There are 8 sections on the listening part of the test. Each involves listening and demonstrating skill in a slightly different way. Let’s take a look at the parts and what to pay attention to when taking them.
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Summarize Spoken Text
In this section, test-takers listen to 60 to 90 seconds of text (you can take notes), then they are asked to summarize in 50 to 70 words.
Here it’s important to get the main idea in the answer, get the correct number of words and use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling. Word choice matters here too. Use the right vocabulary (so listen for key vocabulary words during the oral time) to keep your answer accurate.
Multiple Choice and Multiple Answer
This section has test-takers listening to a 40-90 second piece of text. Before the selection begins, it will help you to read the prompt so you are prepared to listen for answers. You can take notes while listening.
Then you get a multiple choice question with more than one correct answer. Listen for specifics like people, places, dates but also listen for meaning. Don’t just choose an answer because you heard some of the words in the answer.
Fill in the Blanks
This section asks listeners to fill in missing words from the text they have just listened to.
Use the 7 seconds before the audio begins and skim to get familiar. You only hear the audio one time. Try to take notes quickly while listening to help with what words go in.
While listening don’t worry about spelling. Just get the idea of the words. You have time to work out spelling and capitalization when you fill in the answers.
This section asks listeners to hear a selection (only once), then choose the best summary of the selection. While listening jot down keywords, names, places, dates. It’s best to avoid attempting to read the choices while the audio is playing. You will get confused.
Listen for details, then select the choice that best fits those details.
Multiple Choice with a Single Answer
Like the previous multiple choice, you will listen to a selection one time. Try to read the question for clues before listening. Look in the question for what information the answer will want. For example, is it looking for the main idea, supporting details or an inference?
There is only ONE correct answer from the choices in this section. The key to the correct answer is knowing what the question is asking for.
Select Missing Word
In this part of the test, listeners will hear a 20-70 piece of text. Near the end, there will be a beep to represent a missing word which is one of the answer choices. Only one answer is correct.
Highlight Incorrect Words
This section has you listen to a 15 to 50 second piece of text with a copy on the screen. You must click on the words that are different in the text from what is said aloud.
Before it begins, skim to familiarize yourself with the topic. Look for keywords about the topic. Also, look for nouns and adjectives.
Write From Dictation
Here you will hear a short sentence and be asked to type as much as you can from what you hear. You can take notes while listening. Spelling counts.
You don’t have to get all words, just as many as you can recall into the box.
There are several things you can do in general and specifically for the different sections of the test for preparation. Read on for these PTE listening tips.
You want to get accustomed to hearing English text. You want to practice test daily by listening to English orally.
You could listen to songs and pick out words from the lyrics. Listen to television shows. You can start with shows that show subtitles, then remove them as you gain in skill. You could also listen to books on tape.
Listen for content vocabulary. Try to make meaning as you hear words you know. Get used to the rhythm of the language. Listen for specific parts of speech like nouns, verbs and adjectives that help to make meaning.
You can even repeat the audio over and over to gain comfort and familiarity.