Boost Your PTE Core Score: Tips for New Question Formats

May 30,2024

PTE Core Tips

About PTE Core Academic Test

Let me first state the primary requirement for mastering the PTE core exam. You must be thinking about fluency, pronunciation, various strategies for each question type, confidence, etc.

  • The basic requirements, apart from all these mentioned, are listening, practicing, and mimicking. Yes, to speak, listen, read, and write, you have to listen to the native speakers. Now observe their tone, natural intonations, smooth flow of sentences, and phrasing of words.
  • Then, practice the same with native speakers while listening to them. After that, repeat, repeat, and repeat!
  • As a non-native speaker, we ought to speak the English language with incorrect pronunciations, but to be able to score well in the PTE Core Exam, one must indulge himself or herself in the world of the English language to be able to speak effectively, along with listening to various accents.

These are the core skills you will need to boost your confidence and tackle the PTE Core Exam preparation smoothly.

Tips & Strategy for PTE Core Newly Added Questions

To start with, the PTE Core scores are contributed across four skills:

  1. Speaking
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Listening

Compared to the PTE Academic test, two question types are added, replacing the older ones in the PTE Academic.

For Example, “Re-tell the lecture” and “Writing an Essay” in the PTE Academic test are replaced by “Respond to the Situation” and “Write an Email,” respectively. Along with these changes, minor changes are also implemented in “Summarize Written Text” and “Summarize Spoken Text” regarding the word limit of the written disclosure and many more.

As discussed above, there are 4 skills in the PTE Test Core format, which includes a total of 19 question types.

We will discuss the newly added two question types. To ace the PTE Core exam, one should gain knowledge of these changes with the correct guidance and strategies to face them.

The article gives brief information about the newly added two question types in the PTE Core test, along with scoring criteria, and an in-depth discussion.

1) Respond To The Situation(RTS):

A real-life example of a situation will be given in the PTE Core examination, where you have to read and listen to a situation. Thereafter, you will have preparation time and speaking time, as mentioned below. Utilising Time Management in PTE is key to success.

Exam ComponentDetails
Preparation time or thinking time20 seconds
Time for answering40 seconds
Number of questions2-4
Scoring criteriaAppropriacy, pronunciation, and fluency
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Remember 5 things before you start preparing for RTS in PTE Core:

  1. Use your preparation time to think about the situation given and jot down 4-5 points or phrases that are best related to the situation given in the PTE Core test.
  2. Paraphrase the words given to the question itself so that you don’t have to answer the whole question with your own words.
  3. While answering this particular question type, various tones should be used according to the situation given, such as formal, informal, complaining, requesting, assertive, encouraging, curious, etc. Appropriate tones and matching content will help improve your scores in “appropriacy.”
  4. Your speech should contain these seven criteria for scoring well in “fluency,” which are smooth and rhythmic speech, appropriate speaking for phrases, natural pauses, no hesitations, no repetitions, no false starts, and appropriate intonations.
  5. To gain a high score in “pronunciation,” you will have to focus on correct stress on words and in the sentence as well.
3: Expressed clearly and politely in formal or informal tones5: Native-like5: Native-like
2: Expressed most appropriately for highlighting the situation4: Advanced4: Advanced
1: Use of the simplest expressions3: Good3: Good
0: Not related to the topic2: Intermediate2: Intermediate
1: Intrusive1: Limited
0: Non-English0: Disfluent

PTE Core Sample Question for RTS:

You are in the garden for a regular walk, and you notice that one group is throwing litter in the walking zone. What would you say to them about this situation?


Hello guys, I hope that you are having a great time in this garden. I am a frequent visitor here, and while I was walking, I noticed that some of the litter in the walking zone might have been dropped by you accidentally. I would appreciate it if you could help me pick up this litter to maintain the garden’s beauty. We, as humans, need to make our surroundings clean, your help in this case would be of great use. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
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2) Write an Email

In this task, a real-world topic for an essay will be given, and you have to use that in writing an essay for the PTE Core exam. Specific timing and other details are as follows:

Exam ComponentDetails
Total task time9 minutes
Word limit50 – 120
Number of questions2-3
Type of emailFormal or informal
Scoring criteriaContent, email conventions, form, organization grammar, vocabulary

We often write an email to our colleague, boss, manager, or friend. Similarly, preparing for the PTE Core and mastering PTE Core Writing task, requires some consideration, which can be developed over time with rigorous practice.

Here are some key points to consider while writing email in PTE Core:

  1. Include major key points according to the situation.
  2. Write with a word limit of 50–120 words. However, it is suggested to write approximately 100 words.
  3. The email should focus on the main message along with supporting ideas or sentences that strengthen the focal idea of the email.
  4. To convey your points, using clear and concise sentences and language is a good idea. Maintaining a formal or informal tone throughout the email according to the prompt asked is essential.
  5. Proofreading: Proofreading is a skill where one should be able to identify their own mistakes, such as spelling, grammar, and appropriate punctuation marks. This process should be done within the last 2-3 minutes of the PTE Core writing tasks.
  6. Email conventions: Use the correct email conventions, which are mentioned below:
Email ConventionsExamples
Formal greetings:Dear (name), Good morning/afternoon (name), Respected (name), Greetings (name), To whom it may concern,  
Informal greetings:Hi (name), Hello (name), Hello team,  
Formal sign-offs:Warm regards, Sincerely, Best regards, Yours respectfully, Kind regards, Thanks,  
Informal sign-offs:Thanks, Warmly, Regards, See you, Best wishes,

Below is a simple presentation of “PTE Core Email Writing Strategy”:

PTE Core Email Writing Strategy

PTE Core Writing Email: Sample Questions & Answers

Following are two PTE Core sample emails containing formal and informal tones.

Sample Question 1 (Formal email):

You are an employee of a company. Write an email to your boss, Mr. Kowaski, regarding a leave application. You should consider the following two criteria while writing an email:
– Reason for a leave
– Duration of a leave

Sample Answer 1:

Dear Mr. Kowaski,

I am writing this email to grant me leave for four days. Parker is my best friend, and he has been hospitalized and needs my immediate attention.
Firstly, Parker lives in a suburb and is very close to me. I would not miss personally checking his health.
Furthermore, I will make sure to divide tasks among my colleagues, ensuring a smooth workflow.
Lastly, I would be available through phone calls if any emergency showed up in those four days.
I request the approval of my leave.

Mr. Daniel
Assistant Registrar.

Sample Question 2 (Informal email):

Write an email to your friend Kriti, about sharing an experience of a concert that you went to recently. Your friend has missed the same due to some work.

Sample Answer 2:

Hello Kriti,
We haven’t met for so long, and I hope your health is all right. I thought to write this email to give insight into my experience of the concert.
To begin with, it was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever been to due to its amazing sound system.
Also, I got an opportunity to meet band artists at the end of the concert, and I greeted them with my love, appreciation, and respect.
Further, the next concert of the same artist is coming up in 3 months, so I have already booked the tickets for both of us, and I can’t wait for that day.
I am eager to meet you soon.
Yours lovely,

Concluding Marks

In the PTE Core test, compared to the PTE Academic test, you will face two new question types named “Respond to the Situation” and “Write an Email.” As PTE Core is associated with general ideas and real-world problems and situations, these two question types will have real-life scenarios. As a result, it will be quite easy to answer these two questions, provided the correct solving strategies and guidance on the right path.

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    Written By

    Utsav Mistry

    PTE Trainer Extraordinaire at Aspire Square. With a Master in Engineering field and a passion for education, he seamlessly merges technical expertise with language proficiency. His tailored strategies and personalized guidance empower PTE aspirants to excel in English language mastery.


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