PTE Core Writing Format, Modules & Practice Tips

Posted on 10/07/2024 by Moni PTE Magic

PTE Core writing checks how well you can use English and how good you are at writing clear and interesting content in a structured way.

Doing well in this section is important because it shows you can effectively organize and express your ideas.

This short guide by PTE Magic will show you the format, strategies, and tips to get a high score in this part!

Key Takeaways

  • The PTE Core Writing section includes summarizing a text and writing an email, testing your writing’s clarity and organization.
  • Each question type has different scoring criteria and required skills.
  • Effective strategies and proper formatting can boost your score significantly.
  • Avoiding 6 common mistakes and managing your time effectively are necessary to enhance your writing performance.


What Is The PTE Core Writing Section?

pte core writing

The PTE Core writing section comes right after the speaking section in the exam. It includes 2 tasks: summarizing a written text and writing an email.

This section tests how well you can use English in a clear and organized way. The main goal is to see how good you are at understanding the main ideas in a passage and expressing them briefly and clearly.

Question Types For PTE Core Writing

Summarize Written Text


In the “Summarize Written Text” part, you need to write a summary of a given passage. You have 10 minutes to complete this task, ensuring your summary includes the main points and is between 25 and 50 words. The word count and editing tools provided can help construct your summary.

Needed Skills

To earn a high score in this part, you must identify and express a passage’s main ideas concisely. It assesses your reading comprehension, efficiency in summarizing without losing clarity, and the use of correct grammar and vocabulary.

Strategy And Tips

  • Use compound and complex sentences: You should consider writing your summary as a single sentence, incorporating compound or complex structures. It will highlight the main point and supporting details of the passage.
  • Ensure proper format: After writing your summary, ensure it includes all complete sentences, each starting with a capital letter and ending with a period. 

Scoring Criteria

The “Summarize Written Text” is scored based on 4 criteria:

  • Content: This checks if your summary accurately captures the main points of the passage. You need to summarize the important idea and key details without changing the passage’s purpose to score well. 
  • Form: Remember that your summary is between 25 and 50 words, as responses outside this range will not be scored.
  • Grammar: Your response is also assessed based on your sentence structure. High-scoring summaries usually have a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses, showing good grammar skills.
  • Vocabulary: Good summaries use the right words for an academic setting and include synonyms to show variety. You will get high scores if you have them in your responses.

Write Email


For the “Write email” task, you must write between 50 and 120 words in response to a given prompt. You have 9 minutes to complete this task. 

Use the word count tool at the bottom of the screen to ensure your email meets the word limit. You can also use the cut, copy, and paste buttons to complete the task.

Needed Skills

The Write email evaluates your skill in creating a clear email that is relevant to the context and correctly formatted. This task will be about real-life situations where you need to start or reply to emails based on a given scenario.

Strategy And Tips

First, you need to identify keywords to understand who the email is for, its purpose, and the details required. It’s best to focus on addressing what the prompt requires.

Next, you need to create a well-structured email:

  • Introduction: Start with a polite greeting and clearly state the purpose of your email.
  • Main body: Cover the purpose mentioned in the introduction. It’s best to provide your request, response, or information logically and clearly. Using transition words is an effective PTE Core writing tip to connect ideas and paragraphs smoothly.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points or restate your request and end with a polite closing.

Scoring Criteria

  • Content: The best emails directly respond to the prompt and include all the task requirements. Failing to address the prompt means scoring zero.
  • Email conventions: Follow proper email format, including a greeting, the purpose of the email, and the closing.
  • Form: Your email should be 50 – 120 words long; being under or over this length will reduce your score.
  • Organization: It’s best to start the email body with the most important points and follow with supporting ideas. You should also review your response to identify mistakes and improve clarity.
  • Grammar and vocabulary usage: High-scoring emails use complex sentences correctly and appropriate vocabulary to convey the meaning. Moreover, using a formal, professional tone is essential, so avoid slang and overly casual language.

6 Common Mistakes And Tips To Avoid While Writing

Write Too Little Or Too Much

Many students struggle to write within the word limit. They can either write too little and miss key points or write too much and include unnecessary details. Focusing on being concise and to the point will help. 

Misunderstand The Question

Misunderstanding the prompt can lead to writing off-topic responses. Therefore, you need to read the prompt carefully and underline keywords to ensure you understand what is being asked. Thus, you should analyze the question before you start writing.

Use Informal Words

Using slang or jargon can make your writing inappropriate for the academic context of the exam. It’s necessary to practice writing in a formal tone by engaging in formal writing exercises.

Make Grammar And Spelling Mistakes

Common grammar mistakes in writing include subject-verb agreement and tense usage. So, regularly practicing grammar tasks and focusing on these can help you improve your grammar usage.

Besides, use spelling tools and apps to improve your spelling accuracy, then proofread your work to check for any errors.

Use Wrong Connectors Or Collocations

Improper use of connectors such as “however,” “therefore,” and collocations can make your writing less coherent. 

You should read academic texts to see how these collocations are used in context.

Moreover, you can do some PTE Core writing practice tests to use those linking words more effectively. Pay attention to sentences and paragraphs that use connectors and collocations correctly.

Fail To Manage Time

Poor time management can lead to incomplete responses or a lack of time for proofreading. Thus, you need to practice under timed conditions. 

Allocate specific time for planning, writing, and proofreading. For example, spend the first 2 minutes planning, the next 6 minutes writing, and the last minute checking your response.

Besides, a timer can help you manage your writing time and ensure you can cover all necessary points within the word limit.


In short, a good score in the writing section requires understanding the PTE Core writing format, using effective strategies, and avoiding common mistakes.

Daily practice can enhance your writing skills and boost your overall performance.

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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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