PTE Listening: Everything You Need to Know About PTE Listening Section

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Yocket Editorial Team

Updated on Sep 14, 2021

Exams Know-how | 5 min read
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We often underestimate the importance of good listening skills and take them for granted. In a proverbial sense, we have two ears and one mouth. So, listening is twice as important as speaking. Active listening helps in developing other language skills, like speaking and writing. The PTE Listening test items can prove this fact and help you improve your skills.

An Overview of PTE Listening

The duration of this part of the PTE exam is around 45 to 57 minutes and includes audio and video clips-based questions. Clips start automatically, and test-takers get only a single chance to listen to each clip and record their answer. So, you have to listen actively with the highest level of attention.

Test Item Types

Number of Items

Marking Rule

Summarise Spoken Text

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Multiple Choice Questions

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Fill in The Blanks

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Highlight Correct Summary

2 - 3

Correct/Incorrect

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

2 - 3

Correct/Incorrect

Select Missing Words

2 - 3

Correct/Incorrect

Highlight Incorrect Words

2 - 3

Partial Credit

Write from Dictation

3 - 4

Partial Credit

Details on Each PTE Listening Test Item Type

  • Summarise Spoken Text

 It is about writing a summary text of not more than 70 words but not less than 50 words after listening to an audio clip. The length of the test prompt (audio clip) varies between 60 to 90 seconds. The time to write a summary is 10 minutes. Do not miss the key points and supporting points mentioned in the clip. The summary has to be grammatically correct and without spelling mistakes. The scoring of these items depends on the correctness of the content, words counts of the response, grammar, spelling and use of vocabulary.  

  • Multiple-Choice Questions

There are MCQs where you have to answer by choosing more than one answer. These tests require listening to audio clips of about 40 to 90 seconds, which start playing automatically and cannot be replayed. Questions are posed either on the content or tone of the clips. 

  • Fill in The Blanks

 This test item requires you to listen to an audio clip and tally it with the transcripts onscreen. There are gaps in the transcript, and a test-taker needs to fill in those gaps with the correct words mentioned in the audio clip. The length of an audio clip varies between 30 to 60 seconds. You can take note while listening to the audio for preparing your response.

  • Highlight Correct Summary

 It is about listening to an audio clip and selecting the correct one from the on-screen summary texts options. Test prompt sizes vary between 30 to 90 seconds. You can take note while listening.

  • Select Missing Words

 Parts of the audio clip in this type of test items are replaced by a ‘beep’ sound. You need to listen carefully and select the correct word or phrase from multiple options. The chosen words must be grammatically correct and contextual. The length of test prompts varies between 20 to 70 seconds.

  • Highlight Incorrect Words

This test is just like ‘Fill in the blanks’ items. The only difference is you need to find incorrect words in the on-screen text instead of filling in blanks.

  • Write from Dictation

  It is about listening to short audio clips and writing them precisely the same in the text boxes. The length of these audio clips varies from 3 to 5 seconds. The vital challenge is to write the correct spelling.  

PTE Listening Tips & Tricks for Test Preparation 

     Some of the tested and trusted advice from successful PTE test-takers on PTE Listening are as follows:

  • Try active listening. It means listening with full attention.

  • Practice listening to different English accents.

  • Take mock tests on listening skills.

 PTE Listening is the 3rd section of the PTE exam pattern. The test allows a scheduled 10-minute break after submitting the 2nd part (PTE Reading) of the exam; you should take the break to refresh your mind. Active listening requires strong attention. Stretch your muscles. Let your brain relax. Remember - all’s well that ends well.