PTE Academic’s ‘Write from Dictation’: Tips for Success

studying for the write from dictation

If you’re getting ready for the PTE Academic, you’ve probably figured out that it’s better to focus on certain question types instead of trying to be a master of all trades. That’s because the PTE has its own scoring system for each question, and to get a top score, you’ve got to put your energy where it really counts.

One such crucial question type is “Write from Dictation,” which tests your listening and writing skills.


Overview of “Write from Dictation” in the PTE Academic


In Write from Dictation, you will hear a sentence, and your goal is to transcribe it (write it down) as accurately as you can. This section assesses your ability to listen carefully, take notes, and reproduce spoken content in written form. 


Here are some key details about this question type:

– Scoring: This question is found in the Listening section but will impact your Writing score as well.

– Number of Words: On average, each question consists of approximately 11 words.

– Points: You earn 1 point for each correct word.

– Number of Questions: You will encounter 3 to 4 “Write from Dictation” questions in the PTE Academic test.


Tips and Techniques


To perform well in the Write from Dictation, consider the following tips and techniques:


1. Take Notes Strategically


While the audio is playing, it’s essential to take effective notes. You have two options: writing by hand or typing on the computer. Choose the method that works best for you to ensure a faster response. If you opt for typing, position your cursor in the response box before listening so you can start typing immediately.

Remember that if you choose to write, you’ll need to use the laminated notebook. So try to simulate this paper at home so you don’t have any trouble during the test.


2. Check for Grammar, Spelling, Punctuation, and Capitalization


After the audio recording concludes, meticulously review your response. Pay close attention to:

– Grammar: Ensure your sentence structure is correct.

– Spelling: Verify that words are spelled accurately.

– Punctuation and Capitalization: Don’t forget the capital letter and the full stop at the end.


3. Develop a Note-Taking System


Establish a consistent and efficient note-taking system to use during the Write from Dictation questions. You can:

– Write just the initials of each word.

– Abbreviate the first words and use abbreviations for the rest of the sentence.

4. Don’t Fear Mistakes


Unlike some exercises of the PTE Academic, you won’t lose points for typing a word incorrectly. If you are unsure about the spelling, plural or singular form, or preposition usage, consider duplicating the word with a second option to increase your chances of getting it right.


For instance, let’s consider the following example:

Suppose the correct answer for the exercise is: 

“You can contact all your tutors by email.”

However, after listening to an audio, you may have some uncertainties. 

Let’s say you’re not sure whether it should be “tutor” or “tutors.” In such a case, you can duplicate the word in both forms, like this:

“You can contact all your tutors tutor by email.”


5. Create a List of Problematic Words


As part of your preparation, compile a list of words that you often misspell or struggle with during practice. Divide this list into two columns: one for words you don’t know and another for words you know but frequently misspell. 


How to Study for “Write from Dictation”?


Studying effectively for the “Write from Dictation” section is paramount. Here are some guidelines to help you improve your performance:

– Daily Practice: Dedicate time every day to practice this question type. Consistency is key to mastering it.

– Identify Weaknesses: Analyze your mistakes. If you struggle to understand the sentence, work on enhancing your listening skills. If note-taking is a challenge, practice taking notes more efficiently, whether by typing or writing. For those with frequent spelling errors, focus on the words that need to pay more attention to.


Prepare with an expert for greater results.


To maximize your chances of success in the PTE Academic exam, consider enrolling with PTE Smart, a specialized company that has already assisted over 1200 students worldwide. Our expertise in PTE preparation can provide you with tailored guidance and practice materials to excel in the Write from Dictation and other exercises of the test.