10 Mistakes to Avoid in the PTE Exam

Charlotte Miller

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a widely recognised English language proficiency exam used by educational institutions, governments, and employers worldwide. Whether taking the PTE Academic for study abroad or the PTE General for visa and immigration purposes, avoiding common mistakes is essential to achieving a high score.

Here are 10 critical mistakes that test-takers should steer clear of to maximise their chances of success in the PTE exam.

1. Neglecting Adequate Preparation

One of the most significant mistakes students make is underestimating the importance of thorough PTE online coaching.

Many assume that their day-to-day English language skills are sufficient to perform well in the exam. However, the PTE exam is not only about language proficiency but also about understanding the format and requirements of each section. Plan ahead and allocate ample time for targeted practice and study, using reputable resources and study materials.

2. Ignoring the Official Practice Tests

The official PTE practice tests are invaluable resources for test-takers. They familiarise candidates with the exam’s structure, timing, and question types. Ignoring these practice tests can lead to surprises on exam day, causing unnecessary stress and a potential drop in performance.

So, treat the official practice tests as simulation exercises to gauge your readiness and identify improvement areas.

3. Lack of Time Management

Lack of time management is a critical mistake that can significantly impact a test-takers performance in the PTE exam. Each section has strict time limits and failure to manage time effectively can lead to unfinished questions or rushed responses.

For example, candidates must practice under timed conditions, allocating appropriate time for each task based on its complexity and weightage. Effective time management allows test-takers to approach each question calmly and methodically, ensuring they can complete the exam within the allocated time frame.  

4. Failing to Read Instructions Carefully

Failing to read instructions carefully is a common mistake in the PTE exam. Each section has specific guidelines and requirements; overlooking these can lead to unnecessary errors and a potential drop in scores. Candidates must pay close attention to the instructions to understand their expectations in each task.

By taking the time to comprehend the instructions thoroughly, test-takers can ensure they approach each question correctly and maximise their chances of success in the exam.

5. Neglecting Fluency and Pronunciation in Speaking Tasks

Neglecting fluency and pronunciation in speaking tasks can significantly impact a test-takers performance in the PTE exam. Even if the content is accurate, poor delivery can hinder comprehension and lead to lower scores. Fluent and clear speech showcases language proficiency and enhances communication.

Test-takers should practice speaking regularly to improve their fluency and pronunciation, paying attention to intonation, stress, and rhythm. Further, accurately enunciating words is essential to convey the intended message effectively.  

6. Overlooking Spellings and Typos in the Writing Section

While the Writing section is evaluated based on content and structure, spelling and typos also matter. Simple mistakes can affect the overall impression of your writing and detract from the intended message. Revise your essays and summaries carefully to eliminate errors before submitting your responses.

7. Leaving Blank Answers

Leaving blank answers is a critical mistake to avoid in the PTE exam. While there is no penalty for unanswered questions, failing to attempt all questions can result in missed opportunities for valuable points. Educated guesses may lead to correct answers and contribute to an improved overall score.

Test-takers must manage their time effectively, ensuring they allocate sufficient effort to each question and never leave any blank. Even when uncertain, making an educated guess can increase the chances of gaining points and potentially elevate the final PTE exam score.

8. Relying Solely on Memorisation for Speaking and Writing

While it may seem like a convenient approach, it can lead to scripted and robotic responses, ultimately affecting the authenticity and coherence of the answers. Examiners value originality and the ability to respond naturally to the given prompts. Test-takers should focus on understanding the content, developing coherent arguments, and expressing their thoughts clearly and fluently.

By practising genuine responses and avoiding over-reliance on memorisation, candidates can showcase their true language abilities and increase their chances of higher scores in the PTE exam.

9. Neglecting Mock Tests

Mock tests simulate exam conditions and provide invaluable opportunities to assess strengths and weaknesses. By skipping these practice tests, candidates miss valuable chances to familiarise themselves with the test format, timing, and question types.

Regularly taking mock tests helps build confidence, improve time management, and identify areas that need further improvement. It also reduces exam-day anxiety, allowing test-takers to approach the PTE exam with better preparation and a clearer understanding of their current abilities.  

10. Overlooking Speaking into the Microphone

Test-takers may become engrossed in their responses during the Speaking section and forget to speak directly into the Microphone. Poor microphone technique can lead to unclear audio, affecting the evaluator’s ability to assess your spoken English accurately.

So, you must practice speaking into a microphone during your preparation to get used to this aspect of the test.


The PTE exam assesses a range of language skills, and avoiding common mistakes is vital to achieving a high score. Adequate PTE online coaching, time management, and attention to instructions are essential for success.

By addressing these mistakes and following a structured study plan, test-takers can confidently improve their performance and approach the PTE exam. Consistent practice and dedication will produce favourable results, opening doors to new academic and professional opportunities worldwide.

For A-class online coaching, you can check out English Wise. Their teaching is among the finest in Australia, and they will guide you from PTE exam fees to success. Do check out their website for a better idea about how to proceed further.

Good luck on your PTE journey!