PTE General FAQs 

 
PTE General aims to assess and reward positive and progressive achievement in English language learning. The test has been designed to motivate learners and can provide feedback to schools, parents and teachers. Where a test taker does not achieve the required level, feedback is given on areas of weakness. All test takers receive feedback on their performance.

Clearly learners progress at differing rates but, broadly speaking, Level A1 Foundation represents between three to six months part-time study and Levels 1 to 3 each represent one year of part-time study for many of our adult test takers. Level 4 often represents a further 18 months’ study from Level 3, as might the transition from Level 4 to Level 5.

Each level of PTE General (except A1 Foundation Level) is an ongoing, incremental and cumulative body of knowledge, not a discrete category without relation to prior learning. Thus, as test takers enter each new level of PTE General, it is presupposed they are familiar with, and can successfully engage in, the communicative tasks, language skills and structural and language content of the levels which precede their current area of study.

Levels A1 Foundation, 1, 2 and 3 are suitable for test takers aged 12 upwards.

Levels 4 and 5 are designed for young people aged 17+.

Children aged between 8 and 11 may prefer to sit tests from PTE Young Learners before progressing onto PTE General at Level 1 or 2. 

The types of tasks that test takers have to do in the tests are similar to those found in most modern communicative course books.  Also, the topics used in most course books are similar to those used in the tests.  Most modern course books will provide practice relevant to the test. 


To help test takers become familiar with the test types and under similar time constraints as those found in the real test, a variety of learning resources are available for each of the six PTE General levels.  Click here for PTE General learning resources.

Scheduled sessions are in May, June, November and December for PTE General and in May, June and November for PTE Young Learners. 
We encourage schools, language schools and colleges to become registered test centers so that they can enter their own and external test takers for the tests. Pearson Language Tests (PLT) will require documentary evidence from all prospective centers to ensure that it is satisfied that the center will conduct the tests according to the regulations, so ensuring that integrity is upheld. PLT has representatives internationally. In some countries, there are locally-based agents or representatives.
The scores awarded for the tests at each level are Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail.
PTE General has been theoretically aligned to the CEF at different stages of the test development cycle. The Test Specification documents are based on the level descriptors from the CEF; the Assessment Scales for Speaking and Writing have been derived from the CEF; anchor items that have been calibrated to the CEF are used during statistical analysis of live exam data. In addition to this, the CEF will be used in empirical validation studies.
PTE General offers a unified and consistent assessment solution at six levels of proficiency that gives test takers the opportunity to identify their strengths, and track improvement and success over time. PTE General is widely used by test takers who are looking for an internationally recognized general English test that allows them to build a portfolio of their language ability for travel, further education or to improve their employment prospects.
PTE General is awarded by Edexcel and accredited as 'ESOL International' qualifications by the regulators of external qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Ofqual, the Welsh Assembly Government and CEA respectively).  The test is recognized by universities and colleges worldwide.  Click here to see who recognizes PTE General.
PTE General is a scenario-based English language test designed to allow students the freedom to express themselves, show what they can do and how well they can use English. It integrates all four skills (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing) and focuses on assessing the ability of communicating in English, rather than test-taking skills.
PTE General tests all four skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.  The emphasis is on communicative skills; which is the ability to use the language for practical purposes rather than having an underlying knowledge of grammar or vocabulary. 
Click here to download the Guides for more detailed information about the skills tested in PTE General and the test formats.
Each of the six levels of PTE General is an ongoing, incremental and cumulative body of knowledge, not a discrete category without relation to prior learning. The unified and consistent assessment solution at six levels of proficiency offers students the opportunity to identify their strengths, and track improvement and success over time.
PTE General uses international content to test a student's ability to communicate in English.  The test uses spoken and written sources that have been drawn from a range of standard English varieties, principally British, North American and Australian.
PTE General consists of a written test and a short oral test.  The time allowed for the written test varies from one hour 15 minutes at the lowest level to two hours 55 minutes at the highest.  The timing for the oral test varies from five minutes at the lowest levels to eight minutes at the highest.  Click here to download the Guides for more detailed information on the test time for each levels of PTE General.