PTE Listening: Mastering Highlight Incorrect Words with 7 Proven Tips

PTE listening

PTE Test Preparation and Expert Guidance

Highlight Incorrect Words is a task within the Listening Module of the PTE academic test, designed to evaluate both your listening and reading skills. The challenge lies in identifying disparities between an audio recording and its written transcription, demanding your full concentration as you listen with a purpose, even in a noisy environment. Developing this skill is essential during your PTE study and practice phase. Moreover, familiarity with various English accents is advantageous.

Key Aspects:

  1. Task fundamentals and an overview
  2. Scoring for the Highlight Incorrect Words task
  3. Strategies to avoid negative marking
  4. Proven PTE listening tips and practice methods for excelling in this task
  5. Sample questions to facilitate quick practice

Understanding the Task: What’s Involved in Highlight Incorrect Words?

You will receive an audio recording along with its corresponding transcript. Your task is to simultaneously listen to the audio and read the transcript. You are required to click on the words that deviate from what the speaker in the recording utters.

How do you identify the incorrect words?

Highlight Incorrect Words Scoring and the Impact of Negative Marking

This is one of three question types in PTE Academic that incurs negative marking. A correct response earns you 1 point, while an incorrect one deducts 1 point. To steer clear of negative marking, it’s essential to click on a word only when you’re confident. The lowest achievable score for this task is zero.

7 PTE Listening Tips to Excel in Highlight Incorrect Words

  1. Prepare for a range of accents and speaking speeds by practising with diverse sample questions.
  2. Practice in an environment with some background noise to simulate the test conditions.
  3. Keep moving your cursor along with the audio, even if you miss a few words.
  4. Highlight an incorrect word only when you’re certain of the disparity.
  5. Once the audio ends, refrain from altering your highlighted words unless you’re certain of an error.
  6. Note-taking is not helpful for this task; focus on following the transcript with your cursor as the audio plays.
  7. A single click suffices to highlight a word; avoid repetitive clicking to save time and ensure accuracy.


Excelling in the Highlight Incorrect Words task in the PTE listening module requires a combination of focused preparation, adaptability to different accents, and the ability to maintain concentration in a potentially noisy environment. With the right strategies and diligent practice, test-takers can navigate this challenging question type with confidence. Remember that understanding the scoring system and the impact of negative marking is crucial, ensuring that you only click when you are certain, thus avoiding unnecessary point deductions. By implementing these seven proven tips, you can enhance your performance in this task and ultimately achieve success in your PTE academic journey.

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