PTE Academic is a pivotal assessment that evaluates your speaking, writing, reading, and listening abilities over a two-hour duration, paving the way for your aspirations to study or work abroad. It’s a crucial examination, and to face it with confidence on exam day, effective preparation is key.
But how can you ensure your success? While conventional methods like studying from textbooks and completing practice exercises are beneficial, integrating the test into your daily life can provide you with a distinct advantage.
1. Grasp the Essence of PTE and Its Assessment
Your first step should be to acquaint yourself with the exam’s content. There are a total of 20 question types, encompassing tasks such as Re-tell Lecture, Summarize Written Text, and Re-order Paragraphs.
Gain comprehensive knowledge about each task type.
To understand each question type, compile a list of them. Next to each one, make note of two things:
- The skills it assesses.
- Activities you can engage in to hone these skills.
Let’s delve into an example. In the speaking section, you listen to a brief lecture and then retell it in your own words. The skills it assesses are:
- Listening: You must be adept at comprehending the lecture’s main ideas accurately, an essential skill for any student or professional.
- Vocabulary: Rather than parroting what you’ve heard, you need to articulate the lecture in your own words. This is a daily practice in both academic and professional settings.
- Pronunciation: Your speech should be crystal clear, with every word distinctly enunciated, and your sentence stress should convey your intended meaning accurately.
Now that you’ve identified the skills to develop, how can you practice them? Consider the following ideas:
- Watch brief online videos and then summarize them. Websites like BBC News and TED Talks offer a plethora of videos with varying lengths and accents for you to practice with.
- Engage in conversations with others in English. Listen attentively and strive to provide succinct summaries of what you’ve heard. Others can assess the accuracy and clarity of your summaries.
Repeat this process for each question type. Learn what is being assessed and endeavor to recreate those scenarios in your daily routine. This approach will make you proficient in handling these tasks on exam day.
2. Enhance Your Capacity to Speak and Write Across Diverse Subjects
As you become familiar with the question types, you’ll observe that the test encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects.
To excel, you must comprehend the essence of each question and be capable of employing relevant vocabulary to articulate your thoughts.
So, how can you make your English more versatile? The key lies in exposing yourself to an extensive range of content through watching, reading, and listening.
For instance, don’t restrict yourself to English news broadcasts alone, as news anchors often employ a limited set of formal terminology. Instead, diversify your exposure by exploring:
- Dramatic series
- Video blogs (Vlogs)
When it comes to reading, access various authentic sources such as:
- Academic publications
- Blogs and short stories
3. Construct Your Responses Systematically, But Avoid Relying on Templates
While the subjects you may have to discuss or write about can vary widely, you can adopt a systematic approach to structure your responses for specific tasks, like the Describe Image task.
This method will enable you to think swiftly and employ appropriate English during the test. However, it’s crucial to differentiate between structuring your answers and memorizing a rigid script or template (which is discouraged, as you won’t know the exact nature of the question before the test).
Here’s an example of how you can structure your response for the Describe Image task: