Tips for PTE Write from Dictation

Tips for PTE Write from Dictation

In the "Write from Dictation" task, you will hear a sentence and must transcribe it exactly as spoken. Typically, you can expect 3 to 4 sentences in PTE exam, though occasionally, there might be 5. Each word accurately transcribed earns you marks for both listening and writing. Your scoring is based on correct sequence of words, accurate spelling and grammar and proper punctuation. Mistakes in any of these areas can lower your score.

"Write from Dictation task" in PTE assesses listening and writing skills by requiring accurate copying of spoken sentences. For success, enhance your listening ability through a variety of English audio materials, improve typing speed and familiarize yourself with common phrases. During exam, pay attention to keywords, use shorthand for notes and type quickly but accurately. Avoid spelling, grammar mistakes, overthinking and omitting small words to maximize your score.

Why Write from Dictation is Important?

In PTE exam, Write from Dictation is not just a Listening Task; it also evaluates your writing skills. Each correctly transcribed word awards you one mark for listening and one mark for writing.  In this task you can get somewhere around 3 to 4 marks. Therefore, accurately capturing every word in the dictated sentence can help you secure perfect scores in both sections. Successfully completing this task can contribute approximately 35 to 40 marks for listening and writing from this task alone.

Key Strategies for PTE Write from Dictation

  1. Listening and Note-Taking

To ensure accuracy, follow this two-step note-taking technique:

  • Initial Letters: Listen carefully to the sentence and write down the initial letter of each word in the sentence as you hear it. For example, if the sentence is "The cat sat on the mat," write "T c s o t m. This helps keep pace with the speaker and capture the structure of the sentence.
  • Full Sentence: After jotting down the initial letters, quickly write out the entire sentence below your notes. This step helps transfer information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, reducing the chances of forgetting.
  1. Transcribing Notes
  • After the audio stops, quickly refer to your notes.
  • Write the full sentence based on the initial letters you noted down.
  1. Typing Sentence
  • Once you have written the full sentence on paper, type it into the answer box.
  • Double-check for grammar and spelling errors. Pay special attention to articles (a, an, the) and plural forms (s, es).
  1. Adding Extra Words

If unsure about a word, add variations. For instance, if unsure whether the word is "advice" or "advices," include both.

  1.  Final Checks

Before submitting your response, review your transcription for:

  • Grammar: Ensure the sentence structure is grammatically correct.
  • Spelling: Double-check for any spelling errors.
  • Punctuation: Begin the sentence with a capital letter and end with a period.

Additional Tips for Success

  1. Practicing with Real Exam Questions

Use Vision Language Experts portal to practice Write from Dictation tasks. This portal offers real exam questions, increasing the likelihood of encountering similar or identical questions during your test. Register on the portal, access the practice materials, and focus on the monthly predictions section, which includes the most probable questions for upcoming exams. Practicing real exam questions increases the likelihood of encountering similar questions during your test.

  1. Practice Regularly

    Aim to practice about 25 dictations daily using the initial letter technique. Initially, it may take longer to transcribe accurately, but with persistence, you will improve.
  2. Time Management

Spend no more than 1 to 1.5 minutes on each Write from Dictation task. Quick and accurate note-taking is essential. Spending too much time on a single dictation can be detrimental. Efficient note-taking and typing within this time-frame are crucial for completing all dictations in the exam.

  1. Concentration and Listening Skills

Improving your concentration and listening skills is vital. Pay close attention to the sentence’s meaning while taking notes. This dual focus helps reinforce memory and accuracy.

  1. Focus on Common Mistakes

Many students miss small but critical elements like articles (a, an, the) or plural forms (s, es). Pay special attention to these details in your practice to avoid losing marks unnecessarily.

  1. Follow Expert Advice

The strategies provided by PTE experts are based on proven success. Following their advice diligently can significantly enhance your performance.


Getting a perfect score in PTE Write from Dictation task is possible with the right strategy and constant practice. Use the free practice portal, follow the note-taking technique, manage your time effectively, and handle uncertainties by writing down multiple forms of questionable words. Regular practice and focus on listening skills will further improve your accuracy and confidence.


Vishal Kapoor -Author

Vishal Kapoor

(PTE & NAATI Expert)

Vishal Kapoor is having 6+ years of expertise in instructing PTE and NAATI, both in Australia and internationally, with an impressive 100% success rate among students. As a certified expert by Pearson in PTE and NAATI, Vishal Kapoor has developed a comprehensive teaching approach derived from extensive research and a wealth of teaching experience. Tailoring coaching techniques to individual skill levels and target scores, Vishal's guidance has proven instrumental in helping numerous aspirants attain their desired scores. With a commitment to personalized tips and solutions, Vishal Kapoor is dedicated to facilitating the success of those preparing for PTE and NAATI examinations.

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