Changes to the PTE Exam
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You may have heard about some important changes coming in November 2021 to the PTE Academic exam! What are they, and how will they affect you?

How Has the PTE Exam Changed?

The biggest change you’ll notice is that the exam has been shortened. It provides the same accurate results, but now only takes about two hours to complete, instead of taking almost three hours.

Let’s look at the ways Pearson has shortened the test.

How Has the Test Been Shortened?

First, Pearson has removed the optional 10-minute break time. Just remember to visit the restroom and get a drink before your test starts!

Second, the number of questions you will see in some question types has been reduced. You’ll see fewer questions in all four test sections, Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.

Which Question Types Have Fewer Questions?

Here’s a breakdown of the number of questions in the old version vs. the new version of the test. Some question types have not changed the number of questions. The question types that have changed are highlighted in red.

Part Time Question Type Number of Questions
Old New Old New
Part 1:
and Writing
77–93 minutes @54-67 minutes Read Aloud 6-7 6-7
Repeat Sentence 10-12 10-12
Describe Image 6-7 3-4
Retell Lecture 3-4 1-2
Answer Short Question 10-12 5-6
Summarize Written Text 2-3 1-2
Write Essay 5-6 5-6
Part 2: Reading 32-42
Fill in the Blanks – Reading and Writing 5-6 5-6
Multiple Choice Multiple Answers 2-3 1-2
Re-order Paragraph 2-3 2-3
Fill in the Blanks – Reading 4-5 4-5
Multiple Choice Single Answer 2-3 1-2
Part 3:
Summarize Spoken Text 2-3 1-2
Multiple Choice Multiple Answers 2-3 1-2
Fill in the Blanks 2-3 2-3
Highlight Correct Summary 2-3 1-2
Multiple Choice Single Answer 2-3 1-2
Select Missing Word 2-3 1-2
Highlight Incorrect Word 2-3 2-3
Write from Dictation 3-4 3-4

That sounds great, right? Instead of 70 – 82 questions, PTE test will be an hour shorter and have only 52 – 64 questions!

One More Thing That Will Change

There’s one more thing that will change – the appearance of your PTE Score Report. Pearson is trying to make the scoring information clearer and easier to understand. You’ll still see your overall skill scores, and your communicative skill scores, but enabling skill scores are being replaced with test feedback and support unique to you. You can access this personalized skills profile from your MyPTE account. This feedback will give you suggestions on how to improve your English skills in the future.

PTE Practice

How Will the PTE Exam Stay the Same?

Now let’s review what stays the same – also good news.

  1. The question types are not changing.

This is good news because you don’t have to make any changes to the way you prepare and study for the test. Just familiarize yourself with each of the 20 different question types, look at strategies for answering them correctly, and with fewer questions to answer you’ll be well on your way to a great score.

  1. The test isn’t getting harder or easier. The difficulty level will stay the same.
  1. There is no change to the way PTE Academic is scored.

The score you need to earn to pass isn’t changing. For example, if you needed a score of 79, you will still need a 79. Your PTE Academic test results will still be accepted by all the same universities and government bodies as before.

Good News for PTE Test Takers!

So overall, this is pretty good news for PTE test takers! Beginning November 16, 2021, PTE will begin offering the new, shorter version of the exam, so if you can, you may want to wait to book your exam when the shorter version is available.

The new PTE exam will still provide plenty of opportunities for you to demonstrate your language ability, and give you accurate, reliable results that continue to be accepted by institutions and governments worldwide. Remember, Benchmark is here to help you succeed!

Create your free account at You can start practicing with lots of free sample test questions. We also offer in-depth training guides and live classes.

Create your free account today and learn tips and strategies to help you ace your PTE exam!

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