Exams Know-how

PTE Reading: Everything You Need to Know About PTE Academic Reading Test

Yocket Editorial Team

PTE Reading section is the second module of the PTE Academic exam, which test takers will come across. Do you think reading in English cannot be difficult? It depends on whether you can manage specific challenges and time limitations.

PTE Reading test items assess a single skill as well as combinations of skills. There can be 15 to 20 test items in this section. And the PTE Reading test duration is 32 to 40 minutes.

PTE does not allow any scheduled break before the Reading section and also discourages unscheduled breaks. So, you have to be at the top of your game after the lengthy PTE Speaking and Writing test.

Structural Overview of PTE Reading Test Items

This table gives provides an overview of the test items to be expected during PTE Reading test. We have also discussed various PTE Reading tips on the question types in the subsequent sections.

Test Item Types

Number of Items

Marking Rule

Fill in the Blanks - Reading & Writing

5 - 6

Partial Credit

Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Re-Order Paragraph

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Fill in the Blanks - Reading

4 - 5

Partial Credit

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

2 - 3


Details on Each PTE Reading Question Type

Fill in the Blanks

There are two types of Fill in the Blanks questions in this part of the PTE exam. One set of items involves reading as well as writing; the other set requires only reading skill. For the first set of test items, you get a paragraph or two with intermittent gaps. Each gap comes with a dropdown list of words. You need to read the text and select the most appropriate word from each list. The length of the test paragraph can be around 300 words.

The second set of ‘fill in the blanks’ involves dragging and dropping words in the gaps. The number of available words is more than the number of gaps. So, you do not need to use all the given words. The prompt length can be around 80 words.

The scoring of these items depends on grammatical accuracy as well as contextual usage of words.

Useful PTE Reading Fill in the Blanks Tips:

  • You should use the knowledge of grammar and correct usage of English words.

  • Some words in English together create a phrase with a particular meaning. For instance, words like ‘general public’ or ‘common sense’. Keep your eyes open for such phrasal usage.

Multiple Choice - Multiple Answers and Single Answers

In both of these types, you need to read a paragraph of around 300 words and select the correct answer. For multiple answer type, you get more than one right answer. The other type offers multiple choices too but needs only a single correct answer.

Useful Tips for PTE Reading Multiple Choice – Multiple Answers & Single Answer:

  • Scan through the response options for repeated words; they can be noun or adjective. The answer should be related to such repeated words.

  • Before submitting your response, do not forget to re-read and ensure the coherence of meaning.   

Re-Order Paragraph

It is a drag-and-drop type item where the prompt includes a ‘source’ box and a ‘target’ box. The source box includes texts in jumbled order. You need to drag texts and drop them in the target box to create a meaningful paragraph. The total text size can be around 150 words.

Useful PTE Reading Re-Order Paragraph Tips:

The strategy to answer this item should be to find the sentence that expresses the main idea. Such a sentence does not begin with pronouns or linkers. You can arrange other texts based on such a sentence.

PTE Reading test items require proficient skills in writing as well. Be careful about grammar, word choices and vocabulary. As time is always limited, speed reading is essential for scoring well in PTE Reading section. Regularly practise reading short articles of 200 to 300 words under a minute. Also, build your general reading habit. And never forget to check your performance in mock tests and improvise accordingly.

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