Marking Criteria For PTE

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) is an international computer-based English language test providing a measure of the test taker’s language ability to assist education institutions and professional/ government organizations that ask for a standard of academic English language proficiency for admission procedures.

PTE Academic scoring is done against the Global Scale of English, a thermometer-style scale giving an accurate overview of your skills.

The PTE Academic reports an overall score, communicative skills scores and enabling skills scores.

The Overall Score

The Overall Score is recorded based on the performance in all test items (consisting of instructions, questions or prompts, answer opportunities and scoring rules). Each test taker answers between 71 and 83 items in any given test and there are 20 different item types. The score provided for each item adds to the overall score. 10-90 points is the Score range.

Note: The overall score is not an average calculation of the communicative scores.

The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) is an international computer-based English language test providing a measure of the test taker’s language ability to assist education institutions and professional/ government organizations that ask for a standard of academic English language proficiency for admission procedures.

PTE Academic scoring is done against the Global Scale of English, a thermometer-style scale giving an accurate overview of your skills.

The PTE Academic reports an overall score, communicative skills scores and enabling skills scores.

The Overall Score

The Overall Score is recorded based on the performance in all test items (consisting of instructions, questions or prompts, answer opportunities and scoring rules). Each test taker answers between 71 and 83 items in any given test and there are 20 different item types. The score provided for each item adds to the overall score. 10-90 points is the Score range.

Note: The overall score is not an average calculation of the communicative scores.

Communicative Skills Score

Listening, reading, speaking and writing are the communicative skills that are measured. Many specific sub skills are also tested by these items, testing the communicative skills. The items that require integrated skills (those assessing reading and speaking, listening and speaking, reading and writing, listening and writing, or listening and reading) their item score contributes to the score for the communicative skills that the item assesses.

For each skill, the score range is 10–90 points.


Confident businessman wearing spectacles and giving a presentation in office. Leader briefing his creative business team with annual goals. Mid adult business man training multiethnic businesspeople in conference room.

Enabling skills scores

The reporting of Enabling skills is done to make the test-takers understand the areas of strength and areas for improvement in their language ability. Enabling skills include grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse.

Enabling skill scores are basically the summary of a test taker’s performance on various aspects of language scored in different item types. The scoring of some speaking and writing items is done against the criteria relating to traits in the spoken or written responses. Traits are characteristics of the response relating to features of language ability. The traits contributing to enabling skills scores, as well as to overall and communicative skills scores are listed in the table below

Enabling Skill Enabling Skill definition Traits used in scoring
Oral Fluency Smooth, effortless and natural-paced delivery of the speech Oral Fluency
Pronunciation Ability to produce speech sounds in a way that is easily understandable to most regular speakers of the language. Regional or national pronunciation variants are considered correct to the degree that they are understandable to most regular speakers of the language. Pronunciation
Written discourse Correct and communicatively efficient production of written language at the textual level. Written discourse skills are manifested in the structure of a written text, its internal coherence, logical development, and the range of linguistic resources used to express meaning precisely Development, structure and coherence AND General linguistic range
Vocabulary Appropriate choice of words used to express meaning precisely in written and spoken English, as well as a lexical range Vocabulary
Grammar Correct use of language with respect to word form and word order at the sentence level Grammar
Spelling Writing of words according to the spelling rules of the language. All national variations in spelling areconsidered correct. Spelling

For Content, some speaking and writing items are also scored. The Content scores help in identifying how accurately the content of a spoken or written response addresses the item promptly.
For Form, some writing items are scored. These Form Scores are based on formal characteristics of the response like the number of words etc. Content and Form scores contribute to overall and communicative skills scores only.

Item Scoring:

In PTE Academic, all items are machine scored. For some item types, the scores are based only on correctness, while rest are based on correctness, formal aspects and the quality of the response.

Formal aspects mean the form of the response: like, whether it is over or under the word limit for a particular item type.

The enabling skills represent the quality of the response. For example, in the Re-tell lecture item type, the response is scored on enabling skills such as oral fluency and pronunciation. Scores are generated by automated scoring systems for item types assessing speaking and writing skills.

The two types of scoring are:

Correct or Incorrect

Scoring of some item types is done as either correct or incorrect. 1 score point will be given for the correct response and no score points are given if the response is incorrect.

Partial credit

The scoring for other item types is done as correct, partially correct or incorrect. The maximum score points available for each item type will be awarded when the responses are correct. If the responses are partly correct, some score points will be given, but those score points will be less than the maximum available for the item type. No score points are awarded in case of incorrect responses.

Scoring of all 20 item types

Let’s give you an overview of how the 20 item types in the three parts of PTE Academic (Part 1 Speaking and Writing, Part 2 Reading, Listening) are scored.
PTE Exam
Under Item type Read Aloud, the communicative skills scored are Reading and Writing, and content, pronunciation and oral fluency are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits and time allowed is 30-35minutes for 6-7 items.

