In your PTE Academic exam, the second section of the test followed by Speaking and Writing comprises of the Reading module. It will take you roughly 35 minutes to attempt all the questions in this section. To get the most of it, you can follow the 6 Things to Do for Enhancing PTE Reading Scores. There are mainly five tasks in Reading(Click here). The text and reading materials constitute an array of topics from various articles and academic journals covering areas of arts, humanities, and science.
But there is good news! Topic oriented knowledge is not very essential since you will be provided with information for choices and options to similar questions.
To get the ball rolling let’s have a quick look at the components of this section.
There are 5 questions in total
- Fill in the blanks (dropdown)
- Fill in the blanks (drag and drop)
- Re-order paragraphs
- Multiple choice questions (single answer)
- Multiple choice questions (multiple answers)
Now that you know the question types, let’s go straight to the tips and strategies to ace them at once.
The English language is all about grammar, and it’s not an exception when you sit for a PTE Academic exam. Across all modules of the exam, your grammatical knowledge will be put to the test. In the PTE reading section, in particular, its impact is paramount, as there is a range of options to choose from while you are answering questions, and unless you have sound knowledge, it’s quite easy to fall behind.
So, it is essential to have a strong base when it comes to acing this task as your success depends vastly upon having solid grammatical knowledge. Ideally, you should skim through the given passage and at once recognize the theme and content so that you can predict the most likely words that should be placed at the blank spot. Being able to identify whether it shall be a noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, or adjective along with the tense of the sentences shall be the crucial factors to decide the right answers.
A collocation is a group of words that usually go together. For example, in English, we usually say ‘fast cars’ or ‘heavy rain.’ It’s correct grammatically to say ‘quick cars,’ ‘strong rain’ or ‘big rain’, but all of these sound completely strange. A native English speaker would never say ‘quick car’ or ‘big rain’.
Hence, being familiar or being able to spot the right answers collocation wise will be a crucial factor. You can check the 2400+ list of most commonly used academic collocation lists published by Pearson to bolster your knowledge of collocation. Just google it to download the free pdf file.
There will be questions where more than one option can be selected on the merits of grammar and collocation. For example, if the word right before the blank is ‘academic’________ and you see options such as ‘results’, ‘certificate’, ‘calendar’, ‘studies’. Now, the tricky part is all options are making sense grammar and collocation wise, so which one to pick? Context is the decisive factor.
Whenever a situation like this arises, read the previous and the following sentence to get a better idea of the context and background to understand better what the blank might be related to. Thus, you will be able to make a rational decision while attempting to alleviate such hurdles.
In PTE Reading, often, you might encounter passages that comprise of words that are a bit complex and vocabulary that you might not be familiar with since there can be topics from academic literature and journals. One way to give yourself a better chance of mitigating this issue can be trying to read scholarly articles frequently to build a good range of vocabulary. You can always take notes of the unknown words and look them up in the dictionary, which you can install on your cell phone. It is so easy these days! Then, try to remember these words, so that if you ever happen to encounter them in a reading task, you will be in business.
The least you can do is be able to understand the scenario when you have some background knowledge of that difficult vocabulary, even if you don’t remember the exact meaning of the word. That way, you can make some sense out of the sentence and better comprehend and tackle the situation.
In your reading section for all tasks, there will be an array of options, and it won’t often be that you will be 100% sure of each answer. So, what if you are in doubt or spot of bother? Well, it shouldn’t be a significant problem. To overcome this difficulty, try to narrow down your search process. Usually, in Fill in the blanks, drop down two options out of four are more likely to be the answers, and are perfect options. So your job at first should be to eliminate the obvious wrong or less likely options.
Now, after eliminating them, you will be left with more suitable options, and that should boost your chances since you will have a higher probability of getting it correct. And as I have told already, do not leave any options blank. In your reading section, only MCQ Multiple Answers have negative marking. So, its always wise to attempt an answer even when you are not sure and augment your chances of cracking the test.
Last but not least, I would like to focus on the most crucial aspect, which is Time Management. In the Reading section, each question is not timed individually, unlike the Speaking and Writing tasks. Instead, the entire section is timed. So, when it comes to responding to specific tasks in the Reading module, although you shall have the freedom to take as much time as you need in each question, you will be at significant risk in terms of being able to attempt all questions on time.
So whats the solution? How long should you take to answer each question?
Well..the thumb rule is 2 minutes per question. At times, a few passages might be a bit lengthy. If it’s a dropdown blanks question, then obviously it carries a lot of marks since you can enhance both your Reading and writing score, so in that case, maybe you can invest two and a half to three minutes. But please make sure that you do not take extra time while answering other questions.
Also, look at our Blog Posts for tips on what to avoid to score well in PTE.