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supercow

IELTS v.s Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) | My personal findings

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This is a great post. I appointed my agent yesterday and started my research into the different English tests available. I need the 'superior' score - and I'm now going to buy the book and start revision for the pte-a. Thanks for helping me make my decision! :)


189 visa (Analyst Programmer) / 26 years old / 65 points / Using an agent.

Positive SkillsAssessment- 17Dec15, PTE level8 - 15Jan16, EOI - 17Jan16, Invite Received - 02Feb16, Medicals 27Feb16, Applied - 19Feb16, CO Contact 07Mar16, Visa Granted - 20April

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Hello Supercrow.

Ca you please refer to some PTE Academic sample materials for practice.

Thank you

 

Try this free tips from Pearson - pdf

 

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct...99804247,d.ZGU


Skills Assessment 05/01/2015; Approved 04/03/2015, IELTS (Overall 7) 14/03/2015; EOI 27/03/2015; Invitation 10/04/2015; Visa applied 15/04/2015; PCC 27/04/2015; Medicals 24/04/2015; Visa Grant 06/07/2015 :ssign7:Visa validation trip February 2016.

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I now just need all 8's in the general for visa points...but am still going to go for the PTE rather than the IELTS again, even if it is the general exam this time. Those pesky reading questions "yes/no/not given" are not worth it!


AHPRA lodged: 15/2/16 Registered: 7/3/16

ANMAC lodged: 11/2/16 received: 17/2/16

EOI (189) 65 points: 23/2/16 Invited: 8/3/16 Lodged: 9/3/16

UK and Aus PCC: 21/3/16 Medicals uploaded 22/3/16

Visa GRANTED! 4/4/16 Arrived Sept 2016 :)

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Have spent most of today looking over things for the PTE-A test that I have on Wednesday, and I must say that it certainly seems a lot more straightforward for the native English speaker, compared to the IELTS Academic. I've only gone over the free sample materials, and watched the 'top tips' videos on youtube. We shall see come Wednesday, hoping the exam location isn't too noisy, that's my biggest worry, as I'm easily distracted!


AHPRA lodged: 15/2/16 Registered: 7/3/16

ANMAC lodged: 11/2/16 received: 17/2/16

EOI (189) 65 points: 23/2/16 Invited: 8/3/16 Lodged: 9/3/16

UK and Aus PCC: 21/3/16 Medicals uploaded 22/3/16

Visa GRANTED! 4/4/16 Arrived Sept 2016 :)

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Have spent most of today looking over things for the PTE-A test that I have on Wednesday, and I must say that it certainly seems a lot more straightforward for the native English speaker, compared to the IELTS Academic. I've only gone over the free sample materials, and watched the 'top tips' videos on youtube. We shall set

e come Wednesday, hoping the exam location isn't too noisy, that's my biggest worry, as I'm easily distracted!

 

Good luck

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Just make sure you download/look at the score guide for the test. Ensure you write your answers within the word limits for maximum scores.

 

Where are you taking the test? If it was the LBS then the test centre is fine.

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Yeah I read over that today. I got enough for my skills assessment in my IELTS, so this is for superior English for the actual visa.

 

It's some centre in Wimbledon that I'm doing it in.


AHPRA lodged: 15/2/16 Registered: 7/3/16

ANMAC lodged: 11/2/16 received: 17/2/16

EOI (189) 65 points: 23/2/16 Invited: 8/3/16 Lodged: 9/3/16

UK and Aus PCC: 21/3/16 Medicals uploaded 22/3/16

Visa GRANTED! 4/4/16 Arrived Sept 2016 :)

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Good luck !

 

Yeah I read over that today. I got enough for my skills assessment in my IELTS, so this is for superior English for the actual visa.

 

It's some centre in Wimbledon that I'm doing it in.


Skills Assessment 05/01/2015; Approved 04/03/2015, IELTS (Overall 7) 14/03/2015; EOI 27/03/2015; Invitation 10/04/2015; Visa applied 15/04/2015; PCC 27/04/2015; Medicals 24/04/2015; Visa Grant 06/07/2015 :ssign7:Visa validation trip February 2016.