Scoring of Traits

Content: Each replacement, omission or insertion of a word counts as one error. Maximum score: depends on the length of the item prompt.

Pronunciation: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English

Oral fluency: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited 0 Disfluent

Under item type Repeat Sentence, the communicative skills scored are Listening and Speaking, and content, pronunciation and oral fluency are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits for 10-12 items.

Scoring of Traits:

Content:
Errors = replacements, omissions and insertions only
Hesitations, filled or unfilled pauses, leading or trailing material are ignored in the scoring of content

  • 3 All words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 2 At least 50% of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 1 Less than 50% of words in the response from the prompt in the correct sequence
  • 0 Almost nothing from the prompt in the response

Pronunciation:

  • 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English
  • Oral fluency: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited 0 Disfluent

Under item type Describe Image, the communicative skill scored is Speaking, and content, pronunciation and oral fluency are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits for 6-7 items.

Scoring of Traits:

  • Content: 5 Describes all elements of the image and their relationships, possible development and conclusion or implications
  • 4 Describes all the key elements of the image and their relations, referring to their implications or conclusions
  • 3 Deals with most key elements of the image and refers to their implications or conclusions
  • 2 Deals with only one key element in the image and refers to an implication or conclusion. Shows basic understanding of several core elements of the image
  • 1 Describes some basic elements of the image, but does not make clear their interrelations or implications
  • 0 Mentions some disjointed elements of the presentation

Pronunciation:

  • 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English
  • Oral fluency: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited 0 Disfluent

Under item type Re-tell lecture, the communicative skills scored are Listening and Speaking, and pronunciation and oral fluency are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits for 3-4 items.

Scoring of Traits:

Pronunciation:

  • 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English

Oral fluency:

  • 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited 0 Disfluent

Content:

  • 5 Re-tells all points of the presentation and describes characters, aspects and actions, their relationships, the underlying development, implications and conclusions
  • 4 Describes all key points of the presentation and their relations, referring to their implications and conclusions
  • 3 Deals with most points in the presentation and refers to their implications and conclusions
  • 2 Deals with only one key point and refers to an implication or conclusion. Shows basic understanding of several core elements of the presentation
  • 1 Describes some basic elements of the presentation but does not make clear their interrelations or implications
  • 0 Mentions some disjointed elements of the presentation

Under item type Answer short question, the communicative skills scored are Listening and Speaking, and vocabulary is the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of correct/incorrect for 10-12 items.

Scoring of Traits:

Vocabulary:

  • 1 Appropriate word choice in response
  • 0 Inappropriate word choice in response

Under item type Summarize written text, the communicative skills scored are Reading and writing, and form, grammar and vocabulary are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits and time allowed is 20-30 minutes for 10-12 items.

Scoring of Traits:

  • Form: 1 Is written in one, single, complete sentence
  • 0 Not written in one single, complete sentence or contains fewer than 5 or more than 75 words. Summary is written in capital letters.

Content:

  • 2 Provides a good summary of the text. All relevant aspects mentioned
  • 1 Provides a fair summary of the text but misses one or two aspects
  • 0 Omits or misrepresents the main aspects of the text

Grammar:

  • 2 Has correct grammatical structure
  • 1 Contains grammatical errors but with no hindrance to communication
  • 0 Has defective grammatical structure which could hinder communication

Vocabulary:

  • 2 Has appropriate choice of words
  • 1 Contains lexical errors but with no hindrances to communication
  • 0 Has defective word choice which could hinder communication

Under item type Write essay, the communicative skills scored is Writing, and Content; form; development, structure, coherence; grammar; general linguistic range; vocabulary range; spellings are the traits scored. Scoring is done in the form of partial credits and time allowed is 20-40 minutes for 1-2 items.

Scoring of Traits:

Content:

  • 3 Adequately deals with the prompt
  • 2 Deals with the prompt but does not deal with one minor aspect
  • 1 Deals with the prompt but omits a major aspect or more than one minor aspect
  • 0 Does not deal properly with the prompt

Form:

  • 2 Length is between 200 and 300 words
  • 1 Length is between 120 and 199 or between 301 and 380 words
  • 0 Length is less than 120 or more than 380 words.

Essay is written in capital letters, contains no punctuation or only consists of bullet points or very short sentences.

Development, structure and coherence:

  • 2 Shows good development and logical structure
  • 1 Is incidentally less well structured, and some elements or paragraphs are poorly linked 0 Lacks coherence and mainly consists of lists or loose elements

Grammar: 2 Shows consistent grammatical control of complex language. Errors are rare and difficult to spot.

  • 1 Shows a relatively high degree of grammatical control. No mistakes which would lead to misunderstandings
  • 0 Contains mainly simple structures and/or several basic mistakes

General linguistic range: 2 Exhibits smooth mastery of a wide range of language to formulate thoughts precisely, give emphasis, differentiate and eliminate ambiguity. No sign that the test taker is restricted in what they want to communicate

  • 1 Sufficient range of language to provide clear descriptions, express viewpoints and develop arguments
  • 0 Contains mainly basic language and lacks precision

Vocabulary range: 2 Good command of a broad lexical repertoire, idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms

  • 1 Shows a good range of vocabulary for matters connected to general academic topics. Lexical shortcomings lead to circumlocution or some imprecision
  • 0 Contains mainly basic vocabulary insufficient to deal with the topic at the required level

Spelling: 2 Correct spelling 1 One spelling error 0 More than one spelling error

preparing for PTE

Part 2: Reading (approximately 31-41 minutes)

Under item type, Reading and Writing: Fill in the blanks, the communicative skills scored are Reading and Writing and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correctly completed blank) for 5-6 items.

Reading and writing: 1 Each correctly completed blank 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Multiple-Choice, choose multiple answers, the communicative skill scored is Reading and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correct response, points deducted for incorrect options chosen) for 2-3 items.

Reading: 1 Each correct response – 1 Each incorrect response 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Re-order paragraphs, the communicative skill scored is Reading and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correctly ordered, adjacent pair) for 2-3 items.

Reading: 1 Each pair of correct adjacent textboxes 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Reading: Fill in the blanks, the communicative skill scored is Reading and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correctly completed blank) for 4-5 items.

Reading: 1 Each correctly completed blank 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Multiple-choice, Choose single answer, the communicative skill scored is Reading and the scoring is done in the form of correct/incorrect for 2-3 items.
Part 3
Attending Online PTE Class

Under item type, Summarize Spoken type, the communicative skills scored are Listening and Writing and the traits scored are Content, form, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and scoring is done in the form of partial credits for 2-3 items and time allowed is 20-30 minutes.

Scoring of Traits:

Content:

  • 2 Provides a good summary of the text. All relevant aspects are mentioned.
  • 1 Provides a fair summary of the text, but one or two aspects are missing
  • 0 Omits or misrepresents the main aspects

Form:

  • 2 Contains 50-70 words
  • 1 Contains 40-49 words or 71-100 words
  • 0 Contains less than 40 words or more than 100 words. Summary is written in capital letters, contains no punctuation or consists only of bullet points or very short sentences.

Grammar:

  • 2 Correct grammatical structures
  • 1 Contains grammatical errors with no hindrance to communication
  • 0 Defective grammatical structure which could hinder communications


Vocabulary:

  • 2 Appropriate choice of words
  • 1 Some lexical errors but with no hindrance to communication
  • 0 Defective word choice which could hinder communication

Spelling:

  • 2 Correct spelling
  • 1 One spelling error
  • 0 More than one spelling errors

Under item type, Multiple-Choice, choose multiple answers, the communicative skill scored is Listening and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correct response, points deducted for incorrect options chosen) and time allowed is 23-28 minutes for 2-3 items.

Listening: 1 Each correct response – 1 Each incorrect response 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Fill in the blanks, the communicative skills scored are Listening and writing and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each correct work spelled correctly) for 2-3 items.

Listening and writing:

  • 1 Each correct word spelled correctly
  • 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Highlight correct summary, the communicative skills scored are Listening and writing and the scoring is done in the form of correct/incorrect for 2-3 items.

Listening and reading:

  • 1 Correct response
  • 0 Incorrect response

Under item type, Multiple-choice, choose single answer, the communicative skill scored is Listening and the scoring is done in the form of correct/incorrect for 2-3 items.

Listening:

  • 1 Correct response
  • 0 Incorrect response

Under item type, Select missing word, the communicative skill scored is Listening and the scoring is done in the form of correct/incorrect for 2-3 items.

Listening:

  • 1 Correct response
  • 0 Incorrect response

Under item type, Highlight incorrect words, the communicative skills scored are Listening and reading and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each word, points deducted for incorrect options chosen) for 2-3 items.

Listening and reading:

  • 1 Each correct word – 1 Each incorrect word
  • 0 Minimum score

Under item type, Write from dictation, the communicative skills scored are Listening and writing and the scoring is done in the form of partial credits (for each word spelled correctly) for 3-4 items.

Listening and writing: 1 Each correct word spelled correctly 0 Each incorrect or misspelled word

goal dartboard and dart on wood floor

Scoring criteria for Pronunciation and Oral fluency

The scoring criteria applied to the speaking item types that are scored on pronunciation and oral fluency in PTE Academic is as follows:

  • Pronunciation: 5 Native-like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Intrusive 0 Non-English
  • Oral fluency: 5 Native–like 4 Advanced 3 Good 2 Intermediate 1 Limited 0 Disfluent

Note: The total timings do not include the maximum and minimum timings indicated for the sections of each part of the test. This is so because the different versions of the test are balanced for total length. No test taker gets the indicated maximum or minimum times.

Now that you have got a fair idea about the marking criteria for PTE, we hope the above information will help you in preparing for your PTE Exam in a much-advanced way!
If you’re looking for expert guidance and a foolproof way to crack the test, get in touch with English WIse.

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