The three universally recognized tests to measure a person’s English language ability are the PTE, IELTS, and TOEFL. The Pearson Test of English, commonly known as PTE, is one of the most reliable barometers in assessing an individual’s English capability, and it is commonly taken by people who aspire to work or live abroad. It is usually a pre-requisite for admission into certain schools or in getting a visa to work in a foreign country.

The PTE exam is split into four categories, namely: speaking, writing, listening, and reading. This computer-based test is widely regarded as a much more difficult test to pass compared to other well-known English language tests such as IELTS and TOEFL.

Overview of PTE Writing Exam

Another key aspect of proving one’s efficiency in the English language is, of course, through writing. The PTE exam’s writing segment has very stringent evaluation criteria. You have to be extra careful and vigilant with your answers as even the slightest missteps can greatly impact your overall score.

What this part will contain:

Compared to the speaking test, the writing test may seem like a breeze at first glance since it only has two sections for you to answer. But do not let that fool you into complacency. As mentioned earlier, this portion employs very strict evaluation criteria. Along with the usual time constraints, other elements such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation, will all come into play and will be closely evaluated. Expect to spend about double of your time here than you did on the speaking test.

  • In the first portion, you will be asked to read a specific text, paragraph, or excerpt about a particular topic. After reading, you have to write a short summary of what the text is trying to convey. The twist is that the summary should be contained in only one sentence, which should range between 50-75 words, without missing all the essential elements mentioned in the original text. This portion is designed to test the applicant’s reading and writing ability at the same time. You will be given 10 minutes to answer this portion.
  • The second category of the PTE writing exam is essay writing. You will be given a statement about a certain topic. After reading the statement, you will have to choose whether you agree or disagree with it by writing an essay on the subject ranging anywhere between 200 to 300 words. To do this, you must be able to support your position with relevant reasons and examples, many of which will have to be drawn from your personal experiences and observations in order to make a compelling argument. You will be given a maximum of 20 minutes to compose, edit, and finalize your essay.

Tips & Techniques to Increase Your PTE Writing Score

We all have our own methods and ways to prepare for an exam. Some people prefer to study with their favorite music accompanying them, others don’t mind studying in a noisy common area, and a few prefer some peace and quiet to stimulate their minds. Whatever your preferred methods are, just make sure that you are completely equipped and ready the moment you sit in front of that computer to take the PTE writing exam. If possible, prepare for several weeks or even months in advance.

Listed below are some tips and suggestions to help you better prepare for the PTE Writing exam.

Tip 1: Learn at Least One New Word Per Day

Learning at least one new word each day can help you expand your vocabulary dramatically. This will help you convey your message and feel better and will help you express your ideas much more freely as if it’s flowing effortlessly from your mind to the tip of your pen.

Tip 2: Practice Your Writing Skills

While it is already a tired and hackneyed cliche, in this particular case, the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ is completely applicable. Through practice, you will be more adept at using a lot of words or be well-versed with an even wider range of topics than before, or you can try searching for some questions on the web and write your own essay about it. All of these will help you become more accustomed to transferring your thoughts into words, which will definitely help you snag a higher score on the PTE writing exam when it’s all said and done.

Tip 3: Polish Your Spelling Abilities

Anyone can be a victim of a little misspelling incident here and there. However, to minimize or completely avoid this scenario, you can practice spelling some of the words that you usually get confused with on a daily basis. Devote a certain amount of your time each day on this activity and you’ll be well on your way towards becoming a spelling bee champion, or a PTE writing exam passer.

Tip 4: Focus On Your Grammar and Tone

When you’re writing, it can be easy to lose the context of what you are trying to convey by just using the wrong word choice or tone. So, it is important to fix your grammar beforehand and be more fluent and expressive in describing your thoughts. It is also critical that you practice how to maintain your tone while writing. The tone is an essential element in writing an essay which can be incredibly effective in captivating an audience. For example, without the proper tone, you may come off as sad and melancholic in an essay that you are writing when in fact you were supposed to describe an entirely different and happy scenario.

Tip 5: Read More Often

Reading will help you develop your writing skills in a lot of ways, which is definitely helpful in the PTE Writing Exam. By constantly poring over various texts, articles, or books, you will become more adept at spotting even your slightest writing errors which you may not have noticed before. Reading will also open up your mind to the writing mistakes of other people, which also leads you inwardly to become an even more conscientious and better writer.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

How the PTE Writing Exam is Scored

Each PTE academic category is scored differently. For the PTE Writing exam, the scoring is done in a unique way compared to the other categories. Two is the highest possible score that you can get for each element (excluding the content factor which is allowed a maximum score of 3).


A score of 3 will be given if you can tackle and discuss the subject matter promptly and succinctly. An important emphasis will be placed on not straying away from the subject, but instead, going directly right in with comprehensible and understandable points.


This category deals with the aesthetic part, or how you display your material. You can get a score of 2 if you simply write within the allotted number count, use proper punctuation, and write in proper letters (e.g. no writing in all-caps please).

Development, structure, coherence

Simply put, the highest score will be automatically given to examinees who present coherent, logical, and understandable material that is not puffed up with all sorts of fillers.


Individuals with correct and proper grammar will automatically be awarded the highest score.

General linguistic range

A score of 2 will be given to individuals who demonstrate an excellent command of the English language, the ability to express and deliver their feelings relative to their content, and those who deliver clear and concise messages.

Vocabulary range

To get a score of 2 in this particular element, you must showcase your extensive vocabulary. You must display complete mastery and utilize an arsenal of words, given that they fit your content and not distract from it whatsoever.


An automatic score of 2 is given to those with no wrong spellings, 1 for one wrong spelling, and 0 for more than one error.


There are a lot of factors to consider when writing an important piece. However, it is also important to keep what you are writing close to your heart. Combine this with sufficient practice and effort, then your chances of acing the PTE Writing exam will be understandably high.


We hope that this article on PTE Writing Exam was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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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