PTE three-second silence rule

In the PTE test, whenever recording candidate’s voice is involved the three-second silence rule kicks in. But what is it?

The PTE test utilizes a software called voice to text engine. This software transcribes the voice into written text for marking purposes. When a candidate does a Read Aloud question, for example, the software transcribes his voice into text. This text is later compared to the original one for grading and marking of the candidates’ accuracy and pronunciation.

From the time the voice to text app is called to action, in Read Aloud, for instance, when the candidate hears a beep, the software’s active search for human voice is three to four seconds. If it does not hear a voice, the software buffer stops working and so does the app.

So, if you need some time to reflect on a question, use fillers like Well, you see, Actually, … to keep the software going before you get the right flow. In case the software wraps up a question, it really does not affect your score that much. Just don’t panic and take care it does not happen again.

Need more information?

In order to learn the tricks of how to ace the PTE academic test, do a free scored PTE mock test and practice 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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