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IELTS VS PTE 2023: Which is the best for you?

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Studying abroad can be a lifetime experience, and the first prerequisite is to clear an English proficiency test that is compulsory for international students. IELTS and PTE are the two most popular English proficiency tests most students take. But when it comes to choosing one between IELTS Vs PTE, how to decide? Which one is easier? How are the two tests different? The two tests might look the same but differ in some critical aspects. Therefore, before making the right decision, let’s weigh both exams’ benefits, requirements, and preferences.

IELTS Vs PTE: First, let’s understand more about both exams.

IELTS: Details and Format

  • IELTS is an English proficiency test jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia & Cambridge English.
  • Governments prefer IELTS Academic for studies and IELTS General for migration in most countries than any other English language test. 10,000+ overseas organisations have listed that IELTS is mandatory on their websites.

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IELTS VS PTE 2023: Which is the best for you?
  • IELTS has two options: a standard pen and paper-based exam and a computerised one. Most centres have both options, allowing you to choose as per convenience. 
  • IELTS has four major sections, the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests which are done in one sitting. Then we have the Speaking test, which may be on the same day or within seven days before or after the other tests.
  • The results are available after 13 days of the test. Test centres will see that the Report Form reaches you within 13 days.
  • For evaluation, some specialised examiners conduct the speaking section of the exam. And to assess your writing section, a specialised examiner will read and evaluate your writing tasks.

PTE: Details and Format

  • The PTE Academic test is conducted by Pearson PLC, a British multinational publishing headquartered in London. It is the world’s best learning company.
  • PTE Academic is critically acclaimed by some of the best universities worldwide, including Harvard Business School, Yale, etc. PTE Academic is accepted for visa purposes by Australia and New Zealand too.
  • PTE is a computerised test. You need to click the correct options and speak your answers to the headset for the speaking test.
  • PTE Academic has three main parts, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing, which can be completed within 3 hours in one sitting.
  • PTE results are mostly published within five business days. Most students receive the results within three days as well. In a small number of cases, it may take more than five days.
  • The assessment for the PTE is completely automated and conducted by a computer program. There is no one physically analysing the writing and speaking.
IELTS Vs PTE

Also Read: PTE To IELTS: Conversion Chart For PTE To IELTS Scores in 2023

IELTS Vs PTE: Major Similarities

The main agenda of both exams is to test fundamental English skills. There are many differences between IELTS Vs PTE; first, let’s look at the similarities. 

  • IELTS and PTE serve the same function – to test your ability to understand and use English.
  • These tests have four important components to assess your language proficiency – Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
  • PTE was always a computer-based exam, whereas IELTS was traditionally a pen and paper-based exam, with the computer-based test being introduced recently. 
  •  IELTS and PTE allow you to answer in major dialects like UK or US English. Both British and American varieties of the language are accepted.

That is about the similarities. Now, let’s quickly spot the differences.

IELTS Vs PTE: 5 Key Differences

IELTS Vs PTE, how are they different? We know these questions are lingering in your mind, and we have answered them in detail below:

1. The Test Versions & Acceptance: 

There is a significant difference in the versions of both exams. IELTS has two versions – IELTS Academic and IELTS General. IELTS Academic is for student visas, and IELTS General is preferred for permanent residency, immigration, and other visa categories. 

When we look at the PTE exam, PTE Academic is valid for most visa categories, including student and permanent residency, across Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries. 

Comparing the acceptance rate of IELTS Vs PTE, more than 10,000+ universities accept the IELTS, whereas only 6,000+ universities accept the PTE Academic.

2. Test Registration

Two different organisations conduct IELTS and PTE. These agencies have various test centres and dates available for both online and offline modes. In India, the British Council and IDP usually conduct the IELTS exam. 

On the other hand, Pearson is the agency conducting the PTE worldwide. The test centres are managed by Pearson, whereas other centres are managed under the care of franchise partners.

So for the IELTS Vs PTE test registration purposes, IELTS can be registered online and offline via the agencies IDP and British Council, whereas for PTE, you can register with Pearson.

3. Availability of scores

If we compare the score availability, the pen and paper-based IELTS scores are available 13 days after the test. The score is delivered to the students within 5 to 7 days of the computer test. 

PTE scores are thoroughly evaluated by the computer, which is why the test scores are available within two days of the test. Pearson officially declares the results and sends them to the students, making them available within five business days at the latest. 

4. Format of the score

IELTS provides a cumulative score and the individual scores given across all four sections – Speaking, Writing, Reading & Listening- on a scale between 0 and 9. 

