PTE Reorder Paragraphs

5 Proven Tips to Score High in PTE Academic Reorder Paragraphs Questions

December 18,2019

Reorder Paragraphs is a question type in the Reading Module of the PTE Academic exam. The skill assessed in this task is PTE Reading. In this task, you need to reorder the original order of paragraphs of text.

You can do this by selecting the text boxes and dragging them to the 'target' boxes. This is how a sample PTE Reorder Paragraph question will look like:

Re Order Paragraph

On the left panel, under the title SOURCE, you can see statements placed in random order, assigned numbers 1 to 4. On the right panel, is the TARGET. You have to drag the text boxes from left to right, arranging them in the correct order.

In this blog, we will share step-by-step tips that will help you solve a Reorder Paragraphs question. But before we get into that, let us first understand how a Reorder Paragraph question is scored.

Scoring in Reorder Paragraphs

Your performance in the Re-order paragraphs is judged on the ability to comprehend how an academic text is organized.

If the placement of all the text boxes is correct, then you will get the maximum score for the question. However, if the order of one/more text boxes is wrong, then partial credit scoring applies.

Tips to Score High in Reorder Paragraphs

1. Read all the text boxes

The first step is to read the text in all the boxes. Doing this will help you understand the main idea of each one and gain an idea of the subject of the original text.

Once you have understood the topic and purpose of the text, it will get easier to find the logical order for the ideas in the text boxes.

2. Start with the topic sentence

A topic sentence is one that conveys the central idea of the paragraph, of which it is a part of. You may have come across the term 'topic sentence' while preparing for PTE Essay Writing.

Some examples of topic sentence:

  • There are a plethora of reasons why the air pollution in X City is the worst in the world
  • Crime in more deprived areas is often a result of ingrained discrimination
  • An essential strategy for companies to protect ships from pirate attacks to is to provide armed security on board
Topic sentences do not start with a pronoun or a link that refers to someone ('he', 'she' etc.) or something ('study', 'research' etc.). It can stand alone and it does not refer to any information or action, previously mentioned.

Further, sentences having connectives like 'although', 'though', 'if', 'whereas', etc. are usually not topic sentences.

3. Establish a logical order of sentences

Once you have identified the independent topic sentence, the next step is to determine a valid order of sentence. You can do this by finding out the links between the ideas expressed in different sentences.

Use grammar to do this. Look for articles. 'A' or 'an' is generally used when introducing a topic or a subject for the first time. Further, 'the' is used to direct towards something or someone specific, and it may be used when the thing or the person has been previously introduced.

Look for other elements like 'pronouns', adverbs like 'additionally, besides', or words like 'but', 'forever' etc. to understand the logical order between the sentences.

Yet another essential tool that can help you determine the logical order of sentences is the time sequence.

To do this, you have to look at clues that you give an idea about the present, past or future.

4. Experiment Judge

Now use the strategies listed above, and apply trial and error method to weed out the wrong choices. Begin with the independent topic sentence, and then look for the following line. And then the next.
Try reading all possible formations in your mind, as a cohesive paragraph. When a sentence sticks out as awkward, try and rejig your structure.

5. Practice. A Lot

Apply these strategies and get a lot of practice. You could either download a PTE preparation app or practice with sample questions online.


PTE Reorder Paragraph is a straightforward task. So if you practice with the right strategies, then it will prove to be easy for you. Spend around 2 minutes on each question, and try to bring down your timing from that with more practice.