PTE vs IELTS – Which test should you choose and why?

Studying abroad can prove to be a lifetime experience for a student. An International student has to clear an English proficiency test such as IELTS or PTE to fulfil his Study Abroad dreams. IELTS and PTE are the two of the most popular English proficiency tests to study abroad. But, when it comes to deciding between PTE and IELTS, which one is easier, how to decide?


Some common questions arise in a student’s choosing the right English proficiency test between PTE vs IELTS. Such as which one is better or easier IELTS or PTE? What is the difference between PTE and IELTS? Don’t worry at all! In this blog, we will answer these questions to help you decide which one is easier and more suitable for your needs. It compares IELTS vs. PTE in terms of exam pattern, costs, score and difficulty level. Let’s check it out!


  • Understanding PTE and IELTS


1) PTE (Pearson Test of English)


The Pearson Test of English, commonly referred to as PTE, is a computer-based language proficiency test. It assesses a candidate’s ability to understand, communicate, and interact in English in academic and professional environments. The test evaluates an individual’s proficiency in the English language across four key areas: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. The test conducting authority is Pearson.


2) IELTS (International English Language Testing System)


The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. Unlike PTE, IELTS is available in two primary versions: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Candidates seeking admission to universities in English-speaking countries have to appear for IELTS Academic, while the IELTS General Training version is commonly used for migration purposes or to demonstrate English language skills in work-related contexts. Available in both paper-based and computer-based formats.


  • An Overview of PTE vs. IELTS


Check the following table below to get a comprehensive overview of the PTE vs. IELTS exam:


Type of Exam Academic & General Training. Test Components:-

a) Listening

b) Reading (General Training/ Academic)

c) Writing (General Training/ Academic)

d) Speaking

Academic Only – Only Single Test containing 3 parts –

a) Speaking and writing

b) Reading

c) Listening

Mode of Examination Both classical pen-and-paper test and a computer-delivered test Only computer-based test
Exam Duration 170 minutes (approx.) 120 minutes (approx.)
Cost INR 16,250  (approx.) INR 13,300 (approx.)
Score Pattern The overall band score (0-9) is the total average of listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Candidates get an overall score (10 to 90 points) plus a score for each of listening, reading, and writing skills.
Accuracy of Scores Human assessment based – chances of manual errors Automated machine scoring system based on the Global Scale of English (known as Thermometer-style scale)
Result Declaration IELTS Paper test – Available within 13 days after the test


IELTS Computer test – Results available in 3 to 5 days after the test

Available within five days after the test
Speaking Test Face-to-face speaking test with the human examiner Speaking test on a microphone
Test Conducting Authority British Council, Cambridge Assessment English & IDP Pearson PLC
Global Acceptance rate More than 10,000+ universities across the globe More than 6,000+ universities across the globe


  • Who Accepts PTE Scores?


Most English-speaking nations such as Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, Canada, and New Zealand, accept PTE scores. They accept PTE results for immigration and university admission. Some of the renowned universities such as Yale University, Harvard Business School, and Oxford University recognise PTE Academic. Australia and New Zealand also accept PTE results for permanent residency.


  • Who Accepts IELTS Scores?


More than 11,500 organisations in over 140 countries accept the IELTS exam scores including educational institutions (universities, colleges, schools, etc.), government departments and immigration authorities, professional and industry associations, and big MNCs ( multinational corporations) and employers.


  • PTE vs. IELTS, which is Easy?


Neither the PTE nor IELTS can be categorised as simple or challenging. Some might find one easier to absorb than the other. While many students found the writing section of the PTE exam less difficult than the IELTS alternative, they also found the reading portion of the IELTS test to be simpler than the PTE equivalent. Here are some points that help answer the question: PTE vs. IELTS, Which is easier? This helps candidates to understand which proficiency exam is more suitable for them.


1) Speaking Section:


  •       PTE: In the PTE speaking section, you speak into a microphone, and then a computer records and evaluates your response. Some candidates find it less intimidating since there’s no human examiner present.
  •       IELTS: IELTS has a face-to-face speaking section where you converse with an examiner. Some candidates find this more comfortable as it simulates a real-life conversation.


2) Writing Section:


  •       PTE: PTE’s writing section includes tasks like summarizing written text and writing essays. It’s done on a computer, and test-takers who are comfortable with typing may find it easier.
  •       IELTS: IELTS writing tasks involve handwriting, which some individuals may prefer. It includes both academic and general training versions, allowing you to choose the one that suits your goals.


3) Listening & Reading Sections:


  •       PTE vs IELTS: Both have listening and reading sections that assess your comprehension skills. The difficulty level of these sections is often comparable.


4) Scoring System:


  •       PTE: PTE uses a detailed scoring system, and a computer algorithm assesses your performance. Some candidates appreciate the transparency and objectivity of this process.
  •       IELTS: Some test-takers prefer the scoring by human examiners which allows for more subjective evaluation.


  • PTE vs. IELTS: Which Test Should You Choose?

 –  Think about whether you’re more at ease speaking to a computer (PTE) or having a face-to-face conversation with an examiner (IELTS)

– Consider whether you prefer handwriting essays or typing them on a computer

– Since the PTE Speaking section emphasizes more on pronunciation, IELTS is a more suitable exam for candidates with a thick accent.

– The IELTS test is more convenient for candidates than PTE since it has more test centres in proximity than for PTE.

– Both PTE exams and results are online, so there are fewer chances of human bias and errors, hence PTE scores are more dependable than IELTS scores.


In the PTE vs. IELTS debate, which one is easy? there’s no definitive answer to which test is easier. Your choice should depend on your comfort with the test format, technology, and speaking and writing preferences. Choosing between these two tests can be challenging, as each has its unique features and advantages. Choosing the right English proficiency test between PTE and IELTS depends on individual preferences, strengths, and goals. Please like and share this post!


 Q1) Can I take both PTE and IELTS and submit a better score? 

Yes, in most cases, you can take both tests and submit the score that better reflects your English proficiency. However, this can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s essential to research the requirements of the institutions or organizations you’re applying to.


Q2) Which test is more accepted worldwide: IELTS or PTE?     

Both PTE and IELTS are widely accepted by universities, colleges, and immigration authorities worldwide. However, the popularity of one test over the other can vary by region and institution, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements of your chosen destination.


 Q3) How long are PTE and IELTS scores valid?  

PTE scores are typically valid for up to two years, while IELTS scores are valid for up to two years as well.

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