If you are practicing for the PTE reorder paragraph section of the exam, you will need to have a few important strategies in mind to get you started. These strategies require you to look for a few different things in the text you are given.
- Know the Independent Sentence.
There will always be one independent sentence in the PTE reading reorder paragraphs that you are given. This sentence is the one that goes at the top because it is the first sentence or topic sentence. You will be able to find this one because it stands alone and does not require any of the other sentences to make sense.
- Look for the Links.
You will find links that let you know that a particular sentence has to come after something else. For example, ‘and,’ ‘but,’ and ‘or.’ Are links that show something else has to come first. ‘After that,’ ‘finally,’ or ‘he/she/it/they’ are also linking words. They require at least one sentence before them in order to make sense.
- Start with the Subject.
The first thing you need is a subject for your paragraph. This is the independent sentence, but if you aren’t sure, you should look for what all of the other sentences seem to relate to. This will help you find the independent sentence among all of the others.
- Add Details.
Once you have the independent sentence or the subject sentence, you need to add details. If the other sentences don’t have keywords that identify them as linking sentences or supporting sentences, look for those that add detail. This will help you fill in the other parts of the paragraph.
- Try it Out.
Another option is to try it out and see what you get. If you can figure out where at least one of the sentences goes in the final version, you can start moving around the rest until you get a paragraph that makes sense. There are not going to be a lot of different options, so this should be relatively quick as well.
Practice the PTE Re-Order Paragraph Section
Once you have a strategy or you know a couple of strategies that you can try, you will want to start practicing with some real paragraphs. Look at sample paragraphs for the PTE reading reorder paragraphs either on our website or through the practice test section.
You can practice putting those paragraphs in order and try out the different strategies along the way. This will help you figure out the one (or two) strategies that work best for you. Is it easier for you to locate the supporting sentences or to start with the topic sentence?
When you decide on the way you’re going to approach each question in this section, you will feel more confident during your practice and when it comes time to take the exam. This will help you to move faster and still get the answer correct rather than spending too much time on this section.
What You Need to Know
Remember, this section of the PTE is timed along with all of the other sections of the reading exam. You will need to spend as little time as possible on each question of the reading section of the PTE because you only get between 30 and 40 minutes to get each question answered correctly.
If you spend too much time on any one question or even any one question type within the reading section, you will have less time for any of the other question types. That means you will need to work even more quickly, which could lead to mistakes.
Instead, try to spend no more than 2 minutes on any single question. This will help you allocate your time better. It will also make sure that you do not run out of time when you get to the questions at the end.
Also, make sure you answer each question as you will not get a penalty for guessing. You will also get partial credit for any question that you answer at least partially correct.