PTE Core Exam Preparation Tips & Strategies

Posted on 27/06/2024 by Moni PTE Magic

Preparing for the PTE Core test can be challenging for test takers.

However, understanding the test format can help you develop an effective strategy.

Regularly practicing language skills is also crucial for PTE Core preparation.

In this post, PTE Magic will show you the tips and requirements to prepare for the test day.

Let’s take a look.

Key Takeaways

  • The PTE Core preparation includes practicing speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills, each with specific tasks to assess your English proficiency.
  • Understanding the test format, practicing with online materials, and taking mock tests are crucial for success.
  • You should register for the test in advance, which involves choosing a test center, scheduling a date, and paying the fees.

What Is The PTE Core Test? 

The PTE Core test is a computer-based English exam designed to assess your speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills in two hours. 

This test is for those applying for permanent residency or citizenship in Canada, and the IRCC approves it for all Canadian immigration programs.

The test uses AI to score your proficiency and provides results within 24 hours. Thus, it’s a convenient option compared to other language tests. 

The fully digital format ensures a user-friendly experience. Besides, the test’s global recognition allows you to use your scores to study abroad or gain professional licenses.

PTE Core Preparation For Test Takers

pte core preparation

Learn About The PTE Core Test Format

Speaking & Writing

The speaking and writing section of the PTE Core test takes about 50 minutes with 8 tasks. It is the longest part and tests your ability to use English in everyday situations.

  • Personal introduction: This first part will help you get used to the test format. You have 25 seconds to read a text and prepare, then 30 seconds to record your answer. This section doesn’t affect your score.
  • Reading aloud: In this part, you must read a text out loud. After 30-40 seconds of preparation, you’ll hear a tone signaling you to start. When you’re done, “Recording” will change to “Completed.”
  • Repeating sentences: This part requires you to hear a sentence and repeat it exactly. The audio will play automatically, and when it ends, the microphone will open for you to start.
  • Describing images: In this part, you’ll tell an image shown on the screen. You have 25 seconds to prepare before explaining it.
  • Responding to a situation: After listening and reading a text about an everyday scenario, you have 20 seconds to think about your response and then 40 seconds to speak.
  • Answering short questions: You’ll hear a question and sometimes see an image in this section. After that, you must respond immediately with one or a few words. Note that there is no tone before you start speaking.
  • Summarizing written text: This part requires you to write a summary of a text. You have 10 minutes to do this, aiming for 25 to 50 words, and it’s best to include the main points of the passage.
  • Writing an email: In this part, you need to write an email in response to a text. This email should be 50 to 120 words long, and you have 9 minutes to complete it.


The Reading section of the PTE Core test lasts about 30 minutes and includes 5 types of questions. The tasks you’ll encounter are:

  • Filling in the blanks (both for reading and writing): To complete this section, you have to fill in a text by selecting the most appropriate words from drop-down lists. You can click the button next to each gap and choose the correct option. You can also change your answer by selecting a different option.
  • Multiple choice with multiple answers: In this part, you need to read a passage and choose more than one correct answer from a list of options. The selected options are highlighted in yellow.
  • Reordering paragraphs: Rearranging a text to its original order is your mission in this task. You can move text boxes by clicking and dragging them or using arrow buttons to reorder them. The goal is to reconstruct the passage in its correct sequence.
  • Filling in the blanks: You’ll find a passage with missing words, and there’s a list of words in a blue box to choose from. Your goal is to drag the correct words to fill the gaps in the text.
  • Multiple choice with a single answer: In the last part of the Reading section,  you must read a passage and choose the one correct answer from several options in this section.


This PTE Core test listening section will take 30 minutes to complete. It includes 7 questions based on audio or video clips that play automatically. 

  • Summarize spoken text: For this part, you must listen to an audio recording and then write a summary of what you heard. You have 8 minutes to listen and write, aiming for a summary of 20-30 words.
  • Multiple choice, multiple answers: You also listen to a recording in this part and then choose all the correct options from the list provided.
  • Fill in the blanks: In this task, you need to type the missing words into the gaps provided after listening to an audio recording. You can use the tab button to move to the next gap. Besides, there is an erasable whiteboard where you can take notes.
  • Multiple choice & single answer: After listening to a recording, you must choose the correct option from the list provided. You can change your selection by selecting a different answer.
  • Select missing word: You will listen to an audio recording and choose the most appropriate word/ group of words to complete it. The recording usually lasts 20-70 seconds.
  • Highlight incorrect words: In 15-50 seconds, you’ll listen to an audio recording and compare it to a transcript. You aim to select words in the transcript that differ from what you hear in the recording.
  • Write from dictation: In this part, you will listen to a sentence and type it into the response box. You can use your whiteboard to take notes and check your spelling before submitting your answer.

Search For Centers And Fees

The cost of the PTE Core test varies by location and currency, similar to the PTE Academic test. You can visit the Pearson PTE website to find the exact fee for your country.

After choosing your country from the list on the left, you will see the fee applicable to your test center. Remember that the prices listed include a 10% tax.

Register For The PTE Core Test

Registration is another important step in your PTE Core test preparation. You can follow the below guidance to register for this exam:

  • Visit the official Pearson PTE website and click “Book a test.”
  • Select your country and preferred language, then choose “PTE Core.”
  • Pick a test center, date, and time, and review the fee options
  • Create an account and provide the required identification.
  • Double-check your test details and pay for the test.
  • If you need accommodations due to disabilities, you can request Pearson.
  • Remember that the PTE Core test is available worldwide and can be taken continuously. 

PTE Core Tips And Tricks

Refer To PTE Core Study Materials

You can use resources designed for the PTE Core test. These materials provide sample questions, practice tests, and valuable test format and content insights.

Take Mock Tests

One useful PTE Core preparation tip is to regularly take mock tests to simulate the actual exam conditions. This helps you become familiar with the test format, pacing, and question types and identify areas for improvement.

One of the reliable websites for taking mock tests is PTE Magic. You can practice with different tests and a question bank to get used to the format and time pressure.

Improve Your 4 English Skills

You should improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Engaging in daily conversations in English and joining English-speaking clubs or online groups will help you improve your speaking skills.

It’s necessary to diversify your reading materials and actively listen to podcasts, news, and lectures. Besides, you can use recording devices to practice speaking tasks and listen back to identify areas for improvement, such as pronunciation, pacing, and filter words.


PTE Core preparation is essential to success in your test. It’s recommended that you research the test format. Then, you can use study materials, mock tests, and practice to improve all 4 English skills. This way, you can approach the exam confidently and achieve the desired scores.

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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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