Sheridan College in Canada
    • George Brown College in Canada
    • London Business School in the United Kingdom

    The PTE is also accepted by other top business schools in Europe including SDA Bocconi of Italy, HEC Paris and INSEAD of France, and ESADE and IE Business School of Spain.

    Visa and immigration applications in Australia and New Zealand also accepts PTE results.

    PTE Test Process

    The process of taking the PTE begins with the examinee creating an account on the Pearson website using a valid and acceptable ID, such as a passport. Examinees must have the same ID on the day of the test or they will not be permitted to enter the test room.

    The examinee can review and complete a preparation path. There are resources examinees can use to prepare for the exam on the Website. These resources include a summary of the three main components of the exam, practice test kits, self-study books, and an online course.

    Administrators of the Pearson test center will assist the check-in process for the examinee on the day of the exam. Your palm will scanned, and a digital photograph is taken. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam for the check-in and security check.

    The result will be available five days after taking the test. Examinees can check the results by logging into their Pearson accounts, and send the test scores to as many institutions and organizations they are applying at without any paying any additional fees.

    Pearson Test of English Outline

    The PTE was unveiled by the Pearson Language Tests, a unit of the Pearson PLC group in response to the demand of public and private institutions and organizations for a precise way of assessing non-native English language students seeking to gain admission into English speaking academic institutions.

    The test was recognized by about 6,000 organizations when it was released. It was also sanctioned by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia and the Australia Border Agency. The results are evaluated with artificial intelligence (AI), which uses algorithms simulating the way tests are marked by humans. The scoring is unbiased since the test is marked through AI. The examinees are graded based on their answers and not on their accents.

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