Explore Courses

PTE Reading Test : Everything You Need to Know

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

pte reading test

Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a standardized English language test that assesses the level of English proficiency of non-native English speakers. The PTE exam process makes work, study, or visa applications simpler and is accepted by governments and universities worldwide. The goal of the PTE results is to prove whether a student is proficient enough to attend college in or migrate to an English-speaking country. The PTE exam pattern consists of three sections: Speaking and Writing, Reading, and Listening. 

There are two types of PTE exams: PTE Academic and PTE General. PTE Academic is one of the universally accepted tests of English language proficiency. It evaluates candidates on their writing and speaking, listening, and reading skills. PTE General is conducted to reward brilliant achievements in English learning.

Interested students can take the PTE examination at their nearest testing center, and it requires two hours to complete. It is a computer and headset-based examination which analyzes English proficiency in real life. There are 20 types of questions in the examination, and students will have one session to complete the same. 

Parts of PTE

PTE reading is only one part of the examination. There are 20 question types in the PTE examination, including essay writing and multiple-choice questions. Here is a basic guide: 

  1. Part 1 – Speaking and Writing – This takes 54-67 minutes. It has seven types of questions available. Students will be evaluated on their writing and speaking skills here. Students will be using English that is suitable for an academic setting. 
  2. Part 2 – Reading – This takes 29-30 minutes on average. This portion has five different types of questions. It will test a student’s ability to read English of an academic nature. Both reading and writing skills are evaluated through a single item type. 
  3. Part 3- Listening – This section takes 30-43 minutes on average. It has eight types of questions and tests listening abilities via video and audio clips. 

PTE Reading Section in Detail

The PTE reading test requires 29-30 minutes on average. This section tests candidates’ ability to understand instructions. It is divided into five segments. The PTE Academic is an integrated examination, and hence there is one item that also evaluates the writing skills of the candidate. The PTE exam reading question types are the following: 

  1. Reading & Writing- Fill in the Blanks- This is a pivotal part of the reading test in PTE. There will be on-screen text with numerous gaps. You have to drag words from a box to fill them up. This is also called PTE reading comprehension at times. 
  2. Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer- You have to answer a question with multiple choices after reading the given text on its tone/context. This is another part of the reading test in PTE that you should not neglect. 
  3. Re-Order Paragraphs- There will be multiple text boxes on your screen arranged randomly. Insert them in the right order. 
  4. Fill in the Blanks- You will have text with several gaps. You can drag words from the box to fill up the same. This has the shortest text length up to 80 words. 
  5. Multiple Choice, Single Answer- Read the text and then answer the multiple-choice question by choosing only a single response on the tone/content of the text given. 

Recommended Reads:

PTE EligibilitySyllabus For PTE ExamPTE Exam Dates
PTE Test Centers in IndiaPTE Scores & PTE ResultsPTE Accepted Universities in USA

Study Abroad Preparation Course

What does the Course include:

  • 12 Weeks of Dedicated Coaching to Build a robust profile for Top 1% Universities
  • SOP & Personal Statements For Academic Writing
  • 25 hours of live online classes with mock tests for IELTS
  • Visa, University Application & Submission
  • Country-specific Support with Education loan Guidance
  • International Faculty Masterclass

Guides for PTE Reading Section

The reading time in PTE is just 29-30 minutes. Hence, students will have to be quick. Here are some PTE tips and tricks for reading that you should keep in mind: 

Multiple Choice, Single Answer

  • Try to find out the core message of the given passage while emphasizing keywords to discover the correct answer. 
  • Always emphasize frequency words like sometimes, always, etc. 
  • Since no negative marking is there, do not leave this question blank. 
  • Eliminate the options and narrow down the answer. 
  • Answer hints are often available in the last couple of lines in the passage. 
  • Remember passage-based information since questions do not have any order. 
  • Paraphrase suitably and convey meanings with various types of words.

Multiple Choice, Multiple Answers 

  • One of the biggest PTE reading tips is that you should not choose any options without total surety. This question comes with a negative marking. 

Re-Order Paragraphs

  • Look for the headline and a key idea in the paragraph. 
  • Sentences beginning with pronouns (she/he/they/them) should not be your first world. 
  • Find contradictory phrases. 

Filling in the blanks 

  • There is no negative marking in this section. Answer all the questions. 
  • Focus on the parts of speech right before and just after the blank is given. It will help you discover the word that is missing. 
  • Missing words will mostly have their corresponding synonyms in the given text.

Read More About PTE:

PTE Exam DurationPTE Exam Preparation
PTE Exam Accepted CountriesHow to prepare PTE exam at home


Frequently Asked Questions

How to crack PTE reading?

You can easily crack the PTE reading test by following the right strategy. 

  1. Check which portions have negative marking and which ones do not. 
  2. Always make sure that you are thorough with your understanding of the given text. 
  3. It is a test of your English vocabulary and your grammatical skills.

How to do read aloud in PTE?

Pause at the right junctures in order to balance things out. Emphasize on words without going over the top. Keep varying your tone periodically to make it sound pleasing and not monotonous. You should also break down words that are difficult and practice daily reading simultaneously. You should also speak loudly and confidently to ace this part.

How to score in PTE Reading section?

You can score higher marks in the reading section by practicing your grammatical knowledge and developing your vocabulary. You should also use collocations and eliminate answers to arrive at the right ones. You should also make sure that you learn the usage of words that have similar meanings.

How to get 90 in PTE reading?

Test takers should follow the right strategies to score 90 in the PTE reading section. It is advisable to read confidently in the reading aloud section and make sure that they emphasize the right words and at the right junctures. Students should also check the sections with negative marking and those that do not.

How to read PTE score?

Understand the PTE score carefully. 85-90 is the highest possible score, equivalent to IELTS band 9, and the 76-84 threshold is equivalent to IELTS 7-8. The 59-75 score threshold is equivalent to IELTS 5.5-6.5. Anything below this makes it difficult to secure admission. Other bands include 43-58, 30-42, and 10-29.

How to improve reading skills in PTE?

It is advisable for students to practice as much as possible before the examination since there will be limited time available for answering all the given questions. Speed reading is something that a student should carefully practice and aim at reading a minimum of 220 words for each minute.

Popular Study Abroad Destinations

Study in Canada

Study in Canada

Study in Canada & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Canada
Study in Australia

Study in Australia

Study in Australia & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Australia
Study in USA

Study in USA

Study in the USA & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in USA

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.



Other Exams

University Acceptance Rate

University Ranking

IELTS Resources


The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.