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PTE Academic: Write Essay

Get to know the key requirements of the Write Essay task in the Writing Section of PTE Academic, and try out a practice essay topic.

About the Task

The Write Essay task is a long-answer writing task in the Writing section of PTE Academic. You must write an academic essay in response to an essay question. You must write between 200 and 300 words within 20 minutes. Depending on the version of the test you are given, you may get 1 or 2 Write Essay tasks.


As you can see from the diagram below, you are first marked on Content – that is, did you answer the essay question. If you do not write on the topic, you are given a zero for the entire task and nothing else (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, etc,) is assessed. If you do (and you will!) you are then marked on the following Enabling Skills: Vocabulary, Spelling, Grammar and Written Discourse.

Example Essay Topics

There are a variety of topics you can get on topics you can get on PTE Academic. Here is an example (take from the Free Offline Practice Test):

Example Topic:

Tobacco, mainly in the form of cigarettes, is one of the most widely-used drugs in the world. Over a billion adults legally smoke tobacco every day. The long term health costs are high – for smokers themselves, and for the wider community in terms of health care costs and lost productivity.

Do governments have a legitimate role to legislate to protect citizens from the harmful effects of their own decisions to smoke, or are such decisions up to the individual?

What is the topic of this essay? What questions do you need to answer? For some example essays for this topic, make sure to download the Free Offline Practice Test.

Get started!

Building on the knowledge needed for this task – vocabulary, grammar, written discourse etc. – can be difficult. At English Key, however, our PTE Academic coaching courses provide specific classes to improve your skills specifically for PTE Academic. To find out more about our courses, get in touch with us, or drop by one of our centres in Sydney or Melbourne and chat to one of our lovely staff. Our PTE Academic Preparation courses also provide you with a tonne of practice material so you can get all the practice you want!

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