Becoming adept at Highlight Incorrect Words, a challenge from the Listening Module of PTE Academic tests is essential for passing with flying colors. However, it isn’t just about listening and reading skills: you’ll need to be able to focus your full attention on the task despite potential noise distractions as well.

Building effective habits during study & practice will ultimately hone these abilities. At the same time, being knowledgeable across various English accents helps too! To help you out, we have compiled five tips that you can use to ace this section and score high on it.

The Scoring System for Highlight Incorrect Words:

There are two parts to the scoring system for Highlight Incorrect Words:

There are two ways of scoring: counting the number of words highlighted and scoring individual words. Both methods have a lenient threshold. If you mark an entire sentence as wrong, it’s considered as one mistake. The same goes for marking a phrase as wrong – it’s also just one mistake. You won’t be penalized for these cases.

Similarly, if you highlight a single word when there are multiple words in a sentence, or if you highlight one phrase out of many in the recording, your score won’t be lowered. As long as there’s at least one incorrect highlight, your overall score remains unaffected.

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Five Tips for Acing “Highlight Incorrect Words” in PTE Academic Test:

Let’s begin by knowing the basics:

Highlight Incorrect Words is an optional section in the Listening module of PTE Listening Academic. In Highlight Incorrect Words, you listen to a conversation between two native speakers and have to mark down any words you think are incorrect – remember, you want to be able to answer the questions without needing to pause or rewind.

1. First Tip:

First Listen closely, but don’t over-analyze. You may be tempted to over-analyze your listening passages. Don’t! The best way to listen closely is to focus on the main ideas and don’t worry about the details. If you get confused or have trouble following along with a passage, take a break, clear your mind, and then try again.

Can I use headphones during the PTE Listening section?

You must use your own supplies when taking the PTE Academic Online exam. Please make sure you have the right kind of headset because speaking and listening are important parts of the test.

2. Second Tip:

Look for keywords that tell you what type of word to look for. For example, if it says “Newcastle” or “Birmingham,” then this is probably an adjective or adverb – and your job is to find these types of words first! Once you have the main idea of what type of word to look for, go back and highlight them with a different color.

3. Third Tip:

Once you have highlighted all the words, look at each sentence and see if it makes sense. If any parts don’t make sense, highlight them as well! Finally, go back through your document and find all of the words you highlighted before (adjectives/adverbs) and replace them with the correct ones from your answer key – this method will help you get a more accurate score on this part of the exam!

4. Fourth Tip:

Don’t just guess at words you don’t know – it will only hurt your score. If a sentence doesn’t make sense, go back and highlight all of the parts that aren’t correct. This is one of the best ways to ensure that your writing section score is as high as possible.

5. Fifth Tip:

Once you have finished this process, you will have a document that is ready for the readability test. Use your word processor’s tools to count the number of words in each sentence and make sure that it is around 20-30 words per sentence; if not, then rework your sentences until they are at this length.

Lastly, if a question appears overly simple, that’s a solid signal that you should select an incorrect answer deliberately. It might sound counterintuitive, but it holds true! On occasion, the most apparent options—the ones you believe nobody would pick—end up being the correct responses. This is particularly accurate when a question feels too straightforward for you, and certain choices are evidently incorrect.

Bottom Line:

It’s easy to get anxious while taking the PTE Listening test, but don’t let the thought of a few incorrect words get you down. Take a deep breath, relax, and keep practicing – you’ll do great. Ready to take your PTE preparation journey further? We can offer you personalized advice and in-depth guidance from experienced tutors – so start now for the best results!


Q1. Is highlighting incorrect words important in the PTE Listening test?

Highlighting incorrect words is an essential task in the PTE Listening test. It demonstrates your ability to identify errors in a spoken passage accurately. You can showcase your listening and language skills to the examiners by highlighting the incorrect words.

Q2. Are there any specific strategies to quickly identify incorrect words in the PTE Listening test?

Some strategies can help you identify incorrect words easily. These include following the transcript, reading in rhythm with the audio, and scanning for incorrect words. By practicing these techniques, you can develop a more efficient approach to identifying errors.

Q3. What should I do if I need clarification on a word while highlighting incorrect words in the PTE Listening test?

If you need clarification on a word, it’s better to skip it and continue with the passage. Focus on selecting the words you are confident are incorrect. Attempting to guess or highlight words you need clarification on may lead to more errors. Prioritize accuracy and highlight the words you are confident are incorrect.

Q4. Can I change my selection of a highlighted word during the PTE Listening test?

Yes, you can change your selection of a highlighted word. If you selected a word and later decided against it, you can click on it again to deselect it. This flexibility allows you to review your choices and make corrections if necessary.

Q5. How are the highlighted incorrect words evaluated in the PTE Listening test?

The highlighted incorrect words are evaluated based on their accuracy. The examiners will compare your selections with the correct answers. Each correctly highlighted word adds to your score, while incorrect or missed selections may lead to point deductions. Therefore, practicing and developing your skills in accurately identifying incorrect words is important.