PTE Vs IELTS
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PTE Vs IELTS

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Priya
Priya Garg
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 24, 2024 11:23 IST

PTE Exam Vs IELTS: “Which is the best exam among PTE and IELTS” remains the top query among students willing to pursue their higher education abroad. Both of these tests are highly sought after among students, one for its broad acceptability and another one for its shorter duration and quicker results. Let us read this article to sort the quest PTE Vs IELTS - which one is the better exam for you.

PTE vs IELTS

Studying abroad requires international students to prove their proficiency in the English language. Qualifying for these English tests to study abroad proves to the universities that you are able to comprehend the lectures, have a good interaction with fellow batchmates and survive in a foreign city. However, among IELTS and PTE, “Is PTE better than IELTS?” or “Is IELTS better than PTE?” these two questions can affect the student’s preliminary studying abroad journey to a great extent. 

To select which exam out of IELTS and PTE is better for you, analysing their elements such as exam patterns, durations, type of questions, results and acceptability can be great to ensure which English proficiency exam would be better for you. This article highlights the major points of differences between the IELTS and PTE Academic exams for studying abroad.

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Also Read: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE vs Duolingo - Which Test Should You Take?

Difference Between PTE and IELTS

PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are two of the most widely accepted English exams for studying abroad. Both these exams are accepted widely for pursuing long-term and short-term education abroad. But with both options available, choosing the right test can feel overwhelming. 

For this reason, we have listed the differences between the IELTS and PTE exams on several parameters below. 

Test Format and Skills Assessed in PTE Vs IELTS 

Below is a brief analysis of the test formats and the skills assessed in the IELTS and PTE exams. 

  • IELTS Exam: Traditionally, the IELTS exam assesses English comprehension skills across four parameters, i.e. IELTS speaking, reading, writing and listening. There are separate sessions for assessing the different sections of the IELTS exam, i.e. the Reading. Listening and Writing parts are tested in one sitting (without breaks) and the Speaking part is tested in a separate sitting on another day. However, candidates have the option to choose from the conventional paper-based or the computer-based (online) exam.   
  • PTE Academic Exam: The PTE exam emphasizes assessing the candidate’s ability to use English in real-world situations where they may be required to use more than 1 of the core communication skills, i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing simultaneously. For this reason, the Listening and Reading skills are assessed in two different sections and the Writing and Speaking skills are assessed in one single section in the PTE exam. However, all these sections get assessed within one sitting of the exam in a computer-based (online) mode.  

Below is the table that highlights the main points of differences in the test formats of PTE and IELTS exams. 

PTE Vs IELTS: Test Format

Parameters

IELTS Exam

PTE Exam

Test Duration

  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 11-14 minutes
  • Listening: 30 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Reading: 29-30 minutes
  • Speaking: 30-43 minutes
  • Listening: 30-43 minutes
  • Writing: 30-43 minutes

Number of Questions

  • Reading: 3 Input Texts - 40 Questions
  • Speaking: Interview Style Rounds conducted in 3 parts - number of questions may vary
  • Listening: 4 Recordings - 40 Questions
  • Writing: 2 Tasks - 2 Questions
  • Reading: Multiple Input Texts - 13-18 Questions
  • Speaking: Multiple Input Texts - 25-33 questions
  • Listening: 8 Item Types - 12-20 questions
  • Writing: 2 Tasks - 2-4 Questions

Total Questions

82+ questions

52-75 questions

PTE Vs IELTS Test Duration and Availability

The comparison between PTE and IELTS test durations and slot availability is given below. 

  • IELTS: The entire IELTS test takes approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, with each individual section varying in length. The IELTS test dates are offered regularly, but registration deadlines exist due to which students must make sure that they register for the IELTS exam at least a month ago their actual test date.
  • PTE Academic Test: The PTE exam typically lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes. The test dates for this computer-based PTE exam are available almost every day and candidates can register for the exam as early as 24 hours before taking the exam, considering the availability of the desired test centres. However, the PTE Academic exam offers greater flexibility as it can be taken from the comfort of candidates' homes (PTE Academic Online exam). 

The comparison of IELTS and PTE exams based on their duration and availability of exam slots are summarised in the table below.

