Sat. Sep 24th, 2022
ReOrder paragraphs

Reorder Paragraph

Reorder Paragraph is the third question type that you see in the PTE Reading section. This particular task troubles a lot of students, as it can prove tricky if you don’t prepare for it well. But there is a way out of this situation. So, allow me to walk you through the Reorder Paragraph overview, layout, facts, strategy, and also a few practice questions, so you understand this task well. Once you finish reading this article, I can assure you that, you will have all the required information and knowledge to solve this question type confidently.

Reorder Paragraph is very important, just like every other question type in the PTE test. Therefore, never think about skipping this question and start building your skills to crack it easily. Don’t worry, Edutrainex is always there to help you in your PTE journey. Watch the reorder paragraph video below to learn more about the overall overview. 

Reorder Paragraph Overview

To begin with, let’s firstly try to understand what the Reorder Paragraph is all about. You get a jumbled paragraph of roughly 150 words and you need to arrange them in the correct order. As you can see in the picture below, there are two panels on the screen. On the left-hand side, you will see each of the sentences as text boxes, which is the unordered options list panel. On the right-hand side, you see an empty panel saying Correct Answer.

In Reorder Paragraph, you either need to drag and drop the text boxes from the left panel to the right panel, or you may choose to use the buttons provided to move the text boxes horizontally or vertically. In the end, the expectation is to arrange the sentences in the correct order in the right panel. You have to use your English knowledge and clues provided in the sentences to determine the correct order of sentences in the given paragraph.

Reorder paragraph layout
paragraph layout
layout

PTE Reorder Paragraph Scoring

For PTE Reorder Paragraph, you will get 2 to 3 questions in the actual PTE test. The design of reorder paragraph questions is to test your ability to understand the organization and cohesion of an academic text. What this means is, that the PTE wants to test your skills related to how the sentences flow from one to another in an organized manner. This question type will only contribute marks to your Reading score and it requires you to read and understand the overall paragraph.

PTE Reorder Paragraph scoring is a bit tricky. For every correct sequence of sentences in the correct order, you get 1 mark. Although there is no negative marking for this task, you will only score 1 mark if you place 2 sentences in the correct order. So, if there are 5 sentences in total, and you placed all 5 of them in the correct order, you will receive 4 marks for the 4 correct sequences. Look at the diagram below to get a better understanding. So, you are looking at a potential of scoring a minimum of 6 to 12 marks alone in this question type for 2 to 3 questions respectively (with 4 to 5 sentences). Again, grammar is your main key to solving these questions efficiently. Before we take a look at how to solve the Reorder Paragraph task, let’s discuss quickly time management.

Reorder Paragraph scoring

Scoring

Reorder Paragraph Time Management

Reorder paragraph does not have any allocated time, like every other question type in the PTE Reading section. So, you have to manage it yourself. Mathematically speaking, we recommend a maximum of 2 minutes time to spend on this question, but test-takers are free to make their own judgment and determine how much time they need to solve this question type, less or more. In the end, the goal is to finish the PTE reading section in time, so it will not impact your next section which is PTE listening. Please remember that if you need more time on the reorder paragraph task, you will have to make it up by spending lesser time on other tasks in the reading section. To get more tips on speed reading and other interesting improvement suggestions in the PTE reading section, please read PTE Reading Tips and Tricks.

Reorder paragraph Tips and Tricks

Reorder Paragraph questions are based on a well-written English paragraph, that always has a logical structure, which means that there will be a clear opening sentence. And following that there will be secondary sentences that would smoothly transition from the previous ones using linking words or use of pronouns. And lastly, there would be a concluding/ summarizing sentence. Now, let’s jump on to what steps you need to use to solve this question type efficiently.

Reorder Paragraph Step 1: Find the independent sentence – Topic or Opening sentence

This is the first and the very crucial step for the Reorder Paragraph questions. Every well-written paragraph will have a topic sentence, a sentence that is independent of every other given sentence in the paragraph. Usually, it is a clear statement about the topic, and all the other sentences are related in one or the other way to this sentence. It has no reference to the other sentences. Learn more here.

