Each module of the PTE (Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening) is equally important. One is not more relevant than the rest. Most assessing bodies, professional organizations and educational institutions set a minimum score for not just the overall GPA but also for each module. For example, to be eligible for a skilled migration visa, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs requires candidates to have competent English. To prove that your English aptitude is competent, you must aim for a score of at least 50 in each test component. Even if you have achieved an overall GPA of 63, if you were only graded 45 in Speaking, you cannot claim to have reached their minimum requirement.
It is wrong to assume that the more important components are those which you find more difficult. Some invest more time preparing the Speaking module because there are tasks like describing an image and retelling a lecture which call for a lot of practice to master. I couldn’t agree less. Others give more focus on Writing. I have met test takers who have taken PTE a few times and their scores show a pattern of mediocrity on one or two specific components. For their next take, they pour more effort on this component and end up improving it and either succeeding the test or weakening the other test components. Don’t ignore or slack on a section. Always give your best shot in every component. Just like in school, you cannot be number one when you’re only good in Math.
PTE also acknowledges and rates your English Enabling skills: grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse. They serve as gauges of your performance on speaking and writing. PTE rates different areas of the English language such as cohesion, speech delivery and lexical range.
Some task types were formulated to evaluate performance on two communicative skills. This sets PTE apart from other English proficiency tests who fail to integrate two skills in one task. Both listening and writing skills are demonstrated on the task Summarize spoken text which is accomplished by writing a 50-70 word summary after listening to a recording. This can mean that you cannot do great on a task and exert less effort on another. You cannot practice this task more often because it is relatively easier than the other and put your hopes and bail on another because it gives you headaches.
The overall score cannot be computed solely from the communicative skill set or from the enabling skills group. Each task type contributes to this score in a complex manner.
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