Difference between IELTS and PTE

If you are thinking about either studying or settling in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, and UK and if you have done your research, you probably know by now that you need to take an English Proficiency Test. Of all the English Proficiency Tests out there, these two are the most popular: IELTS and PTE Academic. So, it certainly begs the question:  what is the difference between IELTS and PTE?

Similarities between IELTS and PTE Academic

While there are many differences, let us first look at the similarities. Both these exams test fundamental English skills:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening

Since IELTS has gradually started going computer based, the difference in the mode of testing of these two exams is blurring out. PTE Academic, from its inception, has always been computer based whereas the IELTS has traditionally been a pen and paper based exam that is now shifting to a computer based testing environment.

Difference between IELTS and PTE Academic

The main difference between the two exams lies in how they are assessed. Both the versions of IELTS – pen-paper based and computer-based – are assessed manually, whereas the entire PTE Academic is assessed via artificially intelligent (AI) scoring engine. Hence, there is no room for human errors in PTE Academic scores.

Other Differences

Test Versions & Acceptance: 

The IELTS comes in two versions – IELTS Academic and IELTS General. The IELTS Academic is commonly prescribed for student visas, whereas IELTS General is prescribed for permanent residency and other visa categories. On the other hand, PTE Academic is valid for multiple visa categories, including student and permanent residency, across Australia and New Zealand.

10,000+ universities accept the IELTS, whereas 6,000+ universities accept the PTE Academic.

Test Registration:

In India, British Council and IDP conduct the IELTS exam. Both these agencies operate different test centers and dates are available both online and offline. On the other hand, Pearson itself conducts the PTE across the world. Some of the test centers are managed by Pearson itself, whereas other centers are managed under the care of its test center franchise partners. You can even purchase a PTE voucher and avail discount on the exam fees.

If you are interested in booking PTE test date, you can even purchase vouchers from us by clicking HERE.

Availability of Test Scores:

The scores for pen and paper based IELTS is available in 13 days after the test. The score for computer delivered IELTS is available within 5 to 7 days. PTE scores a home run here as 80% of the test scores are available within 2 days of the test. Pearson officially declares that it makes PTE test scores available within 5 business days the latest. An aspirant can send PTE test scores to unlimited universities without any extra cost.

Score Format:

IELTS gives individual scores across all the four sections – Speaking, Writing, Reading & Listening along with an overall score on a scale that lies between 0 and 9. On the other hand PTE score scale lies between 10 and 90, with 10 being an equivalent of 0 and 90 being the perfect score. Like IELTS, PTE gives both skill-wise and overall scores.

However, PTE also provides scaled scores for enabling skills such as Pronunciation, Oral Fluency, Grammar, Written Discourse, Vocabulary and Spelling.

Ease of Scoring:

According to many test takers who have appeared for both these tests, PTE Academic is easier than the IELTS. This is a noteworthy difference between IELTS and PTE. While IELTS calls for deeper understanding of the fundamentals of grammar, PTE Academic focuses on the practical aspects of communicative English. It makes sense because the ultimate reason for administering an English Proficiency Test is to judge the adaptability of the candidate is in an English speaking country.

So, which exam should you take?

If you are planning to study or settle in Australia or New Zealand, you should DEFINITELY take the PTE Academic because it is accepted for all relevant visa categories in both the countries. PTE is a good choice for student visa category in both the USA and the UK.

IELTS is a good choice for aspirants looking to study or settle in Canada. Canada High Commission has shown preference for the IELTS over PTE. However, Pearson is in talks with the High Commission and we can soon expect a positive announcement.

We encourage aspirants to go through the official websites of both these tests.

Click HERE to visit the official PTE Academic website.

Click HERE to visit the British Council website and HERE to visit the IDP website.

We hope this article has helped you better understand the difference between IELTS and PTE. You can now take a call on whether to go for IELTS or PTE based on your priorities.

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