The Pearson Test of English Academic or PTE Academic as it is commonly called is a test of English as a language for non-native English speakers. The test is recognized by several institutions, governments, and organizations.
Understanding the PTE Test
The PTE test aims to test the Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing skills of a candidate. The entire test lasts for 3 hours (in a single session), is computer-based, and is taken in a recognized PTE test center. Since the tests are graded by a computer, the results are delivered online in 5 working days.
The test is divided into three broad sections — Writing and speaking (combined); Reading and Listening. While there are multiple subsections to each of these three, here we will discuss ‘Answer Short Questions’ that fall under the Speaking and Writing section which lasts for about 77 to 93 minutes.
Diligent practice and good test material are two important factors that can make or mar your PTE test score. The use of PTE Vouchers is highly recommended while registering for the exam. It does not just save you a lot of money but also promises excellent study material.
Understanding the ‘Answer Short Questions’ section
Under the Speaking and Writing section of the PTE Exam, you will have ‘Answer Short Questions. This section of the test aims mainly at testing the listening and speaking skills of an exam candidate. Besides being the most interesting section, it is also one that is quite scoring and requires the candidate to be specific and precise. In the simplest terms, one is expected to remember the two Ps-Precise and Prompt!
There are about 10 to 12 questions that need to be answered in a word or two. These pertain to day-to-day, general facts and do not require any specialized knowledge of a subject.
What to expect?
In this section, an audio recording is used to play the question to the exam candidate. You will get only 10 seconds to answer the question and that too in a word or two. Once the audio ends, the current status on the screen will flash ‘Recording’. This is the right time to speak your answer precisely and promptly so it gets recorded well. It is important to note that if you do not answer for up to 3 seconds once the recording starts, the current status automatically changes to ‘Completed’ and you cannot record your answer after that. So remember, not to take any more than 1 to 2 seconds to answer a question.
So when you hear a question like ‘What are the mountains that can erupt?’ simply answer, ‘Volcanoes’ instead of answering ‘they are called Volcanoes’!
It will get you the same marks in both answers but you will also end up saving a couple of seconds in the first one.
Some Common Tips to keep in mind
‘Answer Short Questions’ remains one of the simplest and the most scoring sections in a PTE Test. While it does not require any specialized knowledge, a few tips and a little common sense can go a long way in helping a candidate score well.
Here are a few of them.
Be Prompt and Precise
Remember, you have just 10 seconds to answer a question. You have to be prompt and precise to answer it. You can neither afford to overthink nor can you answer in long sentences and waste your time.
It is also important to note that if you take longer than 3 seconds to record your answer, the current status of the audio will change to ‘completed’ and you will not able to record your answer. So ensure that you do not take a long pause before answering the question.
Check your first answer
Do not be perplexed and try to look for a better answer. Since the questions in this section are based on general knowledge and relate to day-to-day facts, they have the most simple answers. Most often, the first answer that comes to mind is also the correct answer.
Since the section is all about assessing the listening and speaking skills of exam candidates, ensure that you are using both of these wisely. Listen to the answer very carefully so you do not miss out on any detail. And then answer it promptly and coherently to crack it. Start PTE Practice with mock tests its good for you, So it helps to increase your speaking score and view sample of question answers.
Visualize your question
This is one of the best advice you can get for this section! The trick is to visualize the question as it gets played in the recording. This makes a question much clearer. It also makes it much easier to guess the correct answer and put it in words immediately.
Keep your mind Calm
Last but not least, keep calm! The most common errors that have been noticed in this section are often also the silliest ones! Even though the questions asked here are very simple and straightforward, the candidates answer them incorrectly because they are panic-struck and get confused. If you can keep your calm, listen to the question attentively, and answer coolly, half of your battle is won.
‘Answer Short Questions’ is one of the most interesting sections of the entire PTE Academic test as it is all about the general awareness of a candidate. But there is a catch as well…
Do not forget that you can only listen to the question once and also you can record your answer only once!