Listening section of the PTE

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Listening section of the PTE Exam is designed to assess your ability to understand the opinions, attitudes, and main ideas the speaker is trying to convey. The whole section is based on video and audio clips, it takes around 45 to 57 minutes on an average to complete. As per the instructions, you will have to listen to the audio and visual clips and answer to the given set of various questions.

Duration  45-57 minutes
Total tasks 8 tasks


Tasks in PTE Listening section

The Listening module of the PTE consists of several different types of audio recordings or video clips. This section consists of varieties of tasks to test a candidate's understanding of the English Language. There are eight tasks in the listening section.

1. Summarize Spoken text    

  • Here you will see on the screen, an audio recording box with a blank text box under it.
  • You will listen to an audio recording that is between 60-90 seconds long, 
  • Then write down a summary of 50-70 words after listening to an audio clip.
  • You will be credited points based on the content, form, vocabulary,  grammar, spelling.

2. Multiple choice, choose multiple answers

  • In this task, you will be evaluated on the basis of your ability to comprehend the main ideas in the content and determine the connections between pieces of information.
  • Here you will listen to an audio clip.
  • There will be questions with Multiple options given on your screen.
  • You need to select all the options that you think are true based on the audio clip you hear.

3. Fill in the blanks

  • In this task, you will be tested on the basis of your ability to understand the PTE vocabulary and identify words and phrases suitable in a context.
  • You will be given texts in which multiple keywords are removed. 
  • You will then listen to a 1-2 minute recording of the same text being read aloud in its entirety,
  • You will need to listen to the recording carefully to fill the given blanks in the text.

4. Highlight correct summary

  • Here it evaluates your ability to recognise the topic, follow the order of information and understand the different accent.
  • Here you will listen to a 30-90 second recording.
  • Then read several passages that summarize the recording.
  • Then you need to select from the paragraph choices that perfectly summarizes the matter you heard in the recording.

5. Multiple choice, choose single answer

  • In this task, you will be tested on the basis of your ability to understand the main ideas in a text and identify the connections between pieces of information.
  • Here you will have to listen to the recording.
  • Then you have to select the one option which is correct based on the content or tone of the recording.

6. Select missing word

  • Here you will be tested on the basis of identifying a topic, theme or main ideas and form a conclusion from what a speaker says.
  • You will listen to an audio of  20-70 seconds
  • There will be one or more missing words in the recording. 
  • From the given options, you need to select the word that best completes the text.

7. Highlight incorrect words

  • You will read an excerpt of text and then listen to a recording of the same text being read aloud. 
  • The spoken version, however, will contain several changes. You will need to listen closely and identify the words that have been changed between the two variations. 
  • Each recording of this task is 15-50 seconds long.

8. Write from dictation

  • Here you will be evaluated on your skills of PTE vocabulary, follow an oral sequencing of the information and use of correct spelling.
  • You will listen to a recording and then type out a word-for-word transcript of what was spoken.
  • You should listen to the sentence spoken very carefully as you need to write it in the given box exactly the same words as were used originally.
  • Each audio clip of this question type is 3-5 seconds long.

If you are taking the PTE exam, you should know this: 10 Common PTE Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

PTE listening tips

Here are some tips and advice to help you score well in the listening section of the PTE Academic exam:

  • Listen to the recordings by paying full attention. You can start preparation by listening to English songs differently. Focus on the lyrics which requires more attention.  
  • You can also prepare yourself by watching English movies and TV shows. 
  • Increase your knowledge of vocabulary. Listening to the new content which will increase your vocabulary ultimately improving your understanding of spoken English while listening.  
  • Get familiar with different accents in English. You can do this by listening to TED talks and documentaries on the BBC, these programs will have speakers from different corners of the world who will speak English in their own unique accent.

We have prepared his guide for you to learn how to prepare well for scoring good grades: How to improve PTE academic score? Tips and Strategies

PTE listening tips for each task

Here we have mentioned some of the useful tips for each task of the Listening section to help you score well:

1. Tips for Summarize spoken text 

  • You must write between 50 and 70 words,
  • Write only those things which you think are the most important points said by the speaker in the recording.
  • You can start your summary by saying “The speaker says” 
  • Use the given notepad during the exam to write down the keywords by vomiting the vowels. Practice doing this as it will save a lot of time.
  • Close your eyes and listen for better concentration.
  • Manage the time by giving 3minutes for planning, 5minutes for writing, 2minutes for checking the Spellings and Grammar.

2. Tips for Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers

  • In this you will be penalised if your answers are incorrect here, so don't make blind guesses.
  • Listen very carefully. You may write down some notes to help you remember mainly names and numbers.
  • It is advised to read the given questions before the audio starts. 
  • Read the options and eliminate the incorrect ones, select all the correct ones.
  • Pay full attention till the end as the answers could be in the last sentence said by the speaker.

3. Tips for Fill in the blanks 

  • The best way to improve your score here is by improving your vocabulary.
  • Use the given notepad to take notes otherwise, you may miss something important. 
  • Carefully listen and identify whether the word was singular or plural, with an article or not etc.  
  • Pay full concentration on the spellings and Plurals.

4. Tips for Highlight correct summary 

  • You should understand the theme and the message by the content
  • Use the elimination method to narrow the options. 
  • Sometimes some words that you heard in the recording are in each option but do not decide to select the first option that you think is correct on this basis, read all the options from the first word to the last then decide.

5. Tips for Select missing word 

  • By the first half of the recording, you will get a good idea about the topic.
  • Don’t select the answer before going through all the given options. The answer should have a correct meaning along with correct grammar.

6. Tips for Highlight incorrect words 

  • Recheck your answers before submitting.
  • Double-clicking a word will unselect the word. So click only once. 
  • Negative marking applies here so if you are not sure whether to click on the word or not, do not click on the word.

7. Tips for Write from dictation 

  • In this task, it will be better to type your answer directly on the computer instead of writing notes first as it will save you time.  
  • Check the words considering the spellings, punctuation, singular and plural forms, etc. 
  • You will be allowed to hear the sentence only once, so listen very carefully and write as much as you can.

8. Tips for Multiple & Single answer choices

  • In this task, you will be having negative markings, so be careful while choosing the answer.
  • Most of the answers can be at the ending part, so listen carefully until the end.
  • Focus more on the frequency words such as always, often, never,  sometimes,  many, never, all, only etc and find the correct answer.

So, now you are totally informed about the Listening section of the PTE and also we have mentioned all the tips and tricks you can take advantage of and crack the listening module well and score high.

All the best..!!

Would you like to know more about other section as well? Here are all your answers

Writing section of PTE

Speaking section of PTE

Reading section of PTE

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