Whereas the PTE score scale lies between 10 and 90, with 10 being the equivalent of 0 and 90 being the perfect score. Like IELTS, PTE gives both separate and overall scores.

However, PTE, along with the cumulative score, provides scaled scores for improving your Pronunciation, Oral Fluency, Grammar, Written Discourse, and Vocabulary skills.

5. Chances of scoring

According to the review of many test takers who have appeared for both tests, PTE Academic is comparatively easier than IELTS. While IELTS is more challenging and requires a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc., PTE Academic focuses mainly on the practical aspects of communicative English. 

The difficulty levels of IELTS Vs PTE, both the tests are different, but the ultimate aim of both English Proficiency Tests is to understand the candidate’s adaptability in an English-speaking country.

Also Read: Best IELTS Books For Top Score In 2023: Most Popular Material For IELTS

Latest IELTS and PTE updates 2023

PTE 2023IELTS 2023
Pearson launched PTE at Home for the convenience of the test takers in November 2021.A new format of IELTS named IELTS Indicator has been introduced. This is for test-takers to attempt the exam at home.
You can change your PTE dates in 2023 by rescheduling 14 days or more before your test date. If you want to reschedule the date of your IELTS 2023, you can do that up to five weeks before the test.
The PTE exam dates in 2023 will vary. Students must book slots available on the Pearson PTE Academic website. The IELTS exam dates in 2023 will vary. Students must book slots available on the British Council website. 
There is no limit to the number of attempts for the PTE Exam 2023. Candidates can take the exam in a gap of 5 days. There is also no limit on how many times you can attempt IELTS in 2023. You just have to pay the exam re-taking fee.
PTE 2023 Results will be released online within two working days that can be accessed online from the PTE Academic student account.IELTS 2023 offline will be released 13 days after your written test. Online results will be available 3–5 days after your test.

Also Read: Dates of IELTS Exam 2023 – Check IELTS Test Dates & Locations in India!

IELTS Vs PTE

Bagging a seat at your dream university is challenging. There might be difficult roads; the first road you must cross is IELTS or PTE. These exams will help you improve your English language skills and communicate better in an international country.

But, which test to choose between IELTS Vs PTE? You should choose between IELTS Vs PTE based on your requirements. The above key factors can help you select. But, when you take the exam, let your individual preferences guide you. To get a better idea, consult some of the best counsellors from LeapScholar! Talk to experts today and find the best strategies to clear your preferred English exam!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which is easier, PTE OR IELTS?

    Both tests are challenging in their own ways. IELTS writing sections are a bit difficult because the scoring is of higher literary standards. IELTS Academic Reading tests also might contain complex texts compared to the General Training Reading test.
    PTE seems to be a little easier for students as PTE concentrates more on the application level and doesn’t involve much of the fundamentals.

  • Can we reschedule or cancel the IELTS or PTE?

    Students should cancel or reschedule their exams within five weeks of the test date. You will be charged the full fees unless they have a valid medical reason or a personal emergency.
    Also, suppose the candidate successfully provides a valid medical certificate five days before the test date; they are eligible to receive a refund after deducting the fixed administration cost. If the reason is valid, students can also reschedule the exam per the rules.

  • What is a good score for IELTS and PTE?

    Generally, the minimum score in IELTS is 6.0 out of a total of 9.0 in all four sections of the test to study for a Bachelor’s degree. For a Master’s degree, most colleges require a score of at least 6.0 in each section but 6.5 overall. Subjects like Nursing or Engineering require a score of 7.0.
    PTE has a test scale of 10 to 90. To get admission to a Bachelor’s program, you require a score of at least 46 out of 90 in all four test sections. For Masters, you might need 56 overall. A score of 66 in each section is required for technical courses.

  • How to access the Academic PTE Scores?

    The candidates can access their PTE Academic scores via an online portal. Candidates must register to the Pearson VUE account to access their scores.

  • Is it easy to score good in PTE?

    To get 8 of each band of IELTS in the PTE test, one has to score at least an average of 79 with all four skills above 79.

  • If you want test scores for visa purposes, which test should you take?

    IELTS is a better option as it is offered for immigration purposes as well.

  • Can I proceed, skip questions in the test, and return to them later? 

    Because there is no going back in PTE Academic, you can only move on through questions after correcting mistakes.
    You can only record your response once for spoken responses.
    IELTS, on the other hand, allows you to move back and forth through the questions, even within the distinct modules of Listening, Reading, and Writing, enabling you to revise your answers and enhance your score.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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