PTE Exam 2021: Fees, Dates, Pattern, Eligibility, Registration, Results & Scores for PTE Exam

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Yocket Editorial Team

Updated on Sep 23, 2021

Exams Know-how | 16 min read
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     Want to study abroad? Your global ambition will demand a little more than your love, interest and dedication to the subjects of your choice. English language skills are essential too. Every ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) needs to take a standardised English readiness test and manage a good score.

     For decades, IELTS and TOEFL have been the common names among the English language test-takers. Comparatively, the PTE exam is a newer entrant. Nevertheless, it has quickly become a formidable alternative, capable of accurately testing language skills using the latest technologies. PTE’s unique design, delivery and scoring methods benefit test-takers as well as universities and institutes. 

     After its launch in 2009, PTE has consistently proved its real-life value and broader acceptance across different English language usage fields. In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know before taking your PTE exam. 

What is PTE Exam?

     PTE is a globally recognised computer-based standardised language readiness test developed by Pearson Plc. and globally administered in association with Edexcel. Probably, now you can guess what the PTE full form is? It is the Pearson Test of English. The test follows language proficiency levels specified by CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and reports scores on a scale of 10 to 90.

     PTE Academic test is specially designed to assess and verify language usage and communication tasks in university-level academic settings.

     This is why all the major universities and institutes in the UK, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand accept the Pearson Test of English. The Graduate Management Admission Council, the group owning and administering GMAT, endorses PTE as ELT (English Language Test) for its unique design in testing English speaking skills. Thousands of academic programs in the USA accept PTE. You can use your PTE Academic score in many top US institutes like Yale University, Harvard University, NYU, Columbia University, and Stanford Graduate School of Business. The list is increasing every day.

     Along with these, other prominent countries accepting PTE Academic are France, Spain, China, Singapore. So, in case you have global academic ambitions, you can never go wrong with PTE Academic. 

     The UK VISA immigration office accepts PTE as a Secure English Language Test (SELT), which is necessary for anyone willing to enter the UK with VISA. 

Why take PTE Exam?

     Many people still ask - why PTE? In case, you are not yet sure why is the PTE exam required, here is a ready reckoner;

  • PTE has a broader global acceptance across countries and continents - Europe, USA, Australia and Asia.

  • Test-takers get results quicker; less wait time.

  • The test leaves no chance of human error as it is computer-delivered and machine-scored.

  • It is convenient because you can book a test, even 24 hours before your preferred test date (provided seats are available).

  • PTE exam prep can be advantageous to your global academic career as the exam is contextual to university-level English language usage.   

What are the types of PTE Exam?

     Globally, there are three (3) types of PTE exams available:

  • PTE Academic Exam - for testing readiness in university-level English language usage.

  • PTE General Exam - for testing readiness in using International English language in work environments and other generic settings.

  • PTE Young Learner Exam - for children in the age group of 7 to 12 years.  

     Among these three, PTE Academic Exam is most popular for its appeal to the global students’ community.

What is the Eligibility for PTE Academic?

     You can take the PTE test if you comply with the following list of PTE Exam eligibility: 

  • Age restriction - A minimum age limit of 16 years; test-takers below 18 years of age need parental consent.

  • Academic qualification - There is no explicit minimum qualification; however, PTE Academic is primarily for anyone willing to study undergraduate or postgraduate level courses.

  • Maximum attempts restriction - There is no restriction on the maximum number of attempts, but a 5-day gap between two tests is necessary. 

PTE Exam Pattern and Syllabus

     PTE is a computer-based, machine-scored, standardised English language readiness test. PTE exam syllabus reveals a lot about its testing objectives and mechanism of testing skills. For example, there are three sections in PTE:

     The objective of PTE is not to cover English usage in any specific region. Being an ELT of global-reputation and acceptance, PTE test design tries to assess and ensure that verified students succeed in universities and institutes of any country or continent.   

     It covers 20 different types of test items with varying criteria of scoring depending on the communicative skills and enabling skills to be assessed. For example, scoring of Read Aloud test items differs from Summarise Written Text items, though both belong to the Speaking and Writing section.

