I scored 90 in the listening section of the PTE Academic Exam.
Even though it was surprising, I sort of expected it. During the practice sessions, I spent the least amount of time with the listening section because I knew it was my strong point.
This post contains the tips that helped me achieve a high score in PTE listening. I hope they work for you as well. This post presumes that you already have some information on what the structure of the exam is like and so will not delve into this.
Though it may sound obvious already, the main tip for scaling this section is to just LISTEN. This is not the time to allow distractions set in or worry about your performance in the sections you have already concluded – Just listen. Like your life depends on it.
Summarise Spoken Text
You have 10 minutes to write this summary.
In this section, I took a lot of notes. No doubt, my note-taking skills helped a lot. While it’s not necessary to note down every single word, noting down the key details and the supporting points will ensure you come up with enough information to write up a comprehensive summary (within the word limit, of course).
In answering this section, take note of the following:
· Note down the main idea – what is the recording about?
· Note down the supporting points – what examples are given?
· Don’t distort facts – just compose your summary without adding superfluous information
· Note down numbers, names, positions, acronyms and words that are specifically stressed in the recordings
· Really listen and don’t get discouraged if you miss out on one or two points. You won’t have enough time to capture all the details anyway so work with what you’ve got.
· Take note of the tenses in the recording so that you know what verb forms to use in composing your summary
· Stick to the 50-70 word count. Remember that this word count is part of what is being tested
· Proofread once you are done – note that you will be scored on the enabling skills of grammar, spelling and vocabulary
Fill in the blanks
Because my typing speed was quite good, I was able to type in the missing words as I listened to the recording. Once the recording was over, I took some time to correct the words I had spelt.
Highlight correct summary
In this section, you only need to listen and eliminate the answer options that sound wrong. Some of the summary options will clearly stand out as inaccurate so you should work by eliminating the ones that are incorrect or do not completely represent what was stated in the recording.
Select missing word
You listen to a recording and then select the option that best completes the statement.
Write from Dictation
What I found worked for me in this section was typing in the words quickly as I heard them. While practising, I would often miss out the “ed” and “s” appended to the end of some of the words, so be on the lookout for these. Also, once you have finished typing out what you heard, take some time to check that each sentence makes sense. Use your knowledge of English grammar to help you decide what is right or wrong.
Highlight Incorrect Words
With this section, tracing each word with my cursor as I listened to the recording certainly helped me lock onto the words that were wrong. I found this section fun but one thing to note is that you have to recover quickly after highlighting a word so that you don’t miss out on other words that have been wrongly placed in the text. Leave what you have done in the past and look forward very quickly.
You will have some time at the beginning to read the article; you might as well take advantage of this.
Multiple choice, choose single answer
With this section, it’s important to read the question first so that you know exactly what to look out for when the recording is played. Take notes.
Multiple choice, choose multiple answers
Take notes so that you can choose the best options as appropriate. Be aware that you may be affected by negative marking in this section. Don’t guess!
I hope you have found these useful. All the best!