Student X had previously taken an English language proficiency test but fell short of his target score. So he had to take it again—if he wanted to become an Australian permanent resident.

But this time he chose to take the PTE. And he reviewed with us.

First Mock Test Result

Student X took his mock test June 18, 2018, 15 days after his last review day (June 4, 2018). Earlier in the review his issues were: intonation, delivery, oral fluency, grammar and vocabulary in Speaking; writing complex sentences (using linking words and transitions and coordinating conjunctions) as well as meeting the word requirement in Writing; paraphrasing and getting context clues in Reading; summarizing spoken text (using complex sentences and punctuation marks) in Listening.

I have read Student X’s essays and there were times he could not write the past form of a verb correctly. This led to spelling errors. Thus, a score of 19 in Spelling. An incorrect word due to spelling error negatively affects a Vocabulary score. This impacted his score in summarizing a written and spoken text. Taken together, including shifts in verb tense, these will impact Grammar. His 79 in Written Discourse he owed from knowing the essay template, but that did not treacle down to summary writing.

Student X’s Second Mock Test Result

Student X’s Overall Score decreased the second time: from 44-46. What’s unsettling is his scores in Oral Fluency and Pronunciation are still the same (10, meaning almost 0).

In his first mock test results, there’s a note saying he must have written an off topic essay, thus adversely impacting his score . It also says he did not follow instructions (my guess is it’s the word count as gleaned from his writing sample answers). But in the same score card he got a score of 80 for Written Discourse, 55 for Writing.

After the results came out, Student X contemplated taking the PTE again. I suggested he spend more focused review time quite removed from his working hours. An ideal situation would be taking a week off solely for item-for-item review before the actual PTE test date.

In the end what this shows is that there really is strong science to PTE scoring.