PTE Listening: Core English Skills Part 3

When practicing for other parts of the PTE Academic test, you may have worked on your vocabulary and grammar and learned about cohesive devices. You will also require these for Part 3: Listening in the test.

To learn more about the skills you will need for this part of the test, read on.


In this part of the test, the more words you know, the better your listening skills will be. To have a good vocabulary, you also need to understand how to pronounce words.

When practicing for the reading questions, if you find a new word that you want to learn, look it up in a good online dictionary with examples of how it is pronounced so that you can use it while speaking, as well as recognize it when listening.

It’s okay if you do not understand every word that is said, as you can guess the meaning of unknown words from the context of what is being said.

Signal Language

To understand the structure of spoken academic English and to focus listening, you need to understand how signal language is used in English.

Before they start, a speaker will usually give an outline of the speech and you can use this to begin to understand the text.

Speakers will also signal the audience when they are getting ready to finish speaking. Understanding signal language will help you answer the Summarize Spoken TextMultiple-Choice, Choose Multiple AnswersHighlight Correct Summary and Multiple-Choice, Choose Single Answer questions.

You can learn more about signal language here.


In English, understanding tense is important as it allows you to understand time references in the listening texts.

Once you understand the meaning of tenses, you will be able to understand the way the speakers are communicating in terms of time and sequence of events.

To learn more about tenses and their use, as well as signal words that are sometimes used with each tense, read this English Grammar Online resource.

Cohesive Devices

Similar to other parts of the PTE Academic test, you will need to understand how cohesive devices are used to connect text.

Cohesive devices are used to show condition. For example, if, unless, provided that. They can also show reason (either… or, neither… nor, not only… but also) and have many other uses.

You can view a complete list of cohesive devices here.

You will need to understand cohesive devices to answer the Summarize Spoken Text, Multiple-Choice, Choose Multiple Answers, Highlight Correct Summary and Multiple-Choice, Choose Single Answer questions.


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