10 Common PTE Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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The PTE exam is a bit difficult, and it is easy to make mistakes while making preparations. We all make mistakes, but you should try not to make the same mistake again. Let us discuss what are the common mistakes made by PTE test-takers. This will help you to know how to prepare and perform effectively. 

Many PTE Academic candidates wonder why they have scored less in the exam even after trying so hard. It is noticed that the PTE Academic exam candidates make the same mistakes over and over again. If you understand some of the most common PTE mistakes, you can use your awareness to actively avoid making it.  The reasons could be many, such as:

  1. Poor preparation. 
  2. Poor time management.
  3. Ignoring proper instructions.
  4. Wasting time trying to understand instructions.
  5. Making grammatical errors and spelling errors in written tasks.

Common mistakes made by PTE test-takers

Mistake 1: Studying Without a Plan

Some PTE applicants just keep taking practise tests again and again and think that this will be enough to improve their PTE score. Doing this, you will be repeating the same mistakes over and over without any improvement. While preparing for the PTE you have to make a proper plan and a specific schedule. You should study accordingly to be more specific and set goals for yourself each week.

Mistake 2: Fast is not always fluent

Some test takers have confusion with the speed for fluency, and they go all in, trying to speak too fast. This affects the fluency scores adversely. When speaking too fast, fluency and clarity suffer. So you should speak in such a way that it is neither too fast, nor too slow. Follow a normal speed and try to maintain it throughout the whole speaking section.

Mistake 3: Use of filler sounds

While thinking for the words to speak, candidates often tend to make filler sounds like ‘aah’, ‘uhm’, etc. This affects your score in the speaking section. You can avoid this by preparing templates for Speaking. The more you practice with a template, the better you become at speaking without these filler words or sounds.

Mistake 4: Overuse of the preposition "About”

This mistake is made by the maximum PTE test taker. They use the word ‘about’ too many times after verbs. Due to this silly grammar mistake, they lose marks in the exam. When describing things, candidates often end up using the wrong form of tense. For example: using wrong sentence tenses. This causes a loss of points.

Mistake 5: Don’t make false starts, repetitions and hesitations

When you make false starts, it affects your Speaking score negatively. Further,  repeating words, hesitating to say should also be avoided. This is the common mistake almost any test takers do. To avoid this you need to do a lot of practice before real test day. Follow this: Do’s and don’ts before and on the PTE test day

Mistake 6: Do not pause for too long

You need to know that if you are silent for 3 seconds in the PTE Speaking Module, then the microphone automatically goes off. Even though you speak after that it will not be recorded. Make sure to remember this during the speaking section of the PTE exam.

Mistake 7: Write only a single sentence in PTE Summarize Written Text task

Many candidates lose marks by writing multiple sentences in the PTE Summarize Written Text task. You should write only a single sentence that starts with a capital letter and ends with one full-stop. However, you can use connecting words if needed. In Summarize Spoken Text questions, candidates can answer with multiple sentences to complete their summary.  Are you looking for tips to score well? Here we have brought something for you: How to improve PTE academic score? Tips and Strategies

Mistake 8: Writing without knowing the word limit

Don’t write beyond the word limit in Writing section tasks like Essay writing and Summarize Written Text. In Essay writing, stick to write around  200–300 words. Writing more or less than the given word limit will lead to a lower PTE score.

Mistake 9: Avoid using informal language

The casual, informal language will just not be accepted in the PTE Academic Test. Instead, the test expects you to use formal, academic language, as it is designed for the student who wants to get into academic settings abroad. Structure your answers and use advanced vocabulary.

Mistake 10: Don’t speak in breaks

Avoid using the ‘stopping and starting’ mode of speaking. The PTE expects you to complete each sentence while speaking. So organize your thoughts and ideas before speaking your responses.

Tips for each section of PTE to avoid making mistakes

PTE Speaking section

  • If you make any mistakes, don’t stop and continue reading. Going back to correct it will affect your scores.
  • Your accent is not important but oral fluency, intonations and pronunciation matter a lot.
  • Don’t be in a rush. Maintain a natural speed and tone so that your content can be easily understood.
  • Do not speak before the microphone opens. Instead of practice.
  • In Describe the image and Retell lecture, all the points, relationships, implications and conclusions should not be ignored. They should be described well.
  • In Short Answer Questions – part answers and incorrectly spelt words should be avoided.
  • Don’t pause for more than 3 seconds and if you do so, the microphone will get closed automatically.

Get to know more tricks and strategies to score well in this section: Speaking section of PTE

PTE Writing section

  • Check spellings, punctuation marks and grammar, Task response, Coherence and cohesion, linguistic range, written discourse and vocabulary as they play an important role.
  • In Summarize written text tasks do not write more than 1 sentence and ensure that sentence has a full stop at the end.
  • No outside information.
  • Do not repeat the words. You can use synonyms and paraphrases.
  • Keep in mind the Word limit and time. 

Get complete information about this section here: Writing section of PTE

PTE Reading section

  • Do not get stuck up for any unknown words. Try to understand the meaning of the word from the content of the sentence.
  • Answer the questions of the Multiple-choice, Choose Multiple Answers carefully as it has negative marking. You will be penalised if you select the incorrect option.
  • In the Fill in the blanks tasks, eliminate the option which has ungrammatical or illogical words 
  • Do not read the passage first in both the Multiple Choice questions. Instead, read the question first and use Scan and Skim strategies.

Want to learn more about the reading section, here we have brought something important for you: Reading section of PTE

PTE Listening section

  • The recording will be played only once. So be focused while listening.
  • Stick to the word limit.
  • Keep an eye on the “Time remaining”.
  • Check the Content, Form, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spellings.
  • Do not attempt to read while listening  in Highlight Correct Summary
  • Make sure to eliminate incomplete and incorrect information.
  • Concentrate on the main points while listening.
  • Taking notes is important but do not write word to word.

Get complete information about this section here: Listening section of the PTE

So the final word for you is to make sure that you have understood the PTE format totally before you move into the testing centre. Make a good strategy for each type of question that you can use on every practice test and the original PTE.To get the perfect score in PTE, try to avoid these mistakes. Practice a lot with the help of  PTE preparation applications or online sample questions.  Feeling prepared for anything will give you confidence on the test day and this will help you to get better results.