Tips For PTE Writing: Essay


PTE Writing: Essay

Students often find it difficult to do the writing tasks in PTE particularly Essay Writing.  While they are expected to address the question, they also have to use complex grammatical structures to express their ideas.

The Hurray Online PTE Training sessions, guarantee an in-depth analysis of essay writing; its parts; structure, paragraphing, grammar and vocabulary. Read further to understand the requirements of essay writing.

About the test

You will be given a prompt of about 2-3 lines. Based on this prompt, your task is to write an essay of no less than 200 and no more than 300 words.

You will be given 20 minutes to complete the task. 

The prompt will be academic in nature.

The objective of the task, is to test you on the following:

  1. Content: does your essay adhere to the prompt/topic?

  2. Development, structure and coherence: have you structured, connected and expanded on your ideas, in a logical and understandable way?

  3. Form: is your essay within the stipulated word limit?

  4. Linguistic range: do the sentences you construct convey your idea well?

  5. Grammar use and mechanics: does your writing abide by the rules of grammar?

  6. Vocabulary range: does your writing indicate that you have a strong and extensive vocabulary?

  7. Spelling: is your spelling correct and consistent (i.e. no switching between American and British spellings)?

Common problems

These are some of the stumbling blocks that we see our students face while answering this task.

  1. Students do not understand the topic.

  2. Students tend to ramble, rather than identifying and elaborating on a few key points, systematically.

  3. Students write too casually.

These problems are easy to overcome – if you follow the steps given below!



You can apply the given tips to this example:

Essay prompt: “While written examinations are the standard form of assessment in educational systems worldwide, there are some who believe that alternative forms of assessment, such as projects or creative work, work better. With whom do you agree, and why?” 

Preparing for the task

  1. Build vocabulary

The better your vocabulary, the easier it will be for you to understand the prompt, as well as construct an excellent essay. Reading good material, including books, magazines and so on, is the best way to build vocabulary. An additional benefit of reading, is that you will expose yourself to new ideas and concepts – which may come in handy while you write your essay.

  1. Hone your grammar skills

The main grammar components that you are tested on include sentence construction, punctuation and capitalization. You must also know how to use verbs and tenses, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions and so on, appropriately. One of the best ways to do this, is again, by reading.

  1. Identify functional words/phrases

These are words/phrases that you can use in your essay, regardless of the topic. They will help to introduce/conclude an idea, highlight difference, similarity, continuity or a change in topic.

Some examples include:

  1. Additionally/in addition to/besides this

  2. Similarly

  3. However/nonetheless

  4. In contrast/alternatively

  5. In conclusion/to conclude


  1. Practice!

We recommend practicing with at least 3-4 mock tests – or as many as you can. Make sure that you practice under exam conditions, including word limit and time limit.

Through practice, you will be able to put your vocabulary and grammar skills into practice. You will become familiar with the types of essay prompts/topics as well. You will also learn how to write an essay of 300 words within the required time limit.

Remember to get a teacher or trainer to review your work in order to highlight areas for improvement.

Performing the task

You will be given 20 minutes in which to complete the task. Spend about 3-4 minutes thinking about the topic, and the rest of the time on writing the essay.

While performing the task, keep note of the following tips. 

  1. Brainstorm

Think about the prompt – do you agree or disagree? If you agree, what are your reasons? If you disagree, what are your reasons? As you brainstorm, write down key words and phrases that you will use in your essay. Plus, you must come up with a good order – which point will you start with, which will you end with? 

  1. Structuring your essay

The essay must be divided into paragraphs corresponding to individual ideas, and there must be clear and logical connections between these paragraphs.

Paragraph 1: Introduction and topic sentence

You must begin your essay on the best note with a well-crafted opening sentence, which must be compelling enough to invite your reader to read further. Following this, is the topic sentence – it should encompass the main argument of your essay.

Paragraphs 2-4: Main body

Each of your main body paragraphs will correspond to one main point. Aim to write 3-4 main points, each of which is relevant to your central argument. You can use the following structure to organize each paragraph.

  1. Opening sentence – introducing the main idea/argument

  2. Supporting sentence(s) – explaining and justifying your argument

  3. Example/anecdote/evidence – to further justify your argument

Paragraph 5: Conclusion  

Your conclusion, like your opening sentence, must be strong. Here, you will reiterate your main argument, in connection with the points you have made. You can summarize your points in a word or phrase – however, do not repeat any of the details again.

  1. Maintain coherence

There must be a logical flow from one paragraph to the next, as well as within each paragraph. To ensure this, you can use the functional words/phrases you have identified wherever applicable.

  1. Do not ramble

Do not repeat or rephrase any argument or point, more than once. Do not give too many examples, or write about one example for very long. Do not go off-topic – stick to the relevant ideas you have planned to write about.


At Hurray, our PTE trainers can help provide you more tips and practice opportunities, while also honing your language skills and working on problem areas during the Online PTE Training sessions.

Reach out to us via email: or phone: 8971357938, for more details.

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