PTE Academic Test now shorter and available online

PTE Academic
The PTE Academic test is changing, but does your preparation have to change too? Find the answer below. Source: Peter Parks/AFP

Good news for PTE Academic Test candidates in 2021 and beyond: the four-part language assessment is now shorter and available online. This computer test provides a score that indicates how proficient you are in English speaking, writing, reading, and listening, which helps universities abroad determine if you qualify for your applied course.

“Many of our PTE Academic test-takers want to move abroad to study at university or progress their careers,” said Freya Thomas Monk, Pearson’s Senior Vice President of English Language Learning. “To help them in their journey we have rolled out a shorter PTE Academic test to be taken in test centres and a new online PTE Academic test which can be taken at home.”

Here’s what candidates should know about the updates.

PTE Academic: Improved methods, same standards

From November onwards, the PTE Academic Test will feature fewer questions, making it two hours in total. It was previously three hours long. On top of that, the test will be available online for the first time beginning Nov. 16, 2021 — except in China, Iran and Cuba, for now.

Here’s the best part: the outcomes are exactly the same. The improved test uses the same format, question types, and scoring scale. You will obtain an accurate assessment of your English language abilities, which can be used to apply for your course abroad.

Do I have to change the way I prepare?

Pearson assures that the types of questions remain the same, so students can proceed with existing preparations. There are still 20 types of questions; you will find them in the practice tests online. By the way, these practice tests will switch to the two-hour format on October 27.

As for the shorter test, Pearson explains that it analysed “the format and the performance of tens of thousands of test-takers” to make sure scoring remained accurate and reliable. The bottomline? It just got a lot better for students.

Considered one of the top English language tests for international students, this test is popular in the UK (accepted by 99% of universities) and North America (recognised by 90% of Canadian universities and over 1,000 American institutions). Governments of the UK, Australia and New Zealand also accept PTE Academic Test scores for visa and immigration — though online test scores are currently not accepted for this purpose.

PTE Academic and PTE Academic Online are delivered through Pearson VUE’s global network of test centres and proctored by OnVUE.