Highlight Incorrect Words

Highlight incorrect words are the second last question type in section-2 of the PTE Academic Listening test. In this “Highlight incorrect words” question type candidate has to listen to a recording and identify the words in the transcription that differ from what is mentioned in the recording. 2-3 of this question type have to be answered. It tests the listening and reading skills of a candidate. Each recording’s length will be 15-20 seconds and it will be played only once. It is not individually timed, so keep track of the time you are taking to complete this task.

Instructions will appear on the screen with the question prompt and the transcription of the recording. There will also be an audio status box with volume control. You can listen to the recording and click on each incorrect word you hear. But you have to be really cautious while clicking on the words as this task type will attract negative marking. If you click on any correct word you’ll lose one point. So better be careful!


Before the recording begins you will have 10 seconds to skim the transcription in order to get familiar with the concept. You have to be with the narration so that you don’t miss out on any word. Go with the flow of the narration and keep moving the cursor as per the recording so that you can click on words which are incorrect in the transcription. The word you clicked will be highlighted and remain as it is until you click on it again in order to change your response.

To be sure of getting all correct in this Highlight Incorrect words section you have to ensure that you are not stopping anywhere in between the recording. That is to say be the speaker and don’t stop at any word to think about your selection. Just keep moving the cursor according to the narration. Remember you are not going to guess any word. Click only when you are hundred percent sure.

Listen carefully to identify errors, understand the vocabulary, and follow the sequence of information comprehending the tone, speed, and accent of the speaker. Read to understand the vocabulary, analyzing the logical sequence of events and matching the speech with the transcription.

Practice learning and use new vocabulary words to improve your pronunciation focusing on different accents so that you can understand various speakers’ accents. Listen to various podcasts and lectures to familiarize yourself and do read extensively to add new words to your vocabulary.