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Home » PTE vs IELTS: Know the Difference and Identify Which One is Better for Your Career Goals!

PTE vs IELTS: Know the Difference and Identify Which One is Better for Your Career Goals!

pte vs ielts

Are you a language enthusiast aiming to study, work, or migrate abroad? If so, you’ve probably encountered the acronyms PTE and IELTS on your journey to prove your English proficiency. These two tests, PTE (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are the most widely recognized assessments for non-native English speakers. But how do they stack up against each other? Which one should you choose to showcase your language skills effectively? Or PTE vs IELTS: Which is better? Want to know the answer, continue reading till the end…

Think of PTE and IELTS as the twin gatekeepers to your global ambitions. Both tests assess your English language skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking – all essential facets of effective communication. However, they do so in slightly different ways. PTE, administered by Pearson, boasts a reputation for its computer-based approach that evaluates your language prowess in an integrated manner. On the other hand, IELTS is known for its more traditional, human-evaluated setup. It’s like the clash of modern tech and conventional methods, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Whether you’re confused about which test to take or simply looking to gather more information, you’re in the right place. So, if you’re ready to unravel the PTE vs IELTS debate and make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations, keep reading…. But first, you should know…

PTE vs IELTS: Basic Overview

PTE (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are both widely recognized standardized exams used to assess the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. These exams are often required for admission to universities, immigration purposes, or employment opportunities in English-speaking countries.

Here’s a table showing the basic difference between the IELTS and PTE… Treat it like a starter…

Test FormatComputer-based testPaper-based or Computer-based test
SectionsSpeaking & Writing, Reading, ListeningSpeaking, Reading, Writing, Listening
Test Duration191 Minutes170 Minutes
Scoring System10-90 scale0-9 band scale
SpeakingIncludes reading aloud, repeating sentences, describing the image, retelling lecture, answering short questionsIncludes speaking about a topic, role play, and discussion with an examiner
WritingSummarize written text, write essayWrite essays and short answers
ReadingMultiple-choice, re-order paragraphs, fill in the blanks, reading & writing: fill in the blanksReading comprehension, fill in the blanks, matching headings, TRUE/FALSE/NOT GIVEN, sentence completion
ListeningSummarize spoken text, multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks, highlight correct summary, select a missing word, dictationListening to various recordings and answering questions based on them
ResultsUsually available within 5 business daysIELTS Paper-based test: Usually available within 13 days IELTS Computer-Based test- Within 3-5 days
IELTS vs PTE: Acceptance3000+ institutions worldwide11,500+ organizations in more than 140 countries
IELTS vs PTE: Exam CostAUD 410AUD 395

PTE vs IELTS: Eligibility Criteria

PTE (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are widely accepted English language proficiency tests for academic and immigration purposes. The eligibility criteria for these tests are generally straightforward:


  1. PTE is recognized by numerous universities and immigration authorities worldwide. The eligibility criteria for PTE usually include:
  2. Age Limit: Test takers must generally be at least 16 years old. Some countries may have specific age requirements, so it’s best to check with the test center or institution where you plan to submit your scores.
  3. Identification: You need a valid and government-issued photo ID to register and take the test.
  4. Age Requirement for Minors: Test takers under 18 years old might need a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  5. Test Takers of All Backgrounds: PTE is open to all individuals regardless of their nationality, background, or education level.


IELTS is also widely accepted by educational institutions and immigration authorities globally. Its eligibility criteria typically include:

  1. Age Limit: There is no age limit to take the IELTS test.
  2. Test Takers of All Backgrounds: IELTS is open to all individuals regardless of their nationality, background, or education level.
  3. Educational Requirements: IELTS does not have specific academic requirements; however, the score you need might vary depending on the institution or organization you are applying to.
  4. Identification: A valid and recognizable photo ID is required for registration and test day.
  5. Age Requirement for Minors: Test takers under 18 might need to provide written consent from a parent or guardian.

In both cases, it’s essential to verify the specific requirements of the institutions or immigration authorities to which you’re applying, as they might have additional conditions or preferences. Always check the official websites of PTE and IELTS for the most up-to-date information on eligibility criteria and registration processes.

PTE vs IELTS: Academic Criteria

Choosing the right language proficiency test is a crucial decision for candidates aspiring to study abroad. The suitability of the test not only impacts university admissions but also plays a vital role in the student visa application process. This section aims to guide candidates through the academic differences between PTE & IELTS.

Examination Format and Comfort

IELTS: Traditional Elegance

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) presents a written examination format, ideal for candidates at ease with traditional pen-and-paper assessments. If you find solace in handwritten responses and structured testing environments, IELTS could be your preferred choice.

PTE: Digital Dexterity

Pearson Test of English (PTE) offers a digital interface demanding agility in maneuvering various tasks. Candidates proficient in digital navigation and quick task completion might incline towards PTE, leveraging their comfort with technology.

Speed and Problem-Solving Aptitude

PTE: Swift Solutions

For those with a penchant for rapid question-solving, PTE presents an advantage over IELTS. The test’s time-sensitive nature requires quick thinking and efficient problem-solving skills, making it a suitable option for candidates who thrive under time pressure.

IELTS: Analytical Expression

Conversely, IELTS places a substantial emphasis on analytical writing. If you possess the ability to articulate complex ideas coherently and swiftly in a written format, IELTS provides a platform to showcase your analytical prowess.

