The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a test for the English language that evaluates the readiness of non-native English speakers to enter universities using English as the medium of instruction. It is also used to check the readiness of these non-native English speakers to join companies with an English-speaking environment. It is a computer-based English test for studying and working abroad. The test has the endorsement of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which is the organization responsible for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). In this article, we will be looking at the PTE Exam.

The three-hour test requires examinees to use a computer and headset to complete it. It has three main components with each component requiring examinees to answer twenty question formats. Examinees have the option of taking a ten-minute break between the reading and listening components of the test. Examinees will listen to lecture excerpts and view charts and graphs. They will encounter different accents while taking the test. These accents include American, British, and non-native speakers. This exposes examinees to different types of accents that they normally encounter every day.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Overview

The Pearson Test of English was launched by the Pearson Language Tests, a unit of the Pearson PLC group. This test was created by Pearson in response to the demand of public and private institutions and organizations for an accurate way of evaluating the language skills of non-native English language students looking to enter English-speaking academic institutions.

When the test was released, around 6,000 organizations recognized it. It was also approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of Australia as well as the Australia Border Agency. While the test scores are reported based on the Global Scale of English, it is aligned to levels set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The results are evaluated through artificial intelligence (AI), which uses algorithms mimicking the way tests are marked by humans. Since the test is marked through AI, it means the scoring is unbiased since examinees are graded based on their answers and not on their accents. The use of AI in scoring the exam also reduces the time students have to wait for the results.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Structure

The Pearson Test of English is made of three main components: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening. Each section evaluates specific areas in the English language.

Speaking and Writing

The Speaking and Writing component of the PTE evaluates the speaking and writing skills of examinees. Examinees have to complete this section within 93 minutes. Their speaking skills are evaluated based on their ability to speak English in an academic environment. For the writing component, examinees are required to write their responses in academic English while ensuring they follow grammar and spelling rules.

The examinees will be asked to provide an introduction, read text aloud, repeat a sentence, describe images, re-tell a lecture in their own words, answer short questions, summarize written text, and answer an essay.


The second component will test the Reading skills of examinees. Examinees should complete this component of the test within 40 minutes. It contains 15 to 20 integrated and independent skill items. The exact number is determined by the combination of the items in the test.

This component of the test features different response formats, including filling in the blanks, multiple-choice, and re-ordering paragraphs. These tests are designed to check the ability of examinees in reading, writing, and listening to information provided in the English language. One item type in this component of the test will also evaluate writing skills since PTE is an integrated skill test.


The Listening component of the test requires examinees to listen to audio or video clips that will play automatically. Examinees should listen carefully since the audio or video clips will be played only once. However, they are allowed to take down notes. Examinees will be given the chance to adjust the volume for each question. They can increase or decrease the volume by moving the control bar to the right or left, respectively.

The examinees will have to summarize spoken text, take a multiple-choice test with multiple or single answers, select missing words in a sentence, highlight incorrect words, fill in the blanks, highlight the correct summary, and write text from dictation.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Endorsements

Aside from the Graduate Management Admission Council, the PTE is also accepted by different universities around the world, including the Harvard Business School, Yale University, and Stanford Graduate School of Business in the United States. The test results are also accepted by Sheridan College and George Brown College in Canada along with the London Business School in the United Kingdom. The test is also accepted by other leading business schools in Europe including SDA Bocconi of Italy, HEC Paris and INSEAD of France, and ESADE and IE Business School of Spain.

Several arts and music colleges also started to accept PTE exam results. Visa and immigration applications in New Zealand and Australia also accept PTE results.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Test Process

The process of taking the PTE starts with the examinee creating an account on the Pearson website. A valid and acceptable ID, such as a passport, is required to create an account. Examinees should bring the ID they used on the day of the test or they will not be allowed to enter the test room

After registering, the examinee can review and complete a preparation path. The Pearson website features resources examinees can use to prepare for the exam. These resources include an overview of the three main components of the exam, practice test kits, self-study books, and an online course.

On the day of the test, the administrators of the Pearson test center will facilitate the check-in process for the examinee. At this point, the examinee will be required to show the ID used on registration. A digital photograph is taken and the palm of the examinee is scanned. Examinees should arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam for the check-in procedure and security check.

After the test, examinees can expect the results to be available after five days. They can check the results by logging into their Pearson accounts. Examinees can send the test scores to as many institutions and organizations as they want without any additional fees.


We hope that this article on the PTE Test was helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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