A major misconception circulating around many first time PTE test takers – particularly those who already have solid English skills is that they think PTE is just another English test, so they believe they should be able to pass this test just by simply taking it.

However, the unconventional format of PTE questions, time constraints and many other unexpected caveats have caught many test takers off-guard that ultimately left them shocked by their abysmal result. It has led many with full of uncertainties in which many questions need to be answered.

Who can blame them? After all, it is supposed to be just an English test, right? Well, they are definitely not wrong, to a certain extent, PTE is about testing your English ability. However, there are a number of caveats should be considered before taking your first PTE exam.

Let’s take speaking as an example, in IELTS, speaking section seems natural and spontaneous as you would engage in conversation with a real person. You are allowed to improvise in the moment, you are allowed to think and even correct yourself. For many, speaking English is easy enough that there isn’t a need for preparation. On the other hand, this is not the case with PTE speaking because PTE is about approaching problems with correct strategies. In PTE speaking, the problem is that you are only given one chance to record your response, so you better give your best shot. Especially for Retell Lecture and Describe Images, going to exams without preparation can be disastrous even for native speakers.

This seems to be very unfair for those who can hold a very solid and natural conversation with a person but unfortunately caught off-guard during the exam, but the advantage here is that these questions and answers are structured. In other words, you know what are expected, hence you can train yourself and form that perfect response for the big moment.

The moral of the story is – Don’t go to the PTE exam unprepared!