Look at the example below and understand why the highlighted sentence is the topic sentence (independent)

This amazing discovery, which won the Physics Nobel prize in 2001, cannot be described unless the black holes mostly comprise of pure energy.
It has been known since 1910 that black holes expand at a regular pace.
Therefore, pure energy is an unknown area to the physics world.
It is normally assumed to form around 60% of the entire energy content in a black hole.
But in 1985, three scientists proved that the black holes are expanding faster now than in the past.

So, how do you identify the independent sentence? Look at the paragraph above. Sometimes, 2 or 3 sentences may look independent. What do you do then? You use the knowledge of Subject-Verb-Object, to find the connection. Let me demonstrate what I mean here in the context of PTE Reorder Paragraph practice.

Subject Verb Object

Subject Verb Object
Subject Verb Object
  • Object of the first sentence may share information with the Subject of the following sentence.

E.g. Newton invented calculus. It is now widely taught in universities.

  • Object of the first sentence may share information with the Object of the following sentence.

E.g. Newton invented calculus. Tesla used calculus heavily.

  • Subject of the first sentence may share information with the Object of the following sentence.

E.g. Newton invented calculus. Trigonometry was also invented by him.

  • Subject of the first sentence may share information with the Subject of the following sentence.

E.g. Newton invented calculus. He taught at the University of Oxford.

  • Verb of the first sentence may share information with the Verb of the following sentence.

E.g. Newton invented calculus. It is now widely taught in universities.

Note: But sometimes, a topic sentence may also start with a pronoun or non-noun. For example, ‘It is a wonderful day’ or ‘It has been known since 1910 that black holes do exist.’ Therefore, grammar can help you to determine the independent sentence but don’t entirely depend on it.

What happens when you find 2 independent sentences?

In Reorder Paragraph questions, sometimes, you might encounter a situation when you would find two sentences that are clearly independent of the other ones. In this case, you need to study the facts in the paragraph and figure out which one logically stands out as the topic sentence. For example,

  1. World War 2 led to the formation of the United Nations.
  2. The United Nations has 200 member countries as of today.

So, logically speaking, both the sentences are independent, but the first one is talking about the formation of the World War 2 era, and the second sentence is talking about the current day. Do you see the difference? Clearly, the first sentence’s place is in front of the second one in the paragraph.

Reorder Paragraph Step 2: Follow the strategy of Paragraph Coherence

So, what is a coherent paragraph? It is a paragraph that does more than simply lay down the facts. It organizes them by creating a logical argument that makes sense. Every PTE Reorder paragraph is a coherent one, so it will have a proper beginning, middle portion, and ending.

A very important point to note here is that there are certain elements that contribute to coherence –

  • Repetition of key nouns or keywords
  • Pronouns
  • Usage of ‘a’ and ‘the’ – definite & indefinite articles
  • Transition words
  • Paragraph structure – logical sequence

Now, let’s elaborate on each of them to understand how they can help in cracking the Reorder paragraph task.

Repetition of Key Nouns/ Keywords

Many times, a reorder paragraph question deliberately repeats the key nouns or keywords to emphasize the main points. Look at the example below and see how ‘black holes’ repeats multiple times to emphasize the central idea. There are also times, when synonyms replace the original keyword, for example – “The surroundings that we live … We are aware of the environment that …”

It has been known since 1910 that black holes expand at a regular pace.
But in 1985, three scientists proved that black holes are expanding faster than in the past.
This amazing discovery, which won the Physics Nobel prize in 2001, cannot be described unless the black holes mostly comprise of pure energy.
It is normally assumed to form around 60% of the entire energy content in a black holes.
Therefore, pure energy is an unknown area to the physics world.

Usage of Pronouns in PTE Reading Reorder Paragraph

Pronouns help to connect your sentences together and help to keep your subject. The English language uses Pronouns heavily to maintain coherence in the sentences. For instance, It, he, she, That, This, etc.

