April 25

Common Mistakes Made By Students In The PTE Exam (And How To Avoid Them)


Many first-time PTE test takers go into the test without having a proper idea about what to expect or about certain costly mistakes that can significantly lower your score.

For this reason, I've compiled a comprehensive list of the common PTE Academic mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Speaking Too Quickly

Many students make the mistake of thinking that good fluency correlates directly to speaking fast. However, if you speak too fast you might end up sounding incoherent and your responses will be incomprehensible, even if you have a great command over the English language in terms of grammar, pronunciation, and a wide-ranging vocabulary, speaking too quickly can significantly lower your score

Another common reason that candidates speak too fast during their exam is that they simply have test day jitters (anxiety).

Often students panic and speak too quickly due to the short amount of time that is given to answer. It is important to speak at a normal speed. And at a normal volume. In short, if you speak too fast for whatever reason, the algorithm might not be able to understand what you are saying. Keep practicing speaking at a good rate until it becomes natural for you to maintain. The more you practice, the more confident you become and this will lead you to speak more naturally.

Using Filler Words And Sounds

Sometimes, we fail to find the appropriate words to express a point. Usually, the involuntary action when this happens is to fill the silence with filler words and sounds like “Uhm,” “aah,” “like,” etc. During the PTE Academic exam, refrain from doing this as it can negatively impact your PTE score.

An effective way to avoid fillers altogether is to prepare a template for speaking. The more you practice speaking using the template, the better you’ll get at avoiding these unnecessary words.

Sometimes you tend to make a mistake while recording your answer. When this happens, don’t panic. Also, don’t pause or try to explain the error if you think a mistake has been made.

Incorrect Use of Language and Tense

Using the wrong tense form while describing things and situations is another common mistake. For example, you might use “is” and “was” to describe the same situation. Although it might seem like a small error, it can cause you to lose marks.

It’s also a good idea to skip using informal, casual language. Instead, use formal, academic language.

Grammatical Errors

Far too many students lose out on obtaining their required PTE scores due to silly grammatical errors. This is most often because students are unaware of the English grammar subtopics that they need to be proficient in to score well. Correct grammar is especially important for the writing module. Once you have completed your responses make sure you use the remaining minutes to review your work. Check to see if your sentence sounds logical and is punctuated correctly. It would be a shame to have put in so much effort only to lost points for forgetting to add a comma or adding a comma when it is not needed!

Remember accuracy is also important, so never overcomplicate things unnecessarily. You might make many mistakes and end up doing just the opposite!

Misuse Of Vocabulary

Sometimes students think that they have to use overly complicated vocabulary in order to score well, but they do so without fully understanding how to use these words. This results in a lower score. Make sure you are confident about the meaning, pronunciation, and usage of the words you choose to use in your responses.

Word Limits

This refers to the candidate's ability to write an answer within the specified word count, For example, a PTE essay requires a word count of between 200 to 300 words. Essays that are below 120 words or above 380 words receive a score of zero.

Pausing For Too Long

In the speaking test, if you pause for more than 3 seconds after the microphone starts recording, it will switch off. Anything you say after that won’t be recorded. That’s why it is important to avoid hesitating, pausing, or speaking in breaks.

It is natural to make mistakes during your PTE Academic exam. But with a little care and practice, you can avoid them altogether.


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