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AWW MAN I don't know if I liked the PTE-A or not today. There were 7 of us doing the test, and although I did find it off-putting listening to the others speaking at first, I soon forgot about them. The test is definitely easier for a native speaker - the fill-in-the-blanks, repeat sentences, write down the sentences etc. However, I totally baffled when you had to "summarise the lecture." I've read that it is a computer software system that grades some of it, so hopefully if I got all the right words in, I'll still gain points for my baffled answers.

 

Also...just to reassure me....you are supposed to wait until the box says "completed" before clicking "next" ???


AHPRA lodged: 15/2/16 Registered: 7/3/16

ANMAC lodged: 11/2/16 received: 17/2/16

EOI (189) 65 points: 23/2/16 Invited: 8/3/16 Lodged: 9/3/16

UK and Aus PCC: 21/3/16 Medicals uploaded 22/3/16

Visa GRANTED! 4/4/16 Arrived Sept 2016 :)

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AWW MAN I don't know if I liked the PTE-A or not today. There were 7 of us doing the test, and although I did find it off-putting listening to the others speaking at first, I soon forgot about them. The test is definitely easier for a native speaker - the fill-in-the-blanks, repeat sentences, write down the sentences etc. However, I totally baffled when you had to "summarise the lecture." I've read that it is a computer software system that grades some of it, so hopefully if I got all the right words in, I'll still gain points for my baffled answers.

 

Also...just to reassure me....you are supposed to wait until the box says "completed" before clicking "next" ???

 

I take it you are questioning the speaking parts in regards to waiting for the box to say "completed"? Once it says completed you click next, but if you click next before it says completed, it wont make a difference as it will save what you have said up to that point of time.

 

I am sure your score will be fine, look forward to hearing your results.

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Hey Supercow.

 

I just wanted to thank you SO much for your post. I am grappling with major time pressure on my application for a 189 visa before my 485 expires, and having recently failed to get the required 8 in the writing on IELTS, I found your post randomly through google!! It totally helped so much, and gave me so much confidence to go ahead with PTE, and I'm delighted to say I got my results just over 24 hours since sitting the test and got 90 90 90 90!!

 

Thanks so much - it takes a lot of effort to sit down and share your experience in the way that you did. So please know that it has made a huge difference to so many people. Really, thank you!

 

No here's hoping I get an invitation in the next Skillselect round on the 18th Dec! :-)

 

Matt

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FULL MARKS! Such a relief to see that 90/90/90/90 :) Another step closer!


AHPRA lodged: 15/2/16 Registered: 7/3/16

ANMAC lodged: 11/2/16 received: 17/2/16

EOI (189) 65 points: 23/2/16 Invited: 8/3/16 Lodged: 9/3/16

UK and Aus PCC: 21/3/16 Medicals uploaded 22/3/16

Visa GRANTED! 4/4/16 Arrived Sept 2016 :)

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FULL MARKS! Such a relief to see that 90/90/90/90 :) Another step closer!

 

Well done, the PTE test is so much better than IELTS. Just have to know the scoring system and have a good English ability. Get that EOI lodged soon.

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Hi Guys, just wondering for a quick bit of advice. Has anybody taken the PTE-A practice exams online? if so can they say how the online skills marking system compares to real life, I scored:

 

Listening

78

Reading

64

Speaking

75

Writing

68

 

 

I need to get 20 points for my visa, is the marking online accurate? Not dispute my score, just want to know where I stand :)

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I found the online test to be almost identical to the real life test. Although I did score better in the real test compared to the practice one it still marked me the same bracket from a visa points basis (Whether I had superior English or not)...

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Hi supercrow,

First : THANK YOU !!! Really! I was doing some research just to like that, to have a look. I wasn't even expecting to find the EXACT same situation. So, Thank you for taking time to right all this down.

I need a 8 IELT or 79 PTE for my PR. I am not the best at english, especially when it comes to writing/grammar/conjugation. I did the IELTS a year ago with no training, had no idea what the test looked like and got 7.5,6.5,6.5,6.5. I feel like if I train a lot and take PTE, I could potentially make it to 8/79. Well, I want to believe in it.

