PTE Listening
Low Score in PTE Listening? Improve with Expert Tips!
May 14, 2019

The Listening Module of the PTE-A can prove to be quite tricky for those not accustomed to audio in native English. This is especially true of South Asians. In this blog, we will address the Listening Section, and spell out the correct approach for the tasks, along with useful tips, tricks, and strategies. But it is not impossible to crack. It would help if you had the right PTE tips and tricks, along with PTE listening practice.

The Listening Section is closely related to the Writing Section, as some of the tasks are integrated like Summarise Spoken Text, and Write from Dictation.

Summarise Spoken Text

In this task, primarily, you may encounter three types of questions. One, a text with a definition of a topic, its advantages and the disadvantages. Two, starting with a definition, and a set of instructions or suggestions. Three, beginning with a question and working towards research that was conducted on the topic, with the specific findings.

You are assigned 10 minutes for each question. And unlike, Summarise Written Text, you don't have to write it in one sentence. You can use multiple sentences. Just be careful not to commit grammar mistakes. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Don't aim for complex sentences with too many commas, as you make mistakes.

Remember to use a full stop when the sentence ends, and begin the next with a capital later. The most important tip is that you should try to include as many keywords from the audio in your summary, as possible. If you do this, you will see your score go up automatically.

Write from Dictation

The Write from Dictation section is very scoring. Why this task is puzzling is that we naturally don't remember what we heard, and we are expected to write the same sentence we heard in the audio file. The sequence of the words has to be the same. The spelling cannot be incorrect, and in case there are numbers, it is better to spell it out in alphabets, instead of writing them down. Make sure your sentences start with capital letters and end with full stops.

Highlight Incorrect Words

Another high scoring tasks that have a small passage on the screen and audio. The passage on the screen is the transcript of what is said in the video. Your job is to click on the words that are different from what you heard in the audio file. When you click on them, the words get highlighted in yellow. In case you want to un-highlight it, you can click on the word again. You score one point for every mistake you identify.

One passage can have anywhere between three to seven mistakes. Another tricky aspect to it is that there is negative marking. So, if you have clicked on a word which is which was correctly spoken in the audio file and it is correctly written in the transcript, you will lose marks. Take care to avoid these mistakes.

In Highlight Incorrect Words, be sure that your mouse cursor moves with the audio file, and that you do not fall behind or go ahead of the words being spoken in the audio file.

Time Management

Many aspirants struggle to complete all tasks in the PTE-A Listening, because they fail to maintain a constant speed, and manage time well, by keeping an eye on the timer, placed on the top right corner of the screen. One advantage of Highlight Incorrect Words is that you will solve the question as you go. You don't have to wait for the audio file to stop playing. So you've got to be fast, and many people struggle in this.

Expert Strategies

In Write from Dictation, when you hear a sentence, grasp the first letter of each word, write it down, and then expand the full form of it later. This way you can get hold of the whole sentence. Lots of our students follow this strategy, and they have able to do well in the task.

You could also practice with the traditional method, which is to listen to the sentence carefully and then type it down, word for word. The trouble is that a lot of people are not able to recollect the sentence in its entirety. Try to include words from the audio in your writing. Avoid grammatical mistakes at all costs. You can afford them. If there are numerals, spell them out.

Utilize the gap of 7-10 seconds that is there before the audio starts playing in every task. Use this time to glance over the questions, answer choices, and keep your concentration going. After you finish the task, give yourself about 5 seconds to check your spellings or other small errors before jumping to the next task.

To practice for PTE-A Listening by yourself, you can download the PTE Tutorials Mobile App , which has audio files for free practice. You can also sign up for Online Coaching by seasoned, certified experts, who will guide you with the right strategy, and tips.