Section-wise item types:

Section

Types of test items

Number of test items

Speaking & Writing

  1. Read aloud

  2. Repeat sentence

  3. Describe image

  4. Re-tell lecture

  5. Short question

  6. Summarise written test

  7. Essay writing

38 - 47

Listening 

  1. Summarise spoken text

  2. MCQ - multiple answers

  3. MCQ - single answer

  4. Fill in the blanks

  5. Highlight correct summary

  6. Highlight incorrect word

  7. Select missing word

  8. Write from diction

 

17 - 25

Reading

 

  1. Fill in the blanks

  2. MCQ - multiple answers

  3. MCQ - single answer

  4. Re-order paragraph

 

 

 

15 - 20

 

    Scoring of PTE Academic test items broadly follows TWO different scoring rules:

  1. CORRECT/INCORRECT 

  2. PARTIAL CREDIT

Correct or Incorrect

Partial Credit

These items are purely objective, having only one correct answer. You score (1 point) when you answer correctly. Otherwise, you score ‘0’.

These do not carry any single correct answer; the score can be - CORRECT, PARTIALLY CORRECT or INCORRECT depending on 1) formal aspect and 2) response quality.

  • Formal aspect of scoring measures whether the response is within predefined word limits, time limits or similar restrictions.

  • Response quality score of an answer for partial credit type questions depends on various enabling skills. These enabling skills depend on the following: 

  • Speaking & Writing test items take care of CONTENT as well as FORM while scoring. CONTENT is the appropriateness of the response while FORM is about the formal character of response like word limit.

CONTENT

FORM

Response to a test item is off-topic or deviates from the topic specified.

An essay is less than the required word limit specified in a test item.

PTE Exam Duration

     Any student will understand that effective speaking and writing are essential for participation and success in any academic career. That’s the reason why PTE gives significant emphasis on these 2 skills. This emphasis is evident as the Speaking & Writing section is the largest of the THREE sections in terms of the number of test items, score and duration.

Section-wise PTE exam duration:  

  • Speaking and Writing - approximately 72 to 93 minutes

  • Listening - approximately 44 to 61 minutes

  • Reading - approximately 31 to 41 minutes

     The total PTE exam time is 180 minutes or 3 hours. Test-takers need to answer 71 to 83 test items across THREE major skill areas.

PTE Results & Scores 

     PTE results come out within 48 hours of taking the test. You get a PTE Score Card which includes different scores for a comprehensive understanding of your language skills. 

     PTE Academic follows the Global Scale of English (GSE), which segregates standard reference levels for language proficiency into six groups depending on difficulty in completing a language task, and different combinations of language tasks.

     PTE Academic score aligned with GSE levels:

GSE Levels

Proficient users

Independent users

Basic users

C2

C1

B2

B1

A2

A1

PTE Academic

84-90

74-84

58-74

42-58

30-42

10-30

Language capability range

Very Good - Expert

Good - Very Good

Competent – Good

Modest - Competent

Limited - Modest

Extremely limited

     A common question which all the students have is, what are good PTE scores? First of all, there is no passing score in PTE. Your score just tells your readiness to participate and succeed in an instructional environment in the English language. Any top-ranking university expects a PTE Academic score of 78 or above, which signifies ‘Very High’ language proficiency.

     Is it difficult to score 85 and above? Not exactly. Many students achieve such scores with adequate preparations. Your PTE Score Card will have the following 3 types of scores on a scale of 10-90.

Overall Score

Communicative Skills Score

Enabling Skills Score

     For example, you can have an Overall Score of 88 (yes, you can achieve this) with following Communicative Skills Score -

  • Listening - 84

  • Reading - 90

  • Speaking - 89

  • Writing - 90

Overall Score (indicative)

Communicative Skills Score (indicative)

88

Listening - 84

Reading - 90

Speaking - 89

Writing - 90

     Overall Score is a weighted average of your performance in 4 Communicative Skills. Test items often require multiple communicative skills like reading and speaking, listening and writing or other combinations.

REMEMBER; your scores in these 4 communicative skills will play a significant role in VISA and university applications.  

