PTE Exam Syllabus 2023 - Section-Wise PTE Exam Syllabus & Important Topics PDF

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Aarushi Jain
Updated on Apr 01, 2023 10:08 PM IST

As an English proficiency test, there is no specific syllabus for PTE Academic that you need to follow. However, there are specific question types in each section that you can prepare for. This is another tried and tested method often suggested by study abroad counsellors. Understanding the syllabus for PTE Academic will definitely help you improve your scores on the test.

Some of the popular types of questions in PTE Academic exams include Multiple Choice with multiple correct answers and single correct answers, questions of summarizing and description, and several different section-specific questions. You will find all the relevant information regarding PTE Academic syllabus and how you can better prepare for the test this year.

PTE Academic Syllabus 2023

Start your PTE preparation by analysing the comprehensive syllabus of PTE. Understanding the topics covered in PTE Syllabus will definitely help you obtain good marks on the test as it will give you clarity on important topics and concepts that needs to be covered for each section while preparing for PTE.

PTE is an online test that contains three sections: Speaking and Writing, Reading and Listening. The PTE syllabus contains topics and their description for each section.

The syllabus for PTE Academic has not undergone any changes in recent years. All topics covered in the syllabus of PTE Academic aim to evaluate your proficiency in English. You are advised to check all the topics and PTE exam patterns before moving on the preparation spree.

If you are aiming to take score high in PTE to get admission to one of the best universities in the world that accepts PTE scores like Yale University, Colorado State University, Oxford University, Birmingham University, Leeds University, University of New Haven, Manchester University, University of Glasgow, Hertfordshire University, Pearson College London, Hofstra University, University of Dayton, Arizona State University, etc., then make sure you have a strategic PTE study plan. Go through the PTE syllabus thoroughly and plan your preparation day accordingly.

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PTE Exam Pattern Highlights

PTE Academic is administered on a computer in a safe and welcoming test centre setting. It assesses your abilities in the English language speaking, writing, reading, and listening. The test contains 20 different question types, ranging from multiple choice to essay writing. Before learning about the PTE Academic syllabus, here is a quick summary of the PTE exam pattern:

PTE Academic Format


PTE Exam Sections

  • Speaking and Writing (54 – 67 minutes)

  • Reading (29 – 30 minutes) 

  • Listening skills (30 – 43 minutes) 

PTE Duration

2 hours (Single test session)


Computer-based with Headset


Taken in a test centre / Home Edition

Test Type

English Language Proficiency Exam


20 different question types

Prominent Accepting Countries 

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more

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Detailed Syllabus of PTE Academic

PTE Academic tests your reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills in various ways including the following So, you must go through the section-wise syllabus in order to prepare well for PTE. The subtopics for section-wise topics as covered in the PTE syllabus are given below: 

PTE Academic Exam Sections

PTE Academic Syllabus/Tasks 

Total Questions

Time Duration

Speaking and Writing Section 

  • Personal introduction

  • Repeat sentence

  • Read aloud

  • Re-tell lecture

  • Describe image

  • Summarize written text

  • Answer short question

  • Essay (20 mins) 

28 – 36

54-67 minutes

Reading Section

  • Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks 

  • Reading: Fill in the blanks

  • Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers

  • Multiple-choice, choose single answer 

  • Re-order paragraphs

13 – 18

29-30 minutes

Listening Section

  • Summarize spoken text 

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Multiple choice, choose a single answer 

  • Multiple choice, choose multiple answers 

  • Select missing word 

  • Highlight correct summary

  • Highlight incorrect words

  • Write from dictation

12 – 20

30-43 minutes

PTE Speaking and Writing Syllabus

The description of PTE Speaking and Writing Syllabus is given in the following table: 



Number of Items/Questions

Time Duration 

Personal Introduction

Candidates must talk about themselves in this task. There are 35 seconds for speaking, followed by 25 seconds for preparing. Although there is no grade for this section, it offers a chance to become used to the testing atmosphere.


25 seconds to prepare


30 seconds to record 

Read Aloud

A 60-word sentence is displayed on the prompt, and after hearing the tone, the applicant must read the entire material orally. Your response can only be recorded once.


30-40 seconds to prepare

Repeat a Sentence

The applicant listens to a recorded statement using headphones, and then he must repeat it as clearly as possible.


3-9 seconds to prepare


15 seconds to record

Re-tell a Lecture

A lecture is displayed or played into the candidates' headphones during this portion of the PTE exam style. Participants in the test are asked to express their opinions out loud in their own words.


40 to 90 seconds to answer

Describe an Image

At this phase, candidates must spend around 40 seconds describing a picture displayed on the prompter. They have 25 seconds to get ready.


25 seconds to study the image and respond 

Answer Short Questions

In this brief section, each question must be answered in one or a few words.


