Published: Mar 14, 2023 | By: Lucas Weaver
Are you wanting to test your English level officially but are “scared” of human examiners?
Then fear not because the PTE test is here to save the day!
With its computer-based format and artificial intelligence, the PTE test will finally allow you to prove your English language proficiency and silence those doubters.
So why not give it a try? You might surprise yourself (and everyone else) with your English certification without breaking a sweat!
To help you decide if a PTE test is something that will benefit you, in this post, I will briefly explain the following:
English language proficiency is vital to education and professional success in today's globalized world. Non-native speakers of English who wish to study or work in English-speaking countries may need to demonstrate their language proficiency by taking an English language proficiency test before being accepted into their desired country.
One such test you can take to prove this proficiency is the PTE test from education giant, Pearson.
The PTE test (Pearson Test of English) is an internationally recognized English language proficiency test designed to evaluate the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of non-native English speakers. The test is accepted by many universities, colleges, and governments across the globe as evidence of English language proficiency.
The PTE test has gained popularity recently due to its computer-based format and use of artificial intelligence to analyze responses. This, in theory, results in a fair and reliable assessment of a candidate's English language skills without the effects of the potential biases of human examiners.
You can find the full “Who accepts PTE tests” list here.
The Pearson Test of English (PTE) test is a 100% computer-based English language proficiency test that evaluates a candidate's speaking and writing skills (54-67 minutes), reading skills (30~ minutes), and listening skills (30-43 minutes).
The PTE test lasts for 2 hours and consists of 20 different question types. The test is computer-based, and test-takers use a headset to listen to recordings and provide responses. It can be taken at a test center or at home, providing test-takers the flexibility of not always having to commute to a big city just to take it.
The use of AI (artificial intelligence) to analyze responses aims to make the PTE test a fair and reliable assessment of English language skills. The test results become available within five business days of taking the test, making it a quick and convenient option for people who need an official way to prove their English proficiency but don’t have months to wait for the results.
The nice and unique thing about the PTE Test is that it assesses real-life English skills, ensuring that test-takers are well-prepared for academic, professional, or even personal situations that require English language skills.
There are several types of PTE tests offered by Pearson, including:
PTE Academic: This is the most common type of PTE test and is designed for non-native speakers of English who need to demonstrate their English language proficiency for academic purposes. The test assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills and is accepted by numerous universities and colleges worldwide.
PTE General: Adapted for non-native English speakers who want to assess their general English language proficiency. A variety of organizations accept it for employment and immigration purposes.
PTE for Young Learners: This version is designed for children aged 6-13 who want to assess their English language proficiency. It is a fun and interactive test that assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in ways more appropriate for younger test takers.
PTE Home: This version is for those who want to take the PTE test from the comfort of their own home. It is available for PTE Academic and PTE General tests and is monitored remotely by a proctor via webcam.
The PTE is scored on a scale from 10 to 90, with 90 being the highest possible score.
Once a candidate has taken the test, the results are available within five business days.
This quick turnaround makes the PTE test a convenient option for people who need to demonstrate their language proficiency for academic or professional purposes and need a quick turnaround time.
The score report for the PTE test also provides a detailed breakdown of scores for each question type and an overall score. This breakdown allows test-takers to identify their strengths and weaknesses in each test section and tailor their preparation accordingly.
For example, you may discover that you scored well in the reading section but needed help with the speaking section. This information can be used to focus your study efforts, select an online English course, or find some way to improve your speaking skills before retaking the test.
If you’ve made it this far and you think you’re interested in taking the PTE Test, you should prepare for the following:
The speaking and writing section of the PTE test evaluates your ability to communicate effectively in English. This includes tasks such as summarizing a written text, delivering an oral presentation, and writing an essay.
As a PTE taker, you must demonstrate your ability to use accurate grammar, appropriate vocabulary, and clear pronunciation when speaking and writing in English.
In the speaking section, you are evaluated on your ability to express yourself verbally in English.
In the writing section, you are evaluated on your ability to organize and present your ideas in English. This section also assesses your ability to use appropriate vocabulary and grammar.
The reading section of the PTE test assesses your ability to understand and analyze written English. This includes tasks such as comprehending academic texts and extracting specific information.
In this section, you are evaluated on your ability to understand a text's main ideas and supporting points. They are also expected to demonstrate their ability to identify relationships between ideas and extract specific text information.
