The listening skills tested in PTE Academic include the following:

Listening Skills

  • Identifying the topic and supporting points or examples and summarizing the main idea and inferring the context, purpose or tone.

  • Comprehending explicit and implicit information and comprehending concrete and abstract information.

  • Forming a conclusion from what a speaker says and predicting how a speaker may continue.

  • Understanding academic vocabulary and inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words and comprehending variations in tone, speed, accent.

  • Classifying and categorizing information and understading academic vocabulary and following the oral sequencing of information.

  • Identifying errors in a transcription and identifying a speaker's purpose, tone and attitude.

Exam Format

Overview of Listening items

Listening item types require you to understand an audio or video recording of an authentic lecture, pesentation or dialouge from an academic source. Eight item types appear in the listening part of PTE academic.The total time to complete the listening part of the test is approximately 45-47 minutes, depending on the combination of items in a given test.Some of the item types are integrated and assess both listening as well as reading and writing skills.Your score is based on five factors:

  • Content
  • Form
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling

Listening Item types

7 Item Types

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Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers

Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers is a multiple-choice listening item type with more than one correct response.It tests your ability to analyze, interpret and evaluate a brief audio or video recording on an academic subject.It assesses your listening skills.

If all the response options are correct, you will recieve the maximum score points for this type.If one or more response options are incorrect, partial credit scoring applies.

  • For this item type you need to listen to the recording and answer the multiple-choice question. There is more than one correct response.
  • The audio begins to play automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • You need to select all the response options that you think are correct from the list of possible options.
  • The options you select are highlighted in yellow.
  • To select an option click on it using the left button on your mouse. If you change your mind, left-click on the option again to deselect it.
  • The options you select are highlighted in yellow.
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Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks is a an item type that tests your ability to listen for missing words in a recording and type the missing words into a transcription.It assesses both your writing and listening skills.

If all the blanks are filled with the right word spelled correctly, you will recieve the maximum score points for this type.If one or more blanks are filled incorrectly, partial credit scoring applies.

  • For this item type you are presented with a transcript of the audio recording, however some words are missing. Restore the transcript by typing in the missing words.
  • The audio plays automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • Left-click on each gap and type in the missing word. You can also use the Tab button on the keyboard to move between gaps.
  • Note: While the audio is playing, you can take notes on the erasable noteboard provided and then fill in the gaps.
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Highlight Correct summary

Highlight Correct summary is an item type that tests your ability to comprehend, analyze and combine information from a recording and identify the most accurate summary of the recording.It assesses both reading and listening skills.

Your reponses is scored as either correct or incorrect.No credit is given for no reponse or an incorrect reponse.

  • The audio begins to play automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • There are several possible response options but only one is correct.
  • To select an option click on it using the left button on your mouse. If you change your mind, left-click on the option again to deselect it, or left-click on a different option.
  • The option you select is highlighted in yellow.
  • Note: It may be difficult to read and listen at the same time. It is recommended that you listen first, make notes on the erasable noteboard and then read the summaries.
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Multiple-choice, choose single answer

Multiple-choice, choose single answer is multiple-choice listening item type with a single correct response.It tests your ability to interpret, analyze and evaluate a brief recording on an academic subject.It assesses listening skills.

Your reponses is scored as either correct or incorrect.No credit is given for no reponse or an incorrect reponse.

Repeat Sentence is an integrated skills item type that tests both your listening and speaking skills in an academic environment.

  • For this item type you need to listen to the recording and answer the multiple-choice question.
  • The audio begins to play automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • There are several possible response options but only one is correct.
  • To select an option click on it using the left button on your mouse. If you change your mind, left-click on the option again to deselect it, or left-click on a different option.
  • The option you select is highlighted in yellow.
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Select missing word

Select missing word is an item type that tests your ability to predict what a speaker will say based on contextual clues in a recording.It assesses listening skills.

Your reponses is scored as either correct or incorrect.No credit is given for no reponse or an incorrect reponse.

  • For this item type the last word or group of words in the recording has been replaced by a beep. Select the most appropriate option to complete the recording.
  • The audio begins to play automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • There are several possible response options but only one is correct.
  • To select an option click on it using the left button on your mouse. If you change your mind, left-click on the option again to deselect it, or left-click on a different option.
  • The option you select is highlighted in yellow.
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Highlight incorrect words

Highlight incorrect words is an item type that tests your ability to listen for and point out the differences between a recording and a transcription.It assesses both listening and reading skills.

Each selected word is scored as either correct or incorrect.If all the selected words are correct, you receive the maximum score points for this item type.If one or more selected words are incorrected, partial credit scoring applies

  • For this item type you are presented with a transcript of the audio recording, however the transcript contains some errors. While listening and reading, you need to select the words in the text that differ from what the speaker says.
  • The audio begins to plays automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • To select a word click on it using the left button on your mouse. If you change your mind, left-click on the word again to deselect it.
  • The words you select are highlighted in yellow.
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Write from dictation

Write from dictation is an item type that tests your ability to understand and remember a sentence you hear, and then write it exactly as you hear it using correct spelling.It assesses both writing and listening skills.

If all the words are right and spelled correctly, you recieve the maximum score points for this item type. If one or more words are incorrect, partial credit scoring applies

  • For this item type you hear a short sentence. Type the sentence into the response box at the bottom of the screen.
  • The audio begins to play automatically. You are only able to listen to the audio recording once.
  • Note: While the audio is playing, you can take notes on the erasable noteboard provided.
  • Remember to check your spelling.

Strategies For Speaking

Strategies

Be prepared to guess

Use clarification and confirmation techniques

Use clarification techniques to check for information. For example,"What time did you say?" or "Can you repeat the population figures?" Ask specifically for the information you need.