7 Tips to Ace the PTE Listening Test-Highlight Incorrect Words

Jun 09,2022

7 Tips to Ace the PTE Listening Test-Highlight Incorrect words

Highlighting incorrect words from the transcript is one of the most straightforward tasks in the PTE Listening Test. You have to follow the audio and read through the transcript simultaneously in this task. Although it sounds like an easy task, it demands good concentration from the candidates. You can Score High in the PTE Exam if you pay attention to reading the text while highlighting incorrect words.

Task Summary

  • There are 2-3 questions in the task.
  • Each correct answer will contribute to the reading and listening scores.
  • You will have 10 seconds before the audio starts, and 30-90 seconds long recordings will be played.
  • This task has a negative marking. Hence, be mindful that you will lose one point if you highlight the wrong answer.
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What is the Method to Highlight Incorrect Words in the PTE Listening Test?

You will have 10 seconds to prepare yourself for the task. Try to make the best use of this time by quickly going through the transcript. Skimming through the transcript will give a general idea about the content of the speech.

The transcript will have some incorrect words, which will be different from the recording played. You have to look for these errors and highlight them by tapping on the mouse. You have to be very attentive to click and highlight the incorrect words.

Once the audio ends, take a few minutes to submit your answers carefully. Remember that you do not have time allotted for each task in the listening test. The listening test is all about making the best use of your time. Thus, You have to make the best choice of your answers while managing the time efficiently in the listening test.

7 Tips for Highlighting Incorrect Words

We Have a Few Tips that will assist you in mastering the highlighted incorrect word task in PTE Listening.

1. Keep the Cursor Ready

Be ready to move your cursor to the transcript when the audio starts. Place your hand on the mouse from the beginning and move it as the audio is played. Click on the word and highlight it as soon as you find it different from the content in the audio. You can use your mouse pointer as a guide to read and follow as the recording is being played.

2. Do not Waste Your Time on a Single Word

If you have missed out a few words, leave it behind and move to the next word. Remember that if you get stuck on a word, you will miss out on the rest of the audio.

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3. Do not Click on Random Words

Make sure that you do not highlight random words. As this task has negative marking, you will likely lose marks for bad choices. If at any instant you feel that you have highlighted the correct word, then click on it immediately, as you might forget to do it later. For each incorrect answer you will get -1 point. 0 is the minimum score for this task.

4. Highlight Only When You are Sure

If you are unsure of a word, do not click on it instantly. Instead, wait until the audio ends, think carefully, and then finalise the answer.

5. Practice Enough

Reading while listening requires the right approach and full concentration. As PTE Test Centers are noisy and chaotic most of the time, ensure that you have practised well in a noisy environment at different speaking speeds.

6. Taking Notes is not Helpful Here

This is part of a listening test where taking notes for reference will not be beneficial. What you must do instead is to listen to the recording carefully and highlight the wrong words from the transcript as you move.

7.  Make Logical Guesses if Required

If you get a difficult audio recording on the test day and cannot highlight incorrect words, read the transcript and pick the wrong words logically. Read the transcript at the end to choose the words that are not a perfect fit for the text.

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How to Practice for These Questions

You must practice enough for these questions as it will improve your listening and reading scores. Start with a slow pace with short passages, and then increase your speed as you get on the right track.

Practice with various authentic practice materials as it will expand your knowledge about vocabulary and grammar. Various PTE Mock Test Preparation Packages have different complexity levels, which would help you in the final test.


Candidates who wish to excel in the PTE Exam must give enough time for preparation well before the test day. Highlighting incorrect words is an easy listening task if you attentively choose the correct words while effectively managing your time. Each correct answer in this task will contribute to your PTE listening and reading score.

A high score in PTE Listening will undoubtedly increase your overall PTE score. Hence, you are supposed to dedicate enough time to PTE listening practice. Using PTE Practice Mock Tests to highlight incorrect words will help you excel in the PTE Listening test.

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Written By

Dhaval Nirmohi

Mr. Dhaval is an expert in PTE, intellectualizing and executing advanced learning modules. His past journey of being an adept and exceptional student helps him to predict the student’s doubts, strengths, and weaknesses exactly. He believes in fresh and out of box teaching tactics to reach the goal smartly.


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