PTE Vs IELTS: Test Duration and Availability

Parameters

IELTS Exam

PTE Exam

Test Duration

2 hours and 45 minutes

2 hours

Slot Availability

  • A limited number of test dates are available (48, annually) for the IELTS pen and paper test. However, the computer-based IELTS exam dates are available every day.
  • Registration should be done at least 3 days before the actual exam date. 
  • Test Dates are available almost every day. 
  • Registration can be done up to 24 hours in advance, considering the availability of your preferred PTE Test centres

PTE Vs IELTS: Exam Fees

Another factor to consider in the PTE and IELTS comparison is the relative prices of both these exams. However, it is to be noted that both these exams, PTE and IELTS are priced the same, i.e. INR 17,000, inclusive of GST. So, students willing to take any of these English language exams do not have to bias their decision based on the respective fees of both these exams. 

Retaking the Exam

The IELTS exam allows you to retake one of the exam sections, known as the IELTS One Skill Retake, to improve your score if you have not received your desired score in the first attempt. However, this can only be done if you have booked a full computer-based IELTS exam, have received the result of your exam and apply for the one-skill retake within 60 days of your original exam date.

On the other hand, the PTE exam does not allow you to retake the exam and if you fail the exam then, you will have to re-appear for the entire exam which means that you will have to book and pay for your PTE exam again. 

PTE Vs IELTS: Scores and Results

There is a significant difference between the scoring of the PTE and IELTS exams. Let us read some of the major differences in PTE vs IELTS scores below. 

  • IELTS: The test takers are given separate scores on a band scale from 1 (lowest band score) to 9 (highest band score) for each section. An overall band score, which is an average score of all the sections is then assigned as the final IELTS score to the students. Most universities abroad require students to score a minimum of 6.0 band scores if taking the IELTS exam. The major point of difference in PTE vs IELTS scores is that, in an IELTS exam, the scores are awarded by human examiners.
  • PTE Academic Exam: Just like the PTE exam, each skill/section in the PTE exam gets a separate score and an overall PTE score is also assigned based on the average of all these sectional scores. However, in the PTE Academic exam, the scores are assigned on a scale of 10-90. The scores in the PTE exam are awarded using artificial intelligence, avoiding the chances of human bias. This form of evaluation in the PTE exam leaves little to no room for making mistakes while scoring student’s performance. 

PTE to IELTS Score Conversion

Below is the PTE vs IELTS Score Chart to give you an idea of the correlation between the IELTS and PTE scores. 

PTE Vs IELTS Score Chart

PTE Academic Scores

IELTS Academic Scores

23

←4.5→

29

←5.0→

36

←5.5→

46

←6.0→

56

←6.5→

66

←7.0→

76

←7.5→

84

←8.0→

89

←8.5→

NA

←9.0

This was all about the PTE vs IELTS score comparison. Now we will learn which countries accept IELTS and PTE and for what purpose.

PTE Vs IELTS Acceptance Comparison Across Different Countries

The list of countries accepting PTE Academic and IELTS for higher education and for PR is given in the table below. 

IELTS Vs PTE: Scores Accepting Countries for Higher Studies

Country

PTE Academic 

IELTS

Australia

Canada

United States

✓ (Some Institutions)

United Kingdom

New Zealand

Singapore

Ireland

Germany

✓ (Select Institutions)

France

✓ (Select Institutions)

IELTS Vs PTE: Score Accepting Countries for PR

Country

PTE Academic

IELTS

Australia

Canada

PTE Core

United States

X

United Kingdom

X

New Zealand

Singapore

X

Ireland

X

Germany

X

France

X

Also Read: 

Preparation Tips for the IELTS and PTE Exams

Since you are aiming to ace either PTE or IELTS, here are some valuable preparation tips to help you on your journey:

