PTE-Listening-MCQ Multiple Answers

The PTE Academic test consists 3 sections, that assess a candidate's reading, writing , listening and speaking skills. In this article, we will take a closer look at the PTE Listening Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers Question. This question is quite challenging to students for a number reasons. However, it becomes much easier if you learn a few simple strategies and skills.

Here is a detailed look at what you will find in this article:

Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers Format

In this type of multiple-choice question, candidates are required to choose multiple options from a list of options in order to answer a question that is based on an audio recording.

This question is very similar to the single choice multiple question. The question is laid out in the exact same manner and the procedure for choosing an option is also the same. The only major difference is that candidates have to choose more than one option.

The number of options needed depends on the wording of the question, but it can be up to four options. Once you select an option it will be highlighted in yellow. If you wish to make an alternative option, you can always deselect your previous choice.

The recording will start after 7 seconds and last for between 40 to 90 seconds. Each recording will play only once.

The recording will only be played once, so make sure that you listen attentively. There are no options to pause or rewind the audio, The recording is simply and an audio version of the displayed transcript.

Once the recording has stopped you will be able to select multiple options. You should spend a maximum of 1.5 minutes on each MCQ.

There are two to three Multiple-choice, choose single answer items in the listening part of PTE Academic, depending on the combination of items in a given test. They are presented together in a single block.

This question tests your ability to analyze, interpret and evaluate a brief recording on an academic subject. It assesses listening skill.

How Will This Question Be Displayed?

You will find the instructions at the top of the screen. Below that will be an audio status box, that will display the amount of time left for the audio to play, as well as to the whether audio is playing or if it has finished.

The status box will count down from 7 seconds. Then a recording will play automatically and the status box will change to "Playing."

The audio status box also contains a blue bar that will gradually move to the right as the recording continues. There are some instances where you can get a video instead of an audio recording, concentrate on the audio, and don’t let the visuals distract you.

There will also be a slider, which you can use to adjust the volume to your level of preference. You can adjust the slider by moving it to the left to decrease and the right to increase the volume. You are allowed to adjust the volume at any time while the recording is playing.

You will see a prompt with about 5 to 7 options. You need to simply click on the correct option to select it.

To select a response, click on the corresponding button or the response itself. Your response will be highlighted in yellow. To deselect your response, click on the button next to the response or the response again. If you want to change your selection, click on an alternative option. To change your responses, click on a different checkbox or a different response.

Once you are satisfied with your answers, you can select the ‘next’ button to move onto the next question. Remember that listening tasks are not individually timed, so the timer will continue to countdown on the screen.

Here is how this question will appear on test day:

How Is This Question Scored?

If you get all options correct, you will receive maximum points. However, if some of your options are incorrect, you will receive a partial score.

There is negative marking for this particular question type, meaning that you can lose points if you choose any incorrect options. For any wrong options chosen 1 point is deducted, whilst correct options are given 1 point. Make sure that you are confident about your choices. If you are unsure about a certain answer, do not choose it, An incorrect answer will deduct the points you obtained for your correct answers.

You can easily recognise whether a multiple-choice question has negative marking or not by taking a look at the way the options are displayed. Options that have squares next to them mean that the question is a multiple-choice, multiple answers question, with negative scoring.

Options that have circles next to them mean that the question is a multiple-choice, single-answer question, with regular scoring and only one correct answer.

What Skills Does This Question Test?

Skills Assessed

This question assesses basic listening  comprehension skills and tests your ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate a short audio in an academic environment

To score well in this question you must be able to comprehend  English as spoken in a variety of different accents,

These questions might ask you to locate specific details from the audio or understand and answer a question based on the overall theme of the recording.

Here’s a detailed list of the skills you will be expected to perform for this question:

  • Main idea or gist: Read for and identify the main idea or theme of the recording.
  • Detailed information: Read for and identify specific details, facts, opinions, definitions or sequences of events.
  • Speaker’s purpose: Read for and understand the function of what the speaker says or identify the reasons why the speaker mentions specific pieces of information.
  • Organization: Read for and identify the overall organization and connections between pieces of information. This evaluates your ability to link different parts of the recording together.
  • Inference: Listen for information that helps you infer meanings, form, generalizations, make predictions, find relationships or draw conclusions.
  • Stylistics: Listen out for and identify the speaker’s attitude, feelings, or degree of certainty on an issue

Strategies For Solving Listening Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers Questions

Make sure to read the instructions carefully, this will help you to understand what to expect in the recording. Skim the response options quickly. Also, keep an eye on the audio status box and be prepared to focus on listening when the recording begins.

