PTE listening test guide

The PTE listening assessment has become one of the more common standardized tests that you will encounter during your studies. You can expect to complete one PTE listening test during your studies.

The PTE listening test is a complex assessment which will examine every facet of your listening skills. These listening skills are also part of a wider assessment of other disciplines, such as dictation, writing, and a general understanding of complex issues through audio.

These listening tests will incorporate a wide range of different challenges, as well as cover an even wider array of topics of discussion. Knowing what to expect before going into such an assessment, as well as the type of tests that you can be expected to face, will ultimately help you get more prepared for the test itself.

In this guide, we will be providing you with all of the information that you need to prepare, study, and get ready for the PTE listening exam. We’ll be going through what the listening test actually seeks to assess, as well as providing some examples so that you will know what to expect when the exam begins.

After reading through this article, you should be much more aware of what the PTE listening test entails, as well as having a much better idea on how to prepare

What are the PTE listening tests?

PTE listening tests are designed to evaluate your comprehension of hearing complex topics. These topics will be predetermined and will engage in a wide range of political and social commentary.

Some examples of topics in the PTE listening test that you can be expected to be evaluated are:

  • Lecture topics, covering a wide range of subjects
  • Political statements, both from politicians and from political commentators
  • Statements regarding social and economic issues
  • City planning issues, such as those around public transport
  • Cultural commentary, involving both film and music

The PTE listening test incorporates a wide variety of measurements in which your listening and comprehension skills will be assessed. Some of these will be as simple as filling in the blanks based on the audio, others will include tasks such as highlighting key points in the audio presented.

In total, there are eight tasks to be completed in the PTE listening assessment. The assessment on average can take anything between 45 and 60 minutes to complete, but it is designed so that each task can be completed within 5 to 6 minutes.

Preparing for a PTE listening test

Preparing for an audio test of this nature will allow you to get into the psyche of keeping your ears open for important and vital information. To prepare for such a test, simple dictation on audio that you source yourself can help.

Listen to the audio that you have found a few times, making sure that it is touching on a similar subject matter, then write down what you heard, before then checking to see how accurate you were.

Doing this repeatedly will train your ears to focus on the more minute details of speech and varied language, voice, and tone that will be used in such a test. This will ideally help you also dictate upon varying voices, allowing you to prepare for any such variant during the actual test.

Another way in which you can prepare is by researching and making yourself well across the issues and subjects that will most likely be discussed during the PTE listening assessment.

These will include the dot points that we wrote about at the start of this guide, so make sure to be across daily news and talking points prior to the assessment. This will at least allow you to pre-empt any discussion or topics, allowing you to listen to a word ahead.

Things to avoid during the PTE listening exam

The PTE listening test is repetitive by default, owing to its function of being designed to test your listening comprehension and dictation skills.

This can pose a problem, as you can fall into the trap of thinking that some phrases or subjects may be quite similar in tone, and confuse that with being similar in the words being used.

A good way to avoid this is, aside from maintaining concentration, by practicing prior on very similar pieces of audio This should take up most of your audio dictation rehearsing,

It’s also important to make sure that, during comprehension tests, all of the words that you are writing down are as accurate as possible. Focus on the sounds being made, and make sure to write comprehensively down everything that you said, without paraphrasing or relying on short diction