20 seconds (10 to answer)

Summarise Written Text

Here, a candidate's ability to summarise is put to the test by having to compose a one-sentence summary of an almost 300-word book.

1 Sentence


10 minutes


This component requires a topic-based essay of around 250 words. Each candidate has a total of 20 minutes to formulate, develop, and present their ideas.

1 essay

20 minutes

PTE Reading Syllabus

Detailed syllabus of PTE Reading section is given in the following table: 



Number of Items/Questions



Fill in the Blanks 

On the screen in front of the candidate throughout this section are sentences that are unfinished and have gaps in them. To correctly finish the phrase, you must choose the appropriate words from the list of terms. There is a shorter version of the fill-in-the-blank question. Gaps in an 80-word text need to be filled with the appropriate group of words that are presented individually.


Text up to 80


Multiple Choices, Multiple Answers 

On the screen, a paragraph is seen.

The applicant must respond to a question with numerous right answers based on the paragraph they have read.


Text up to 300


Re-order Paragraphs 

This is one of the most common English exam questions. On the screen, there are several boxes filled with phrases that must be put in the right order to form a grammatically accurate sentence.


Text up to 150


Multiple Choices, Single Answers

The examinee is presented with a long paragraph of around 250 words in this phase of the PTE exam format. Following the attentive reading, you must tackle a multiple-choice question with a single right answer.


Text up to 110


Reading and Writing Fill in the Blanks

In this section, a text with multiple gaps appears on the screen, and you must drag words from the box below to fill the gaps.


Text up to 300


PTE Listening Section

Description of the PTE Listening Section is given in the following table: 



Number of Items/Questions

Time Duration/Prompt


Summarize Spoken Test

A sound recording is played. Applicants must prepare a 50-70 word synopsis of the tape based on their knowledge of it. 


60-90 seconds to retain


50-70 words


10 minutes to write

Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer

The candidate is questioned on any part of it using a multiple-choice question based on a brief recording. This question may have multiple correct answers, so pay close attention.


40-90 seconds for the prompt

Fill in the Blanks

On the screen is a gap-filled transcript of a recording. The gap must be filled with the proper word based on the tape played. This section of the PTE exam style allows you to take notes.



Seconds for the prompt

Highlight the Correct Summary 

You are being played a recording. The applicant is asked to select the paragraph that best depicts the recording's summary based on its content.


30-90 seconds for the prompt

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

A multiple-choice question with a single right answer is proposed based on the interpretation of the tape. Applicants must choose the option that best reflects the meaning and sense of the recorded material.



Seconds for the prompt

Select the Missing Word

According to the audio recording, the candidate must choose an appropriate term from the options presented.



Seconds for the prompt

Highlight the Incorrect Word

The transcript of the audio from the preceding part is then shown. Choose the words in the transcript that are incorrect.


20-70 seconds for the prompt

Write From Dictation 

A short statement is played on the tape. You are expected to accurately rewrite the statement.


3-5 seconds for the prompt

FAQs on PTE Academic Syllabus

Has PTE Academic syllabus changed in recent years?

From November 16, 2021, PTE Academic and PTE Academic UKVI will take just two hours to complete, instead of three hours. However, there are no changes to the overall format, question types or scoring scale.

What is the average score in PTE Academics?

The average score of PTE Academic is between 57 and 64.

What is the strategy to get a high score in  PTE Academic's listening section?

The only way to get a high score in PTE Academic's listening section is by increasing your vocabulary and watching visual content with subtitles.

What does PTE Academic's listening section measure? 

As the name suggests, PTE Academic's listening section assesses the candidate's listening skills. It may also have some integrated listening and speaking questions. 

How long does it take to cover the PTE Academic syllabus?

It varies from person to person. However, it usually takes at least two months.

What does PTE Academic's reading section measure?  

PTE Academic's speaking and writing section assesses the candidate's reading and writing skills. 

What does PTE Academic's speaking and writing section measure?

PTE Academic's speaking and writing section evaluates the candidate's ability to speak English in an academic environment.

What is the syllabus for PTE Academic Listening?  

The syllabus of PTE Academic Listening includes Summarize Spoken Text;  Highlight Incorrect Words; Fill in the Blanks; Highlight Correct Summary; Multiple Choice, Single Answer; Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer; Select Missing Word; and Write From Dictation.

What is the syllabus for PTE Academic Reading?  

The syllabus of PTE Academic Reading includes Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer; Re-Order Paragraphs; Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers; Reading and Writing: Fill in the Blanks; Reading: Fill in the Blanks.

What is the syllabus for PTE Academic Speaking and Writing?

The important topics for PTE Academic Speaking and Writing include Personal Introduction, Re-Tell Lecture, Repeat Sentence, Describe Image, Read Aloud, Essay, Answer short question, summarize written text.

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