78 common mistakes in PTE


After seeing hundreds of people taking the test over and over due to their lack of technical knowledge and realizing how much they struggle to pass the PTE Academic. We decided to do something about it.

As we rely on an advantage that most students don’t have:

We can and We take the PTE test several times a year to revalidate old strategies and discover new, easier hacks to ace the test.

So in the next few lines, you will learn the common mistakes in PTE, we often see people making them in each skill.

I promise you that after this post, if you work hard on preventing those mistakes there will be no reason for you not to ace the test.

Common Mistakes in PTE Speaking

  • Incorrect Pronunciation
  • Incorrect Intonation
  • Trying to ace the sentences in the repeat sentence exercise when there is an easier way to do it
  • Fast is not always fluent (Did you know that fluency is about consistency and not how fast you speak?)
  • Use of filler sounds (well, you know, like, etc…)
  • Do not pause for too long (if you pause for over 3 seconds, the system considers that exercise as done)
  • Analyzing graphs in the describe image exercise (Have you paid attention to the name of the exercise?)
  • Focusing too much on the content over what matters
  • Wasting time memorizing the responses for short questions  
  • Poor grammar and sentence structure
  • Weak Vocabulary 
  • Not making use of the notepad
  • Not fully addressing the questions
  • Not fully following the instructions 
  • Using the wrong mindset for the test
  • Mismanaging your time during the test
  • Don’t speak in breaks
  • Ignoring the scoring criteria
  • Not utilizing the given time to prepare
  • Suddenly changing your speaking rate (You can’t start the PTE Academic test speaking at a fast pace when questions are easy and then drastically slow your pace because questions just got a way harder)
  • Too many false starts
  • Lack of fluency and pace in speaking
  • Inadequate time allocation for different sections
  • Lack of familiarity with academic vocabulary
  • Overcomplicating answers
  • Neglecting to review the test format
  • Not testing the microphone before starting
  • Not adjusting the microphone position
  • Getting too anxious
  • Speaking with a high-pitched voice

Common Mistakes in PTE Writing

  • Not meeting the minimum number of words in each task
  • Exceeding the maximum number of words in each task
  • Not fully addressing the task
  • Ignoring grammar and spelling rules (The rules in English are quite different from other languages, so you should devote some time to study and learn them)
  • Mixing American and British English in your writing (That goes for spelling and vocabulary)
  • Failure to paraphrase effectively
  • Inconsistency in capitalization and punctuation
  • Overusing or underusing linking words
  • Not fully understanding the writing scoring rubrics
  • Neglecting to review your essays and summaries
  • Failure to use the right register (remember this is an academic test , not a general one)
  • Limited range of grammatical structures and vocabulary (The computer just like a real examiner will determine your level based on what it sees in the test)
  • Focusing too much on the content
  • Writing multiple sentences in PTE Summarize Written Text Questions

Common Mistakes in Reading

  • Spending too much time on multiple-choice questions
  • Wasting your time studying reading techniques when you should focus on grammar and vocabulary
  • Inability to identify main ideas and supporting details in reorder paragraphs
  • Overemphasis on minor details
  • Lack of technical knowledge in order to analyze reading fill-in-the-blanks and reading and writing fill in blanks 
  • Not practicing effective reading speed (if you read at a slow place, I am sorry to say but in the PTE you will get in trouble)
  • Difficulty with understanding collocations 
  • Wasting time on Multiple Questions Multiple Answers
  • Panicking when you realize there isn’t much time left
  • Not studying the most common words used in the PTE Academic Exam


Common Mistakes in Listening

  • Ignoring the power or transcription exercises (this is something we always recommend our students to do and it can boost your listening skills like crazy)
  • Focusing too much on irrelevant exercises and too little on important ones
  • Lack of focus and concentration
  • Overlooking distractors (The test is designed to make you lose focus, keep that in mind)
  • Incorrect analysis of the questions (here having a good grasp of grammar is king)
  • Misinterpreting questions 
  • Difficulty with regional accents ( get used to listening to radio shows and podcasts from Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and so on)
  • Inefficient time management
  • Ignoring signposting
  • Difficulty with fast-paced speech (Native speakers speak at a pace that is generally faster than what you listen to in those ESL audios)
  • Not using context clues
  • Not reading the instructions carefully
  • Not studying pronunciation to improve your listening skills


And finally the worst mistake of them all:


Not seeking feedback and guidance


Are you feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of mistakes that students commonly make in the PTE Academic test? There’s no need for that! Instead, let’s explore a better approach.


Imagine the advantage of leveraging the expertise of seasoned PTE experts who have meticulously reverse-engineered the intricacies of the PTE Academic test after taking it multiple times. They are ready to be your guiding light, saving you precious time, money, and frustration along the way.


Picture the journey: a dedicated mentor by your side, leading you step by step, unlocking the secrets to success. With their assistance, you can navigate the test with ease, confidently achieving your desired score.


Why not seize this opportunity to rise above the challenges? 


Send us a message today, and let us empower you on your path to PTE triumph. Together, we’ll conquer the test, leaving behind the stress and embracing the exhilaration of your achievements.


In the world of PTE Academic, you deserve exceptional guidance. Take the leap, and embark on a transformative journey that will redefine your future.


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