I was wondering if you or anyone else here still has there book/CD to practice? My old computer still has the dvd player ;) Lucky me!

Thank you all for your comments on this forum.

Supercrow, are you a citizen now? :)

Emmanuelle

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My experience in short.

 

 

I'm form Venezuela (mother language: Spanish). I learned some English at school.

 

 

IELTS while living in Venezuela (for the first time) Aug 2009 (I had never interacted in English with anyone, lots of reading in English surfing the web though): L5.0 R5.0 W4.5 S5.0 O5.0

 

 

Moved to Australia to study English in Feb-2013

 

 

I did 6 months of General English till Aug-2013, I started in Upper Intermediate and reached Advanced level. Here there are 6 levels: Begginers (A1), Pre intermediate (A2), Intermediate (B1), Upper Intermediate (B2), Advanced (C1), Proficient (C2)

 

 

Did the IELTS on JAN 2014: L7.5 R8.5 W6.5 S7.5 O7.5

 

 

IELTS on Dec 2015 (after being working in English speaking environment for over a year): L6.5 R8.0 W5.5 S7.5 O7.0

 

 

Read this post after IELTS failed (I needed 7.0).

 

 

Jan 2016 PTE Academic: L72 R75 S76 W72 O73 (Equivalent to IELTS 7.5)

I took the PTE test with very little study, in the middle of a week of 3 jobs and very little sleep. I just drank 2 red bulls and I scored what I needed. I am confident I could have perform better.

 

 

According to Australia Migration Department PTE Academic and IELTS equivalences are the follow:

 

 

IELTS 6.0 = PTE A 50

IELTS 7.0 = PTE A 65

IELTS 8.0 = PTE A 79

 

 

As maximum scores IELTS 9.0 = PTE A 90

 

 

 

 

My humble opinion! DO NOT TAKE IELTS it is a business to make us fail and take the test several times.


MechanicalEng 60Pts, EOI 21-01-16, Invitation 03-02-16, Visa lodged 14-02-2016, Requested info from CO 8-03-2016, more info uploaded 21-03-2016, 2nd request for more info 19-03-16:ssign1:, 2nd more info uploaded 20-03-16, Visa Granted??-??-???? (waiting)

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Just wondering for the PTE test takers, particularly with the "Repeat sentence" and "Retell lecture" sections...

Any ways of opening/getting Windows Notepad/textbox while the recording plays?

 

Obviously I have trouble with repeat sentences in practice test and I was using my laptop's notepad, since I can type faster than what I wrote (gibberish-art).


189 Visa (261313) | Age: 25pts, Bachelor: 15pts, Au study: 5pts, English: 10pts, Professional Year: 5pts, Partner skill: 5pts. Total 65pts |

EOI lodged first time with 60pts: 02/02/2016 | EOI update with 65pts: 18/02/2017

EOI Invitation: 29/03/2017 | Visa lodged: 29/03/2017 | CO contact: 08/04/2017 | Information Provided for CO: 23/04/2017

Visa Grant: 12/08/2017

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Just wondering for the PTE test takers, particularly with the "Repeat sentence" and "Retell lecture" sections...

Any ways of opening/getting Windows Notepad/textbox while the recording plays?

 

Obviously I have trouble with repeat sentences in practice test and I was using my laptop's notepad, since I can type faster than what I wrote (gibberish-art).

 

Hi,

The answer to your question is no. They give you a wipe board (A4) and a pen to take notes and that's it. I found when I was practicing is you really need to get yourself into the zone. I closed my eyes and really concentrated on what was being said in the repeat sentence. Repeat lecture was a little tricky, I basically just took bullet point notes whilst listening to the lecture, I really thought I would score badly on that....but I didn't. I just kept talking, they are testing your fluency as much as content. The only thing I found quite off putting was the other test takers speaking around me. I was first in the room and had already completed my speaking part by the time the other test takers came in. By this time I was on the writing section and there were a lot of people around me talking loudly, it threw me off a little.