  • Immerse yourself in English: Surround yourself with the language as much as possible. Read English newspapers, listen to English podcasts and music, and watch English movies and TV shows (ideally with subtitles at first).
  • Build your vocabulary: Regularly learn new words and practice using them in context. Flashcards, spaced repetition apps, and vocabulary builders online can be helpful tools.
  • Practice active listening: Don't just listen passively. Focus on understanding the main ideas, supporting details, and the speaker's purpose. Practice summarising what you hear.
  • Sharpen your reading comprehension: Read a variety of materials like news articles, academic journals, and fiction to develop your reading speed and comprehension skills. Practice identifying the main points, arguments, and supporting evidence in written texts.
  • Refine your writing skills: Write regularly, focusing on grammar, clarity, and organisation. Practice writing different types of essays and summaries relevant to the exam format.
  • Develop your speaking fluency: Speak English whenever possible. Find a conversation partner, join an English club, or practice speaking aloud on your own. Focus on pronunciation, clarity, fluency, and vocabulary usage.
  • Time management is key: Both PTE and IELTS exams require effective time management. Practice using the allotted time wisely during practice tests to develop a strong exam strategy.

Also Read: 

This was all about the comparison: PTE vs IELTS. If you have any doubts then, you can drop your queries in the comments below. Also, students looking for assistance with the university application process can get in touch with our Shiksha Counselling Services on the same.  

PTE Vs IELTS FAQs

Q. Is PTE easier than IELTS?

A. Neither PTE nor IELTS is inherently easier; the difficulty or easiness of the exam for each student/test taker depends on their individual strengths and preferences. Here is a breakdown to help you decide:

Factors that might make PTE seem easier:

  • Computer-based: If you are comfortable with using technology, the computer-based format of PTE might feel more familiar and convenient.
  • Integrated skills: If you find it easier to showcase your English skills in a more natural and integrated way, PTE's test format focusing on all four skills simultaneously might be advantageous for you.
  • Speaking anxiety: For those candidates prone to exam anxiety, speaking into a microphone in PTE test might feel less intimidating than speaking to a live examiner in the IELTS exam.

Factors that might make IELTS seem easier:

  • Modular format: If you excel at categorising and focusing on specific skills, the traditional, section-based format of IELTS (listening, reading, writing, speaking) might be a good fit for you.
  • Paper-based option: If you prefer the comfort of working with pen and paper, you can choose the pen and paper-based IELTS test.
  • Familiarity with accents: If you have a strong non-native accent, an experienced human examiner in IELTS might be better at understanding your spoken English compared to the AI scoring system, just like in the PTE exam.

Ultimately, the best way to decide is to consider your:

  • Learning style: Do you prefer a more integrated or a categorising approach?
  • Test-taking preferences: Are you comfortable with computer-based tests or do you prefer pen and paper tests?
  • Strengths and weaknesses: Are you a strong writer or speaker? Do you excel at managing time under pressure?

Q. PTE Vs IELTS - which one is better?

A. There is no single "better" option between the PTE and IELTS exams. It depends on your strengths!

  • PTE: Choose PTE if you are comfortable with computers, prefer integrated skills testing, or have test anxiety about speaking to a person.
  • IELTS: Choose IELTS if you prefer a traditional format, paper-based tests, or are worried about a non-native accent affecting your score with AI.

Q. What is PTE’s full form?

A. PTE stands for the Pearson Test of English. It is a globally recognised English language proficiency test designed for non-native speakers willing to get their higher education abroad or willing to get settled in Australia and Canada.

Q. Which is better for PR - IELTS or PTE?

A. IELTS might be a safer option due to its wider global recognition by immigration bodies. PTE on the other hand is only accepted for immigration in Australia. And for immigration in Canada, candidates willing to live and study there will have to take two separate PTE exams - PTE Academic (for higher education) and PTE Core (for immigration to Canada). 

Q. Is PTE and IELTS same?

A. No, PTE and IELTS exams are not the same, although they both assess English language proficiency. Below is a quick breakdown of the key differences:

  • Format: PTE is computer-based and integrates all four English comprehension skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking) into many tasks. IELTS offers paper-based or computer-delivered options with separate sections for each skill.
  • Scoring: PTE uses AI for scoring, while IELTS uses human examiners.
  • Focus: PTE emphasises real-world communication where skills are used together. IELTS focuses on individual skill assessment.
About the Author
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Written by
Priya Garg
Study Abroad Expert

Priya Garg is a seasoned content writer and editor. With her rich experience in content writing, teaching and research & analysis, Priya believes in providing only the correct information which is also up-to-date. H... Read Full Bio

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