PTE Academic Mastery: Write Essay

The Write Essay question is a long-answer item type that assesses writing skills and requires you to write a persuasive or argumentative essay on a given topic.

Number of items1-2
Time allowed20-40 minutes
ScoringPartial credit
Communicative skills, enabling skills and other traits scoredWriting

Grammar, vocabulary, spelling, written discourse

Content; development, structure and coherence; form, general linguistic range

Subskills testedWriting: Writing for a purpose (to learn, to inform, to persuade); supporting an opinion with details; examples and explanations; organizing sentences and paragraphs in a logical way; developing complex ideas within a complete essay; using words and phrases appropriate to the context; using correct grammar; using correct spelling; using correct mechanics; writing under timed conditions.
Strategies
  1. This task will present a compelling topic. Think about it carefully. Do you agree or disagree? You cannot tell yourself that you know nothing about it. You must think of something to write, otherwise, you will run out of words and waste time. 
  2. To lengthen your essay, cite examples or instances. You may share your own experiences. If you feel doing free writing, go ahead; but, never forget to review your work.
  3. Organize your thoughts by grouping them into paragraphs. If you are presenting a new idea, add a new paragraph.
  4. The best method to prepare for this task is to practice writing essays. Several topics are available in the web. When you get used to this task, your ideas will naturally come out of your mind.
  5. Read sample essays. Study how the writer introduces two sides of the argument, explains both sides, picks his position, and make a clear and definite conclusion.
  6. Have the discipline to use a timer when practicing. Honor the time limit; however, do not panic when the 20-minute period is about to end.
  7. Randomly select topics to practice with. Do not just choose something easy because you know about it or you think you can make a convincing argument out of it. In the actual test, you are left with no choice but to deal with what is in front of you.
  8. Use a computer when practicing so you can improve your typing speed. Train yourself to capitalize the first letter of the sentences. Sometimes, we ignore this simple step because we are used to applications which automatically do the capitalization for us. Remember, the program does not have this feature.
  9. Aside from capitalization, pay attention to the spelling and spacing of your words. Unlike smart Word programs, the test will not autocorrect misspelled words or prompt you of missing spaces.
  10. Do not get used to writing contractions (I’m, Isn’t, They’re, Wasn’t). Although they are simpler, they tend to set an informal tone which is not ideal in academic and formal writing.
  11. If you attempt to write about something completely different from the given topic, your essay will be marked zero.
  12. Do not go below or beyond the word limit (between 200 to 300 words). If you write less or more than the required number of words, you will earn zero points for the task.
  13. Do not proceed to the next task without proofreading your essay. Spare two to three minutes to read your work to check the spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and written discourse.