 

I wasn't expecting much when I sat my test as I felt terrible and had an awful migrane but I walked away with a superior score. If you practice to get a feel for the format of the test and you're mother tongue is English you should be just fine. Just focus and get yourself in the zone....worked for me....good luck


Vetassess 02/08/2013. + Vetassess 28/11/2013. PTE A superior 8/10/15. ITA NSW 22/12/2015. ITA 190 visa 12/01/2016. PCC & Meds 18/03/2016. VISA GRANTED 16/05/2016 :happy_face_cowboy_w

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Hi,

The answer to your question is no. They give you a wipe board (A4) and a pen to take notes and that's it. I found when I was practicing is you really need to get yourself into the zone. I closed my eyes and really concentrated on what was being said in the repeat sentence. Repeat lecture was a little tricky, I basically just took bullet point notes whilst listening to the lecture, I really thought I would score badly on that....but I didn't. I just kept talking, they are testing your fluency as much as content. The only thing I found quite off putting was the other test takers speaking around me. I was first in the room and had already completed my speaking part by the time the other test takers came in. By this time I was on the writing section and there were a lot of people around me talking loudly, it threw me off a little.

 

I wasn't expecting much when I sat my test as I felt terrible and had an awful migrane but I walked away with a superior score. If you practice to get a feel for the format of the test and you're mother tongue is English you should be just fine. Just focus and get yourself in the zone....worked for me....good luck

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for the reply. I'll keep that in mind. I better practice more as I am really disappointed with my score from practice test.

 

Results:

 

Practice test A

 

Listening 65

Reading 60

Speaking 60

Writing 68

 

 

Overall Score: 63

 

Aaaand after an extensive amount (9 hours) of study....

 

 

Practice test B

 

Listening 72

Reading 58

Speaking 58

Writing 73

 

 

Overall Score: 65

 

Will be having my real examination tomorrow. Hoping for the best :GEEK:


189 Visa (261313) | Age: 25pts, Bachelor: 15pts, Au study: 5pts, English: 10pts, Professional Year: 5pts, Partner skill: 5pts. Total 65pts |

EOI lodged first time with 60pts: 02/02/2016 | EOI update with 65pts: 18/02/2017

EOI Invitation: 29/03/2017 | Visa lodged: 29/03/2017 | CO contact: 08/04/2017 | Information Provided for CO: 23/04/2017

Visa Grant: 12/08/2017

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Hey guys anybody got spare / not in use review materials for PTE you could hand down to me. Id be very greatful would cover postage ofcourse. THanks

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Hi everyone.

 

First of all, many thanks to supercow for this great post. It really gave me knew hopes and helped me to successfully prepare for the PTE exam.

 

In short - I needed 20 points for my PR and the only way to do this was via the English test.

Quick background - I'm not a native speaker, but I've been studying English a lot at school and at private courses. I consider myself to have an advanced level, but not perfect. For about 8 years I've been living, studying and working abroad, and my main language of communication was English. I've lived mostly in Sweden and Belgium, which are not English speaking countries, but are still places where English is spoken at a very high level. I have worked for an international company, where English is the corporate language.

 

I took IELTS in September 2015 and scored R9; L8,5; W7,5; S7,5.

It was pretty disappointing, as I prepared quite intensively for the test and felt like I nailed it... But... there is always a big hairy butt somewhere in the middle...

 

After getting this bitter result, I started to read forums about IELTS. I then discovered that PTE can be a good alternative and investigated this option. I didn't contest my IELTS results, since I didn't want to fuel this unethical money making machine. Nor did I book another test with them. Unfortunately, I could not take PTE immediately after that, because of my location at that time, which delayed my application process for 3 months.

Thanks to this post, I focused my time and preparation on PTE. I agree with supercow on many points he presented. IMHO, PTE is a more difficult test than IELTS, but at the same time, probably more objective. Particularly, for similar candidates like me, who are gravitating around the 8-9 score, but are held back by the greedy IELTS business model.

