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My PTE Experience - Sydney, Australia

September 2, 2019 in General

It has now been a couple of days since I took the PTE exam for the first time, and I decided to pen down all the important points that I think are important rather than giving a lecture what to prepare for.

I did a couple of weeks of study on my own, listened to a lot of videos, gave 3 practise tests and scored 78 overall. The external things that lowered my score were never told by anyone in the videos or blogs, so I decided to write it.

I know you all have been already preparing for the test, so you must be already knowing about the test patterns, questions and ways to attempt. I would enlighten you about the test centres, the environment and the key non-academic real-life aspects. I sure wish I had known them before I wrote the PTE exam for the first time!

Jump to the sections below to cut the chase and read what you are after.


Navitas English Test Centre - Sydney

This was the test centre I chose to go. It was nearby so I just selected it without reading the reviews. One day before, I read them on Google, and after reading so many mixed reviews I got nervous as I was afraid this would affect my scores.

But that was not the case. The centre is actually good, clean and properly sophisticated.

On the test day, I arrived at the centre and was treated well as it was my first PTE attempt. The lady sitting at the reception was really tired but she didn't reflect that in our conversation. After covering the registration piece I got a locker and put my stuff there. It's safe and secure.

Water - there is no water on the test floor, but that's not the fault of the centre. The building has no kitchen on the floor and you need to go one level below to get the water. All the reviews that I read said otherwise. Things are really good.


Keyboard plays an important role. Are you using Mac?

The writing section is heavily dependant on the keyboard. I am used to Macbooks and when I reached the test centre, I saw an old Logitech keyboard, with very hard keys to press and difficult to have the same typing speed. Result: I MADE A LOT OF SPELLING MISTAKES.

Tip

If possible please have some practise with the old keyboards. It will really help you guys.



Try Dictating to your computer and see if it gets what you say!

PTE is evaluated by a computerised system. That is the reason why NATIVE SPEAKERS DONT GET SCORES IN SPEAKING

Tip

Try dictation on your computer. Open notepad, and speak to the computer and check if it writes the same thing you say. Practise to perfect it. You need the computer to understand your accent and this is the perfect free way to practise. I scored straight 90 in the speaking section.

For mac : here are the instructions:
https://www.google.com/search?q=speech+to+text+mac&oq=speech+to+text+mac&aqs=chrome.0.0l6.4008j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


Which videos to watch and free practise papers.

My Exam English is the best site I found that contains all the sections and all the type of questions. It is very convinient to practise on this site and is really very helpful.

I found the following videos from Jay (PTE Expert) very very informative. Please take notes on the strategy for writing and speaking he provides. They are extremly good and helped me a lot. With no coaching, I scored straight 90 on speaking and was much confident.

Search youtube : PTE with Jay or pte retell lecture with jay.

You will find a lot of videos like below.

   


Tips : Quick Read

  • The centre will be very loud. All of the candidates will start speaking together. Take time, don't be the first one to start.
  • There will be no water inside the test room. Make sure you are hydrated before you start.
  • Very important to check your microphone. Record and play back the sound. Try readjusting your headset if the playback audio doesnot sounds good.
  • Don't be distracted by others. Focus on your test, speak at your own pace, loud or soft as you are comfortable.
  • Check spelling mistakes. I only scored 20 on it. It will reduce the score so be vigilant.
  • Try dictation on your computer. Open notepad, and speak to the computer and check if it writes the same thing you say. Practise to perfect it. You need the computer to understand your accent and this is the perfect free way to practise.


Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or doubts on the tests. I am not an expert, but I will let you know my learnings and will try my 100% to help you. Good luck to everyone attempting PTE.

-- Tushar Gupta