PTE Write Essay Top Tips You Can’t Miss!
1. Write about the topic!
- The first and most important thing for Write Essay is that write about the question you are given. If you do not write about the topic (for example, if you are given a topic on a team sport and you write about the environment, or about what you had for breakfast, it will be scored zero automatically). This may seem obvious, but some people think that because your exam is assessed by a computer, it won’t care what you write about. That is not true! So make sure you answer the question given.
2. Know the task
- Like any exam, to get a good score you need to know what is required of you in each task. You can start by reading the Official PTE Tutorial. You can also take a PTE Academic preparation course. At English Key, we have PTE Academic preparation courses with classes designed specifically to teach you about each task (and how to get the best score).
3. Know the topics
- Topics of the Write Essay task are considered “hot topics” - topics with two sides that are often debated. For example: climate change, the environment, tobacco, animal rights, human rights, the media, young people of today, etc. Make sure you know vocabulary for a variety of topics that may come up.
- You need to make sure you address everything the essay questions asks so take time to plan out your essay. So use 1-2 minutes at the beginning to read the question and write out a very short essay plan.
In your plan, make sure you structure your essay properly. That is with:
INTRODUCTION - introduce the topic/question
BODY PARAGRAPH 1 - discuss one side of the argument
BODY PARAGRAPH 2 - discuss the other side
(OPTIONAL PARAGRAPH 3 - can discuss additional points)
CONCLUSION - sum up and give your opinion (if the question has asked you to)
This is the most common, academic way to structure an essay. Generally, you will only have time to write two body paragraphs, but if you feel it is necessary, you can include a third body paragraph. We go over this in more detail in our PTE Academic coaching courses and in another blog post.
6. Avoid personal language
- In academic writing, the general rule is to avoid using the word “I” or referring to yourself, unless the question specifically says you can do so (it may say you can use examples from your own life). So avoid using it if you can. You can use impersonal and passive forms instead.
7. Keep an eye on the time
- Remember to stay aware of how much time you have left to write. You only have 20 minutes. There will be a timer in the top corner so make sure you keep an eye on it to know when you should proofread (see next point). When time is up, the screen will stop responding so make sure you have finished.
- Don’t forget to proofread! That is, before time is up, go back and read what you’ve written and check for mistakes. This can make a big difference to your score! Especially for spelling.
Building on the knowledge needed for this task - vocabulary, grammar, written discourse etc. - can be difficult. At English Key, however, our PTE Academic coaching courses provide specific classes to improve your skills specifically for PTE Academic. To find out more about our courses, get in touch with us, or drop by one of our centres in Sydney or Melbourne and chat to one of our lovely staff. Our PTE Academic Preparation courses also provide you with a tonne of practice material so you can get all the practice you want!
Check out some practice essay questions here: http://englishkey.com.au/blog/pte-academic-write-essay-practice