IELTS VS PTE 2024: Which is the best for you?

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The English language proficiency tests, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and PTE (Pearson Test of English) are two prominent English proficiency tests if you want to study in an English-speaking country.

You must struggle to decide between IELTS vs PTE, and multiple questions arise in your mind, like: is PTE easier than IELTS? PTE vs IELTS: which is better? What is the difference between IELTS and PTE?

As per India Today, according to official figures, the number of candidates appearing for the IELTS exam in India for studying in or migrating to an English-speaking country has increased by up to 15 per cent since the pre-pandemic years.

In the table below, we’ll learn a deeper comparative analysis of IELTS vs PTE exams.

ParametersIELTSPTE
Conducted byIDP Education Ltd.Pearson PLC group
Test typesIELTS Academic, IELTS General TrainingPTE Academic
Duration2 hours and 45 Minutes3 hours
Break No breaks.
The speaking portion can be taken a week before or after the test. 
Optional 10 minutes
Range of scores0 – 910 – 90
Result -Paper-based- 13 days
-Computer-based- 3-5 days
2 days
CostINR 16,25015,900 INR

This blog will cover all your queries by comparing essential aspects of IELTS vs PTE, such as exam format, scoring system, validity, and more.

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IELTS vs PTE: Overview

PTE-A (Pearson Test of English – Academic), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are three highly recognised standardised tests commonly used for migration or studying abroad.

The key differentiator between IELTS vs PTE exams is that PTE exams can only be given on a computer. On the contrary, you can take IELTS on paper as well as on a computer exam.

Let’s dive into more details:

What is the IELTS exam?

IELTS, an English proficiency test, is conducted by IDP India.

Widely favoured by governments for academic studies and migration purposes in numerous countries, IELTS has gained the endorsement of over 10,000 overseas organisations, indicating its widespread recognition as a mandatory language test.

Offering both paper and computer-based test options, IELTS provides flexibility for test-takers. The test consists of four main sections—Listening, Reading, and Writing– and is conducted in a single sitting, with the Speaking test scheduled either on the same day or within seven days before or after the other components. 

Results for the paper-based tests are typically available 13 days after the test, ensuring a timely assessment. Specialised examiners evaluate the Speaking section, while a dedicated examiner assesses the writing tasks.

What is the PTE Exam?

PTE Academic, administered by Pearson PLC, a leading British multinational publishing company, stands out as a computerised test renowned for its association with prestigious institutions like Harvard Business School and Yale. 

PTE Academic is conducted entirely on a computer and comprises four main parts—Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing—allowing completion within a concise three-hour duration in a single sitting. 

The test results are usually published within 5 business days, with many students receiving their scores even sooner, typically within 3 days. 

Note: While the majority receive their results promptly, a few cases may experience a slightly extended waiting period beyond the standard five days.

IELTS Vs PTE: Key Commonalities

Both IELTS vs PTE share a common objective, focusing on evaluating fundamental English language skills. Amidst the numerous distinctions between IELTS and PTE, it’s essential first to explore their major similarities.

Language Proficiency Assessment:

The primary purpose of both exams is to gauge your proficiency in understanding and utilising the English language.

Components of Assessment:

Both IELTS vs PTE employ four essential components—Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening—to evaluate your language skills comprehensively.

Language Varieties:

IELTS, traditionally a pen-and-paper exam but now available in a computer-based format, and PTE, a computer-based test from its inception, provide candidates with the flexibility to respond in either the major UK or US English dialects. British and American variations of the language are accepted, catering to a diverse range of English users.

Having established these fundamental similarities, let’s swiftly delve into the distinctive features that set IELTS vs PTE apart.

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IELTS VS PTE 2024: Which is the best for you?

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IELTS VS PTE 2024: Which is the best for you?

5 Contrasts for IELTS Vs PTE

When it comes to IELTS vs PTE, the distinctions between these two English proficiency tests are essential to comprehend.

Below, we address these differences in detail:

1. Test Versions & Acceptance:

  • IELTS offers two versions—IELTS Academic and IELTS General. Academic is suitable for student visas, while General is preferred for permanent residency, immigration, and other visa categories.
  • PTE Academic is accepted across various visa categories, including student and permanent residency, in countries like Australia and New Zealand.
  • Acceptance Rate: IELTS is accepted by over 10,000 universities, whereas 6,000+ universities accept PTE Academic.

2. Test Registration:

  • IELTS is conducted by IDP India, with test centres managed by these organisations.
  • PTE is conducted by Pearson, and test centres are managed by Pearson and franchise partners.
  • IELTS can be registered online and offline through IDP and the British Council, while PTE registration is done through Pearson.

3. Availability of Scores:

  • IELTS scores are available 13 days after the test for the pen-and-paper version and 3 to 5 days for the computer-based version.
  • PTE scores, evaluated by a computer, are available within two days of the test, with Pearson officially declaring results within five business days at the latest.

4. Format of the Score:

  • IELTS separately provides scores on a scale between 0 and 9, with the overall score calculated as the average of individual subskill scores (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
  • PTE scores range from 10 to 90, with separate scores for Pronunciation, Oral Fluency, Grammar, Written Discourse, and Vocabulary, in addition to the overall score.

For a simplified IELTS to PTE score conversion, refer to the PTE score bands provided here:

IELTSPTE
535-42
5.543-50
651-58
6.559-64
765-72
7.559-64
879-82
8.583-85
986 and above

5. Chances of Scoring:

  • As per reviews, PTE Academic is perceived as comparatively easier than IELTS.
  • IELTS is considered more challenging, requiring a deeper understanding of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
  • PTE Academic focuses on practical aspects of communicative English, making it more adaptable for test-takers.

