PTE Select Missing Word Tips & Tricks For Max Scores!

PTE Select Missing Word tips & tricks

PTE Select Missing Word is a task in the PTE listening section. To get a good result in this part, test-takers have to be good at both listening and comprehension skills. Therefore, this is a huge obstacle for many students, in which they get a lower score than expected.

However, with a suitable approach, you can still overcome this challenge.

In this blog, PTE Magic will help you delve into the intricacies of the PTE Select Missing Word task, exploring 7 effective strategies to not only understand but conquer this challenging section.

Let’s keep reading to discover more!


Understand PTE Select Missing Word

PTE Select Missing Word tips & tricks

The Select Missing Word task in PTE evaluates your listening and comprehension skills. In this section, a short audio clip is played, usually a sentence or a brief conversation. It can last about 20 to 70 seconds. 

This is an unfull recording. Some missing words are replaced by the “beep” sound. Your task is to select the missing word from a list of options (usually contains 3-5 options to choose from).

You may encounter this question 1-2 times in the listening section. With every right answer, you can get one point. There are no negative marks in this question so you can guess if you hesitate and are not sure which one is correct.

As with many other listening tasks, in the PTE Select Missing Word, the recording will play only once so you should listen carefully to get the answer.

It is not easy to get a high score on this question. It requires you to understand not only the details of the content but also the overall context of the recording to select the best answer from a list of possible options.

Before the recording plays, you have 7 seconds to prepare. At this time, you should skim the question and the provided answer to grasp the overall topic. By this, you can predict the content of the audio and get the key points better.

While listening, you should keep focus on the recording. You can take note if you find it hard to catch all the meaning.

7 Tips For Improving Your Score In The PTE Select Missing Word

After understanding the format of the task, let’s get some tips to get an excellent score on this question.

Tip #1: Expand Your Vocabulary

A robust vocabulary is extremely vital for this question. With a wide range of vocabulary, it’s easier to understand the overall meaning as well as the context of the recording.

Without a broad vocabulary of resources, you may not get the idea of the audio, leading to selecting a wrong answer.

You can enrich your word bank by reading diverse materials, including academic articles, literature, and newspapers.

The broader your vocabulary, the better equipped you are to decipher and choose the most fitting missing word.

Tip #2: Master Synonyms and Antonyms

The options provided in the Select Missing Word task often include synonyms or antonyms of the correct word. Practice identifying these relationships to swiftly eliminate incorrect choices and zero in on the right answer.

Tip #3: Listen actively

Listen actively means that you hear an audio and try to understand its meaning, not hearing barely. 

You should try to focus not only on individual words but also on the speaker’s tone, emphasis, and overall message. By this means, you can upgrade your overall listening ability not only for testing targets.

Actively engaging with the material enhances your comprehension and improves your ability to predict the missing word.

Tip #4: Utilize Context Clues

The context in which a word is used provides valuable clues. 

Pay attention to the subject matter, verb tense, and surrounding words to guess the intended meaning. This contextual understanding is crucial for accurately selecting the missing word.

In case you don’t know which is the correct answer, you can make a guess. There are no negative marks for this task so even when your option is wrong, you will not lose any scores. 

Tip #5: Practice with Sample Test

Familiarity breeds confidence. Regularly practice with sample tests to simulate exam conditions. The more practice, the more familiar with the test you will be.

This not only hones your skills but also helps manage test-related stress. Focus on both timed and untimed practice to strike a balance between speed and accuracy.

You can try simulation platforms like PTE Magic Practice App to take the mock tests. We provide the newest materials to practice. 

In addition, PTE Magic applies AI to assess and analyze users’ results. Therefore, you can easily know your strengths as well as your weaknesses to improve. 

Tip #6: Review and Learn from Mistakes

After practicing, it is better if you take time to analyze your results and understand why you made specific mistakes.

Identify patterns in the types of words or contexts that challenge you. Learning from errors is a potent strategy for continuous improvement.

Tip #7: Time management 

In the PTE exam, effective time management is key.

You have limited time to finish the test. Thus, you should allocate a specific amount of time for each question to utilize time effectively. You may not have enough time to finish the rest of the test if you don’t properly allocate time.

Notice that don’t stick with a question too long. If you find yourself stuck, make an educated guess and move on. It is rather than leaving the question unanswered. Unanswered questions do not contribute to your score, so take advantage of every opportunity.


In general, getting a 79+ score is not a hard challenge if you accomplish every single section well. The PTE Select Missing Word is one of them. 

Mastering the PTE Select Missing Word task is a journey that involves honing your listening skills, developing a nuanced understanding of context, and employing effective test-taking strategies.

By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can confidently approach this section and increase your chances of success in the PTE exam. Remember, practice is the cornerstone of proficiency, so dedicate time to consistent and focused preparation.

Last updated on 06/12/2023

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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