I bought the online PTE mock up tests and found them very useful. The price was Ok. About 60 bucks. But it gave me the opportunity to take 2 real computer based tests, and to practice the format and timing.

My results for mock ups weren't exceptional. Partly because I didn't know the format of the questions:

Mock up 1 – Overall 76. L75; R80; S68; W83

Mock up 2 – Overall 83. L79; R90; S84; W84

But the lower results motivated me to focus on areas I was weaker, and ultimately it paid off

 

Bottom line - I took the test in Melbourne and scored 90/90/90/90. Got the results in less than 24 hours.

 

My main takeaways from the test:

1) Buy the mock up tests. Both of them. Don’t be cheap. You will save money by preparing better and not re-taking tests.

2) Practice the areas where you feel weak. The mock up tests will normally show this. I personally found it difficult to explain the pictures and graphs in 40 sec. I have devoted extra time for this and it paid off.

3) Learn and practice the test format (question types, sequence, timing etc.). This is very important. Otherwise you will lose time during the exam and it will hurt your score.

4) Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Seriously. Invest some time and brain cells into this. You need to fully understand what is required to score well in PTE. Research and practice. There are some good youtube videos like this one:

.

5) During the test you will be for sure (99%) distracted by neighbours. Mine was screaming like crazy. I could not hear my own voice in my mind. Ask the supervisor to calm your neighbour(s). Regardless, be prepared to speak & listen in noisy conditions.

6) Be respectful yourself. Don’t scream like nuts. Consider your neighbours too. Test your microphone recording at the beginning of the test. It works just fine. Speak normally. It will help you with pronunciation and fluency as well.

7) Be careful with the listening section. Train in focusing your mind. Listen to audios and repeat what they say. Sentence by sentence. Good memory skills are needed. This can be tricky.

8) Practice your typing skills. I used this site: play.typeracer.com/TypeRacer. Very important for all questions where writing is required. Learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

9) The reading part can be very tough. Don’t overestimate yourself. I did. It almost hurt me. ALWAYS have an eye on the remaining time. Learn to read as quickly as possible.

10) Be confident and trust your guts. If you scored more or less OK in the mock ups, you should be fine. For god’s sake don’t panic. I think they give you an error margin and somehow in the end the scores are averaged.

11) Before the test find a way to motivate yourself. Listen to your favourite music, do some stretches, clear your mind of negative thoughts and get yourself in a peak performance state.

 

Conclusions

I'm happy with the PTE experience I had. Particularly after the frustration I had with IELTS. I know this might be a bit subjective, but I felt I have to spread the word. IELTS in my view is a compromised system. It behaves arrogantly with test takers and should be punished by us, customers. The monopoly they established should go down. IELTS thrives on failing students. PTE, on the contrary, gives you the chance to assess yourself before the test and prepare youself for the types of questions and format. PTE might not be perfect, but definitely more customer oriented and objective.

And, of course, there are no shortcuts. To get good results in any test you need to practice, practice and practice. With hard work and passion you will make it.

 

Good luck mates!!

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Hi everyone.

 

First of all, many thanks to supercow for this great post. It really gave me knew hopes and helped me to successfully prepare for the PTE exam.

 

In short - I needed 20 points for my PR and the only way to do this was via the English test.

Quick background - I'm not a native speaker, but I've been studying English a lot at school and at private courses. I consider myself to have an advanced level, but not perfect. For about 8 years I've been living, studying and working abroad, and my main language of communication was English. I've lived mostly in Sweden and Belgium, which are not English speaking countries, but are still places where English is spoken at a very high level. I have worked for an international company, where English is the corporate language.

 

I took IELTS in September 2015 and scored R9; L8,5; W7,5; S7,5.

It was pretty disappointing, as I prepared quite intensively for the test and felt like I nailed it... But... there is always a big hairy butt somewhere in the middle...

 

After getting this bitter result, I started to read forums about IELTS. I then discovered that PTE can be a good alternative and investigated this option. I didn't contest my IELTS results, since I didn't want to fuel this unethical money making machine. Nor did I book another test with them. Unfortunately, I could not take PTE immediately after that, because of my location at that time, which delayed my application process for 3 months.

