PTE Academic Exam

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs in The PTE Academic Exam

January 07,2020

When taking the PTE Academic Exam, often aspirants tend to make some errors that cost them dearly. These common errors can be easily avoided by being a little more careful. In our experience of training PTE aspirants, we have come across these common, repeated errors. Let's take a look at these common errors:

1. Fast is not always fluent

Some aspirants confuse speed for fluency, and they go all in, trying to speak too fast. This affects their fluency scores. When speaking too fast, fluency and legibility suffer. So aspirants should go for a pace that is neither too fast, nor too slow. Aim for a natural speed and try to maintain it throughout the whole duration of your speech.

2. Use of filler sounds

When thinking of words to be spoken, aspirants often tend to make filler sounds like 'aah', 'uhm', etc. This negatively affects the fluency score. An alternative is to prepare templates for Speaking, so that filler words "like", "you know" and sounds etc. are not used. The more you practice with a template, the better you get at it.

3. Overuse of the preposition "About"

This is a common mistake made by aspirants. They tend to use the word 'about' too frequently after verbs. Due to this basic grammar mistake, they lose marks in the PTE Academic Test.

4. Incorrect use of tense forms

When describing things, PTE aspirants often end up using the wrong form of tense. For example: using present continuous tense in place of present simple tense. This leads to loss of marks.

5. Avoid pausing, making false starts, repetitions and hesitations

Oral Fluency determines your PTE-A Speaking score to a large extent. When you take unnecessary pauses or make false starts, it affects your Speaking score adversely. Further, hesitating, repeating words, also have to be avoided.

6. Do not pause for too long

It is essential to know that if you pause for 3 seconds in the PTE-A Speaking Module, then the microphone goes off. Anything you say after that will not be recorded. Make sure that you keep this thing in mind when taking the Speaking test.

7. Write a single sentence in PTE Summarize Written Text Questions

Many test-takers lose marks by writing multiple sentences in the PTE Summarize Written Text Question types. Write a single sentence that ends with one full-stop. Use connectors if needed, but use only one full-stop.

However, in Summarize Spoken Text questions, aspirants can answer with multiple sentences to complete the summary.

8. Avoid using colloquial language

Casual, informal language will just not cut it in the PTE Academic Test. Instead, the test expects you to use formal, academic language.

9. Don't speak in breaks

Don't use the 'stopping and starting' mode of speaking. While this is acceptable in our daily conversation, it is frowned upon in the PTE Academic Exam. Organize your thoughts, and then speak in complete sentences. Maintain a steady, normal speed, so that you get the time to gather your thoughts even before you speak.

To avoid this, organize your thoughts and ideas before writing your responses in each PTE writing section. Check the word count at the bottom of the screen to see whether or not you have reached the required word limit.

10. Writing without adhering to the word limit

In Writing tasks like Summarize Written Text and Essay, don't exceed the word limit. In Essay, stick to writing to the tune of 200-300 words. Writing more or less than the prescribed word limit will result in you getting a lower PTE score.


To get the perfect score in PTE-A, don't commit these errors. Get lots of practice with a PTE preparation app or online sample questions. If required, you can also take the help of certified experts with online PTE coaching.