In the PTE Academic Success Story – A Journey to Achieve 79+ Score (Part-2), I have mentioned PTE speaking and PTE writing section. In this part, I am covering, reading and listening section.
For the Reading section:
The PTE reading section is aimed at evaluating a candidate’s ability to read and interpret academic English. Dividing the reading section into various tasks, it assesses a test taker’s ability to analyze and comprehend academic vocabulary.
The total time allotted for the reading section is approximately 32-40 minutes to solve around 15–17 questions. The key factor which drops the student’s score in the exam is lack of time management ability. It plays a vital role to jump from 65 to 79 marks if you pay enough attention and are active during the exam. In the PTE reading section, one should spend more time on the questions that carry more marks and try to skip the question of less importance. For example, PTE fills in the blanks (Reading & Writing) which carry more marks as compared to others. So, try focusing on this question and give as much as correct answers.
- RW FIB – In this section, you need to be very clear and accurate about grammar and word forms. I religiously followed the tips and techniques from 79score. The way they explained this question type has helped me a lot in improving my score. Honestly, I was struggling to cross even 50 in these blanks and as a result, my writing marks were also suffering. So I would strongly recommend the instructions and question-wise practice from 79score.com.Also, a basic understanding of parts of speech and collocations can give you a competitive advantage. The official list of collocation for PTE is available online, but as there are too many, I would suggest practicing and eventually getting the understanding while practicing is more fruitful. I would advise making a separate list of collocation and even the uncommon vocabulary of your own can help you get better at it.
Again, managing your time in PTE is the most important aspect. Don’t spend more than 2 minutes on each question. My method of solving RW FIB was that I used to read the full prompt in the first 30 seconds and with the understanding of the context of the passage I used to apply elimination method as mostly out of 4 or 5 options, mostly 2 are out of context and then my knowledge of collocation and grammar made it easier to select the right answer.
Finally, I would like to say practice at least 50 RW FIB before appearing in the real exam. There is no shortcut trick, you have to understand the grammar.
- MCMA – Actually, these questions are not so important for your reading score. And there is a negative marking too. So make sure you know all the technicalities about this question type. I developed the technique of skimming and scanning for MCMA. Many students find it difficult to read the whole given paragraph and give the correct answer. They try to read the whole paragraph with its meaning. Instead, they can develop a practice of skimming through the long text and try to get the idea by reading quickly through the text. By developing this trick, you can save a lot of time and can focus on the text where the answer is given. You can develop this technique by reading the newspaper daily and reading online articles for half an hour continuously. Remember this, PTE reading skimming technique is useful in saving time for the whole section and giving the answer quickly and correctly.
Another important point that I would suggest to avoid selecting more than 1 option. As you would get negatively scored also, still if we are spending time in reading the passage I would not adore getting a Zero. Just as I told you before, time is crucial and there are 2 high-priority question types that come just after MCMA so either you can skip this question and utilise it in Re-order and Reading FIB or just quickly skim through the text and select 1 and move on. Don’t spend time practicing MCMA; it is not at all important. Only 2-3 MCQs will come in the real exam with negative marking so it’s better to skip it.
- Reorder paragraphs – The Reorder Paragraph questions, test the ability to judge the logical relation between the paragraphs apart from checking the grammatical relations within the text. You have to arrange the sentence in proper sequence and in a logical way. I read in a blog at 79score about their technique and believe me it is 100% accurate. It was like you needed to first find out an independent sentence (Not introductory- this confuses students) and then just apply the subject+verb+object rule (this is Object of 1st sentence becomes subject of 2nd sentence. Object of the 2nd sentence becomes the subject of the 3rd sentence. And so on. ). This is the most accurate trick I have come across.
- R FIB – It is quite important for your score in reading. I would suggest you to follow the same method of RW FIB here. Same collocation, word forms, vocabulary and grammar is the key to achieve success. Here you need to drag and drop the options, so I was initially facing difficulties in dragging and dropping. Therefore, practice plenty of Reading – fill in the blanks to get that comfort and confidence. Here as well you can make a list of vocabulary for understanding, eventually, it would definitely help you.
- MCSA – Like MCMA these questions are also not that important, but definitely if you are left with few minutes after solving Reading FIB, why not use that time here and try to solve with full concentration! See, this is your last question in the reading section and as you need to manage your time on your own, if you manage to save 1-2 minutes I think you should go for it. Solving technique is pretty easy. The question would ask you some specific questions, like what’s the opinion of the writer, the purpose of writing and so on. So read the question first, then skim and scan through the prompt and then select your best answer. Easy, right? And yet it is not that deciding question type, so if you are struggling here, just skip it and pay more attention to more important questions.Lastly, do remember this question type does not carry the negative marking, so after spending 1 or 1.5 minutes choose the best possible answer and move on to the next question.
