Deep dive into the PTE Academic Reading Test

A girl reading a book

The Reading module of the PTE Academic test is a crucial component that assesses your ability to comprehend written texts in English. This section consists of various question types that evaluate your reading skills and understanding.

In the Reading module of the PTE Test, you will encounter different question formats, such as multiple-choice, fill in the blanks, and re-order paragraphs. These question types are designed to test your ability to identify main ideas, understand details, make inferences, and analyze the structure of a text.

Reading (29 to 30 minutes)Number of questions
Reading and writing: Fill in the blanks5 – 6
Multiple choice, choose multiple answers1 – 2
Re-order paragraphs2 – 3
Reading: Fill in the blanks4 – 5
Multiple choice, choose single answer1 – 2

The number of questions in the Reading module can vary, but typically, you can expect around 13 – 18 questions. It is important to note that the difficulty level of the questions may vary as well, with some being relatively easier and others more challenging. However, you cannot skip ahead or come back to any question. Once you press “Next” on the screen to move to the next question, you cannot come back to the same question.

To complete the Reading module, you will be given a specific amount of time, usually around 29 – 30 minutes. There is no time limit for individual questions, but you have to complete the overall test in the total time allotted for this section. It is essential to manage your time effectively to ensure you have enough time to read the passages and answer the questions.

By understanding the format, question types, and time constraints of the PTE Reading Test, you can better prepare yourself for success. Practice and familiarize yourself with the different question types to improve your reading skills and increase your chances of achieving a high score in this section.

How do I practice PTE reading?

To excel in the PTE Reading Test, it is crucial to develop effective strategies and practice regularly. Here are some practical tips to improve your reading skills for the PTE Reading test.

1. Read extensively

One of the best ways to enhance your reading skills is to read extensively. Make it a habit to read a variety of English texts, such as newspapers, magazines, books, and online articles. This will expose you to different writing styles, vocabulary, and topics, helping you become familiar with the language and improve your comprehension abilities.

a man reading a book

2. Focus on academic texts

The PTE Reading Test primarily consists of academic texts, so it is essential to practice reading this type of material. Look for articles or passages related to various academic subjects, such as science, history, economics, or literature. Pay attention to the structure, main ideas, supporting details, and vocabulary used in these texts.

3. Develop skimming and scanning techniques

Skimming and scanning are valuable techniques that can save you time and help you locate specific information quickly. Skimming involves quickly reading through a passage to get a general idea of the content, while scanning involves searching for specific keywords or phrases. Practice these techniques to improve your speed and accuracy in finding information within a text.

4. Improve vocabulary

A strong vocabulary is essential for understanding and interpreting written texts. Regularly learn new words and their meanings, and practice using them in sentences. Make use of flashcards, vocabulary apps, or online resources to expand your word bank. Additionally, pay attention to collocations and idiomatic expressions commonly used in English texts.

5. Practice time management

Time management is crucial in the PTE Reading Test. Allocate a specific amount of time for each passage and question set, ensuring that you have enough time to read and answer all the questions. Practice under timed conditions to improve your speed and efficiency in completing the test within the given time frame.

6. Take practice tests

Familiarize yourself with the format and question types of the PTE Reading Test by taking practice tests. This will help you become comfortable with the test structure and develop effective strategies for answering different question types. Analyze your performance, identify areas for improvement, and focus on practicing those specific skills.

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7. Review and analyze your mistakes

After completing practice tests or exercises, review your answers and analyze any mistakes you made. Understand why you chose the incorrect option and learn from your errors. This will help you identify patterns, improve your understanding of the question types, and avoid making similar mistakes in the actual test.

8. Seek feedback and guidance

Consider seeking feedback from a qualified English language instructor or tutor. They can provide valuable insights, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and offer personalized guidance to help you improve your reading skills. Additionally, join study groups or online forums where you can discuss strategies, share resources, and learn from others preparing for the PTE Reading Test.

By implementing these practical tips and dedicating regular time to practice, you can enhance your reading skills and increase your chances of achieving a high score in the PTE Reading Test. Remember to stay consistent, stay motivated, and track your progress along the way. Good luck!

How can I get marks in PTE reading?

The marking scheme for the Reading section of the PTE Academic test plays a crucial role in determining your score. Understanding how the test is marked can help you strategize and maximize your chances of getting high marks.

In the PTE Reading Test, each question is worth either one or two marks, depending on its complexity and difficulty level. The total number of marks you can achieve in the Reading section varies, as it is based on the number of questions in the test.

A robot computing data

To get marks in the PTE Reading Test, it is important to focus on the following key aspects:

1. Correct answers: Providing accurate answers is essential to earn marks. Make sure you understand the question and choose the correct option or fill in the appropriate information.

2. Reading comprehension: Demonstrating a clear understanding of the passage is crucial. Marks are awarded for accurately comprehending the main ideas, supporting details, and the overall message of the text.

3. Vocabulary and grammar: The effective use of vocabulary and grammar is important for conveying your understanding of the passage. Marks are awarded for using appropriate words, phrases, and grammatical structures.

4. Coherence and cohesion: Your ability to organize and connect ideas within the passage is assessed. Marks are given for demonstrating a logical flow of information and using cohesive devices, such as transition words and pronouns.

5. Time management: Managing your time effectively is crucial to complete all the questions within the given time frame. Marks are awarded for answering all the questions and utilizing the allotted time wisely.

By understanding the marking scheme and focusing on these key aspects, you can improve your chances of getting high marks in the PTE Reading Test. Practice regularly, develop effective strategies, and familiarize yourself with the test format to enhance your performance.

What are the most important questions in the PTE Reading test?

Not all questions are equally important in the Reading section, while some questions from Speaking, Writing, and Listening sections are also important to score well in this module. Refer to the following table:

Question typeNumber of questionsSpeaking scoreWriting scoreReading scoreListening score
Reading and writing: Fill in the blanks5 – 622.322.1
Read aloud6 – 722.222.1
Summarize written text1 – 210.410.3
Highlight incorrect words2 – 38.97.9
Reading: Fill in the blanks4 – 514.8
Re-order paragraph2 – 35.8
Reading: Multiple choice, choose multiple answers1 – 23.0
Highlight correct summary1 – 21.51.3
Reading: Multiple choice, choose single answer1 – 21.5

So you can see here that the two multiple choice question types are not very significant in terms of the marks they carry toward the overall score. However, Read Aloud questions from the Speaking section and Summarize Written Text questions from the Writing sections are crucial to get a good score in Reading. Therefore, give more focus on those questions which have a higher weightage.

Why is the PTE Reading Test so difficult?

The PTE Reading Test can be challenging for many students due to various reasons. One of the main difficulties is vocabulary. The test includes passages that contain advanced vocabulary, which may be unfamiliar to non-native English speakers. Understanding the meaning of these words is crucial for comprehending the passage and answering the questions accurately.

Grammar is another area where students may struggle. The test assesses not only the understanding of grammar rules but also the ability to apply them correctly. Students need to pay attention to sentence structure, verb tenses, and subject-verb agreement to ensure their answers are grammatically correct.

Understanding context is also a challenge in the PTE Reading Test. The passages often contain complex ideas and arguments, requiring students to grasp the main ideas, supporting details, and the overall message. This requires strong reading comprehension skills and the ability to infer information from the text.

Time management is another difficulty faced by test-takers. The Reading section has a time limit, and students must answer a significant number of questions within that time frame. Managing time effectively is crucial to ensure all questions are attempted and answered accurately.

man shouting at phone

Overall, the PTE Reading Test is difficult due to the combination of vocabulary, grammar, understanding context, and time management. However, with practice and a strategic approach, students can overcome these challenges and improve their performance in the test.


In conclusion, the PTE Reading Test presents various challenges for test-takers. The test’s difficulty stems from the combination of advanced vocabulary, grammar requirements, understanding complex ideas, and managing time effectively. However, with practice and a strategic approach, students can overcome these challenges and improve their performance in the test. It is crucial for students to focus on expanding their vocabulary, mastering grammar rules, enhancing reading comprehension skills, and developing effective time management strategies. By doing so, test-takers can increase their chances of success in the PTE Reading Test.

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