One of the reasons PTE reigns in its current popularity is the impressively quick booking period. It takes little time to schedule a date for the exam and even less to receive the results.
Therefore, PTE results on hold longer than necessary are abnormal and might spread panic among candidates, especially first-timers.
Our PTE Magic’s support team has listed potential reasons behind this worrying delay.
Let’s see whether they apply to your case and what you can do to address the issue.
How Fast Is The PTE Result?
The speed of PTE results has improved significantly in recent years.
Most test-takers can expect their score reports to be available within 48 hours (or 2 business days) after the test is organized. In many cases, the results may be released even faster.
Candidates will receive an email notification once the result is ready to be viewed. They can then access their score report online through their Pearson PTE account.
Why Are Your PTE Results On Hold?
1. Double Pearson Accounts
Some candidates claim to create multiple accounts due to unwanted circumstances.
Here is an excerpt from one of our survey responses:
“I had an account back then in Vietnam, but now I forget my email and password. Since I am in America now, I just decided to create a new Pearson account.”
Unfortunately, double registration is never allowed for PTE tests. They might be seen as a potential violation of test regulations, which prompts Pearson to investigate before releasing your score.
This investigation, plus the extra verification process, can further delay the score release.
And even without all the suspicion, the testing system might still associate your test results with the wrong account. Unless there are manual interventions, your score report will not be sent to your current email address.
Next time, when creating a new account, remember to use the same email address you chose when registering for the test for the first time.
If you are unsure about the account status or have accidentally duplicated multiple accounts, contact Pearson PTE as early as possible for more support.
PTE Magic, one of the best learning resources for PTE, also introduces many extra preparation and registration tips. Keep them in mind to ensure the scoring process for your tests is always carried out smoothly!
2. Issues With The Audio Quality
Wondering why your friend received his score on the same day even though you two took the test together? Audio quality problems are likely to be the reason here.
All sections of the speaking module (Describe Image, Read Aloud, Repeat Sentence, and Retell Lecture) rely on proper recordings of your voice.
This recording must fall within a specific frequency range so that Pearson’s software can accurately transcribe your speech into text.
If the microphone is not positioned correctly near your mouth, it may capture weaker audio at a much lower frequency. Speaking too softly or too loudly also falls outside the optimal frequency range, which explains the transcription issues that follow.
As a result, Pearson’s normalization software must adjust the volume and frequency spectrum to bring your voice to the expected range.
This process will take some time (and worse, even involve extra software) before your recording can finally be sent for scoring.
3. Technical Issues
Sometimes, the main processing computer or network equipment at your test center experiences unexpected technical problems.
Naturally, the data transmission and score generation will be severely affected. In extreme cases, they even lead to data loss/corruption, requiring extra re-evaluation that further extends your waiting time.
Temporary issues within the testing software (e.g., bugs, microphone malfunction) or overloaded servers during peak test periods are also very likely.
And though not a common case, unstable internet connections may sometimes disrupt data transfer and delay your score report as well.
4. Flagged for Extra Review
Suppose the test center spots any unusual occurrences during your test (aside from double accounts or audio issues). In that case, they might require extra review for your score to maintain exam integrity. Below are some examples of activities that raise suspicions of cheating or security breaches:
- Frequently looking away from the screen
- Attempting to access unauthorized materials
- Using prohibited devices
Furthermore, a performance significantly better or worse than your latest test attempt (say, within several days) might also trigger some investigation.
On another note, the flag does not always result from candidates’ faults or suspicious behaviors.
For instance, when PTE introduces new task types or formats, it is natural to flag some more tests for review. This strategy ensures the scoring system performs as expected.
Even without specific concerns, Pearson may sometimes randomly select a small percentage of tests for manual evaluation.
What To Do To Address PTE Results On Hold?
Do not contact the PTE support center immediately after 48 hours. Patience is the key! Many candidates report receiving their score on the fourth/fifth day, and even Pearson confirms a five-day waiting period is normal. You should wait at least until then.
When there is nothing after five days, check your junk/spam email boxes or just sign in to the PTE account to see your results. Once you are certain your score is still nowhere to be found, it is time to contact PTE for support.
What if you still receive an email notification (meaning your result is now available) but cannot see the score on your PTE account?
There is nothing to be concerned about, as it is likely just some technical issues. You can refresh the page again or wait for a few minutes; reach out to PTE if the issue remains unfixed after 24 hours.
Can You Get Your Results on Saturday and Sunday?
Yes. Exam results will arrive even during weekends, as the emailing process is already automated. And since many test centers work throughout the week, taking the exam on a Sunday is totally normal.
We understand your frustration about the PTE results on hold. But unless suspicious or fraudulent activities are involved, you do not have to worry about this delay.
Contact the PTE customer service team when the score is still unavailable after five days, and they will help you arrange the situation properly.