PTE Stands for the Pearson Test of English Academic and is a test used to assess English language proficiency. A unit of the Pearson PLC Group, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic is utilised and trusted globally by universities, colleges, and governments.

PTE assesses the participant’s speaking, writing, and listening skills and is generally the primary English test for study, work, and visas across Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. 

So, what is PTE Academic? How is PTE testing used? And what’s involved in the exam? Within this article, we’re going to break down the ins and outs of the Pearson Test of English Exam so that you can tackle the PTE Academic test headfirst!

Englishfirm is Australia’s leading provider of PTE coaching and classes – we help students just like you to improve their English proficiency and pass their PTE exam with flying colours. Providing one-on-one coaching online, in Sydney, and in Melbourne, our expert team of educators is here to achieve the best possible outcome and a high PTE score. 

Let’s get into it:


What Is PTE?

PTE Academic is a computer-based English test assessing English speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. Formerly known as the London Tests of English, the PTE is part of the Pearson PLC group, accredited by the QCA, Ofqual, and administered in association with Edexcel, the world’s largest examining body.

Designed to assess the readiness of non-native English speakers, Pearson first developed the test to meet the growing demands of institutions and governments for an accurate, simplified way of assessing the abilities of non-native English language students entering English-speaking universities, education, and workplaces. 

The test is completed over two hours via a computer within a valid testing centre. The test itself focuses on real-life scenarios faced in the English language. During the test, participants will encounter reading, writing, speaking, and listening questions.

what is pte academic?

What Is PTE Testing Used For?

So, what is PTE testing used for? The test is typically aimed at non-native English speakers who wish to study, live, and work abroad. PTE Academic is recognised by thousands of organisations across the Commonwealth and is approved for Australian visa applications by the Australian Border Agency and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

1. Education 

For educational purposes, thousands of universities across the world (and 100% of Australian universities) accept a PTE test result for non-native English speakers. The average score needed to meet application requirements varies depending on the institution.

2. Visas & Migration

Australian and New Zealand immigration accept PTE testing for visa application and approval. The Australian Department of Home Affairs accepts the PTE test for all visa categories that require proof of English language proficiency.

Depending on the Visa and the English language requirements, different scores may be required while immigrating to Australia.

Visa 189, 190, and 489 require a minimum PTE Academic score of 50 for each of the three testing sections. While other Australian immigration visas use a point system for English proficiency. A score of 65 on all parts of the test provides 10 points, and a score of 79 on all parts of the test will provide 20 points contributing to the visa application.


What Is the PTE Exam?

The Pearson Test of English Academic exam is taken on a computer in a secure testing environment, trusted by universities, workplaces, and visa application centres. The exam itself tests skills in speaking and writing, reading, and listening and is typically 2 hours long.

The test is designed to focus on real-world scenarios that may be faced while living or studying in English speaking locations. There are three parts of the test, with 20 different types of questions ranging from multiple-choice questions to essay writing. The PTE exam is as follows:

whats is in the PTE exam?

Part 1: Speaking & Writing

54-67 minutes


  • A personal introduction
  • Read aloud 
  • Repeat the sentence
  • Describe imagery
  • Re-tell lecture
  • Answer short questions
  • Summarising written blocks of text
  • A written essay


Part 2: Reading

29-30 minutes


  • Filling in the blanks
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Re-ordering of paragraphs


Part 3: Listening

30-43 minutes 


  • Summarising spoken text
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Highlighting the correct text summary
  • Selecting the missing word
  • Highlighting incorrect words
  • Writing from dictation


How to Prepare for the PTE Exam

There are a couple of ways to prepare for the PTE test, including mock-tests, understanding the type of questions you’re going to need to answer, and practising your English speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills. It’s also important to know what PTE scores you require for either Visa or university application so you can determine and reach set goals within your preparation journey.

As we mentioned earlier, the PTE exam is based on real-life scenarios in English – so if there is any way that you can gain more confidence in the English language, then it’s going to have a positive impact on how you perform in the PTE exam.

If you’re looking to pass your PTE with confidence, your best bet is to work with a qualified coaching centre like Englishfirm. Operating in both Sydney and Melbourne, Englishfirm are Australia’s leading provider of PTE preparation classes and coaching sessions. We deliver one-on-one, flexible, and affordable coaching sessions with one primary goal: to get you the English score you need for your unique set of requirements. 

If you’d like to learn more about acing the PTE exam and how Englishfirm can get you there, get in touch with us today. We offer free demo classes, group classes, and private, one-on-one classes to give you as much attention as required to study for the Pearson Test of English. Book online for PTE coaching classes held in Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne, and online!

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