Everything You Need to Know About PTE Listening Section


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 07, 2022 07:46 PM IST

Choosing Pearson Test for English as your English Proficiency proof? Then here’s what you need to know about the PTE Listening Section. In this article, we shall discuss the different components of the Listening Section of PTE and how you should go about answering this section of the globally-renowned English Proficiency test.

Everything You Need to Know About PTE Listening Section

Among all the different types of English Proficiency Tests, there are several components assessing the listening and comprehension skills of the student. Similar to this, Pearson Test for English(PTE Academic) also includes a listening component, i.e., PTE Listening Section, which assesses every aspect of a students ability to listen and comprehend the statements and communication being passed over.

Language experts around the world have highlighted the importance of listening in effective and efficient communication or conversation. PTE also considers listening as an important aspect of the English proficiency tests and allocates a significant weightage on the test scores.

In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know about the PTE Listening section. However, it should be noted that Pearson UKVI has made some changes to the test, i.e., shortening the duration of the test, which has resulted in a fewer number of questions.

Highlights of PTE Listening Section

Listed below are the item types, the number of items and the duration allotted to each question in the PTE Listening section. It should be noted that Pearson has made a couple of changes to the format and duration of the test, which have also been included in the table below.


Number of Items (Old Version)

Revised Number of Items


Summarise Spoken Text



2 Points - Content

2 Points - Form

2 Points - Grammar

2 Points - Vocabulary

2 Points - Spelling

Multiple Choice - Multiple Answers



1 Point for Correct Answer

-1 Point Incorrect Answer

Fill in the Blanks



1 Point for Correct Answer

Highlight Correct Summary



Marked Correct or Incorrect

Multiple-choice - Single Answer



Marked Correct or Incorrect

Select Missing Word



Marked Correct or Incorrect

Highlight Incorrect Word



1 Mark for Correct Answer

-1 Mark for Incorrect Answer

Write From Dictation



1 Point for Correct Answer

Total Questions (Range)



As per the changes brought to the test, students will now be able to complete the test in two hours, down from three hours. This is thanks to the reduced number of questions per item, as can be seen from the table above, which has come down to a range between 52-64 from 70-82. This reduction in time and questions has directly resulted in removing the need for breaks during the test.

Pearson PTE has assured current and future test-takers that the over 3,000 institutions worldwide accept PTE and the level of difficulty, as well as the test requirements by your required institution, will remain the same as before.

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Also Read: Everything You Wanted to Know About Ivy League Universities

Components of PTE Listening Section and Key Tips to Score Well

Similar to having different sections to a test, there are different components to each section that evaluate different aspects of any given topic knowledge or understanding of a test-taker. This is the same for the PTE Listening section, which consists of 8 different components analysing different aspects for the listening section of the Pearson Test for English. Check out the different components and what is expected of you for each of those components.

Summarise Spoken Text

The component requires your skills in listening and then writing a comprehensible text in the form of a summary of the text that was spoken. Each student will be given 10 minutes to summarise what they could listen to from the spoken text.

Tip: The text will be played for a duration ranging between 60-90 seconds, during which, it is advisable for you to jot down the key points to better help you understand and structure your content.

You will be required to write a summary of 50-79 words, where you will grade and score points for content, form, grammar, vocabulary and spelling. In this component, you can be awarded a maximum of 2 points for each of the aforementioned parameters.

Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers

This question item or type requires students listening skills to be on-point. Before the audio is played, the student will receive information to help in answering the question, which will be available on the screen for a total duration of 7 seconds. Subsequently, a 40-90 second audio clip will be played.

For this type of question, students will be asked to select all the answers they believe to be correct. Each correct answer carries one mark. However, if you choose an incorrect answer, a mark will be deducted. It should be noted that your score for this type of question, your score will not go below zero.

Tip: Attempt the questions for which you are 100% sure of your correct answer to avoid negative marking.

Fill in the Blanks

As the name suggests, students are required to fill in the blanks to certain texts. Before the audio is played, students will again receive instructions, which will be displayed on the screen for 7 seconds, following which they will hear the audio.

Tip: Students are advised to fill in the blanks as they listen to the audio and do not leave any spaces blank. They will receive time in the end to review their answers. You must ensure that you have correctly spelt out the answers as you will receive 1 mark for each correct and correctly spelt out answer.

Highlight Correct Summary

The fourth type of PTE Listening section question requires students to highlight the correct summary and is designed to evaluate the listening and reading skills of the test-takers.

Before the audio clip is heard, students will be given 10 seconds to read the possible correct summaries. Following this, each student will listen to a 30-90 seconds long audio clip. Here, students are required to select only one correct response.

Tip: Students will not receive any negative marking for this question. Therefore, if you are unsure of a correct answer, select the one you believe to be correct. In this question type, your response to the question will be marked as either correct or incorrect.

Also Read: Here's How You Can Improve Your SAT Score

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

Similar to Multiple Choice-Multiple Answers, Multiple Choice-Single Answer will also provide students with 7 seconds to read information for better context. Subsequently, a 30 to 60-second-long audio clip will be played.

Tip: To answer this type of question, students will be asked to select only one answer that they think is correct. Whatever your response to the question will be, it will be marked as either correct or incorrect.

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Select Missing Word

For this type of question, the listening skills of the students will be assessed. Here, students will listen to a 20-70 seconds audio clip where students will be required to predict the last words or words of the text.

Similar to the above question type, your response to the question will either be marked as incorrect or correct.

Tip:Your knowledge and understanding of grammatically and contextually correct sentences would help score well in this area.

Highlight Incorrect Words

As the name suggests, students must select the incorrect word according to the audio clip that they have heard.

For this question type, students will receive 10 seconds to read the information regarding the question. Subsequently, an audio clip of 15 to 50-second-long will be played where you will be required to select the words that seem incorrect or do not match the audio recording. Similar to the question type above, your contextual and grammatical understanding of the English Language will be assessed.

It should be noted that each correct answer carries 1 mark. However, every incorrect answer will result in the deduction of 1 mark. Again, here, your score will not go below zero.

Tip: To avoid negative marking, it is suggested to avoid attempting the questions for which you are not sure being 100% correct.

Also Read: 7 Mistakes to Avoid During Your Study Abroad Application Process

Write from Dictation

The final question type in the PTE Listening section requires students to write or type the response while listening to the recording.

Before the recording starts playing, you will receive 7 seconds to read instructions regarding the question. For this type of question, the recording will be 3 to 5-second-long, where you will need to listen carefully and type in the response box.

In this question type, students will receive 1 point for each correct answer. However, there is no negative marking in case of an incorrect answer.

Tip:To receive the 1 point, students must type in their response correctly and in the correct order, while also spelling them correctly.

PTE, like every other English Proficiency test, such as IELTS, TOEFL or Duolingo is one of the highly sought-after tests. Its wide acceptance and easiness has made PTE a good alternative for students and skilled workers looking to study or settle down in one of the English-speaking countries. If you have planned to study in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you are more than likely required to provide proof of English Language Proficiency for visa and/or admission purposes.

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Similar to having several components to Englishproficiency tests, there are several components to successfully enrolling and studying abroad. However, our study abroad experts who have helped thousands of students to study in their dream university can help you study in yours. Connect with us by registering on our website and see what you need to study at the university of your choice.

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