The PTE Academic Listening section is a crucial part of the exam, lasting 30-43 minutes and consisting of eight diverse question types. Candidates are presented with audio or video clips that play automatically and are allowed to take notes during the process. To optimize your performance in this section, it’s essential to understand each question type and adopt effective strategies.
Understanding How Each Task Impacts Your Score
P Tasks such as “Summarize Spoken Text,” “Fill in the Blanks,” and “Highlight Incorrect Words” also have a significant impact on the overall score. On the other hand, “Multiple Choice – Choose Multiple Answers,” “Multiple Choice – Choose Single Answer,” “Highlight Correct Summary,” and “Select Missing Word” have a lower impact on the final assessment.
It is crucial for test-takers to recognize the varying significance of these tasks and focus on excelling in the ones that carry the most weight to achieve a favorable score.
1. Summarize Spoken Text
This task requires candidates to listen to an audio and create a concise summary in one paragraph. It contributes to both the Listening and Writing scores, with 1 to 2 questions in the exam and a recommended time of 10 minutes for completion.
Tip: During the audio, Write down keywords, mainly nouns.
Focus on the overall meaning of the content, avoiding overly detailed examples and explanations. Start your answer with a sentence like “In this lecture, the speaker discussed major information about…”.
After you finish, remember to check your answers to avoid any spelling and grammar mistakes, and also verify if you wrote the period.
2. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers
Candidates must listen to an audio and select all correct responses to a multiple-choice question.
The audio duration is typically 50 to 90 seconds.
Tip: Identify the correct answers while the audio is playing. If unsure, make an educated guess and proceed to the next question to save time for more critical tasks.
3. Fill in the Blanks – Listening
In this question type, candidates encounter a text with several blank spaces. They must listen to an audio and fill in the missing words accordingly. This task contributes to both Listening and Writing scores, and there are usually 2 to 3 questions with 4 to 6 blanks in the exam.
Tip: Attempt to fill in all the blanks, even if you’re uncertain. No points are deducted for incorrect answers, so taking educated guesses can prove beneficial.
4. Highlight Correct Summary
For this task, candidates listen to an audio and select the option that best summarizes it. It contributes to both Listening and Reading scores and usually consists of 1 to 2 questions with a recommended answering time of 30 to 90 seconds.
Tip: During the preparation time, analyze each option and identify a central idea from each. Match these ideas with the content of the audio to make an informed choice. Don’t worry too much about this task. If you’re not quickly sure, select any option and move on to the more important questions.
5. Multiple Choice, Single Answer
This question type requires candidates to listen to an audio and select a single correct response from the given options. The audio duration is typically 30 to 60 seconds.
Tip: Since this question carries less weight, aim to find the correct answer while the audio is playing. If you’re unsure, make an educated guess, move on promptly, and focus on the important questions!
6. Select Missing Word
Candidates will listen to an audio with the end replaced by a beep. Their goal is to select the option that completes the audio. This task contributes solely to the Listening score, with 1 to 2 questions to answer.
Tip: During the preparation time, read the options provided. This will help you quickly identify the correct completion once the recording ends. If you’re not sure, take an educated guess and move on to the next question to save time for more crucial tasks.
7. Highlight Incorrect Words
In this question type, candidates receive both an audio recording and a transcript. They must identify words in the transcript that differ from the audio. It contributes to both Listening and Reading scores, with 2 to 3 questions and 5 to 6 incorrect words to identify.
Tip: As this question has a Partial-Credit scoring system (Right Answer +1; Wrong Answer –1), refrain from selecting any word unless you are confident it is incorrect.
8. Write from Dictation
Candidates hear a sentence and must write it exactly as they hear it. This task contributes to both Listening and Writing scores and typically includes 3 to 4 questions with an average of 11 words per question.
Tip: Take efficient notes while the audio is playing. You can use initials, abbreviations, or other strategies to record the sentence accurately.
Remember to give enough attention to this task as it is one of the most important of the whole PTE Exam!
Mastering the PTE Academic Listening section requires a combination of effective listening skills, time management, and a clear understanding of the question types. Remember to focus on the tasks with higher point values, such as Summarize Spoken Text and Write from Dictation. During the exam, actively listen for keywords and central ideas, enabling you to answer questions promptly and accurately.
Seek professional guidance and explore PTE Smart Courses for effective preparation and better results. Mastering these strategies will enhance your chances of success in the PTE Academic Listening section and pave the way for academic and professional achievements.
You can also find articles on our website for each PTE section, providing valuable tips and much more. Check them out here!