PTE Academic Mastery: Select Missing Word

The Select Missing Word question item type assesses listening skills, and requires you to use contextual and grammatical cues to predict and identify what a speaker will say.

Number of items 2-3
Prompt Length 20-70 seconds
Scoring Correct/Incorrect
Communicative skills, enabling skills and other traits scored Listening
Subskills tested Listening: Identifying the topic, theme or main ideas; identifying words and phrases appropriate to the context; understanding academic vocabulary; inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words; comprehending explicit and implicit information; comprehending concrete and abstract information; following an oral sequencing of information; predicting how a speaker may continue; forming a conclusion from what a speaker says; comprehending variations in tone, speed and accent.
  1. The topic of the recording will be stated in the instructions. Before the audio will start playing, use the seven-seconds short period to read the instructions and scan the options. 
  2. Never let your mind wander. Concentrate on the recording. Observe the progress and the structure of the recording. Watch out for cues which suggest that the speaker is presenting examples, defining a subject, making an argument, or giving a conclusion.
  3. Do not waste time trying to understand every single word. Try to infer the general topic using the words that you know.
  4. Pay attention to the blue bar in the Audio status box. It will tell you when the recording is about to end. Be ready to pick the word or phrase that best completes the last sentence.
  5. If you want to change your answer, click it again to deselect it then click the option that will serve as your final answer.
  6. Sometimes, it works to follow your gut in this task. You will only hear the recording once so there is no avenue to overthink or review your answer.
  7. Do not skip this task or move to the next item without, at the least, making a guess.


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