The listening section of the PTE test will evaluate your ability to comprehend spoken English. This includes tasks such as listening to lectures, conversations, and interviews.
In the listening section, you are evaluated on your ability to understand a spoken text's main ideas and supporting points. To get a high score, you should demonstrate your ability to identify relationships between ideas and extract specific text information.
The PTE test suits non-native speakers who must demonstrate their English language proficiency for various purposes. For example, suppose you wish to study in an English-speaking country. In that case, you may be required to take the PTE test to prove your language proficiency.
Similarly, professionals who wish to work in English-speaking countries may need to take the PTE test to demonstrate their language proficiency to potential employers. In addition, individuals who want to emigrate to English-speaking countries may need to take the PTE test to prove their language proficiency.
Overall, the PTE test is an excellent option for non-native speakers of English who need to demonstrate their language proficiency. Its global recognition, computer-based format, and use of artificial intelligence make it a reliable and convenient option for those who need to prove their English language skills for academic, professional, or personal purposes.
Before you commit to taking the PTE test, though, make sure you consider its benefits and drawbacks.
Probably the main advantage of taking the PTE test is that it is widely recognized and accepted by universities, colleges, and governments worldwide. This means that non-native English speakers who need to prove their language proficiency for school or for a job can use the PTE test as evidence of their English language skills.
Another advantage of the PTE test is that it provides quick and convenient test results. Test-takers can receive their scores within five business days of taking the test, making it a fast option for those who need to demonstrate their English language proficiency within a short timeframe.
Further, I’ve mentioned a few times that the PTE test is a computer-based test that uses AI to analyze responses. This results in a fair and reliable assessment of a candidate's English language skills, as human biases and inconsistencies are eliminated. So this too can be an advantage for you as a test taker.
Additionally, the PTE test assesses all four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, making it a comprehensive evaluation of English language proficiency. This is a benefit especially if you feel like you’re particularly strong in one area more than another because you can use your higher scores in one section to offset a potentially low score in another.
Finally, a very important benefit of the PTE test is that it offers flexible test dates and locations. Test-takers can choose from various test dates and places worldwide, making finding a convenient testing center that fits their schedule easier. Add that to the quick turnaround time of getting the results, and I would have to say the PTE test is clearly the most convenient official English proficiency exam.
One disadvantage of the PTE test is that it is relatively new compared to other English proficiency tests, such as the TOEFL and the IELTS exam. Some institutions may still need to recognize the PTE test as a valid measure of English language proficiency, which could limit its usefulness in certain situations.
In addition, some test-takers may prefer the human interaction of other English proficiency tests, such as the IELTS speaking section. The PTE test is entirely computer-based, meaning test-takers do not interact with a human examiner during the speaking section.
Finally, the computer-based format of the PTE test may be as comfortable for test-takers who prefer pen-and-paper exams. While the PTE test is designed to be user-friendly, some test-takers may need help adjusting to the computer-based format.
Overall, the decision to take the PTE test should be based on an individual's specific needs and circumstances. While the PTE test offers many benefits, some other English proficiency tests may have better options for you personally. You should carefully consider the pros and cons of this test before deciding whether to book a seat.
Many books and resources are available to help test-takers prepare for the PTE exam. Some of the best PTE books and resources include:
The Official Guide to PTE Academic: This guide is published by Pearson, the company that administers the PTE exam. It provides comprehensive information about the test format, question types, scoring system, practice questions, and sample answers.
PTE Academic Practice Tests Plus: This book contains five complete practice tests and detailed explanations of each question type and strategies for improving test performance.
PTE Academic Expert: This book provides detailed guidance on each section of the PTE exam, practice questions, and sample answers.
PTE Academic Scored Practice Tests: This online platform offers a range of practice tests scored by expert tutors, providing detailed feedback on test performance.
In general, many excellent resources are available to help test-takers prepare for the PTE test. Using a combination of study materials and practice tests, you can improve your English language proficiency and achieve your desired score on the PTE test.
Lucas Weaver founded The Weaver School in 2016. He's passionate about using the latest learnings in neuroscience and education to create the best language learning experience possible for our students, so they can quickly build effective language learning habits that will last for years. Lucas is a graduate of Texas A&M University and after 7 years of living in the Netherlands, he is currently traveling through Southeast Asia while learning their languages along the way.