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How does Negative Marking Work in PTE Academic Test?

Now is the time to stop worrying about negative marking in PTE, and make your preparation perfect.

If you are taking the PTE Academic Exam anytime soon, one of the many questions that you may have faced in the course of your PTE Preparation is “Does PTE have negative marking?” and “How does that negative marking impact your score?” There is some confusion about the concept, and through this blog post, we will address the issue. Before we get into talking about negative marking, we will first discuss the idea of partial credit.

In every enabling skill, the test-taker is awarded some marks in every skill, even if there are mistakes. For instance, in oral fluency, if the test-taker demonstrates even a little bit of skill, he/she will be awarded some points. This marking system is called partial credit.

The main thing you need to keep in mind while preparing for such competitive exams is that you need to be accurate. Flickr

Now, on to negative marking. To be sure, there are three tasks in PTE that use partial credit to deduct -1 point for every answer that is not correct. The three tasks are:

  •    Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers (Reading module)
  •    Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers (Listening module)
  •    Highlight Incorrect Words (listening module)

How does the scoring work?

The scoring works like this:

Correct answer        1 point

Incorrect answer    -1 point

Let’s talk about this task by task:

Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers

Let’s suppose that a question has four choices (say A, B, C and D), and the correct options are C and D.

If you select C & D, you score 2 points. If only C is selected, you score 1 point. Please note that you don’t lose 1 point for not picking D as well. Same goes for the test-takers who choose D as the correct option. They score 1 point.

This marking system is called partial credit. Pixabay

For further clarity, if you select B, C and D, you get 2 points for choosing the correct option (C&D) and lose 1 point for picking the wrong choice (B).

Therefore, your final score from the task is 2-1=1.

Following the same line of logic, if you select all the options (A, B, C and D), you score 2 points for choosing the correct choice (C&D) and lose 2 for selecting two incorrect options (A&B). Your final score is 0.

(Please note the minimum score that you will receive is 0 & NOT -1).

Highlight Incorrect Words

In this section too, the concept of ‘partial credit’ is used. It is not possible to get a negative mark, and the minimum you can score is 0.

In every enabling skill, the test-taker is awarded some marks in every skill. Pixabay

We hope that through this blog post, we have removed any clouds of doubts that you may have had over negative scoring, have been removed. Now is the time to stop worrying about negative marking in PTE, and make your preparation perfect.

If you are into PTE self-preparation, you can download the PTE Tutorials mobile application (available on Android and iOS). Alternatively, you can also go for Online PTE Coaching, to strengthen your preparation, and get your doubts resolved before you take the test!

Best of luck!

About the Author:

With almost a decade of experience in the Education and Immigration Department, Mr Milan Patel have raised Aussizz Group on to a high peak of success. With his expert guidance and knowledge, PTE Tutorials have been able to impart education to hundreds of PTE aspirants and have made their dream of going abroad true.



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