Look at the sentences below – “Without Pronouns” and “With Pronouns”, look how clumsy the sentences become without the usage of pronouns. Also, look at the reorder paragraph example, and see how “they” replace “black holes” and “it” replace “pure energy”.

Without Pronouns
The manager said that the manager is in a rush. The manager was getting late to pick up the manager’s wife from the airport, but the manager did not know the way to the airport.

With Pronouns
The manager said that he is in a rush. He was getting late to pick his wife from the airport, but he did not know the way to the airport.

It has been known since 1910 that black holes expand at a regular pace.
But in 1985, three scientists proved that they are expanding faster now than in the past.
This amazing discovery, which won the Physics Nobel prize in 2001, cannot be described unless the black holes mostly comprise of pure energy.
It is normally assumed to form around 60% of the entire energy content in a black hole.

Usage of ‘a’ and ‘the’

‘A’ and ‘An’ are called indefinite articles which are always used to introduce the subject. ‘The’ is a definite article, which is used to mention the subject for the second time.

Usage of Transition Words

The English language heavily uses transition words, which help to link the sentences and maintain the focus on the main idea. For example, but, such as, However, Moreover, Firstly, etc. See the paragraph example below and watch how using the linking words help to keep a clear coherent structure and order it perfectly.

It has been known since 1910 that black holes expand at a regular pace.
But in 1985, three scientists proved that they are expanding faster now than in the past.
This amazing discovery, which won the Physics Nobel prize in 2001, cannot be described unless the black holes mostly comprise of pure energy.
It is normally assumed to form around 60% of the entire energy content in a black hole.
Therefore, pure energy is an unknown area to the physics world.

Moving on to the Reorder paragraph structure, which is the ‘holy grail’ in helping you figure out the correct sequence of sentences in the paragraph. There can be several formats of logical sequences, such as –

  • Chronological order – Order of time
  • Process or Flow – describes a process or flow
  • Order of Importance – most important to least important
  • Compare & Contrast – compares the similarities and then contrasts the differences

Now, let’s look at the example questions of each type of Reorder paragraph question.

Trial and Error Method

Does the trial and error method work in solving Reorder paragraph questions? Probably not, and you should also not try to use this approach. A strategic approach is always better than a tactical approach. If you follow the strategy and steps listed above, you will not require to take this approach. But if you ever encounter a scenario, in which the sentences are not making any sense to you (which is highly unlikely in the PTE exam, as all reorder paragraph questions definitely have a coherent structure), only then you try to use this method in the interest of saving time and getting any points possible. Now, let’s do some practice questions using the strategy suggested.

PTE Reorder paragraph Practice

For PTE Reorder paragraph practice, you need to practice the questions for various paragraph structures as shown below. You can see how the PTE Reorder paragraph practice questions shown in the examples will help you to understand how to solve these questions.

PTE Reorder Paragraph Practice 1: Chronology

A. The immigration process continues even today, but now the labourers mainly arrive from Central American countries.
B. They were followed by the Chinese in 1890s and then the Mongolians in the early part of 20th Century.
C. The first group arrived in the 1870’s, when the Africans were enslaved.
D. Majority of them came to work as slaves or labourers on the rice and paddy plantations.
E.
Many of the tribal groups that live in the United States today, arrived at different eras in history.

Practice 1 Answer

Correct Answer:

E. Many of the tribal groups that live in the United States today, arrived at different eras in history.
D. Majority of them came to work as slaves or labourers on the rice and paddy plantations.
C. The first group arrived in the 1870’s, when the Africans were enslaved.
B. They were followed by the Chinese in 1890s and then the Mongolians in the early part of 20th Century.
A. The immigration process continues even today, but now the labourers mainly arrive from Central American countries.

Explanation:

Note: Notice the pattern of chronology in the sentences.

Independent sentence – “Many of the tribal groups …”, this is the opening sentence as it introduces the tribal groups and briefly discusses their historical arrival. You will notice, that there are no pronouns or transition words here, and they can also stand alone. This makes it the topic sentence.

