PTE Answer Short Questions: A Short Guide to Success

pte answer short questions

PTE Academic or the Pearson Test of English is a global computer-based language proficiency test.

One of the challenging sections in that exam is the PTE Answer Short Question. If you want to study abroad or build your career in an English-speaking country, you need to conquer this task.

Do not worry!

Find valuable insights, strategies, and tips that help you pass the test in this article. Whether you are a first-time or experienced participant, this guide by PTE Magic equips you with the necessary knowledge and skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Answer Short Questions is a part of the PTE Academic test which requires excellent listening skills and rapid reflexes to respond quickly.
  • For every correct answer,  you will receive 1 mark, and you are not penalised when giving an incorrect response.
  • At the end of the blog, you will find a detailed list of the most repeated Answer Short Questions. Check them out below.


PTE Answer Short Question Overview

pte answer short questions

As mentioned above, Answer Short Questions are part of the PTE Academic test. This section requires great listening skills and rapid reflexes to respond quickly and accurately to an AI-based scoring system. Unlike the IELTS, you only need to provide short and sweet answers that go straight to the main idea. 

In detail, test-takers will receive questions through an audio clip on the computer screen. Each question lasts no more than 9 seconds, and there are 10-12 questions. 

Right after that, you only have up to 10 seconds to work them out. Recently, the system has also added photo and video questions. Your job is to observe and process information from those pictures and videos.

The task covers a wide range of topics, including general knowledge, everyday scenarios, and academic subjects. Test-takers can respond with a single word or a short phrase, depending on the question. Your answer is recorded and later assessed by the AI-based scoring system.

However, it is never an easy challenge, even for fluent English speakers. You may get overwhelmed by the fast pace from the start and fail to keep up with it. You also have little time to think after you read the question. In other words, it’s mentally taxing to proceed with 3 steps: receiving the question, sorting out the answer, and responding.

How Is It Scored? 

For every correct answer,  you will receive 1 mark, and the good news is that you are not penalized when giving an incorrect response. That grants you tons of confidence to complete all the questions in the task. The thing is: what is considered correct?

The AI system will check whether the answer provided by the candidate addresses the question with an accurate pronunciation. The answer usually contains only 1 word, so try to pronounce each word clearly and correctly.


Answer Short Question Tips & Tricks

Keep Calm

Never let anxiety and stress mess up your test because it will only worsen things. You absolutely cannot apply any smart strategy in such cases. There is no need to worry because you won’t receive a negative mark if you give a wrong answer.

Practice simple methods, like taking a deep breath, to reduce anxiety during the test. Time flies, so if you let your worry dominate, your task will end even before you realize it.

Stay 100% Focused

Though each question and answer only takes a few seconds, remember that you have a long list ahead. Most of all, they come continuously without a single break. Some test-takers tend to get tired and lose focus on questions 7 or 8 onwards. Do not follow in their footsteps! Keep your mind fresh until the last second.

Think Simple

The good news is that most questions are relatively manageable, and your common knowledge should suffice to nail them. Trust your senses and instincts and give the fastest response instead. The first answer that comes to your mind is more likely to be correct than the latecomer. 

Active Listening

As you have seen, the right response determines your chances of gaining a high score. Hence, focusing on the audio and analyzing it is best. It would help to sort out the keywords that convey the main points. 

You can skip unnecessary terms like articles and conjunctions and pay attention to nouns and verbs. Additionally, it never goes wrong to practice the listening tracks over and over again. You can access our website and navigate to Speaking Skill> Answer Short Question to practice.

Improve Pronunciation & Vocabulary

Broaden your vocabulary list by regularly reading and learning new words. A richer vocabulary portfolio will increase your chances of understanding the problem and providing accurate responses.

Additionally, be aware of homophones (words that sound similar but have different meanings) and homonyms (words that have the same spelling yet different meanings). Work on your accent every day so that the AI can recognize your answers. 

Practice Time Management

Develop strategies to quickly process the question, formulate a response, and deliver it within the given time frame. The faster you come up with the possible ideas, the more time you have to review your answers.

Only when the time allowed for that question is complete can you not change your answer. It means that if you assume your first response might be wrong, just say another answer. The system will evaluate your last response, so don’t panic.

Take Practice Tests

Refer to PTE Academic practice materials and take practice tests on the PTE Magic website to simulate the exam environment. It would help to stay persistent with the training course every day. 

As a result, you can improve your response speed and become more comfortable with the format. Familiarize yourself with common topics that frequently appear and prepare for possible questions related to those fields.

A List Of Most Repeated Answer Short Questions

  1. What does ice transform after you heat it? Water.
  2. How many sides does a pentagon/hexagon have? Five/Six.
  3. How long does a decade/centennial/millennium last? 10/100/1000 years.
  4. What is the boiling degree of water? 100°C.
  5. What is the major ingredient in chocolate? Cocoa.
  6. What is the natural resource involved in the paper production? Wood.
  7. What term describes the amount people pay to the government for public use? Tax.
  8. Which is renewable energy: solar or oil? Solar.
  9. What printed document is published daily to keep up with the latest events? Newspaper.
  10. What is the scientific study of the universe? Cosmology.
  11. What guides sailors away from dangerous coastal waters? Lighthouse.
  12. What do we call the dividing line between two countries? Border.
  13. What is the most essential document you should obtain to drive? Driver’s license.
  14. What term is used to describe a person who has lost his sight? Blind.
  15. How many days are there in a leap year? 366 days.
  16. If you have a toothache, who should you see, a dentist or a surgeon? Dentist.
  17. What is the remaining vowel letter besides A, E, I, and O? U.
  18. What educational institution does a ten-year-old youngster attend? Primary school. 
  19. What do we call a mountain that can erupt? Volcano.
  20. What do scientists use to observe distant planets and stars? Telescope.


Mastering the PTE Answer Short Question task gets you closer to success in the PTE Academic exam. Test-takers should understand its format and scoring and practice on a daily basis. 

Hence, they can improve their listening and speaking, develop critical thinking skills, and provide accurate responses within the given time limit. Consistent practice and good time management are also key to conquering this section.

Last updated on 21/06/2024

I am a firm believer that the best teachers educate with their hearts not just their minds.

Moni | PTE MAGIC International Founder

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