The Pearson Test of English Academic is anEnglish language test designed to assess the readiness of non-native English speakers to participate in a university-level English language instruction program. Pearson created PTE Academic in response to demand from institutions,
government and other organizations for a more accurate way of testing non – native English language students who enter the English-speaking academia world.
To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test center. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.
During the three-hour test session there will be three main parts to the test: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.
PTE Academic assesses real-life, academic English, so you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will hear a range of accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so you will be exposed to the type of accents you will encounter in everyday life.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I need to be to take PTE Academic?
You must be at least 16 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must provide a signed parental consent form before taking the test.
Complete the form, then follow the instructions printed on it to send it to us. Download the form here.
Do I need computer skills to take the test?
You do not need any special computer skills.
PTE Academic is taken using a QWERTY keyboard, where the letters on the top line spell out ‘QWERTY’. IF you are not used to this type of keyboard, it may help to practice with one before you take the test.
Do I have to take PTE Academic in my home country?
No. You can take it at any of our test centers around the world. Make sure you check what type of ID you have to use. If you are outside your home country, you will probably be asked to show your passport at the test center.
What is palm vein recognition and is it safe?
Palm vein recognition scans the veins inside your hand to create a digital template that represents your palm vein pattern. Everyone’s veins are different, just like a fingerprint, this allows us to check your identity. To use the palm vein scanner, you simply hold your hand in place above the scanner for a few seconds. The scanner uses a near-infrared light source, similar to a remote control – and you never touch the sensor.
What happens if there is a problem with my computer during the test?
Raise your hand and tell the test administrator. They will do whatever they can to help and will ensure the problem is recorded and reported.
Make sure you tell the test administrator about any problems you feel affect your ability to complete the test. Without their record of the problem, it is very hard for us to trace these issues later on.
What should I do if I spot a problem with a question?
Raise your hand and tell the test administrator. They will ask you to complete a form. This will then be sent to us so we can investigate.
Alternatively, contact your local customer service team within 14 days of the test.
Can I take notes during the test?
Yes. We will give you an erasable noteboard booklet (about 5 sheets of A4 paper). If you run out of space, you can ask for another booklet.
You are not allowed to make notes until the test has started
Can I correct my answers during the test?
You can correct multiple-choice responses (click again to deselect your answer) and typed responses (use the cut, copy and paste options)
However, you must correct mistakes before moving on to the next item. You cannot re-record any spoken responses.
The microphone will switch off automatically if you are silent for more than 3 seconds during an answer.
I need to cancel my test, or I did not turn up to take it. Can I claim a refund?
If you fail to turn up to your appointment you will not generally receive a refund.
You may receive a partial refund if you cancel your test before the appointment date.
For your best chance of a refund, contact the customer service team in your region. In some circumstances we will try to reschedule your test free of charge.
What happens if I arrive late?
Contact the relevant customer service team as soon as you know you are going to be late. If you arrive up to 15 minutes late you may still be allowed to take it. You will still get the full three hours to complete the test.
If you arrive over 15 minutes late you will not be allowed to take the test and you will lose your fee.
Why have you sent me a message saying my chosen institution does not recognize the test?
The institution you selected does not yet recognize PTE Academic formally.
You will not be able to use your score to this institution until it accepts PTE Academic.
My score is ‘on hold’. What does that mean?
We will put your score on hold if we detect any possible irregularities in your test.
We investigate even minor issues, so having your test put on hold does not mean there is necessarily a problem.
If you fail to adhere to the terms of the test, as listed in the Test Taker Handbook, your test result could be cancelled.
I took the test more than five days ago, but have not received my scores. What should I do?
Check your junk or spam email folder. We will email you when your results are available, so the email may be there already.
If your score is on hold we will contact you.
If you have not received any messages from us at all, contact us.
How do I send my scores to institutions?
You can do this once you have signed in to your account.
- Click Send Scores next to the relevant test.
- Search for the institution you want to send your score to. You can send up to seven at once.
- Click Next to see a summary
- Click Next, then hit Confirm Order to send your scores.
You can send your scores to unlimited number of institutitions free of charge.
We will send you an email to confirm your scores have been sent.