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PTE Academic Malpractice Policy

Purpose of PTE Academic Malpractice Policy

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on how Pearson will respond to cases of suspected malpractice and maladministration for delivery of the PTE Academic qualification.

In order to maintain the integrity of the PTE Academic qualification and results, we investigate all allegations of malpractice and maladministration. Any instances proven to have taken place through our investigations may result in:

  • Penalties imposed on those found to be responsible, including revocation of test scores.

  • Debarment from delivering the PTE Academic qualification for test centers and staff, and permanent disqualification for test takers from sitting for the PTE Academic test.

Malpractice and maladministration

We use the term ‘malpractice’, which includes maladministration, to mean any act, practice, default or neglect, whether intentional (malpractice) or unintentional (maladministration), which compromises the validity or integrity of the PTE Academic qualification or results, or the reputation and credibility of the PTE Academic qualification or Pearson. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(For test centers and test administrators)

  • Failure to implement the requirements for the conduct of the test, as detailed in relevant Policies and Procedures and Exam Sponsor Procedures.

  • Failure of the test center to have, on staff, trained and certified test administrators

  • Failure to properly monitor test administration

  • Failure to utilise required hardware and up-to-date software

  • Failure to cooperate with security monitoring such as on-site audits and integrity shops.

  • Failure to aid the Pearson security team with investigations

  • Test Administrator aiding test takers in answering questions or cheating

(For Test Takers)

  • Breach of any of the Test Center Rules, as noted on page 10 of the PTE Academic Test Taker Handbook including but not limited to:

    • Bringing unauthorised items in the test room.

    • Writing on noteboard before test starts.

    • Accessing locker during break.

    • Accessing phone during break

    • Leaving the test center during a break

    • Talking to other test takers in the test room

    • Talking to other test takers during a break

    • Allowing someone else to take the test on your behalf

How to report malpractice and maladministration

Please report any suspicion of malpractice and or maladministration by filling out the Test Security form.

Investigation for malpractice and maladministration

An investigation will be conducted in full by our Security Team under any circumstances of alleged malpractice or maladministration.

Enforcement Actions

In instances where we have evidence which points to malpractice or maladministration having taken place, in order to protect the integrity of the PTE Academic qualification, we will take additional enforcement action where appropriate and we will inform those found to have committed malpractice of the reason for the action being taken. There is a range of potential enforcement actions open to Pearson, and the Pearson Security Team will choose an action that it deems proportionate to the scope of malpractice or maladministration, such as:

  • Revoking a test taker’s score

  • Banning a test taker from taking the test again

  • Taking action against the responsible Test Administrator

  • Suspending Test Center until we are satisfied the corrective action plan has been completed by Test Center, or

  • Taking action against the Test Center including in some cases revoking the Test Center’s contract in whole or in part


If a test taker wishes to appeal a malpractice decision, please refer to the 'Appeals' section.