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Pearson shortens PTE Academic test and launches online version

Read Time

3 minutes

  • PTE Academic test to shorten from three hours to two hours

  • PTE Academic Online to enable candidates to take test at home

Tuesday, 7 September, 9 AM London: Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, is today announcing two major updates to its industry-leading, high stakes English language proficiency exam, PTE Academic, benefitting both test-takers and institutions alike.

1.   PTE Academic two-hour test

From November 16, 2021 the duration of PTE Academic will reduce from three hours down to two. This means an improved experience for candidates with less time spent taking the exam, whilst the accuracy of the test remains the same.

There are no changes to the overall format, question types or scoring scale – there will simply be fewer questions – allowing candidates to prepare in the same way.

Most importantly, the shorter PTE Academic test is still accepted by the same universities and professional bodies, including more than 3,000 academic institutions worldwide, and by the governments of Australia, the UK, and New Zealand for visa and immigration purposes.

2.   New PTE Academic online

Pearson is also launching PTE Academic Online. Exactly the same test as PTE Academic, we are now offering it as a new online proctored option for people who prefer to sit the test remotely, from the comfort of their own home.

Also available to take later in the year, the online test takes two hours and will follow the same format and scoring system as the new shorter PTE Academic test center exam.

It’s important to note that although the online test is identical to PTE Academic, it is not currently valid for visa or migration purposes. We also ask candidates to check that the universities they are applying to accept the online version before booking this test.

Freya Thomas Monk, Senior Vice President, English Language Learning, Pearson, said; "Many of our PTE Academic test takers want to move abroad to study at university or progress their careers. To help them in their journey we have rolled out a shorter PTE Academic test to be taken in test centers and a new online PTE Academic test which can be taken at home."

PTE Academic and PTE Academic Online are delivered through Pearson VUE’s global network of test centers and through its online proctoring solution, OnVUE. With just a simple check-in process, utilizing highly secure ID verification tools, face-matching technology, and a live proctor, candidates can test without leaving the comfort of home. Test takers must have access to a reliable internet connection, a computer with a webcam, and a quiet location to take the test.

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About Pearson  

Learning is the most powerful force for change in the world. More than 20,000 Pearson employees deliver our products and services in nearly 200 countries, all working towards a common purpose – to help everyone achieve their potential through learning. We do that by providing high quality, digital content and learning experiences, as well as assessments and qualifications that help people build their skills and grow with the world around them. We are the world’s leading learning company. Learn more at

About Pearson VUE

Pearson VUE has been a pioneer in the computer-based testing industry for decades, delivering more than 16 million certification and licensure exams annually in every industry from academia and admissions to IT and healthcare. We are the global leader in developing and delivering high-stakes exams via the world's most comprehensive network of nearly 20,000 highly secure test centers as well as online testing in over 180 countries.

Our leadership in the assessment industry is a result of our collaborative partnerships with a broad range of clients, from leading technology firms to government and regulatory agencies. For more information, please visit

Media inquiries

Contact Kasia Reardon, Director of Communications, English Assessment, Pearson, mobile: 07702 512 312