Understanding PTE Part 1 Item type 8 – Write an essay

What you have to do for this question type:

For this question type, you need to write a formal essay on a given topic. The time you are given and the amount of words required make this a challenging question type, so practice is essential.

Task length and timing:

You will be given 20 minutes to plan, organise and write an essay of 200 to 300 words.You will have to write either 1 or 2 essays in this section.

More information:

There is a Word Count at the bottom of the screen which will count the number of words as you type. There are also cut, copy and paste buttons which you can use to re-organise your answer if needed.

The scoring for this question type:

Your essay is graded based on a wide range of features:

  • Content: Does your essay address the topic? If it does not relate to the question, your essay will be scored zero.
  • Development, structure and coherence: Is your answer well organised and with a clear structure.
  • Form: Have you written between 200 and 300 words?
  • General linguistic range: Have you used appropriate language to clearly express your ideas?
  • Grammar usage and mechanics: Have you used a range of correct grammar?
  • Vocabulary range: Have you shown a wide vocabulary range?
  • Spelling: Is your spelling accurate?