Many students are confused about whether they should use British English or American English in their PTE test.
PTE Academic recognizes and accepts both US and UK spelling. However, this does not mean you can use these spelling conventions interchangeably. You still have to be careful with your spelling. Once you have chosen a spelling for your writing tasks you will have to stick to your choice. You can change the spelling format in answers to other questions if you like.
What Is The Difference Between American And British Spelling
There are indeed some differences, and although they are quite minor to native speakers, they might appear confusing to PTE students who are learning English. One of the biggest differences between British and American English is in spelling. In fact, you have probably noticed before that there are some words that appear to change in terms of spelling, and maybe you wonder why it happened.
The letter U
Many American spellings drop the letter U in their spelling, like the word neighbour (which is British) and neighbor (which is American)Here are a few more examples:
You can see that in each word, the British add “-our” while the Americans just make it “-or”. That’s not too hard to remember, right?
Another common one is the “-re” ending in British English, which the Americans have changed to “-er”.
Here are a few examples:
Ise vs Ize
This is a common difference between British and American spelling. American spellings tend to use IZE in word spellings, whereas British spellings use ISE. This is also true for words that end with “-yze/-yse”
Here are a few examples:
Note: This is also true when these words turn into nouns: organisation/organization.
If you come across words that end with the following letters, they will most probably have different endings in the American versions of their spelling. For example:
Finally, the last difference between British and American English is the the trickiest one to learn. If a word ends in a vowel (a,e,i,o,u) followed by the letter l, in British English we double the l whenever we change the form. However, this is not the case for American spelling and they keep the single l. The word “travel” as a good example because it is such a common word.
Which Spelling Can You Use
Basically both American and British spelling is accepted for all tasks of the PTE Academic exam
Both of these are considered correct and acceptable forms of English, However, you cannot use both types of spelling conventions in the same question. You have to stick to just one, either British or American spelling.
If you wanted to you could switch spelling conventions between different questions. For example you could use American spellings for Summarise Written Text and then British spellings for your essay. However, I think that would end up being quite confusing. Its better to stick to one convention throughout your exam.