Effective Ways to Improve Your PTE Listening Skills

The PTE listening section can be a challenging part of the entire test for most aspirants. In this day and age where the world is thriving on short attention spans amidst many distractions, pseudo-listening has become an internalized trait for many. But as you begin your PTE preparations, it’s time that you exchange this trait for productive and interpersonal listening skills.

Before we talk about the effective ways to improve your PTE English listening skills, let’s have a quick look at the PTE Listening section. It will give you a general idea of how to plan your learning and what types of questions to expect.

PTE Listening Section

Items Task Number of Items Prompt length
Summarize Spoken text Listen to the audio clip and recapitulate it in 50 to 70 words 1 - 2 60-90 seconds
Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers Listen to the audio and select as many correct options as you see on the screen 1 - 2 40-90 seconds
Fill in the blanks Fill in the blanks by writing the word that matches the transcription given on the screen with the audio that you listen 2 - 3 30-60 seconds
Highlight correct summary Based on the audio, select the correct summary given on the screen 1 - 2 30-90 seconds
Multiple-choice, choose single answer Listen to the audio and select the single correct option 1 - 2 30-60 seconds
Select missing word Select the missing word from the given options to complete the audio that plays 1 - 2 30-60 seconds
Highlight incorrect words Select the word from the written transcript that is different from the speech in the audio clip. 2 - 3 20-70 seconds
Write from dictation Listen to the audio and write it down in the answer box 3 - 4 3-5 seconds
  • The PTE listening section entails you integrating your reading as well as your writing skills to score your best.
  • You will have 7 to 10 seconds to read before the audio plays.
  • There is a time constraint, so you have to stay focused when the audio plays and be quick with your answers.

The below tips will help you understand how to improve your listening skills in English for your PTE exam.

1. Listen actively

We have established how important it is to actively listen to score well in your PTE Listening section. But how can you do that? It can be difficult to simply switch to being attentive when people are talking, so it’s best to take small steps. You can start by watching movies with and without English subtitles. It’s best to watch without subtitles because that ensures you stay focused.You should listen to podcasts on topics of your interest. Furthermore, throughout your PTE preparation, you can watch videos or listen to audio lessons. Since your aim is to be educated through these lessons, you will need to be more attentive. You should also make a habit of taking notes while you are consuming content via audio or video.

2. Take digital notes

Speaking of taking notes, it would be ideal if you used a computer for the same. As we saw in the above PTE Listening paper pattern, your English listening skills are tested by integrating them with your writing skills. You listen to the audio and then type down the answer. There is limited time for you to respond. Throughout your exam, you will have to make notes as you listen to the audio and type down your answers later. Hence, it’s better to start practicing this pattern of listening and taking notes on the computer throughout your PTE preparation.

3. Spare a few seconds after each answer

PTE listening tips are not successful if you don’t combine them with time management. You have to spare a few seconds at the end of each answer, so you have time to go through it and make any changes needed. In the few seconds or minutes, you have to respond, you must divide your time between listening to the questions, decoding them, answering them, and revising your answer. You can choose to appear for mock tests using the PTE Academic Official Practice App. This app helps you learn through practice tests, mock tests, live classes, etc. It will not only help you learn but give you a taste of the PTE exam and help you learn time management skills along with listening skills.

4. Pay attention to the details

Make it a habit to pay attention to details while listening to audio. The keywords of the recording are as important as minute details like pronouns and tenses mentioned in it. When these negligible but crucial aspects of language are taken into consideration, your answers are more sound and accurate.

Combining Pearson's official coursebooks with its online and offline practice tests can give you a very well-rounded preparation for your PTE Listening section. The skills you learn will also help you develop your overall listening habit