PTE Reading Practice Test for Multiple Choice – Choose Multiple Answer

woman writing in class

“Choose more than one answer? What does that mean? 1 answer, 2 answers?” and “Up to 300 words! How can I read that and choose multiple answers in 2 minutes?” are common responses from students when they first look at this task; panic and confusion over how many answers to pick. However, panic and confusion are never the answer and a well-practiced approach will have you feeling ready in no time. Today, this PTE Reading Practice Test for Multiple Choice – Choose Multiple answer is going to look at the best way to approach this task.

We will also cover general information about the task and a quick overview. We will look in detail at the three-step strategical process and apply it to a practice question. Lastly, we will review the tips we have learnt from our blog article today.  

What is this PTE Reading Practice Test task? (Multiple Choice – Choose Multiple Answer) 
  • This is a multiple choice item which requires you to choose more than one answer.  
  • You will have to read, analyse, understand and assess a short text on an academic subject.  
How long do you have to complete each item in this task? 
  • Approximately 1.5/ 2 minutes per task but remember no items in the PTE exam are timed separately.  
How many of these prompts will I have to complete? 
  • 2-3 (this varies) 

Sample Question 

Read the text and answer the question by selecting all the correct responses. More than one response is correct. 

At the time he was presented an Honorary Degree by the University of Manchester, even Jack Smith himself must certainly have looked back in awe at his astounding rise to success over a short space of time. It was 1910, and those gathered heard not only of his generosity to the University, which enabled it to help out with the pioneering research into tropical diseases being conducted at that time, but also of his humanitarian work in southern Africa, where he was making groundbreaking improvements in the working conditions of local mine workers. For anyone who knew John in his younger years, it will have come as no surprise to hear of his achievements. He was now reaping the rewards of the fervent determination, hunger for success and remarkable ability to acquire and retain knowledge, which they had noticed in him as a young man. 

What does the reader of this text learn about Jack Smith? 
  • He was born in southern Africa.   
  • His talents were evident at a young age.   
  • He studied medicine.   
  • Jack completed his degree in 1910.   
  • He then achieved success rapidly. 

Strategy 1 

  • The PTE exam does not require you to have any prior knowledge of any academic topics.  
  • However, be mindful that your knowledge may come in useful for this task and draw from this when you can.  
  • Of course, this approach may not be suitable for the question and it is important to pinpoint the focus of the question to decide the best approach.  
  • You can then use the language in the question to decide if you can draw on your own knowledge or not: 

Q: According to the text, which of the following statements can be concluded about primary classes in the Turks and Caicos Islands? 
A: (No; clue “According to the text…”)  

Q: Which of these countries uses e-passport readers?  

A: (Yes; background knowledge of the topic of e-passport readers may be useful in helping you select correct responses) 

Q: What does the writer believe is likely to happen in future? 

A: (No; clue “What does the writer believe…”) 

Q: Which of the following are present indicators of global warming?  

A: (Yes; background knowledge of the topic of global warming may be useful in helping you select the correct responses)  

Q: Which of the following are true/ false statements about modern education? A: (Yes; background knowledge of the topic of modern education may be useful in helping you select the correct responses)  

So, let’s look at the question in our sample today: 

What does the reader of this text learn about Jack Smith? 

Ask yourself – Does the language in this question suggest you can draw on your own knowledge? Or rather, do you need to rely solely on the information in the text?  

Answer: The question gives you the clue that you cannot use prior knowledge as this answer is based on this text alone. This is testing your ability to understand the factual information presented. 

Strategy 2 

  • Next highlight the type of reading text for this section.  
  • Using the structure of the text will help you efficiently identify the information you need.  
  • Is it a whole paragraph?  
  • Is it also written in bullet point form?  
  • Are there section headings or sub-headings which specify the main point?  
  • How about topic sentences? These can help you identify the controlling idea of each paragraph. 
  • Don’t read the text in detail but just consider the overall structure, especially the first few words in each section of the text in this case.  

Now let’s apply this to our sample text today.  

Ask yourself: How can we use this structure to help us find the answer and save time? 

Answer: We can look at the topic sentence of the paragraph to obtain the overall gist of the text.  

Jack Smith’s astounding rise to success prior to being presented with his degree.  

But there are no headings, sub-headings or different paragraphs for us to use in order to locate specific information.  

