The PTE Academic test tests your listening skills to understand if you can identify a topic and supporting points. The PTE Listening test is an important part of PTE-A, and it examines you for a proper understanding of the context, the tone, and the purpose of the recording. As a test-taker, you must be able to decipher explicit and implicit information for which understanding academic vocabulary and following the oral sequence of the data is imperative. You are expected to follow the verbal course of information, and predict how the speaker may continue or conclude.

For the PTE Select Missing Word task of the Listening Section of the PTE Academic test, the test-taker has to listen to a recording, at the end of which, a beep replaces the last word or a group of words. There are options given for you to complete the sentence you listen to in the recording. Only one choice is correct. You will get two or three PTE Select Missing Word questions. There will be a prompt which gives a hint about the topic of the listening task. The recording lasts for something between 20 and 70 seconds, at the end of which you will hear a 'beep' sound. Following this, you will have to select the correct answer. When you choose an option, it gets highlighted in yellow colour.  You get one mark for picking the right answer, and there are no marks for the wrong answer.

In this blog, we shall provide you useful tips and strategies to ace the PTE Select Missing Word task. If you follow these tips, and back it up with adequate practice, you will be able to approach it with a better-prepared mindset.


1.  Read The Prompt Carefully

The first hint about the task comes from the prompt. It tells you about the topic of listening. If you know the subject beforehand, it is easier to start thinking in the right direction, about related concepts and vocabulary. For example, if the prompt is about fisheries, your mind will be accordingly prepared and will be able to anticipate any associated topics, terminologies, or vocabulary. Being first hint of the context that follows in the recording, it is highly essential.


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2.  Listen Intuitively

Practice active listening, in which you are eagerly tuned in to the subject, and are looking for clues, or signal words which give you a sneak peek into the direction in which the speaker's thoughts are developing. If you can identify such signal words, it wouldn't be too hard the direction of the talk. Listen intently, and intuitively. Is the speaker going to present opposing arguments, or is he/she furnishing supporting arguments?

If you listen with a specific intent, it wouldn't be too hard to gauge from the author's word selection and signal words, which direction the talk is going to take. Even if you don't understand all the words in the recording, or miss a word or two, try and get a general understanding of what the talk is all about.


PTE Reading


3.  Make A Mental Map

Don't make the mistake of writing down notes simultaneously as you listen to the recording for your reference. In all probability, you will get distracted, and miss out on chunks of the talk, which may be crucial to determining whether you will be able to answer the question correctly. Remember, the record plays just once.

Instead, make a mental map of the way in which the speaker is developing his ideas, the arguments he is giving, the details he is providing, and whether he is supporting a particular claim. Doing this will help you have a map of how the speaker expounded upon his ideas and using this; you can fill out the missing word/phrase at the end of the talk.


4.  Context Is King

Right from reading the prompt to looking for signal words, and creating a mental map, what you are doing is trying to decipher the context of the entire talk. In this particular task, the context is the king. If you can understand the meaning, it wouldn't be too hard to follow the speaker's train of thoughts, and predict, or anticipate what follows next. In case you are unsure about the correct answer, figuring out the context even helps you to hazard an intelligent guess.



5.  Listen To Podcasts or Recorded Lectures For Practice

To prepare well before the test, you can practice in tandem with a friend. Take magazine or newspaper articles, and read out a short section to one another, stopping right before the final word or phrase. This practice will help develop the skills of following the development of the author's ideas and make you equipped enough to predict and complete the section. For a more real-time experience, you can even listen to podcasts or recorded lecture, and stop the audio, and discuss what ideas you feel the author will expound on, next.

We have given you easy-to-follow, practical tips to ace the PTE Select Missing Word task: read carefully, listen intently, make a mental map, give importance to context, and practice with podcasts/recorded lectures.


If you follow the above tips, and get enough practice, cracking the 'Select Missing Word' task will be the matter of time. In case you are looking for expert guidance, feedback, and help, we can provide that to you as well. At PTE Tutorials, we are proud to have helped scores of test-takers achieve their desired score in the PTE exam. If you want any assistance in improving your score, go for our online coaching service today! You can also download the PTE Tutorials App now on your Android or iOS mobile and start practising with PTE Listening practice tests right away.

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