PTE Update 2018

PTE Academic Test Significant Updates 2018 - Detail Information

March 28,2018

You might not be aware but Pearson PTE periodically makes changes to the PTE Test. And it is that time of the year where significant changes have been made. Here we are discussing the 2018 Updates and answering most vital questions in detail.

What has changed?

What are these updates?

Why has PTE made this updates?

How they may affect you?

Last year in the month of March, PTE test has several changes. Similarly, this year too there are updates. Let's look one by one at what has changed and how it might affect you.  

What exactly has changed in PTE in the past one week?

Nothing related to the exam pattern. If you come across any rumours do not fall for it. There are rumours that there are 4 essays asked. Logically thinking if 4 essay questions are asked in the PTE Test then it would have to give you 80 minutes for the writing module and that too just for the essays. Impractical and a Lie!

The truth is there are still 20 task types and the same speaking, writing, reading, listening is the order of the modules.

What exactly is updated if nothing has changed?

PTE has added many new questions to its question bank implying that you would not see more of the old questions now in the upcoming tests.

Who is going to suffer?

People who are used to memorising the answers with the questions are the most likely victims of suffering.

Let us give you the best tip at the start itself: "It is never good to memorise any questions or answers". What is important is to understand the context of the question. You must comprehend what the task demands of you especially if you need a score of 90.

Do Not Memorize Questions and Answers

That is the worst thing to do to ruin your own performance.

Now that you know what the scenario is let's divulge deeper in the new additions or changes to the questions in the PTE Test Module-wise.


Read Aloud

The first task in speaking and in fact in the PTE Test is "Read Aloud". PTE has added new questions and few difficult words have started to pop up. Do not be surprised if you see much of the difficult words as this task integrates speaking and reading.

Start practising reading aloud different kind of academic texts and learn the pronunciation of difficult or longer words used in the academic context. Do not take it lightly as it affects your reading score a lot! Moreover, it is the very first task of PTE so you want to be confident from the start and for that you need to perform well in these question types.

Repeat Sentence

The second task in which the changes have been noticed is "Repeat Sentence". Since the past few months, it has been noticed that Repeat Sentence has become a bit tricky. You might come across more scientific/ academic words or terminology. The second thing is they are a bit lengthier sentences and are spoken a little faster. For a non-native speaker, the fast speech is going to be slightly troublesome as the words might be unclear.

So, develop a regular listening habit where you can listen/ watch to the TED talks, scientific documentaries, scientific channels, BBC Documentaries, and such materials. Now, this again is an integrated task which affects the scores of speaking as well as listening. And a very easier one at that if you are aiming for a 90 in speaking.  You might not want to mess this one up!

Re-tell Lecture

Next in task to have changes is Re-tell Lecture. Many aspirants we come across tend to memorise the sentences as there were questions that used to be asked repeatedly. But that is where the troubled waters lie. Recently, many new questions have been added here too.

It is important to pay attention to the audio. Your content here matters. If your content score will go down here, your listening score will suffer because of obvious reason that here speaking and listening are integrated here. Be careful as you get 3-4 questions of this task type.

To not let your listening score go down you need to perform better in this task. This task did contain questions, previously too, where you get image plus audio or a video, and so you can expect the same now too.

Describe Image & Answer Short Questions

As far as Describe Image is concerned, we have noticed that periodically PTE keeps introducing few new questions in this task. So, there is nothing too unusual about it. For the questions of this task type, you need to focus on your Oral Fluency.

For Answer Short Questions, too, there are not many changes. You do get image based questions, video clips or small Gif which used to be asked previously as well.


It is no mystery for any test taker who has started with their preparation or half way there, that, the writing task did have same set of questions repeated be it Essay or Summaries. Of course, this also meant that many of the test takers memorised the templates or answers which is a highly stupid thing to do.

Summarize Written Text

Talking about the "Summarize Written Text", it is integrated with reading, naturally, because you first read the passage and then write a summary. Many questions have been added and can be expected to be added. The point, therefore is Content Matters! Why does it matter? Because if you do not write appropriate content, it means you have not read the passage or understood it. Consequently, your content score will decrease.

Write Essay

The second task, "Write Essay" has also seen a significant change. Roughly 30 new essays have been added. If you do not know, there were already 35-40 essays already and to that list, more 30 essays have been added.

So, anybody giving you an advice to mug up templates or entire essays, tell them a big NO. Do not memorise the content. There are all the tips on this planet that you can utilise to improve your writing, like understanding the structure, a good manner of writing, the grammar usage, note your mistakes and rectify them and re-check your essay (PS: "ALWAYS" re-check your essay). Shortcuts will only lead to Disaster.


Overall, in this module several new questions have been added. The difficulty was same that many aspirants memorise the answers. If you do not understand the concept, you are at a great risk of failure.

You need to know basics of English language and its usage. Vocabulary and Grammar are at the heart of it. The moment you start interpreting and knowing this, you will start getting the context of the question and half the battle will be won.

Learn the techniques, tips and implement them. Not only will it deep root the understanding of the language, you will also start enjoying it. And the more you enjoy an exam, more you score! Trust us here as we speak with various years of experience!

Also, it is very crucial to maintain your focus during the entire test.


Summarize Spoken Text

The first task type in this module is "Summarize Spoken Text" which too has seen the new questions' addition. This task is very similar to Summarize Written Text".

If you are in a habit of cramming here too, then you might face difficulty when you come across altogether new questions. You might fumble or not know how to form correct sentences, all these while lose out on time and ultimately your score.

Content is important in this task also! If your content is not appropriate, then your content score will decrease and further, you will lose marks in listening. The best tip for this task is you need to become pro at 'note taking'.

Write From Dictation

"Write from Dictation" also have new questions introduced. But, it has been noticed that they are a bit easy ones. Sometimes, just like "Re-tell Lecture", the audio can be fast and words unclear.

Simple solution here is to practice with audios that are faster and have a little unclear word pronunciation which will train your brain to pay attention automatically with the speed and tone. This task is integrated with writing so needless to say, your writing scores are impacted by it.

For the other tasks of this module, major thing that has been noted is that the audio speed is fast and the time is very less. Being the last module, you might be tired too. So, that makes it challenging module

After the first task Summarize Spoken Text, you get the total time timer in the listening module. So post this question, nowadays PTE gives just around 17-19 minutes for all the remaining questions. Generally, after the summary task, you will have at least 13 -15 questions remaining. This means that you get about 1 minute to answer each one of them. It further implies that you get very less time for the last task "Write from Dictation". And if you miss even 1 question of this task type, it indirectly affects your Writing Score. Challenging enough? It is!

So, do not go around wasting your time and start clicking on next button to attempt the next one.

PTE Sign up

Major Issues you might face in the entire PTE-A Test is Time Management. Smartly manage your time otherwise you will not be able to finish your task even if you knew the answer. And that hurts a lot! You know at PTE Tutorials, you can assess how good you are managing the time with the help of test analytics. Yes! The time you spent on each question is marked and thus an in-depth analysis of your time management is presented. You can check out the option of test analytics on the dashboard.

If you have already given the PTE Test but couldn't achieve the required score then you must get your score card analysed and check your strong and weak points, tips and more.