PTE Written Discourse: How to Achieve The Best Results?

Posted on 15/09/2023 by Moni PTE Magic

PTE written discourse is one of the main parts of the PTE writing section to test your language efficiency. It requires not only your great grammatical skills but also knowing how to manage the time during this task.

Taking a test is never easy since you will be put under pressure. To avoid making unnecessary mistakes, let’s explore and learn some useful tips to get the best result. 

This article by PTE Magic will explain how the section is scored, what questions will be included, and what strategies you can employ.

Let’s take a look.

(Click here to read our Vietnamese version)


What Is PTE Written Discourse? 

pte written discourse

To understand written discourse meaning in PTE, you should first know what “discourse” refers to.

Discourse means a formal conversation or discussion with a highly logical structure on a meaningful topic. In the case of your PTE test, this section implies that your written content will be assessed by meaning and structure.

You should perfectly combine coherence skills, logical structure, and linguistic resources in this part. It includes correctly using grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation to form understandable, plausible, and presentable written content. The reader can fully understand your position by reading it, meaning you successfully convey your message. 

In short, the section is not all about grammatical techniques but also about how you combine information to form a meaningful discourse piece of writing. 

How Is It Scored? 

Basically, your score in PTE written discourse will be given based on 4 criteria: range of linguistic resources, structure, logical development, and coherence. 

Linguistic Resources

A range of linguistic resources means you can show your ability to use various grammatical structures and vocabulary to express your ideas. Yet, it should be appropriate to the question.  

It’s considered the hardest criterion as it reflects your ability to use and switch easily and comfortably between words and structure to create understandable content. Your essay should include simple and uncommon words and simple and complex sentences related to the topic. 


The structure of written content often includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should introduce the topic of the essay in a way that can attract readers to keep reading.  

The body consists of 2 paragraphs; each one mentions one important point. The conclusion should be short and concise, summarizing the essay’s main idea with key points.

Logical Development

You should use a sequence of sentences to express your idea logically and naturally. Unrelated thoughts or irrelevant details should not be mentioned to keep the flow of the paragraphs.


Coherence refers to how your idea is presented. Do all sentences and paragraphs link with each other logically and smoothly? Do readers get confused by reading your essay?

If it’s hard for the readers to get the main point of your message, you fail at this criterion. 


Types Of Questions You Will Encounter 

The main and only question you’re asked to do in this task is to write an essay. It’s an argument essay where you need to develop one side of the argument. Your content should meet the four criteria mentioned above. 

Besides grammatical skills, you must show your critical thinking and ability to link ideas logically. While planning your outline, you should read the topic carefully and ask yourself what key information you want to talk about the given theme, your supporting ideas, and how you can express it coherently and comprehensively. 

And remember the most important thing: Don’t go off the topic!

PTE Written Discourse Tips From High-scorers 

PTE Written Discourse Tips From High-scorers

Spend Time To Understand The Topic

Don’t rush to start immediately. You should spend around 2-3 times (or more) reading to understand the topic’s meaning to get the correct response in your essay. Wrong understanding can cause off-topic issues, the most terrible thing that can happen during your PTE written discourse.

There are a few questions you should ask yourself while reading the topic question:

  • What exactly does the question require you to write about? 
  • How well do you know the topic?
  • Have you read, discussed, or had experience with the theme before?
  • How can you implement what you know in the essay?
  • What area should you focus on?
  • How can you support your argument?

Create A Neat Outline

Stretching out a suture is necessary before writing anything, even for an expert writer. The written discourse task also requires the same. A carefully planned structure improves our chance of having a high score in this section. 

A skeleton structure keeps you on the correct track, prevents you from missing any important idea, and logically joins all thoughts. As mentioned above, your essay needs to have three parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. 

Here is the general instruction for putting your ideas in a logical structure.

  • Introduction: Mention the main topic by rephrasing the question  
  • Body: Paragraph 1: Include topic sentence and explain general opinion

            Paragraph 2: Provide support reasons.

  • Conclusion: Recap the question and restart the final opinion.

It will take some time to brainstorm an outline, but it’s worth it. The time you spend on a skeleton structure will save you time on writing later.

Refine Your Grammar, Vocabulary, And Academic Tone

Grammar and vocabulary mistakes are not tolerated in any exam. If you have any of these issues, you should practice to improve. First, you should use correct grammatical structures and words to express your ideas.

Then, to make your essay interesting and show your level of using English, switching between structures of sentences and using various vocabulary are highly recommended. 

Plus, you should write in formal language and tone, as the informal ones may decrease your total score. 

Pay Attention On Your Punctuation

Commas, colons, semicolons, and apostrophes are common punctuation you need to apply correctly in your sentence so the meanings of your sentences will not be distorted. It also gives the readers the necessary breaks to get your point. 

Count Your Words

You’re given a word count limitation, so follow it. Writing too short may not be enough to express your idea and for the testers to assess. Adding more words than required also does not bring you extra points.

Read Your Essay Again After Finishing

You should manage your time well to leave some minutes after writing for a quick recap. Proofreading is a necessary step to ensure your writing has no mistakes. Check your spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., and correct them, if any. 


You can’t do it perfectly the first time, but practicing will bring you closer to that. It helps you get used to the essay topic, enhance your critical thinking, and improve all the skills you need to achieve a good result in the writing test.


PTE written discourse requires strong written and comprehensive skills. To be successful in this section, set up a practice schedule and apply our tips above to improve your score. 

It will help you produce excellent, relevant writing content for the given topic and teach you to manage your time better while completing the task. 

We hope with our tricks and tips, you’ll be more confident in the real exam and get the best 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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