PTE New Format & Changes: What You Need to Know

Posted on 30/05/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

If you are studying for your upcoming PTE academic exam, stop and check out important updates in the new PTE format!

Catching new changes in time is very important for reshaping your PTE study plan and identifying the latest learning resources.

Let’s dig deeper!

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(Read our Vietnamese version here)

What are the changes with the new PTE format?

pte new format & changes

Be at ease! The new PTE format may be the best news for most test-takers ever.

Pearson has improved the PTE exam format to better benefit test-takers in several ways. In particular, there are two new changes:

Shorten the PTE test time

The most recent PTE exam is only two hours long instead of three as before. It is shortened by one hour.

Sounds great, right?

This change may help test takers reduce stress and perform more effectively.

Some may claim that two hours is insufficient for a full English proficiency test. However, Pearson assures that the two-hour exam will continue to provide all essential PTE Academic elements, such as the highest precision, security, fast results, worldwide recognition, and acceptability.

Following the shorter test timing, each section’s scheduling and question numbers have changed.

The total number of questions will drop from 70-82 to 52-64 since several categories have fewer questions.

The table below shows the detailed updates in PTE test timing:

Part Content Old test timing New test timing
Introduction Personal introduction 1 minute No change
Part 1 Speaking and Writing 77-93 minutes Approx 54-67 minutes
Part 2 Reading  34-41 minutes Approx 29-30 minutes
Optional Scheduled Break 10 minutes Removed
Part 3 Listening 45-47 minutes Approx 30-43 minutes

Related: PTE tips that will surely skyrocket your scores!

Reduce PTE question numbers

The revised PTE format includes fewer questions in every section because of the shorter exam time.

  • Section 1: Speaking & Writing
Question types Old test format New test format New time allowed
Personal Introduction 1 No change 1 minute
Read Aloud 6-7 No change Around 54-67 minutes
Repeat Sentence 10-12 No change
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 1-2 No change
Question Range 39-48 28-36
  • Section 2: Reading
Question types Old test format New test format New time allowed
Fill in the blanks – reading & writing 5-6 No change
Multiple choice, multiple answers 2-3 1-2 Around 29-30 minutes
Re-order paragraph 2-3 No change
Fill in the blanks – reading 4-5 No change
Multiple choice, single answer 2-3 1-2
Question range 15-20 13-18
  • Section 3: Listening
Question types Old test format New test format New time allowed
Summarize spoken text 2-3 1-2
Multiple choice, multiple answers 2-3 1-2 Around 30-43 minutes
Fill in the blanks 2-3 No change
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 No change
Write from Dictation 3-4 No change
Question range 17-25 12-20

Other changes

  • The 10-minute break is removed so you can complete the PTE exam more quickly. You may bring something to drink inside the exam room.
  • Your test feedback and performance are now only available on your MyPTE account.

When did these changes take effect?

The new PTE format comes into effect for PTE Test and PTE at Home on November 16th, 2021.

Test takers waiting for Pearson to release the ‘PTE at Home’ version will benefit greatly.

Additionally, test takers taking the ‘PTE at Home’ can book their PTE Academic online test from October 25, 2021.

What stayed the same?

Will the shorter test duration make the test more difficult? Luckily, the exam content will remain unchanged, so the difficulty is almost identical.

Less exam time, less stress! Test takers benefit from the new PTE format.

The best part is that there is no modification to PTE question types. Pearson keeps 20 question types for the new PTE exam format.

Thanks to this, you can keep your study method for each question type. All you need to do is adapt to the new exam timeframe.

Furthermore, the 2-hour test version retains the same high quality and strict testing requirements as the 3-hour test edition. 

It will also not impact PTE’s acceptance by institutions including governments for visa purposes.


Do not be subjective when the exam time is shorter! Sometimes you may not respond to the question in time. 

You should improve your study plan in a more realistic timeframe to perform better in your actual test.

Changes in the new PTE format may reduce exam stress. However, it may be unfavorable for t some test takers.

If you are not confident with the new test format, contact us to get the latest PTE mock test and advice on effective preparation.

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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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