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PTE reading: essential strategies for multiple-choice questions

The reading section of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) exam requires you to comprehend and analyze various texts, including academic articles, reports, and newspaper articles. Multiple-choice questions are a common format used to assess your reading skills. In this blog, we will provide you with essential strategies to excel in the multiple-choice questions of the PTE Reading section, allowing you to approach these questions with confidence and accuracy.

Pre-Reading Strategies

Skim the Passage:

Before diving into the questions, quickly skim through the passage to get a general understanding of the topic, structure, and main ideas. Pay attention to headings, subheadings, and any bold or italicized text that can provide clues about the content.

Highlight Keywords:

While skimming, identify and highlight keywords or phrases that are likely to be important for the questions. This will help you quickly locate relevant information when answering the multiple-choice questions.

Understanding the Questions

Read the Questions Carefully:

Thoroughly read each multiple-choice question and ensure you understand what is being asked. Pay attention to keywords or phrases in the question that can guide you towards the correct answer.

Identify Keywords in the Questions:

Look for keywords in the question that correspond to the highlighted keywords in the passage. This will help you locate the relevant section of the passage that contains the answer.

Passage and Answer Comparison

Use the Process of Elimination:

Read each answer option and eliminate those that are clearly incorrect. Cross out or mentally discard options that do not align with the information provided in the passage. This will narrow down your choices and increase your chances of selecting the correct answer.

Look for Synonyms or Paraphrases:

Pay attention to synonyms or paraphrases of keywords in both the passage and the answer options. Sometimes the exact wording may not be used, but the meaning or idea is conveyed similarly. Be mindful of such nuances while comparing the passage and the answer choices.

Contextual Clues and Inference

Pay Attention to Contextual Clues:

Contextual clues can often help you determine the correct answer. Look for supporting details, examples, or explanations in the passage that provide hints to the answer. Consider the overall context and tone of the passage to make an informed choice.

Make Inferences:

In some cases, the answer may require you to make an inference based on the information provided in the passage. Use your critical thinking skills and draw logical conclusions from the given information. Ensure that your inference is supported by the context and evidence in the passage.

Time Management

Allocate Time Wisely:

Multiple-choice questions in the reading section can be time-consuming. Allocate an appropriate amount of time for each question and stick to it. If you are spending too much time on a particular question, move on and come back to it later if time permits.


By applying these essential strategies, you can enhance your performance in the multiple-choice questions of the PTE Reading section. Pre-reading strategies such as skimming and highlighting keywords help you quickly grasp the main ideas of the passage. Understanding the questions and comparing them to the passage aids in the process of elimination and identification of correct answers. Contextual clues and inference skills play a crucial role in selecting the most appropriate answer. Lastly, effective time management ensures that you can complete all the questions within the allocated time. With practice and consistent application of these strategies, you will be well-equipped to tackle multiple-choice questions with accuracy and confidence in the PTE Reading section.