Proficiency in Writing and Speaking

IELTS: Expressive Penmanship

Candidates adept at concise and impactful written expression will find IELTS amenable to their strengths. The test’s writing segment scrutinizes the ability to convey thoughts articulately within a limited word count.

PTE: Pronunciation Proficiency

PTE uniquely evaluates speaking proficiency with a focus on pronunciation. If your spoken English carries a distinct accent, IELTS might be the more fitting choice, as it assesses speaking alongside other language dimensions.

IELTS and PTE: Exam Pattern & Structure

Preparing for an English language proficiency exam often involves choosing the right test that aligns with your goals and preferences. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are two popular options. Let’s delve into the exam patterns and structures of these tests to help you make an informed decision.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System – 170 minutes

In this part, we will discuss the exam pattern of the IELTS exam

Reading Section: 60 minutes

  1. Three long texts with a range of questions, such as multiple choice, matching, and sentence completion.
  2. Academic and General Training modules differ in context and complexity.

Writing Section: 60 minutes

  1. The academic module requires two tasks – describing visual information and writing an argumentative essay.
  2. The General Training module involves letter writing and essay composition.

Listening Section: 30-36 minutes

  1. Four recorded monologues and conversations, followed by comprehension questions.
  2. Varied accents and contexts to assess listening skills.

Speaking Section: 11-14 minutes

  1. A face-to-face interview with an examiner.
  2. Structured into three parts – an introduction, a short speech, and a discussion.

PTE: Pearson Test of English – 191 minutes

This part will help you gain the info about the PTE exam format and structure

Speaking & Writing Section: 77-93 minutes

  1. Read Aloud, Repeat Sentences, Describe Images, Re-tell lectures, Answer Short Questions, and Summarize Written Text.
  2. Essay writing based on a given topic.

Reading Section: 32-40 minutes

  1. Multiple-choice questions, re-order paragraphs, and fill in the blanks.
  2. Reading and writing skills were assessed simultaneously.

Listening Section: 45-57 minutes

  1. Audio clips with diverse accents and academic content.
  2. Highlight correct summary, multiple-choice questions, and fill in the blanks.

IELTS and PTE: Score Comparison

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and PTE (Pearson Test of English) are two of the most widely recognized English language proficiency tests used for academic and immigration purposes. Both tests assess the four main language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Here’s a brief comparison of their scoring systems and overall structure:


  1. IELTS: In IELTS, the overall band score ranges from 0 to 9, with half-band increments possible (e.g., 6.5 or 7.5). Each section (listening, reading, writing, speaking) is scored individually on a 0 to 9 scale, and the overall band score is the average of these four section scores.
  2. PTE: In PTE, the overall score is reported on a scale of 10 to 90, in increments of 1 point. Like IELTS, each section is scored individually, and the overall score is an average of these section scores.

Here’s a table showing PTE vs IELTS: Score Comparison for your better understanding.


Also, read: PTE Score to IELTS Conversion

PTE vs IELTS: Administrative Factors

When considering the choice between PTE (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System), several administrative factors beyond academic criteria, exam cost, acceptance, score comparison, and exam pattern should be considered.

  1. Firstly, test availability and location accessibility are vital. IELTS is widely available in various countries, including remote areas, whereas PTE might have fewer testing centers.
  2. Secondly, test duration matters. PTE offers quicker results, often within five business days, while IELTS results take around 13 days.
  3. Thirdly, test format flexibility is worth considering. PTE is entirely computer-based, while IELTS includes a face-to-face speaking component.
  4. Fourthly, test preparation materials and resources play a role. Availability and quality differ between PTE and IELTS.
  5. Lastly, rescheduling and cancellation policies vary. IELTS might allow changes with ample notice, while PTE could be stricter.

Considering these administrative factors alongside the commonly discussed ones will assist candidates in making an informed choice based on their specific circumstances and priorities.

PTE vs IELTS: Which is better  – Conclusion

Both the PTE and IELTS are widely accepted English language proficiency tests for study, work, and migration purposes. The choice between them depends on personal preference and requirements. PTE is known for its computer-based format, providing quick results, and assessing skills in an integrated manner. IELTS has both paper-based and computer-based options, focusing on a range of language skills. Both tests have their own scoring systems and test structures. It’s important to research the specific requirements of your target institution or organization to determine which test is a better fit for you.

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What is PTE and IELTS?

PTE and IELTS are standardized English language proficiency tests for academic and immigration purposes. They assess your English language skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Which is easier: PTE vs IELTS?

The difficulty of PTE vs IELTS can vary based on individual preferences and language skills. Both tests assess English proficiency for academic or immigration purposes. Some find PTE’s computerized format more intuitive, while others prefer IELTS’ traditional approach. Difficulty perception is subjective, and what might be easy for one person could be challenging for another. It’s recommended to review the format and requirements of both tests to determine which aligns better with your strengths and preferences.

Which test is more widely accepted?

Both PTE and IELTS are widely accepted by universities, colleges, and immigration authorities around the world. It’s best to check with the specific institutions or organizations you’re applying to determine their preferred test.

Can I prepare for PTE and IELTS on my own?

Yes, you can prepare for both tests on your own using study materials like textbooks, online resources, and practice tests. Many candidates also opt for coaching or preparation courses to improve their chances of success.

PTE vs IELTS: Which test should I choose?

The choice between PTE and IELTS depends on your preferences, the requirements of the institutions or organizations you’re applying to, and your familiarity with the test formats. It’s recommended to research both tests thoroughly and even attempt some practice questions to determine which one suits you better.

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