     Your score card also includes Enabling Skills Score like grammar, oral fluency, spelling, etc. These scores help test-takers to understand their language strengths and shortcomings and improve on them. 

PTE Exam Fees

     The standard PTE Exam fees in India, at present, is ₹13,700/- including the taxes. In case you want to book and take the test within 48 hours, an additional late fee of 5% would be charged on the standard fees. Thus, PTE late booking would cost around ₹14,385/-. For retaking the PTE exam, you need to pay the full booking amount.

     You can also opt for a rescore after paying a PTE rescore fees. Though, the PTE exam is machine-scored based on AI-algorithms. So, do not expect any fault in your PTE result, unlike other human-scored tests. Still, if a rescore results in any changes to your scores, PTE refunds you the rescore fee.  

     PTE cancellation fee - Test-takers get a full refund of PTE fees for cancelling the test booking, at least, 14 calendar days before the test date. For cancelling between 13th to 8th full calendar days, they get a partial refund of 50% of PTE fees. Beyond that, the booking fee is forfeited. 

PTE Exam Booking & Registration

     PTE exam registration is entirely online and takes only a few steps. Once you are on Pearson PTE's official website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Create an account with Pearson by clicking on Sign Up

  2. Log into myPTE Account and Set Up the Profile

  3. Complete the Booking Questions

  4. Find the preferred PTE exam appointment (Test center, date and time slot)

  5. Review your PTE booking details

  6. Make the payment and finalize your PTE exam booking

PTE Exam Dates

     Once you register and login to PTE website, you can check the available PTE exam dates. A test-taker can book a PTE exam up to 24 hours in advance. It is very convenient in that sense. However, due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and test-takers’ safety, late booking might not get you a preferred test date.

     Only a limited number of seats are available now in each test session at any test center. So, try to book your seat as early as possible.

PTE Exam Centers

     At present, PTE exam centers are open in 23 Indian cities, including all the Indian metros. 

  • Ahmedabad

  • Amritsar

  • Bangalore

  • Chandigarh

  • Chennai

  • Cochin

  • Coimbatore

  • Dehradun

  • Gurugram

  • Hyderabad

  • Vadodara

  • Surat

  • Jalandhar

  • Kolkata

  • Ludhiana

  • Mumbai

  • Nagpur

  • New Delhi

  • Noida

  • Patiala

  • Pune

  • Rajkot

  • Vijayawada

PTE Exam Preparation

     For any reputed university, a PTE score of 78 and above is a must. To achieve that level of proficiency, you need adequate preparation. PTE Exam Preparation is a broad topic and demands elaborate discussion. We have shortlisted a few steps to get started:

  • Begin with knowing your strength and weakness: Take a mock test. Your score in any reputed PTE preparation mock tests will help understand where you stand in terms of language readiness. Endless online sites are offering mock tests. Some of them are very realistic to a PTE Academic test.

  • Your preparation time will depend on your score in the mock test; if it is on the upper side of 70, then 2 weeks’ intense preparation is the minimum requirement. It means 10 hours every day for 2 weeks. Any score below that might require longer preparation time. 

  • Using the right study materials is the next important thing. Honestly speaking, you can get a truck-load of study materials on the web. And it is confusing to parse through all of that. Too many test-takers waste a lot of valuable preparation time in searching for the right study materials. Thus, it is important to select the apt PTE exam books and study materials for an effective preparation.

  • PTE Academic official website offers practice tests as part of different test prep packages. Take these tests once you complete your preparation. This way, it will be more practical and useful. 

Finally

     You are serious about your PTE exam if you have stayed this long with us. However, this article is just the tip of an iceberg; indeed, a tiny tip. There are thousands of other things that you need to know, learn, re-learn and perform in a quickest possible time - if you want a modest PTE score. So, you must not get overwhelmed by the vastness of PTE. Any successful test-taker will advise this. Even, Everest was unconquerable at some point in history, and reaching the Moon was out of the question. We shall be with you all along on this journey. Pull up your socks and take one step at a time. Your very first step could be taking a PTE mock test and understanding the syllabus in more detail.