May 1

Everything You Need To Know About Enabling Skills


Unlike other proficiency exams which base your scores on the four main communicative skills such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking, the PTE academic exam assesses candidates on a wider range of skills which include both communicative and enabling skills.

These  enabling skills include:

  • Grammar –This refers to your ability to accurately use a range of grammatical structures and tenses, as well as produce complex and error-free sentences.
  • Oral Fluency – can produce natural speech without hesitation
  • Pronunciation – produce speech with the correct pronunciation, intonation, and stress, in a manner that is easily understandable by most speakers of the language.
  • Vocabulary – must demonstrate a wide range of topic-specific vocabulary and phrases that are used correctly and appropriately. Candidates should also be able to paraphrase and use uncommon collocations with ease.
  • Spelling – error free spelling
  • Written Discourse –produces pieces of writing that are well structured and cohesive. This refers to your ability to organize and present your ideas so that your responses are easy to read and understand.

The scores for these skills range from between 0 to 90 points.

Which Questions Assess Your Enabling Skills

Enabling skills are assessed in all questions where the quality of your response needs to be measured,

That is because these questions require a varied response, such as essays or retell lecture questions. In such cases, every candidate would have a different response, but their answers still have to meet some common and fixed criteria. These question types are called partial credit questions, and the correctness of their answers is weighed against certain formal aspects like using the correct answer format as well as the quality of the candidate’s response. These formal aspects also depend on the type of question, for example, a speaking question type would depend on pronunciation and word stress while writing questions formal aspects would include something like the correct use of punctuation.

One or more of these can be tested in a particular question. For example, Grammar is assessed in both essay writing as well as summarize written text questions, too. During the speaking module your Oral fluency, pronunciation, and spelling will be tested. While for reading tasks your spellings will be assessed. That is why it is important to understand what each task demands.

Enabling Skills And Content Conditions

It is also important to note that for all questions in which enabling skills are tested, there is a condition regarding the content of your response. Content refers to whether or not your answer relates directly to the question. All aspects of your answer to be topic related. If you fail to meet this requirement you will receive a score of 0 for the entire question.

If you feel that you are in lacking in any of these skills, then your best bet would be to contact an experienced PTE professional.

Why You Should Enroll In A PTE Course

Enrolling in an PTE Preparation course is your best bet at acing the exam. In my opinion, it would be better and more productive to invest in finding a good PTE teacher to guide you about the  above-mentioned skills and offer you valuable feedback on your weak areas.


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