10 Common Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs in The PTE Online Academic Exam

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academics Exam is a widely recognised computer-based English language proficiency test. PTE Academic provides a measure of a test taker’s language ability to assist educational institutions, professionals and government organisations that require a standard of academic English language proficiency for admission purposes.

The PTE Academic Test consists of 3 parts Speaking and Writing; Reading; Listening. These 3 parts are divided further into sub-tests or tasks. Each part is timed. The entire PTE Academic test has to be completed in 3 hours. All this may prove to be a daunting experience for many candidates, which might lead to making some errors on their part. These common errors can be easily avoided by being a little more careful.

Let's have a look at some common mistakes to avoid in the PTE Academic exam:

  1. Being too fast: Being fast does not mean being fluent. For the speaking test, if you try to speak too fast, it can affect your pronunciation and overall fluency score.
  2. Using incorrect tense: Sometimes candidates make minor grammatical mistakes unknowingly, such as using the wrong tense while describing a situation or things. For example, using simple present tense instead of present continuous tense. Although it might seem like a small error, it can cause you to lose marks.
  3. Using filler sounds: While trying to think of words to deliver, aspirants often make filler sounds like 'aah', 'uhm', 'umm', etc. It can negatively affect the fluency score. An effective way to avoid fillers is to prepare some template words for speaking. The more you practice speaking using these words, the better you can avoid unnecessary sounds.
  4. Pausing too long: Pausing a fraction of a second for dramatic effect is good, but beyond that, it is a mistake; because if you pause for 3 seconds or more in the PTE-A Speaking Module, then the microphone goes off. Anything you say after will not get recorded.
  5. Not adhering to the word limit: It is important to write in a precise and concise manner when it comes to Summarize Written Test, and Essay in writing tasks, and most importantly adhere to the word limit and not writing past it. Stick to writing 200-300 words, as writing more or less than the prescribed word limit will result in you getting a lower PTE score.
  6. Not reading questions carefully: The multiple-choice, choose multiple answer item types have a negative marking scheme. Hence, it is crucial that you select the options after reading the question carefully. Only select the options that you are confident and sure about.
  7. Not checking the time: It is of utmost importance to check the remaining time after finishing each question type. Sometimes, candidates ignore the time remaining and do not finish the allotted sections in the specific time frame, which results in more questions and less time for the later sections.
  8. Using informal language: Sometimes candidates make the mistake of using informal or casual language, which results in a poor score. It is advisable to use academic and formal language in all sections of the test.
  9. Not paying attention to spellings and punctuation: One of the crucial details that many candidates overlook is paying close attention to spelling mistakes and not using proper or adequate punctuations while writing. Too many spelling mistakes may have a bad impact on your PTE score. Hence, prepare well to avoid these mistakes.
  10. Not making use of the notepad: During the test make sure that when you hear some keywords important to answer the questions, you must write them down on the erasable notepad provided to you. Many times, candidates forget to use the notepad for writing down important details or words, which they forget later while answering the questions.

The above mistakes may look small, but they may cost you the perfect score you dream of. Hence, it is wise to prepare better and work on these mistakes while giving the PTE mock tests in order to learn from them and avoid them in the actual exam.

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