The Pearson Test of English (PTE), is needed to gain the right to work, study or have permanent residence in Australia. This test assesses your ability to speak, read and write English. You need to have good language skills for day-to-day conversation in English for you to live in English-speaking countries.
Having the knowledge you need to learn for this test will help you have confidence and independence when in an English-speaking environment. It is difficult to pass this test and achieve a good score if you do not prepare well before you book for your test.
Many mistakes are made by students sitting the test that have not prepared well. Knowing some of these mistakes that are made will help you to know what you need to learn to prevent making them and not passing your test.
1. Forgetting to review their answers in the test
Students must take a look over their answers and proofread them for correct spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and use of grammar. Often simple mistakes are made that can be caught with a quick read over the work. Doing this will also ensure that all information required in the question has been supplied.
2. Not adhering to prescribed word counts in an essay
In Essay writing the information requested must be provided in a coherent and fluent way with defined sections of introduction, body, and conclusion. The most important thing to get right is to stick to the word count prescribed. This is very important and can cause you to get low marks if you do not follow the directions. If you write less than 120 words or more than 380 words, the mark will be zero. Formal language must be used and do not use contractions.
3. Incorrectly Summarizing an audio recording
In the test a student is required to listen to an audio recording and provide a summary of what was said. The student is allowed to take notes during the recording and must not transcribe it word for word. A short summary is required which should be only one sentence with punctuation for fluency and only one full stop.
4. Giving poor performance in the speaking assessment
There is a test to determine how you speak in normal conversation. For this test, you need to use a computer with good speakers and a microphone or a headset. You need to make sure the headset is working correctly. Test it before your test by practicing as often as you can. Sometimes there is a noise that goes through the headset if you take too many loud breaths or if there is background noise. Test this by recording your voice and playing it back.
You must talk into the microphone but not shout and talk slowly. For the speaking test make sure you are in a quiet environment with no distractions. Mute all computer and phone notifications.
In the beginning, you will be asked to introduce yourself. This is for the software to have a standard tone of your voice as a base line. You can say your name and where you come from. You can also say why you are doing the test. Try to keep your voice even toned and if you know your voice is a little high in pitch, drop it down a little.
5. Incorrectly ordering paragraphs
A section of the PTE test asks the student to re-order paragraphs from an essay in the correct sequence for it to make sense and have fluency. Students forget to read over the paragraphs first and then attempt to put them in the correct order sequence. Looking for certain phrases can help with placing these paragraphs in the correct order. Sentences in the paragraphs with dates or terms of reference to tenses such as yesterday, tomorrow, or later today can help identify sequences of events. Reading the paragraphs aloud helps to be able to see a flow of events and as well.
Preparation for the PTE is important so that you will be confident and familiar with the way questions are asked. You can become familiar with everyday English by practicing conversations with friends, colleagues, or fellow students at a preparation course such as the online PTE course offered by Englishwise. These courses give you tools, knowledge, the appropriate materials; as well as tricks and tips to help you get a good score. Doing practice questions and research on exactly what the test will be asking you to do helps you be confident and calm to take the test. Things you can do to help you prepare are reading newspapers, magazine articles, and storybooks.