How Can I Use Practice Tests To Prepare For The PTE Exam

Taking an PTE mock test can be a useful indicator of how you will perform in an actual PTE Academic exam, but there are quite a few other reasons why taking a practice test can be useful.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages of using online mock tests and give you some insights about both free and paid for PTE practice tests. Hopefully, this information will help you make those all-important PTE preparation decisions.

What is an PTE Mock Test?

A mock PTE test is a test that mimics the exact conditions of an actual PTE exam. This means that it contains the same structure, times, content and level of difficulty that you would find in the real test. Taking such a test is useful with familiarizing yourself with the PTE test as well as gauging your current levels of proficiency. If you have completed a fair amount of preparation for the PTE exam, then taking a mock test can also give you a reasonable estimate of the score you can expect to achieve.

Why Is It Important To Take A PTE Mock Test?

There are a few reasons as to why taking an PTE practice test is a great idea.

1. Familiarize Yourself With The Test

If you are new to the PTE test, then taking a practice test can give you an approximate idea about your current level of proficiency for that particular skill.

You should take a practice test before you even start preparing for the exam.

Doing this will give you a good idea about what your actual level of language proficiency is. Many test-takers often severely underestimate the difficulty of the PTE exam and they also tend to inflate their English language capabilities. Taking a practice test can help overcome this biases and assumptions so that you can get a better idea about how to move forward with your PTE preparation.

However, it’s important to note that simply taking practice tests will not help you improve in any way. This is merely the first step in determining the correct direction to move forward in regarding your PTE preparation.

2. Gauge The Effectiveness Of Your Preparation

Taking an PTE Mock test will help you to identify your mistakes so that you won’t make the same errors when you’re sitting for the real PTE test. The test layout can be quite overwhelming for first time test takers, and one needs to be aware of the various information and instructions that are present on screen during each part of the test. for example speaking and listening tasks display a volume and microphone button, while reading and listening tasks do not.

3. Estimate Your Actual Score

Once you are familiar with the strategies and skills required for either the PTE test, you can use mock tests can help you to check whether your preparation has been effective or not. This can also give you an estimate of what your final score might be.

4. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Time management is also a critical issue for the PTE test, almost all tasks are strictly timed. Taking regular practice tests will help you to learn how to answer questions on time, without making mistakes. Taking regular tests can also help you improve the time it takes for you to complete your tests.

5. Reduce Test Day Anxiety

Finally, you should keep in mind that on the exam day you will not just be practicing a few questions at a time, but rather three entire sections, with one straight after the other! This can be quite overwhelming for the first few times. You can use mock tests under exam condition to help improve your endurance when taking tests.

The more tests you take, the more familiar you become with the types of tricks the examiners often include to throw students off. Regular practice under exam conditions can help you overcome these particular issues so that you can complete your PTE test with ease.

Obviously, you also have to keep in mind that the content of the test and your anxiety levels will be different on the actual test day. Regular practice under exam conditions can help you overcome these particular issues so that you can complete your PTE listening test with ease.

Should You Opt For A Free Or A Paid Mock Test?

Currently, there are thousands of sites that claim to offer authentic PTE practice tests and resources, meaning that the task of finding the online resources that suit your needs can be extremely time-consuming.

I think that whether you take a free or paid for depends greatly on the reasons you are taking the test. If you are just curious about the PTE test is like, then taking a free version of the test might be useful. You can get a good idea about the format, tasks and timings of the test and decide if this is something you are capable of doing.

However, if you are serious about taking the exam then I recommend taking a 'paid for' mock test.

Here’s why:

1. Fake PTE Exam Online Practice Tests

There are far too many fake free tests with badly written questions or wrong answers. Many of these answers are themselves riddled with grammatical errors and branded as band 8 or our English 9 model answers.

Using such inauthentic materials can give the incorrect impression about the level of difficulty of the PTE exam or give you an over-inflated sense of your English Language capabilities.

2. Comprehensive PTE Practice Test Analysis

Most free mock tests do not offer any sort of feedback to test takers about their writing or speaking answers. They simply offer the fixed answers for the listening and reading sections of the test. A detailed analysis of your answers along with individual band scores is only given out to students who pay for these services.

Most good mock test sites give a detailed section-wise report card results if you pay some amount to access the full results.

From my point of view, opting for paid coaching classes with options for taking multiple mock tests makes better sense, since this often includes personalised coaching and unique preparation and practice materials developed by certified English language experts.

What Should You Look For In A Good PTE Practice Test?

An PTE mock Test is a test that should mimic the exact conditions of a real PTE test. This means that an PTE mock test will have the same structure, timings, difficulty and question types as a real exam. More importantly the practice test should be graded using a similar algorithm and machine evaluations in order to provide a precise assessment of your PTE score.  

Make sure that you always practice with official Pearson PTE Practice tests, from trusted sources. Using practice tests from reliable sources is important because there are far too many free fake tests and practice materials which can give an incorrect impression of your actual level of preparedness for the PTE test. I've often come across free high scoring model that are actually quite poorly written. Remember there is most probably a reason why these resources are free.

Why Is It important To Use Official Pearson PTE Practice Materials?

Make sure that you always practice with official PTE Practice tests, from trusted sources. Using practice tests from reliable sources like the Cambridge Practice Tests or the IDP and British Council websites is important because there are far too many fake tests and practice materials which can give an incorrect impression of your actual level of preparedness for the PTE test. Make sure that the mock test you use has the same structure, the same difficulty, the same marking, and the same timing as the PTE test.

Use full-length exams that reflect what you’ll see on the test day and that gives you all the necessary help and information needed to guide you through the test before you start. You can use these practice tests to get a better idea of what the PTE listening test is actually like.

Where Can You Find A Good PTE Practice Test?

It’s important to make sure that you use a practice test which has the correct level of difficulty and structure as the actual PTE Exam. Your PTE mock test should mimic the exact same format as the real test. Use a test that provides a good analysis of your answers at the end of the test. Check your answers at the end of the test to determine your current level of proficiency.

Most reputable online preparation courses do offer practice tests with provisional test result band scores. They also offer the added benefit of providing an analysis of your answers and help with improving your skills in the tasks where you failed to score well. As a second language learner, it would be very difficult to score your writing or speaking test on your own in an objective manner. Even just having the answers to the reading passages and listening tests would not be enough to help you figure out where your comprehension skills are lacking. This is where having a trained PTE professional tutor comes in handy. Not only will an PTE lecturer be able to tell you about your estimated PTE score, but they will also be able to help you improve it as well.

Pearson’s official PTE Academic Mock Tests

Unlike other language tests, Pearson’s offers official mock PTE tests that are scored using the exact same algorithm that is used to score actual PTE academic tests. Taking one of these tests can give you a good idea of your estimated score. The tests are timed and scored exactly like the real exam. This is a useful tool to help learners understand what their official scores might look like without having to pay the full test fee multiple times.

Each test cost around 35 USD. However, there are also affordable bundle packages available in cases where students would like to purchase more than one practice test.

I recommend using these official practice test instead of many of the free versions that are available online. The reason being is it is highly unlikely that these free mock tests use the same software and AI to grade your answers. This is especially true for the unique online speech recognition software, which has quite strict scoring criteria. This ultimately means that you probably get a score that is not an accurate representation of your PTE Academic score.

Important Things To Note About Taking A Mock Test.

  • Make sure that your computer meets the basic requirements to handle taking a PTE assessment.
  • Check that your microphone is working well. It would be a waste of time and possibly money (if you’re taking a paid mock test) to go through the entire speaking module, only to find that your responses were not recorded.
  • Take your test in a quiet place, where you will not be disturbed or interrupted.
    Make sure that you invest in a good pair of headphones in order to be able to listen to the audio recordings clearly.

Overall, a good PTE mock test is a cost-effective way to ensure that you are well- prepared for the PTE English exam before the actual test day. Keep in mind that the PTE Exam costs around $250 dollars, and you have to pay separately each time you take the test. It can get quite costly if you do not get your required band scores and have to retake the exam multiple times.