Strategy 3 

  • The aim is to quickly locate specific information efficiently. 
  • Highlighting key words and phrases in the question and answers is an excellent way to achieve this.  
  • You can then look for synonyms and words of similar meaning in the text.  
  • After that, look at the question and its options and underline the key words and their matching word in the text.
  • Are you able to eliminate any options already based on these key words?  

Look at our sample question and answer options below first.  

Ask yourself: What are the key words here?  

Answer: Key words in red.  

What does the reader of this text learn about Jack Smith? 

  • He was born in southern Africa.  
  • His talents were evident at a young age.   
  • He studied medicine.   
  • Jack completed his degree in 1910.   
  • He achieved success rapidly.   

Now scan the example text included above and look for the key words or similar words to find the information you need.  

Answer option A – Scan the text for Southern Africa – does it say anything about his birthplace in this section?  

Were you able to eliminate any answers already while looking for the matching key words?  

So yes, we can eliminate A as a correct answer as the text says nothing about where Jack Smith was born.  

Decide your answers.  

The answers to select for 2 credits are B and E. 

You can look at the second task below to attempt using these strategies.  

But for now, let’s review with some overall tips for this task.  

Tips for this PTE Reading Practice Test task 

  • The question could refer to the main idea, detail, inference, purpose and organisation of the text. Try to assess this straight away. 
  • Next, look at the question and establish if you can draw on your own knowledge of the topic.  
  • Take note of the overall content or structure to decide how this can help you in answering the question.  
  • Then scan the question and its answer options, underlining the key words and phrases.  
  • Return to scanning the text, focusing on the content eg. sub-headings to help you find words matching your highlighted key words.  
  • The most important tip for finding the answers is to find the key words in the written text.  
  • Try to understand any unknown words in the context of their sentence, but don’t worry too much about unfamiliar words.  
  • Look for irrelevant or incorrect words and try to remove as many options as you can. 
  • It is likely no more than 3 answers will be correct and often it is only 2.  
  • Take no more than 1.5 – 2 minutes to read and answer each question. 
  • Then keep an eye on the clock.  This a useful tool for your own time management. 
  • Practice skimming and scanning, under timed conditions.  



  • This is one of the only negative marking tasks in the PTE Exam.  
  • An incorrect answer will gain a -1 score.  
  • Also, don’t select an option unless you are confident. 
  • To select an option, click on it using the left button of your mouse. You can deselect an option by again clicking on it using the left-mouse button. 

Second sample question 

Learning through ‘doing 

Modern education promotes the importance of learning through doing. It is fully accepted that the knowledge gained through physically doing the task is more effective and long-lasting than that acquired through just reading. Therefore, all modern approaches to education give top priority to some ‘hand-work’ round which they base the teaching of the curriculum. 

The replacement of the three R’s 

In past times, education systems focused on the training of the three R’s i.e. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic but today great significance is attached to the training of the three H’s i.e. Head, Heart and Hand. It has been recognised that the head, the heart and the hand receive the best training through self-activity with hands and brain, especially when working with others in a collaborative environment. Individual reading of books or listening to teachers does not aid much in the training of the three H’s.  

Active Participation over passive participation 

In contemporary schooling systems, the student is not merely a passive listener but is an active participant in the process of their own learning. In the past, the teacher did most of the talking, simply dictating facts. Now it is the student who is expected to be more active in the classroom and the teacher is more of a guide. For the healthy development of the mind, it is deemed essential that the student should be an active doer and not purely a passive receiver. This activity of the mind will lead to emotional integration, which is considered crucial for the development of a healthy personality. If the pupil is merely a recipient, only listening to his teachers for the majority of the time, there is a risk that his own personality gets overshadowed because the teachers’ personalities may dominate.  

Which of the following statements about modern education can be supported from the text? 

  1. A basic craft is mandatory in modern education curriculums.
  2. Knowledge acquired through practical training is permanent.
  3. It lays greater emphasis on activity-based learning. 
  4. Here the teacher plays more of a supportive/facilitating role.
  5. Modern education provides a greater setting for the development of individual personality.

Wrapping Up 

Were you able to use these strategies? Which PTE Reading practice test tip was the most difficult to apply? And which one do you think was the most useful? Please let us know with your comments and suggestions. Take every opportunity to apply these strategies to PTE practice tests and sample questions on the multiple choice – multiple answer task. Finally, don’t forget that practice makes perfect.   

Good luck with your PTE Academic reading multiple choice – multiple answer task!  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *