Pearson Test of English Academic

The Pearson Test of English Academic or PTE Academic, initiated in 2009, is a computer-based English language test for study abroad and immigration purposes. It focuses on everyday English used in academic environment and is authorized by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). If you want to apply to a higher education institution in the UK, Australia, Canada, and USA or for a UK or Australian visa, you can appear for PTE Academic.

PTE Academic evaluates the listening, reading, writing and oral/speaking skills of the candidates who are non-native speakers of English and require to prove their level of academic English proficiency.  It provides an assessment of the candidates English language ability to higher education institutions, government organizations and corporations that require academic English.

PTE Academic Test Overview

  • 3-hour computer-based test (Single session)
  • Evaluates Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading skills
  • Includes Real-life academic content
  • Split into 3 parts- Speaking and Writing, Reading and Listening.
  • Speaking part computer is computer test. Your response is recorded and sent for scoring.
  • You can make notes during the test

PTE Academic Format

PTE Academic is a computer-based test that assesses the listening, reading, oral/speaking and writing skills in academic English. The test is of about 3 hours.

Part1: Speaking and Writing

Speaking- This element tests the spoken English expertise of the candidates. The candidates are asked to introduce themselves by speaking into a microphone and record their response (only once). If you do not answer within 3 seconds of hearing the tone, your answer will not be recorded and you will have to go to the following element. Also, they are asked to repeat sentences and lecture and answer a few short questions.

Writing- This element tests the written English competency of the candidates. The candidate is required to summarize the written text and write an essay in any standard form of English using an acceptable spelling convention, such as, British or American. 
Time allotted: 77-93 minutes

Part 2: Reading
This part consists of multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks and re-arranging of the paragraphs. All the questions are everyday academic content.
Time allotted: 32-41 minutes

Part 3: Listening
This element tests the candidate’s ability to listen to spoken English. In this, an audio and video clip is played once and the candidate is required to listen to it and answer questions accordingly.  You will need to summarize the spoken text, fill in the blanks, select the missing words, and write from dictation.

Time allotted: 45-57 minutes

Tips for the Test Prep

There are 20 different types of items in PTE Academic. You need to be familiar with such questions so as to understand each one of them and maximize your score. If you are unfamiliar with the exercises, you may score lower than you need or expect. Swot up the Test-taking Strategies available in the PTE Academic Induction pack (you get it once you register) and in The Official Guide to PTE Academic.

Registration Process

Candidate must be aged 16 or above to sit for PTE Academic. If at the time of registration, your age is 16 or 17, in that case, you’re required to submit a signed Parental Consent Form which can be taken by calling the Pearson Customer Service in your area, or by visiting the “resources” section of the official site Form.


Abide by these steps:

Step 1: Visit PTE official website. Click on ‘Register for PTE Academic’ that is available on the right side of the screen under ‘Quick links’.

Step 2: A new window will pop up wherein you’ll see the Pearson booking menu for PTE Academic.  Click on ‘My Account’ to register for PTE Academic. 

Step 3: Fill in your personal data and all the other requisite details. Click on ‘Next’ button to go on to the next page. 

**Use Roman characters while registering

Step 4: After you have entered all of your registration particulars and filled in all the requisite fields, you will get an email within 2 working days indicating your Username and Password which will permit you to access your account and book your test.

Scheduling the Test

After registering, you can schedule your test. For scheduling, log in to your account using the username and password. Then click on ‘Schedule Exams’ and a list of the tests that you are eligible to register will appear. Select PTE-A and click ‘Next’. Choose the testing location and click ‘Next’. Then choose the test dates and time by clicking on to the ‘Select Appointment’. Available test dates and times will vary depending on the location you select.

After selecting the test date and time, you are required to answer a few questions, including agreeing that you have read both the Privacy Policy and the Handbook. After answering the questions, a confirmation page will appear with all the details of the test. Print or save this page.

Testing Centres

There are PTE Academic test centres situated in around 50 countries worldwide. To know about the test centre location, visit Test Centres.

Fees Payment

Once you have completed the scheduling of the test, pay the fees. You can pay the fees by: credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or JCB) or debit card (Visa or MasterCard).

After the payment is received, an email confirmation will be received indicating the following details- test center location, directions of how to get there, and instructions or points to remember on test day.

Rescheduling and Cancelling

You can cancel or reschedule the test. An additional fee will be charged for the same. Log in to your account and click on ‘Cancel’ for cancelling the test.

To reschedule, click ‘Reschedule’ next to the test you want to reschedule. Select the date, time and location.
**An email confirming the details of your cancellation or a new test appointment respectively will be received.

Special Accommodations

You avail the special accommodation, you are required to download the Accommodations Request Form, or contact the Pearson Customer Service. Fill in the form and submit it to Pearson through email to the address mentioned on the form, along with related supporting medical or other documentation for the request to be considered. The final decision is notified to you within 4 to 6 weeks of your request.

Results and Scoring

PTE Academic Test scores are described on the Global Scale of English, a standardized numeric scale ranging from 10 to 90 points. PTE Academic scores are available within 5 working days. An email notification is sent whenever the scores are available. Log in to your Pearson Vue account to see your scores and send them to institutions.

To know about the minimum accepted scores for UK and Australian visas, visit here.

Overall Scores

An overall score is given to the candidate  is based on the candidate’s performance on all components in the test. The scores for communicative skills and enabling skills are grounded on the candidate’s performance on just those elements that relate to these skills particularly.

Scores of Communicative skills: The communicative skills measured are listening, reading, oral/speaking and writing. The score range for each skill is 10–90 points.

Enabling skills: The enabling skills measured are grammar-syntax and sentence structures, spoken fluency, pronunciation, lexicon, and written and spoken discourse. The score range for each skill is 10–90 points.

**All elements in PTE Academic are machine scored.

Speaking and Writing Skills Scoring

There are two forms of scoring:
Correct or Incorrect: A correct answer will give you 1 point while for incorrect answer no point is given.

Partial credit: If your answer is correct, the maximum score points assigned to that element will be given, but if they are partially right, few grade points will be given. For incorrect answer, no points are given.

Score Report: A score report will be given to the candidates indicating their personal details, photograph, overall score, and communicative and enabling skills scores.

PTE Academic Requirements

A score of at least 36 is needed for UKBA tier 4 student visas for students wishing to study on a course or program below degree level.

A score of at least 51 is required for UKBA tier 4 student visas for students desiring to study on a course or program at or above degree level at an institution that is not a UK Higher Education Institution.

If you want to study at degree level or above at a UK Higher Education Institution, then it is the university that determines the score requirement. 

Most universities worldwide require:

  • For undergraduate course of study, a minimum score between 51 and 61 is needed
  • For postgraduate course of study, a minimum score between 57 and 67 is required
  • For MBA programme, a minimum score between 59 and 69 is required.

Test Day Essentials

Outside your country of citizenship

If you are appearing for the test outside your country of citizenship, you must show your passport as Identification proof.

Within your country of citizenship

If you are appearing for the test in your country of residency, you are required to show your passport as a valid ID. If you do not have a passport, you can show a valid non-expired form of government issued National ID that contains your name in Roman characters, date of birth, signature and photo.

Contact Details

For Europe, the Middle East and Africa: Telephone: 44 (0) 161 855 743144 (0) 161 855 7431 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. UK Time; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CET)

For the America: Telephone (toll free, US and Canada): 1-800-901-02291-800-901-0229 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time)
Telephone (toll number): 1-952-681-38721-952-681-3872 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time)

For Asia Pacific: Telephone (toll number) 603 8314 9652 (8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. AEST; 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Malaysian Standard Time)

For India: Telephone (toll free): 000 800 440 2020 (4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Malaysian Standard Time)

To know about the higher education institutions and universities worldwide that accepts PTE Academic, click here 

Connect me with the Top Colleges