Thanks to this post, I focused my time and preparation on PTE. I agree with supercow on many points he presented. IMHO, PTE is a more difficult test than IELTS, but at the same time, probably more objective. Particularly, for similar candidates like me, who are gravitating around the 8-9 score, but are held back by the greedy IELTS business model.

I bought the online PTE mock up tests and found them very useful. The price was Ok. About 60 bucks. But it gave me the opportunity to take 2 real computer based tests, and to practice the format and timing.

My results for mock ups weren't exceptional. Partly because I didn't know the format of the questions:

Mock up 1 – Overall 76. L75; R80; S68; W83

Mock up 2 – Overall 83. L79; R90; S84; W84

But the lower results motivated me to focus on areas I was weaker, and ultimately it paid off

 

Bottom line - I took the test in Melbourne and scored 90/90/90/90. Got the results in less than 24 hours.

 

My main takeaways from the test:

1) Buy the mock up tests. Both of them. Don’t be cheap. You will save money by preparing better and not re-taking tests.

2) Practice the areas where you feel weak. The mock up tests will normally show this. I personally found it difficult to explain the pictures and graphs in 40 sec. I have devoted extra time for this and it paid off.

3) Learn and practice the test format (question types, sequence, timing etc.). This is very important. Otherwise you will lose time during the exam and it will hurt your score.

4) Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Seriously. Invest some time and brain cells into this. You need to fully understand what is required to score well in PTE. Research and practice. There are some good youtube videos like this one:

.

5) During the test you will be for sure (99%) distracted by neighbours. Mine was screaming like crazy. I could not hear my own voice in my mind. Ask the supervisor to calm your neighbour(s). Regardless, be prepared to speak & listen in noisy conditions.

6) Be respectful yourself. Don’t scream like nuts. Consider your neighbours too. Test your microphone recording at the beginning of the test. It works just fine. Speak normally. It will help you with pronunciation and fluency as well.

7) Be careful with the listening section. Train in focusing your mind. Listen to audios and repeat what they say. Sentence by sentence. Good memory skills are needed. This can be tricky.

8) Practice your typing skills. I used this site: play.typeracer.com/TypeRacer. Very important for all questions where writing is required. Learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

9) The reading part can be very tough. Don’t overestimate yourself. I did. It almost hurt me. ALWAYS have an eye on the remaining time. Learn to read as quickly as possible.

10) Be confident and trust your guts. If you scored more or less OK in the mock ups, you should be fine. For god’s sake don’t panic. I think they give you an error margin and somehow in the end the scores are averaged.

11) Before the test find a way to motivate yourself. Listen to your favourite music, do some stretches, clear your mind of negative thoughts and get yourself in a peak performance state.

 

Conclusions

I'm happy with the PTE experience I had. Particularly after the frustration I had with IELTS. I know this might be a bit subjective, but I felt I have to spread the word. IELTS in my view is a compromised system. It behaves arrogantly with test takers and should be punished by us, customers. The monopoly they established should go down. IELTS thrives on failing students. PTE, on the contrary, gives you the chance to assess yourself before the test and prepare youself for the types of questions and format. PTE might not be perfect, but definitely more customer oriented and objective.

And, of course, there are no shortcuts. To get good results in any test you need to practice, practice and practice. With hard work and passion you will make it.

 

Good luck mates!!

 

I am planning to have a PTE-A test in March, and find your suggestions really helpful.


01/02/16 - 190 visa EOI submitted (Software Engineer)

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Hi everyone.

 

First of all, many thanks to supercow for this great post. It really gave me knew hopes and helped me to successfully prepare for the PTE exam.

 

In short - I needed 20 points for my PR and the only way to do this was via the English test.

Quick background - I'm not a native speaker, but I've been studying English a lot at school and at private courses. I consider myself to have an advanced level, but not perfect. For about 8 years I've been living, studying and working abroad, and my main language of communication was English. I've lived mostly in Sweden and Belgium, which are not English speaking countries, but are still places where English is spoken at a very high level. I have worked for an international company, where English is the corporate language.

