How do PTE exam questions leak out of centres?


Questions have found their way out of where they are supposed to be since taking exams started. There are many websites which claim they have real PTE exam questions. Is this claim true? In this blog we try to clarify this issue for you.

Ways of leakage

In case of the PTE test, there are two main ways of questions leaking out of a PTE test centre. The first one, which is very rare, is when a PTE Test Centre’s staff copies part or the whole shebang of the data system. The PTE headquarters, however, have their own ways, in case of a major leak, to discover which centre was behind it (see our blog on this issue).

Over the years, we have seen the closure of few PTE test centres that could have resulted from a mismanagement in handling the PTE test. However, the most common way of PTE test questions leaking out of PTE test centers is the candidates.

Ways a candidate can take real PTE questions out

PTE test centres have banned using paper and pens on their sites. Instead, they offer the PTE candidates an erasable notebook and markers (watch a video on this subject by clicking this link) for note-taking purposes. This means that Pearson was worried about their questions leaking out of their Test Centers from the very beginning.

1. PTE Exam memories

One of the ways of PTE questions leaking out, of course, is candidates remembering the questions after their test. We all remember the essay topic we got in our IELTS or PTE test. This method is the most common way of PTE exam questions leaking out of test centers, especially in forums and chat groups.

2. Micro video recorders

Compact video technology was another way of major leakage of questions from the PTE test centers. These micro video recorders were installed and disguised in eyeglasses, jewelleries (necklaces, ear rings, signet rings …) and head gears helped a few candidates to get part or the whole of their PTE exam recorded and taken out of the exam centers. These candidates sit the PTE test with only one goal; taking the PTE questions out. That is why in the PTE test centers you are not allowed to take any ornamental jewelleries with you to your test venue and they check, especially your eye glasses and any headgear you might be wearing.

3. MP3 recorders 

Another way of getting the questions out of the PTE Centers that some opportunists use is to record their voice during the whole exam. In this method, nearly all the questions in the Speaking section get recorded. For Reading, Writing and Listening sections, the candidate who’s pretending he/she is doing the test genuinely, has to read the sections aloud to get them recorded as well.

How can the PTE test centers stop this process?

They can do what their rival’s IELTS centers have been doing for years in regions that most question leakage has taken place and that is to use hand held metal detectors to check every candidate before admitting them to the test venue.

However, there is no measure the PTE test centers can take to stop candidates from remembering some PTE exam questions and sharing them in forums and social media as PTE exam memories.  

Need more information?

For learning the tricks of how to ace the PTE academic test, and for doing a free scored PTE mock test and practicing real PTE materials on our PTE practice platform, visit our website at, where you can also book a free online PTE coaching with one of our Melbourne-based expert PTE trainers via the zoom app.

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