When the audio begins focus solely on listening carefully. Do not go back and read the options while the recording is playing

While listening to the recording focus on the general content of the recording. Try to understand the main points of the audio as well as specific details. You have to understand the context of the entire recording in order to be able to figure out which word goes at the end.

Also, note how much of the recording is left, since the missing word will be at the end of the recording

An erasable notebook and pen will be provided to you to make notes as you listen. Since time is scarce avoid making lengthy notes, as you might miss important information. Simply focus on keywords and phrases. Your notes should only serve to reinforce what you are listening to, so make sure that you focus on listening and not on note-taking. This will help to clarify your understanding of what you are listening to

Continue listening carefully until the end of the recording. Sometimes corrections are made by the speaker that negates information that was previously mentioned in the audio or they might add a new piece of information that might change your opinion about the correct response.

Now read the options carefully. Eliminate ones that are obviously incorrect, meaning the ones that contain incorrect information or information that is o contradictory. Now take a look at the remaining options. Try to think of the difference in meaning of these options.

Once you have chosen an option, double-check to make sure it is correct.

Sometimes this question will contain options that are designed to purposely trick candidates. Such options might include words or phrases that are directly from the recording but are not related to that particular question. Make sure you focus on the overall meaning of both the audio and the options instead of merely matching keywords

Remember that except for the summarise spoken text question, the listening module is timed altogether. So you must click next as soon as you can, or else you will waste valuable time that will eat into your time for the other questions.

Tips And Tricks For The Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer Question

Here are some tips for this question that will help you to maximize your score.

Confirm Your Answers.

Don’t depend simply on finding matches between words in the options and in the audio. Most often the words in a question will match to a synonym of a word in the audio, whereas options that are meant to trick you might have multiple words that match to the audio but do not answer the question. So look out for synonyms and other words which might mean the same in that context.

Understand The Exact Meanings Of The Options

Make sure you understand the subtle differences between the options and what is mentioned in the recording. For example, an option might say something like “the majority of birds are active during the day’ while the audio mentions that ‘numerous birds are active during the day’. The difference in meaning between the word’s majority (meaning most of) and numerous (meaning many) means that that the particular option is incorrect. So be careful and make sure you understand the exact meanings of each option.

Practice Question

Read the prompt. Then listen to the recording only once and select all the correct responses

Q. Which of these countries use electronic voting machines?

  • South Africa
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Holland
  • The United Kingdom


Alright, a little bit of history. Well, the current debate we are having is a uniquely American phenomenon, uniquely American because voting machines don't exist in most of the rest of the world, including erm, Western Europe, where one might think we'd find them. We really only have voting machines, I think about a third or a half of South America uses voting technology, uh, Holland does because there's a machine manufacturer there and the whole country of India, India uses electronic voting machines, which is quite interesting. Those  machines are made by the Indian government. But other than that, everyone votes on good old paper ballots.

Answer Explanation:

South Africa

South Africa is not mentioned in the recording at all but we can infer from the speaker's statement, "everyone votes on good old paper ballots" that the nations who are not mentioned in the recording do not use voting machines since they use traditional paper ballots


This option is correct since the speaker states that "the whole country of ... India uses electronic voting machines."


Similarly to the option of South Africa, Indonesia is not mentioned in the recording at all but we can infer from the speaker's statement, "everyone votes on good old paper ballots" that the nations who are not mentioned in the recording do not use voting machines since they use traditional paper ballots


This option is correct since the speaker states that Holland has voting machines.

United Kingdom

The speaker does not mention the UK but he does state that "voting machines don't exist in most of the rest of the world, including Western Europe." Since the UK is part of Western Europe, we can infer that the UK does use voting machines as well.