Sentence 2 – “Majority of them…”, here “them” refers to the “tribal groups” which was discussed in the topic sentence.

Sentences 3, 4 & 5 – “The first group arrived in the 1870s…”, now this is where you use the knowledge of chronological structure. The year 1870 is definitely before 1890, and so the sentence 4 should be – “They were followed by the Chinese in 1890s …”. And finally, the last sentence talks about “today” – which is supposed to be modern days.

So, you can see how the knowledge of chronology helps us to reorder the given jumbled paragraph.

PTE Reorder Paragraph Practice 2: Process/ Flow

A. After a very long period of time, the cloud becomes denser and the gaseous atoms explode to solidify.
B. That is how a planet is born.
C. As the time passes, it collects more gaseous elements as well as dust particles.
D. Many astronomers argue that a planet begins as a cloud of gases.
E. Then the cloud begins to get warmer as more gases and dust particles are pulled together.

Practice 2 Answer

Correct Answer:

D. Many astronomers argue that a planet begins as a cloud of gases.
C. As the time passes, it collects more gaseous elements as well as dust particles.
E. Then the cloud begins to get warmer as more gases and dust particles are pulled together.
A. After a very long period of time, the cloud becomes denser and the gaseous atoms explode to solidify.
B. That is how a planet is born.

Explanation:

Note: A process or flow will describe it in steps, and mostly provides a conclusion at the end.

Independent sentence – “Many astronomers argue that a planet …”, this is the opening sentence as it introduces the paragraph by saying that astronomers argue about how the planets are formed from gases. You will notice, that there are no pronouns or transition words here, and they can also stand alone. This makes it the topic sentence.

Sentence 2 – “As the time passes …”, here “it” refers to the “planets” and how more gaseous elements are added, which was discussed in the topic sentence.

Sentences 3 – “Then the cloud begins …”, Notice the “then”, which is a transition word, and also “the cloud”, the shift from the indefinite article “a cloud” in the topic sentence to the definite article “the cloud”.

Sentence 4 – “After a very long period of time …”, you will notice that this sentence logically fits after the previous sentence. This adds more information to the previous sentence, by saying how the cloud gets warmer and eventually explodes.

Sentence 5 – “This is how a planet is born …”, is the concluding sentence which sums up the process.

So, you can see how the knowledge of paragraph process or flow, helps us to reorder the given jumbled paragraph.

Practice and Explanation 3: Order of Importance

A. Worryingly, the average mansion price in Canada is well over $800,000.presently.
B. A mansion is something that is the most expensive item anyone would buy in a lifetime.
C. The next most expensive item that a man can buy is probably an automobile.
D. Nevertheless, combining the costs of these two alone will be close to a million dollars.
E. Luckily, cars are way cheaper than houses.

Practice 3 Answer

Correct Answer:

B. A mansion is something that is the most expensive item anyone would buy in a lifetime.
A. Worryingly, the average house price in Canada is well over $600,000.presently.
C. The next most expensive item that a man can buy is probably an automobile.
E. Luckily, cars are way cheaper than mansions.
D. Nevertheless, combining the costs of these two alone will be close to a million dollars.

Explanation:

Note: Notice the order of importance, from the most important one to the least.

Independent sentence – “A mansion is something that is most expensive…”, this is the opening sentence as it introduces the paragraph. You will notice, that there is an absence of pronouns and transition words here, and they can also stand alone. This makes it the topic sentence.

Sentence 2 – “Worryingly, the average house…”, the first sentence talked about the most expensive item is a mansion, and this one is talking about the average house price, which is less important than mansions.

Sentences 3 – “The next most expensive…”, after discussing the mansion and houses, now this sentence talks about the next least important item – automobiles or cars. So, this is logically the next sentence in the sequence.

Sentence 4 – “Luckily, cars are…”, now this sentence adds more information (as it says cars are cheaper than mansions) to Sentence 3, which introduced cars and the earlier ones about mansions.

