PTE Writing: Task Format, Practice Tips & Strategies

pte writing practice tips

The PTE Writing section is vital for individuals hoping to study or work in English-speaking countries. It gauges their ability to use English effectively in academic and professional settings.

The Writing score comes from both essays and many other PTE Academic tasks. So what will you need to master to get 79+ for Writing without completing an essay? 

This post by PTE Magic will offer a clear understanding of the PTE Writing part and some helpful advice on making magic in Writing PTE.

Let’s take a look.

Key Takeaways

  • PTE Writing evaluates a candidate’s ability to effectively convey thoughts, opinions, and knowledge through writing tasks and well-organized essays.
  • The PTE Writing section consists of two tasks: Summarize Written Text and Essay.
  • PTE writing mistakes can undermine the overall effectiveness of your essays and summaries. Below are the four key mistakes to be mindful of and avoid.


The Format of the PTE Writing Section

pte writing practice tips

The PTE Writing is the second part of the Speaking section. You will be directed to the Writing test after finishing the Speaking tasks. PTE Writing evaluates a candidate’s ability to effectively convey thoughts, opinions, and knowledge through writing tasks and well-organized essays.

The PTE Writing section consists of two tasks: Summarize Written Text and Essay. Both tasks in the PTE Writing section are computer-based, and you will type your responses using a keyboard.

Here’s a brief overview of the format for each task:

Prompt Length
Time to Answer
Skills Assessed
Summarize Written Text
Text up to 300 words
10 minutes
After reading the text, write a one-sentence summary of the passage.
Reading and writing
2–3 sentences
20 minutes
Write a 200–300 word essay on a given topic.

These tasks gauge your ability to express ideas succinctly, coherently, and logically. The ability to summarize and construct persuasive essays is a vital component of the PTE Writing section.


Summarize Written Text

You will be presented with a passage of up to 300 words. This passage can cover a wide range of topics, from academic articles to news reports or general interest texts.

After reading the provided text, you have to summarize it into a single, coherent, and grammatically correct sentence. You must write your summary in a single sentence.

Write Essay

You will receive a prompt consisting of 2 to 3 sentences that introduce a topic or issue. You will have 20 minutes to write a 200-300-word essay on a given topic. Your essay should present a clear and well-structured argument, providing supporting evidence and examples where necessary.


PTE Writing Scoring Guides

Partial Credit
Partial Credit

A computer will assess your writing skills based on several criteria, including content, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and coherence. It uses automated scoring algorithms to evaluate your responses based on preset linguistic features and proficiency indicators.

The scoring system will consider the following factors of the write-up in the grading process. 

  • Development structure
  • Coherence of the written content
  • The length of responses
  • General linguistic range
  • Grammar usage and mechanics
  • Vocabulary range
  • Spelling

It’s crucial to express your ideas clearly, use proper grammar and vocabulary, and maintain coherence throughout your responses to score well in this section.

Note that in PTE Academic, the PTE Writing score is contributed not only from essays but also from other PTE Academic tasks such as Summarize Written Text, Fill in the Blanks, Summarize Spoken Text, Listening – FIB, and Write From Dictation.

12 PTE writing practice tips

Know the Writing format

Understanding the standard essay format is crucial. Ensure you have a clear introduction, body paragraphs with topic sentences, and a conclusion. For summaries, stick to a single sentence capturing the main point.

Cover all aspects of the prompt

Read the prompt thoroughly and ensure you address all aspects mentioned. Failure to address any part can result in a lower score.

Keep everything simple

Simplicity and clarity are key. Use concise and straightforward language to convey your ideas effectively. Avoid overly complex sentences that might confuse the reader.

Give your ideas a logical sequence

Always stay on topic and provide the response in a logical order in essay and summary tasks. You should repeat the main points many times in your writing.

Besides, structuring your response logically is vital. Start with a clear thesis statement and build your arguments or summary in a coherent sequence. Use connecting words like “firstly,” “in addition,” and “finally” to improve flow.

Avoid jargon

Keep your language formal and academic. Avoid slang, abbreviations, and informal expressions.

Strengthening your vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary is essential in PTE writing tasks. Therefore, you should read widely and practice using new words in sentences to ensure you can use them correctly.

You can enhance your vocabulary through English books, articles, journals, or newspapers. However, don’t ignore your new vocabulary. When you come across them, give some instances to help you memorize them better.

Focus on grammar

Grammar forms the backbone of effective writing. Remember standard grammar rules, sentence structures, and verb tenses. Work on eliminating grammatical errors in your writing.

Ensure coherence and cohesion

Your writing should have a natural flow. Use transition words and phrases to connect ideas and create a smooth and cohesive response.

Mistakes make perfect

Do not worry if you make mistakes as they are valuable learning opportunities. First, identify your weak points in writing. Find out which mistakes you frequently make and strive to fix them through practice.

Practice with different topics

Broaden your knowledge base by familiarizing yourself with a wide range of topics. This will help you adapt to various prompts during the test.

Ask the PTE coach for guidance

Not everyone can self-study effectively. Thus, consider working with a PTE coach or tutor. They can provide personalized feedback and guidance to help you improve specific areas.  This can be particularly beneficial when refining advanced skills like vocabulary enrichment and nuanced writing style.

Commit to diligent practice

Good writing skill is not achieved overnight. Consistent practice is key to improvement. You should set aside dedicated time for writing practice regularly.

As you consistently apply these tips, you’ll gradually witness improvement in your writing skills, ultimately boosting your overall PTE scores.

4 Mistakes to avoid in PTE writing

PTE writing mistakes can undermine the clarity, coherence, and overall effectiveness of your essays and summaries.

Here are some key mistakes to be mindful of and avoid:

Misreading the prompt

Misunderstanding or neglecting any aspect of the writing prompt can lead to off-topic responses or incomplete essays. Always thoroughly analyze the question and ensure you address every component.

Neglect limit word count

Score penalties may apply if you write more words than allowed or fewer words than allowed. Adhering to the word limits is essential.

Grammatical errors

Often making grammatical mistakes, such as subject-verb agreement errors or misuse of tenses, can significantly hinder your score. Therefore, you should do a grammar check after completing your writing tasks.

Spelling and typos

Overlooking spelling and typos can lower your scores. Always proofread after completing.


Remember to keep your writing clear, concise, and well-structured, while also expanding your vocabulary and ensuring grammatical accuracy.

Ultimately, careful preparation along with our practical tips above will pave the way to success in the PTE Writing section.

Feel free to contact us if you seek help from our PTE coach for your PTE practice!

Last updated on 09/07/2024

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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