PTE Select Missing Word: 10 Tips to Master The Task!

Posted on 08/11/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

Numerous candidates regard the PTE select missing word as the hardest part of the test, so many fail this section and receive lower scores than expected. 

However, there seems to be no room for improvement if you don’t have the skills to conquer this test.

No need to panic; this article by PTE Magic will help you with 10 straightforward tips and tricks. Keep scrolling down for further information!

(See our Vietnamese version here)


Understanding PTE Select Missing Word

pte select missing word

The PTE select missing word is a test that examines candidates’ listening skills. You must listen to a conversation lasting between 20 and 70 seconds, then choose a correct answer about the missed word/phrase in the sentence. 

Unlike other sections, when you might run out of time before completing all the answers, the PTE select missing word is a quick task. You only have two choices: either know the answer or not. 

If you are unclear about the answer due to your listening difficulty, guessing the context is one of the best ways. Sometimes, the guess could lead to a correct answer, yet the reverse is true in most cases. 

One tip is that you should not waste much time being stuck in one question. 

Suppose you cannot listen and figure out the answer; move on to the next query immediately to avoid missing the conversation. This will save you from losing marks continuously. 

To dive deeply into more details, the following headings might come in handy. Good luck! 

What English Aspects Does The Test Assess?

The PTE select missing word task assesses different aspects of your English proficiency, especially listening skills. Some include: 

  • The test examines your ability to identify the topic, sentence context, and idea. Understanding all of these clues, you will likely guess a correct answer despite not hearing it. 
  • Your grasp of language vocabulary and grammar is also demonstrated via the test. For instance, you must have enough knowledge to identify whether the word in the blank is a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. 
  • Understanding the abstract information or explicit meaning will be assessed as well. 
  • To succeed in this PTE section, the sequencing of information must be coherently comprehended. You should also recognize several accents and keep track of the conversation. 

What Is The Test Format?

As mentioned, the test will include conversations lasting about 20 to 70 seconds. Your job is to hear the recording and figure out the missing word before filling in the blank. 

Remember that you will be provided with three to five lexically accurate answers. You must choose the most correct one from them; this is an answer to the question. And you start to do so after hearing a beep sound of the recording. 

Sounds easy, right? However, the truth is various factors affect your performance, like mentality or unfamiliar accents. The best method is based on the context and taking a guess while listening with 100% focus. 

How Is The Test Marked?

You will receive one mark for the correct answer and zero if you give a wrong answer. The mark in total will reflect your listening excellence and skills. 

What Are Some Helpful Key Strategies?

pte select missing word sample question


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Here is the summary of key strategies that you should take close notice of before, during, and after the recording. 

Before you start to listen

  • Check the listening device carefully for better sound and performance. 
  • Skim the prompt to understand the general topic and locate the keywords. 
  • Stay calm and stop panicking. The mental factor is very important; if you are too nervous, you will likely miss the answer immediately. 
  • Get ready to hear different accents and only concentrate on the recording’s content. 

While you are listening

  • Put 100% effort into your listening test, and don’t let external factors interrupt your thinking flow during the speech. 
  • Be prepared for the beep sound; some are startled by this noise. 

After you have listened

  • Please carefully examine the options and choose the best one from them. 
  • If you cannot figure it out, take a quick guess. Don’t take much time considering if you don’t want to miss another one. 
  • Have already made a decision and stop thinking about it. Otherwise, you won’t focus on the recording. 

10 Tips For Improving Your Score In The PTE Select Missing Word

Below are straightforward tips that help you overcome the PTE select missing word task without a hitch. 

Read The Test Guidelines Carefully To Comprehend The Audio Theme

Under most circumstances, candidates often overlook the importance of instructions because they find them easy to understand. 

However, doing the same in this test is a big mistake. The provided guidelines will somewhat unravel the theme of the recording. 

It’s good for you to know the overall topic beforehand and evoke some related vocabulary and grammar in your head. 

Quickly Look At The Provided Options Before The Audio Starts

Before the audio plays, you still have time to skim all the options. Some say this act is futile and messes everything up. 

The truth is when you understand the basic meaning of those options, you may feel less confused and have fewer difficulties analyzing the answer. 

Take Note Of Some Important Parts While You Are Listening

Note-taking plays a vital role in this test. While listening, you should jot some important words down; they could be useful clues for you to base on and give the answer. 

Besides, it is highly recommended to combine these clues with the context.

Notice The Audio’s Last Part Closely Before The Beep

When the audio nearly ends, your attention seems to reduce, and you no longer pay as much attention as the beginning. 

This is a complete fault because many questions provide an essential clue for an answer in the last word or phrase. 

Combine All The Options With The Last Sentence One By One

It would help if you took this tip together with the previous one. After knowing the last sentence, you are advised to add each option to the sentence so you can see which option is more reasonable. 

Remove The Unsuitable Option Out Of Your Head

Sometimes, you get puzzled by thinking about too many options, making your mind prone to tiredness over time. 

It would be best to eliminate unrelated or unreasonable options; thus, only focus on the option that can be a potential answer for the quest. 

Try To Pick An Option Relevant To The Audio Theme

Suppose you cannot hear anything or absorb no information from the audio because of the fast speed or unfamiliar accents; in this case, the optimal solution is to choose the option closest to the recording’s theme. 

You should consider all options seriously before making a final guess, which increases the chance of accuracy.  

Move On To The Next Audio Part Instead Of Getting Stuck In One Question

If you find the question too hard, stop wasting time and move on to the next question as the best alternative. You can make notes about this question and see them later when you finish other questions.

Getting stuck in one question not only wastes your time but also creates a burden on your mentality. 

Have A Wise Time Management Strategy

Managing time wisely during the test is the most common and pivotal advice. 

After the recording ends, you have time to finalize your answer. If you spend about a minute on a question, you will run out of time to do the next query. 

That’s why you must form a wise time management strategy before starting the test to avoid hurrying up and panicking at the last minute. 

Visualize The Answer While Listening To The Recording

The last tip is to draw a mental picture, including all the details related to the question in your mind. This requires you to engage with the recording actively and link several clues together before reaching the final answer. 

PTE Select Missing Word Practices

pte select missing word sample question 2


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The PTE Magic website is the best site to land on when finding useful lessons, videos, and study materials about the PTE test, especially the PTE select missing word section. 

All you need to do is visit the website and register an account to become a member. Then, you will enjoy thousands of benefits when entering the landing page; the benefits are greater if you sign up for the course. 

To learn more about this test via videos, check the YouTube account named “Language Academy PTE,” which provides a comprehensive picture of this prestigious exam and its four parts.  

The Bottom Line

This article has introduced 14 tips for enhancing your score at the PTE select missing word, coupled with study materials. However, these tips are useless if you don’t spend time practicing, so be disciplined, and you will get the desired result.

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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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