 

I took IELTS in September 2015 and scored R9; L8,5; W7,5; S7,5.

It was pretty disappointing, as I prepared quite intensively for the test and felt like I nailed it... But... there is always a big hairy butt somewhere in the middle...

 

After getting this bitter result, I started to read forums about IELTS. I then discovered that PTE can be a good alternative and investigated this option. I didn't contest my IELTS results, since I didn't want to fuel this unethical money making machine. Nor did I book another test with them. Unfortunately, I could not take PTE immediately after that, because of my location at that time, which delayed my application process for 3 months.

Thanks to this post, I focused my time and preparation on PTE. I agree with supercow on many points he presented. IMHO, PTE is a more difficult test than IELTS, but at the same time, probably more objective. Particularly, for similar candidates like me, who are gravitating around the 8-9 score, but are held back by the greedy IELTS business model.

I bought the online PTE mock up tests and found them very useful. The price was Ok. About 60 bucks. But it gave me the opportunity to take 2 real computer based tests, and to practice the format and timing.

My results for mock ups weren't exceptional. Partly because I didn't know the format of the questions:

Mock up 1 – Overall 76. L75; R80; S68; W83

Mock up 2 – Overall 83. L79; R90; S84; W84

But the lower results motivated me to focus on areas I was weaker, and ultimately it paid off

 

Bottom line - I took the test in Melbourne and scored 90/90/90/90. Got the results in less than 24 hours.

 

My main takeaways from the test:

1) Buy the mock up tests. Both of them. Don’t be cheap. You will save money by preparing better and not re-taking tests.

2) Practice the areas where you feel weak. The mock up tests will normally show this. I personally found it difficult to explain the pictures and graphs in 40 sec. I have devoted extra time for this and it paid off.

3) Learn and practice the test format (question types, sequence, timing etc.). This is very important. Otherwise you will lose time during the exam and it will hurt your score.

4) Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Seriously. Invest some time and brain cells into this. You need to fully understand what is required to score well in PTE. Research and practice. There are some good youtube videos like this one:

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5) During the test you will be for sure (99%) distracted by neighbours. Mine was screaming like crazy. I could not hear my own voice in my mind. Ask the supervisor to calm your neighbour(s). Regardless, be prepared to speak & listen in noisy conditions.

6) Be respectful yourself. Don’t scream like nuts. Consider your neighbours too. Test your microphone recording at the beginning of the test. It works just fine. Speak normally. It will help you with pronunciation and fluency as well.

7) Be careful with the listening section. Train in focusing your mind. Listen to audios and repeat what they say. Sentence by sentence. Good memory skills are needed. This can be tricky.

8) Practice your typing skills. I used this site: play.typeracer.com/TypeRacer. Very important for all questions where writing is required. Learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

9) The reading part can be very tough. Don’t overestimate yourself. I did. It almost hurt me. ALWAYS have an eye on the remaining time. Learn to read as quickly as possible.

10) Be confident and trust your guts. If you scored more or less OK in the mock ups, you should be fine. For god’s sake don’t panic. I think they give you an error margin and somehow in the end the scores are averaged.

11) Before the test find a way to motivate yourself. Listen to your favourite music, do some stretches, clear your mind of negative thoughts and get yourself in a peak performance state.

 

Conclusions

I'm happy with the PTE experience I had. Particularly after the frustration I had with IELTS. I know this might be a bit subjective, but I felt I have to spread the word. IELTS in my view is a compromised system. It behaves arrogantly with test takers and should be punished by us, customers. The monopoly they established should go down. IELTS thrives on failing students. PTE, on the contrary, gives you the chance to assess yourself before the test and prepare youself for the types of questions and format. PTE might not be perfect, but definitely more customer oriented and objective.

And, of course, there are no shortcuts. To get good results in any test you need to practice, practice and practice. With hard work and passion you will make it.

 

Good luck mates!!

 

I am planning to have a PTE-A test in March, and find your suggestions really helpful.


01/02/16 - 190 visa EOI submitted (Software Engineer)

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