If you’re interested in studying abroad and need to provide evidence of English proficiency, you’ll have to submit scores from the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Using artificial intelligence as a scoring mechanism, the PTE exam uses a variety of subjects to assess your fluency in English.

The subjects serve as a context for testing your English skills, but you’re not being assessed on the competency of the content. The minimum age requirement is 16, and you’ll need to have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian if you’re 16 or 17.

Who Accepts the PTE Academic Exam?

The PTE is an exam in English that is widely accepted by institutions of higher education across the globe. Even prominent Ivy League universities like Yale and Harvard use the PTE exam as an assessment tool.

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You can also submit scores from the PTE Academic to apply for a visa in New Zealand and Australia. Pearson provides a search tool that will allow you to find institutions that accept the PTE exam. You can enter the country in the search bar, and you’ll find the various locations that are available.

Learn About the PTE Exam Scores

After taking the PTE exam, you can find your scores online. You’ll be contacted via email when your scores are ready to view. Pearson also provides information about how to interpret your scores. Scores are provided for reading, writing, listening and speaking and are based upon a range of 10 to 90 points. You’ll get a personalized report that includes:

  • Personal information
  • Photo
  • Score report code
  • Test registration ID
  • Overall score
  • Performance information

You can send your scores for free to any institution or organization that you desire. Pearson doesn’t limit the number of requests for score reports.

Reserve Your Spot

Fifty different countries offer PTE exam sites. In the U.S., you’ll find 80 different locations for the exam. You can register online, and the standard price is $200.00. If you register late, expect to pay $250. You’ll need to provide an ID with a name that matches the name that was submitted on your test registration. A passport is the most common ID used for this exam.

Consider the Test Format

You’ll take the PTE exam on a computer. During the exam, you’ll read and listen to questions. You’ll be seated in a cubicle next to other people that are also taking the exam. You may hear them answering questions, but each test is unique to avoid overlap.

There are three different sections that include speaking and writing, reading and listening. Question formats include multiple choice, interpreting information and writing an essay. This is how the test is oriented:

Speaking and Writing

  • 77 to 93 minutes
  • Personal introduction
  • Describe image
  • Read aloud
  • Re-tell lecture
  • Summarize written test
  • Repeat sentence
  • Answer short question
  • Essay

Reading

  • 32 to 41 minutes
  • Multiple choice – single and multiple answers
  • Re-order paragraphs
  • Reading and writing
  • Fill in the blanks

Listening

  • 45 to 57 minutes
  • Multiple choice – single and multiple answers
  • Summarize spoken test
  • Highlight correct summary
  • Select missing word
  • Write from dictation
  • Highlight incorrect words
  • Fill in the blanks

Prepare for the Test

It’s important to take your time and prepare for the PTE exam. Pearson offers a variety of resources to help you learn more about the test. You can take a preparation course, use a self-study book or even take a class online.

Take advantage of scored practice tests to learn more about your weaknesses. Come rested on test day and be ready to show your ID. You’ll have your own computer station for the test, and you can take advantage of a 10 minute break between the listening and reading sections.

About the Author

Dr. Kelly Meier earned her doctorate from Minnesota State Mankato in Educational Leadership. She is the author and co-author of 12 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education. Dr. Meier is is a regular contributor for The Equity Network and has worked in education for more than 30 years.