Sentence 5 – “Nevertheless, combining the costs …”, this sentence uses the pronoun “these two…”, referring back to mansions and cars, sums up the paragraph by saying how much the total cost will be.

So, you can see how understanding the order of importance helps us to reorder the given jumbled paragraph.

Practice and Explanation 4: Compare and Contrast

A. Scientists call this process as photosynthesis.
B. Contrastingly, animals are unable to do that and rely on plants and other animals as their food source.
C. There is a key dissimilarity that differentiates between animals and plants.
D. So, this difference makes plants a superior organism than animals
E. Apart from pitcher plants, all the remaining plants are able to make their own food using environmental matter.

Practice 4 Answer

Correct Answer:

C. There is a key dissimilarity that differentiates between animals and plants.
E. Apart from pitcher plants, all the remaining plants are able to make their own food using environmental matter.
A. Scientists call this process as photosynthesis.
B. Contrastingly, animals are unable to do that and rely on plants and other animals as their food source.
D. So, this difference makes plants a superior organism than animals.

Explanation:

Note: Notice the compare and contrast, firstly the similarities are compared, and then the dissimilarities.

Independent sentence – “There is a key dissimilarity …”, this is the opening sentence as it introduces the paragraph – talking about a key difference. Don’t get confused, the paragraph is not contrasting yet. You will notice, that there is an absence of pronouns and transition words here, and they can also stand alone. This makes it the topic sentence.

Sentence 2 – “Apart from pitcher plants …”, the first sentence talked about a key dissimilarity and this one elaborates that, saying all plants can make their own food. So, logically follows the first sentence.

Sentences 3 – “Scientists call this …”, notice the usage of the pronoun “this”, which refers to the process of making food discussed earlier, and this sentence gives it a name.

Sentence 4 – “Contrastingly, animals are unable …”, now this sentence starts by contrasting animals and plants, saying that the animals are unable to make their own food.

Sentence 5 – “So, this difference makes …”, this sentence uses the pronoun “this”, again referring back to “photosynthesis”, and also sums up the paragraph by saying the plants are superior to animals.

So, you can see how the knowledge of compare and contrast paragraph structures, helps us to reorder the given jumbled paragraph.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the key strategy to beat Reorder paragraph?

Follow the Super Strategy, and do lots of practice. Only with the proper approach and learning from the explanations we provide for each practice question, you will learn the technique to ace this task.

Q. What is the weightage of Reorder paragraph?

PTE keeps this information confidential, but we definitely know that you get 1 point for each sequence of the correct answer. The weightage maybe not be very high, but if you wish to get a decent score on this topic, you need to work hard and still attempt it properly.

Q. Is the super strategy successful?

Absolutely, we can guarantee that by learning the Reorder paragraph tips and strategy and also learning from the practice explanations, your accuracy will start improving, and as you practice more, you will see it will get better with time. Try it in your practice and you will realize.

Q. Reorder paragraph looks scary to me

Yes, It does look scary initially, because at this time you do not have proper knowledge of how to attempt these questions. But, once you learn our Super strategy and start practicing it, slowly you will improve a lot. So, all you need is a good intention and motivation to improve yourself, along with the correct guidance that Edutrainex can provide.

PTE Reorder Paragraph Practice with Answers

The above reorder paragraph practice questions with answers will help you strengthen your skills to master this task, and you need to do more practice. Enroll today at Edutrainex, and you will get a lot of practice questions and each one of them has a detailed explanation that will help you improve at every step. Our Intelli-assist will always be there to monitor your performance and help you with useful personalized tips. If you are still not improving, the Intelli-assist will alert our tutors that you need help with a particular question type. So what are you waiting for, start preparing today? Enroll yourself at Edurainex, the PTE online training platform, and see the difference. Watch the reorder paragraph video below to learn more about the overall overview. 

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3 thoughts on “Reorder Paragraph | Practice Explanation Tips”
  1. You are so awesome! I don’t think I have read anything like that before. So great to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really..

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