Highlight Incorrect Words PTE: 7 Tips to Get High Scores

Posted on 25/10/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

The highlight incorrect words PTE part may sound easy at first, but it’s a fast-paced task that requires your knowledge of English stress patterns and phonemes. Plus, you need to have good time management skills to complete it well.

This article by PTE Magic will give you an understanding of this section and provide useful tips for your successful performance.

Let’s scroll down for more details!

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Understand the PTE Highlight Incorrect Words Task

What Is It?

Highlight Incorrect Words

The highlight incorrect words part in PTE assesses your listening and reading skills at the same time. There will be an audio transcript on the screen. When the audio plays, the examinees need to listen and highlight the words that differ from what they hear.

The section usually contains 2 to 3 questions; each audio lasts 30 to 90 seconds. You’ll have 10 seconds before the speakers start speaking.

Note that the audio recording plays automatically and only once.

And the part is of negative marks, so you can’t do random clicks. If you score around 65 or 75, it’s considered a good passing score.


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3 Strategic Steps To Complete The Task

As mentioned above, the PTE highlight incorrect words is a fast-paced task (the time spent on each question is approximately 2 minutes). Thus, you should follow the strategic process to complete it perfectly.

Step 1. Skim the provided text and try to remember keywords or words that are difficult to pronounce. It’s better to understand the general topic, as you can eliminate irrelevant words, if any.

Step 2. When the recording is playing, focus on the keywords. They can be verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Besides, pay attention to the stress as well. 

Step 3. Choose your answer based on what you hear. You need to point out the correct words that differ from the audio. 

7 Useful Tips For This Highlight Incorrect Words Task

To achieve high scores in this PTE highlight incorrect words section, you should smartly use your first 10 seconds before the audio begins by skimming through the transcript. 

Make sure you can catch the speaker’s pace while listening and don’t make random guesses, as your points will be decreased.

Quickly Glance Through The Text

Use your precious 10 seconds before the recording to understand the content. You can get familiar with the topic by just a quick glance through the text. It will assist you in picking the correct answer.

The Cursor’s Place And Your Hand Movement

Since the task requires fast speed, you should focus on where you put your hands and the cursor. 

Always keep your hands on the mouse and ensure the cursor is placed at the first word. You should prepare this step well before the test starts.

While listening, move your hands along the text to point to each word the audio mentions. Click on the incorrect ones immediately when you hear the difference. 

Don’t skip or think you can come back to the word later. It’s important to keep moving on while doing this task, as there’s no chance and time to stop and think.

Don’t Fall Behind The Audio

highlight incorrect words pte

Falling behind the audio is the most unwanted situation. It can’t recover the missing information and may affect your chance to understand the rest of the speech.

If you think you’re following slower than the audio, jump to the part the speaker is talking about and forget what you’ve missed. Continue to move your cursor till the end of the content. 

Don’t Take Note

In this PTE highlight incorrect words section, taking notes skill is not required. It’s useless! You just need to move the mouse along the transcript to find the incorrect words. 

There also will not be any questions after the audio ends. Thus, just pay attention to every word while listening. 

Try To Stick To Your Answer

Reviewing your answer is a helpful tactic in most tasks, yet it’s not the case for this part. Re-checking this task will likely make you confused. You’d better trust your first answer.

The only case you should change your selection is when you’re sure about the mistake. Otherwise, don’t do that if you want to catch up with the audio.

Note that a single click is enough to highlight your desired answer. Don’t double-click to avoid wasting your time. 

Don’t Make Random Guess

It’s a crucial tip, as this section has negative marks. The computer can understand if you make random guesses and give you negative scores, leading to a zero score in this part. 

So, ensure you stay focused and choose the correct answer without random guesses. 

However, there are cases when you can make a guess, but it should be logical. If the speech is too hard for you to listen to and you can only point out 1 or 2 answers, you can make some logical guesses. 

Reading the transcript and trying to understand the content will assist you in finding words that make no sense in the context. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Above are useful tips, but it’s almost impossible to master them from the first time. Therefore, practicing the task is highly recommended. 

It will help you familiarize yourself with the question types and understand what you do well and what needs improvement to achieve better scores.

Finding a trustworthy and rich source of practice is important. PTE Magic is an online platform where you can access hundreds of mock tests and get detailed feedback. Plus, there are many tips and tricks to improve your results that are worth trying.


The highlight incorrect words PTE part will assess your listening and reading in a short time, requiring you to stay focused during the audio time to find out the incorrect words.

Remember to apply the useful tips above to get a good score. Plus, practicing is key to improving your results.

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Moni PTE Magic

My name is Moni, and I am a seasoned PTE teacher with over 6 years of experience. I have helped thousands of students overcome their struggles and achieve their desired scores. My passion for teaching and dedication to my student’s success drives me to continually improve my teaching methods and provide the best possible support. Join me on this journey toward PTE success!

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