While the difficulty levels differ, both IELTS and PTE aim to assess your adaptability in an English-speaking environment.

Understanding these key differences can aid individuals in choosing the test that aligns with their goals and preferences.

Final Thoughts

Getting into your dream university can be tough. Before you even get there, you have to decide between two exams: IELTS vs PTE. These exams help you improve your English and communicate well in another country.

So, which test should you choose—IELTS vs PTE? It depends on what you need. The important factors mentioned earlier can help you decide. 

But, when you’re taking the exam, go with what you like. For more advice, talk to experts at Leap Scholar. They can give you the best tips to pass your English exam!

Consult with experts, chart your course, and embark on a journey where effective communication opens doors to opportunities.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is PTE easier than IELTS?

    A. Both exams present unique challenges. IELTS can be demanding, particularly in writing, where higher literary standards are expected. The Academic Reading section in IELTS might involve more complex texts compared to the General Training Reading test. On the other hand, PTE might seem slightly easier to students as it focuses more on the application level without delving extensively into fundamental concepts.

  • Q. Can I reschedule or cancel the IELTS vs PTE?

    A. Yes, rescheduling or cancelling the exams is possible within five weeks of the test date. Full fees apply unless there’s a valid medical reason or a personal emergency. A valid medical certificate provided five days before the test date allows for a refund after deducting an administration cost. Rescheduling is also possible under certain rules if a valid reason is provided.

  • Q. What is a good score for IELTS and PTE?

    A. For IELTS, a minimum score of 6.0 out of 9.0 in all four sections is generally required for a Bachelor’s degree, with Master’s programs often seeking an overall score of 6.5. Certain fields like Nursing or Engineering may necessitate a score of 7.0. In PTE, a score of at least 46 out of 90 is required for a Bachelor’s program, while a Master’s program might require an overall score of 56, with technical courses often demanding a score of 66 in each section.

  • Q. How do I access the Academic PTE Scores?

    A. To access your Academic PTE scores, a user-friendly online portal provided by Pearson VUE is the gateway. Test takers are required to undergo a straightforward registration process on the Pearson VUE account, creating a personalised platform from which they can conveniently view and manage their PTE Academic scores. This ensures a seamless and accessible experience for individuals seeking detailed insights into their academic performance.

  • Q. Is it easy to score well in PTE?

    A. Scoring well in PTE necessitates achieving a balanced and commendable average across all four skills. Aiming for an impressive score of 79 or above in each skill is the key to attaining an overall band score of 8, equivalent to a high achievement in the IELTS exam. While the journey to achieving such scores demands dedication and effective preparation, PTE’s practical and application-focused nature often makes it more approachable for your aim for excellence.

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

    A. When seeking test scores for visa purposes, particularly for immigration, IELTS emerges as the preferable option. Renowned for its wide acceptance in immigration processes, IELTS has established itself as a reliable indicator of English language proficiency. Choosing IELTS for visa applications ensures alignment with the requirements of immigration authorities, offering you a well-recognised and globally accepted avenue to demonstrate your language skills.

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

    A. In the dynamic landscape of PTE, once you have navigated through a question, there is no option to revisit or backtrack. The test progresses linearly, and candidates can only move forward after addressing a question. In contrast, the IELTS exam provides a more flexible approach, allowing you to move back and forth within sections. This flexibility helps you to revisit questions, make revisions, and enhance your responses, contributing to a more strategic and adaptive test-taking experience.

  • Q. Is PTE accepted in Canada?

    A. Yes, PTE Academic holds recognition and acceptance in Canada for various study routes, including the sought-after Student Direct Stream (SDS) route. Acknowledged by numerous Designated Learning Institutes in the country, PTE Academic offers a swift and reliable pathway for you if you aim to fulfil your academic pursuits in the diverse educational landscape of Canada.

  • Q. Is 75 PTE good?

    A. Scoring between 65 and 75 in PTE is considered commendable and falls within the range of good scores. While there is no defined passing score, achieving within this spectrum demonstrates a solid proficiency in English. These scores are generally deemed acceptable for admission to esteemed universities, reflecting a candidate’s capability to excel in academic endeavours.

  • Q. Is PTE valid for 3 years?

    A. The validity of PTE scores extends for two years from the test date, aligning with the timeframe observed for IELTS scores. Upon accessing the PTE scorecard through the online portal, test takers are encouraged to promptly validate their results. This validation process ensures the receipt of the final verified score, offering candidates a comprehensive and reliable record of their language proficiency for the specified period.

  • Q. Is IELTS very difficult?

    A. Assessing the difficulty of IELTS is subjective and varies for each individual. The key determinant of success lies in thorough preparation and a strong command of the English language. While the exam may pose challenges for those with limited proficiency, proper study strategies and dedicated preparation can significantly contribute to overcoming potential difficulties. Ultimately, the difficulty level is contingent on your readiness for the exam format and requirements.

  • Q. What should I choose, IELTS vs PTE?

    A. The choice between IELTS vs PTE depends on individual preferences. IELTS may be better for those familiar with written test formats, while PTE suits those comfortable with digital interfaces. Consider your accent; IELTS is preferable if you have a good accent, as the PTE Speaking section assesses pronunciation strictly. Consulting with experts can help make an informed decision.


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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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