PTE Writing Tips: Self-Improvement

As part of the PTE Academic, you must demonstrate a certain set of core English skills to maximize your score.

To help you do your best in Part 1: Writing we’ve put together some tips.

Summarize Written Text

In the Summarize Written Text question type, you will be scored based on the content, formal requirements, your grammar and vocabulary.

When completing this question type you should first quickly scan read the text prompt given to make sure you understand what it is about. If you are unsure what it is about, make a guess based on the context.

You should try to take notes on the Erasable Noteboard Booklet or on the screen as you read. If you do use the screen, remember to delete your notes before clicking ‘next’ or time runs out.

Some quick ways to pick up points include:

  • Stick to the topic or purpose of the text. Key points in the text will usually be repeated, developed and highlighted – try to include these in your writing. If you do not summarize the meaning or purpose you will score zero points.
  • Do not include examples or supporting evidence in your summary.
  • Use words from the text but try to use synonyms where possible.
  • Use noun phrases where possible to show that you can use certain features of academic vocabulary in your writing.

When completing the question type, make sure you write only one sentence. If you write more, points will be lost.

A good sentence for this question type is 20-35 words long. If you write a short sentence, it will not capture all the meaning. Remember to check the word count in the box below your answer.

As you write the sentence, try to think about:

  • Have I summarized the key points?
  • Does my sentence start with a capital letter and end with a full stop? If you spell everything in capital letters or all of the words are in lower case, you will score zero.
  • Did I use run-on sentences? If you have, change them to a compound or complex sentence.

Make sure to use grammatical structures that you feel you can write correctly. Usually a complex structure is required for summarizing text.

Don’t forget, always take time to check your grammar and vocabulary before clicking “next” or the 10 minutes is up.

When checking your answer, look for articles, especially ‘the’, prepositions, tense, plurals and subject-verb agreement as well as your own common errors. Check that you have not written a run-on sentence. If so, turn it into a compound or complex sentence.

Write Essay

The second part of the Writing section contains the Write Essay question type.

This question type will test grammar, spelling, vocabulary and written discourse skills. It is important to manage time, as you will need enough time to plan, write and proofread the essay, all within the 20 minutes.

You will be scored on the content and formal requirements of the question, as well as your grammar, general linguistic range, vocabulary range and spelling.

Overall your essay should:

  • Address the prompt. If not, you will score zero.
  • Be well-planned and organized.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking to show a logical approach to the essay topic.
  • Include 4 paragraphs: an introduction, 2 body paragraphs each developing an idea, and a short conclusion summarizing your ideas.
  • Include examples, explanations and facts to support the point of view you are expressing.
  • Be between 200-300 words long. Try to write just over 200 words and use time to check the quality of your writing. If you write less than 200 or more than 380 words, you will score zero.

Use the same method of taking notes as the Summarize Written Text question type.

Your introduction can be linked to the body paragraphs with an overview. Then, the first body paragraph can be linked to the second body paragraph with a cohesive device.

More information on cohesive devices can be found at the below links:

Then for a conclusion, link it by writing In conclusion, To conclude.. etc.

In your writing, try to use complex sentences as you will score more points. Make sure to vary language by using synonyms, antonyms and academic vocabulary.

The use of appropriate idiomatic expressions or colloquialisms will help you score well, but do not use too many as your writing will not be entirely academic.

Lastly, when it comes to spelling, make sure to spell each word correctly. Making more than 1 spelling mistake will mean you will score zero for this question.

Always remember to proofread your writing to make sure there are no errors before clicking next.


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