Afterwards, you are going to have a break. Use it! Use the loo or meditate sitting there for a few minutes. But Do Take The Break! Trust me, you need this!
For the Listening section:
You won’t disagree with me, this is the easiest section of all four. If you have been watching Hollywood movies or listening to English songs without subtitles after that you may not need to put any extra effort into cracking the listening section. Also, this part consists of 3 easy-peasy questions, which can uplift your Listening, Reading and Writing scores tremendously. Listening and writing FIB, Highlight incorrect words(Listening and Reading) and Dictation (Listening and Writing again!). Besides being easy there are also the deciding questions, I mean if you don’t perform well in these, it can prove to be disastrous! So, don’t take it that lightly, put some efforts into understanding the basics and then solve at least 50 questions of each type from 79score.com.
And for those who are inexperienced in listening to any English stuff, start listening to podcasts from today itself! For you, Hollywood movies and songs are of no use. It would take months to get used to the accent. So the quickest way is podcasts. Here there are many channels, which you can subscribe to, post their online lectures. My suggestion is TedTalks. The reason being every day a lecture is uploaded and the speakers are from all around the world so it will broaden your knowledge of accents and eventually the listening section would seem a piece of cake. You can even install an app on your mobile phone for that, google podcast or Spotify both are good. Absolutely vital to develop an understanding of accents.
Now talking about each question type:
- SST – Are you good at Retell lectures? Blindly follow the same technique for Summarize Spoken Text. In fact the same template too! The task is the same, you would listen to a lecture and then you need to summarize between 50-70 words. Surely, you can follow the template that you read in a retell lecture. Also, keep the same words instead of paraphrasing include all the key points, for example; names, dates and figures in your summary that would increase your content scores. Make no mistake in spellings and do write between the word limit. This much is more than enough to get a perfect 79. Yes, if you aim 90, try to write more and more complex sentences.
- MCMA and MCSA – Likewise, these questions are of little importance. I literally skipped these in my real exam and still managed to get a 79+. You must understand the importance of time management. So, if you waste your time on low-ranking questions. You won’t get proper time for Dictation at the end, which is a deciding factor in your listening and writing scores. So no tips for these, just solve a few PTE mock tests on 79score.com to get familiar with it. And focus more on more important ones.
- Listening FIB – Very very crucial and very straightforward it is. As you might be in the groove of listening to podcasts, you will find this very trivial. You need to just follow the tapescript and fill the gaps where some words are missing. The only difficulty we all face here is the damn spellings! Majorly the complexity of singulars and plurals. You have to be very attentive while listening to and following the script. Practice as many as 80-90 Listening Fill in the Blanks and correct your mistakes in spellings. That’s the only issue with these blanks.
- Highlight incorrect words – Do practice Highlight incorrect words(HIW) along with listening FIB. More or else it’s the same task. Here, instead of blanks some words are incorrect or differ from the audio and you need to highlight the incorrect words. Very few students are aware of the fact that there is negative marking in HIW as well. Yes! Negative marking so before attempting this read blog on 79score.com to get detailed insight. You need to be very vigilant, and please don’t try to guess any word if you miss. Make a routine of solving HIW and L-FIB together and improve. It’s extremely important to score well in these.
- Lastly Dictation – Just simply focus on one thing at a time. One of the biggest mistakes that students appear in the PTE exam is to type and listen simultaneously. The best thing to do here is to listen to the audio carefully and then proceed. Once you will hear the audio carefully, it will imprint in your mind and you will be able to write it down properly. Listen carefully, recall it in your mind and then firstly type it in the note-pad and then only type in the box. See, how time-consuming it is! Candidates generally spend most of the time on not so important questions and then they kind of do hastily in Dictation. Guys, this is the most important of all the questions. Each word counts! We cannot miss even one! This is going to determine your listening and writing skills. Make a daily ritual of practicing 20dictations daily. A secret tip I want to share with you, this is to know from 79score it’s like If you are unaware of the singular or plural form of the word, you can write both the words. You will not be penalized for writing an extra word. I did the same and I literally scored nicely. So follow!
Rest Select missing word and Highlight correct summary: Nope! Not worthy of spending time in these. Get knowledge about it from 79score.com and follow their instructions. More than enough to get decent marks!