A band score of at least 79 in the Pearson Test of English Academic is evidence of an individual’s proficient English level and is equivalent to 20 points in the points test system of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas of Australia. These visas require a total of 65 points which is attainable by providing proof of qualifications in terms of age, education, work experience, English ability and state nomination (for visa 190 only). For some occupations, the number of applicants is quickly increasing and competition for the remaining slots is tough. Sixty five points is certainly not enough to guarantee an invitation. If you choose these occupations, you must work your way up to increase your points and to increase your chances of receiving an invitation.
You can wait until your years of work experience is high enough to add five to your current number of points; or, aim to score at least 79 in each section of PTE Academic so you can earn 20 points for English ability.
A band score of 79 is 88% of the perfect score. It is not achievable by stock knowledge or daily experience. It requires a thorough and intensive preparation.
Today, we have listed down these guidelines to address a candidate’s need to achieve the most coveted 79+ score:
Be equipped and prepared for the battle
- Allocate time for the preparation or make a study plan. It is not enough that you’ve read everything to know about PTE Academic. Dedicated practice will train your mind and voice to respond to the most difficult tasks.
- Prepare the right equipment. Invest in a computer and noise-cancelling headphones with a microphone. Most review materials are available online. Visit the Pearson web page to learn about the scored mock tests.
- Use a timer when practicing and record yourself. Ask somebody else to listen to your recordings and make them assess your performance.
Be resourceful and manage your time effectively
- Read testimonies and tips from takers who have successfully scored 79+ in all sections. They share specific and detailed tips that might work out for you. It’s good to hear from people who have firsthand experience.
- Do not overwhelm yourself with tons of study materials or try to finish them off just to have the satisfaction of completing several materials; pick published and recommended materials.
- Do not spend too much on time on sections and tasks you’re comfortable practicing in. We tend to stick on our comfort zone. Learn to overcome your aversion on tough and laborious tasks.
- Balance your time and energy on each of the sections. Spending more time on the challenging tasks is good but never slack on easier tasks.
- Review basic English grammar and spelling.
Be strategic and integrate the language in your daily activities
- Familiarize yourself with the test format, test sections, task types, time limit, word limit, sequence and scoring. Nothing beats a well-prepared fighter.
- Formulize a list of tips per task, e.g. for the write an essay task, common tips include writing an introduction, body and conclusion, providing an example or scenario to support the argument and allocating at least five minutes to check the grammar and spelling of the words.
- Listen to podcasts while driving, watch English news and read academic textbooks, journals, research papers instead of fiction novels and blogs.
Be clear and natural when speaking
- Use your natural accent. Do not try to imitate American, British or Australian accents.
- Learn to be relaxed, confident and comfortable. Do not fidget. Do not stutter. Avoid fillers and non-words.
- Speak fluently. Do not eat your words and properly pronounce the last letter of the words.
- Do not be monotonous; put emphasis on the right syllables. Talk at a modest pace.
- Do not shout; use a moderate volume in speaking.
Be persistent and focused
- Recognize your weaknesses and work on improving them. Never tell yourself that you are not good at some tasks. Challenge yourself.
- Have the right discipline, focus and presence of mind. You are not being attentive when you are studying by going through some tasks without reviewing your mistakes and understanding the answers and sample responses. Have the hunger to learn so that will not get tired.
- Do not just take the exam to get it over with. If you fail, you have to book another test, spend time to prepare and go through a lot of stress once more.
- If you are taking for the PTE Academic for nth time, take some time to ponder. Maybe you are making the same mistakes. Maybe you are not improving. Maybe you need to change your game plan.
If you’ve read testimonies from candidates who have reached five to seven attempts to score a band of at least 79, be inspired. Do not be easily disheartened and have faith in yourself. Remember, this might be your best chance to receive an invitation to apply for migration. The remaining steps will be a breeze.
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