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PTE vs IELTS: Which one suits your requirement the best?

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People from non-English speaking countries take up tests like PTE, IELTS, etc to migrate to an English-speaking country for higher studies or work purposes. PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic is the newest entry to the field of tests that assess English proficiency. 

English stands as a bridge between different vernaculars. It brings people from different backgrounds together on the same plate. English is not the world’s most spoken language, nonetheless, it is a popular language that helps in communicating between millions of indigenous selves. The English proficiency tests such as PTE and IELTS are built so that you would acquire a visa for studies or work purposes. 

Both PTE and IELTS, evaluate your English language skills based on four basic skills - listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each of the tests has its pros and cons and depends on the candidate which seems more comfortable to take. Let's see a brief review about PTE and IELTS and their comparisons so that it may help you choose either of them. 

What is PTE?

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is an English language test-launched by Pearson Inc. in the year 2009. PTE Academic and PTE General are computer-based tests that gained popularity quite fast and are now accepted by thousands of institutions worldwide and by the Australian and New Zealand governments for visa purposes. 

PTE Academic aims at helping students to get admission to universities in countries like Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK, Ireland, Singapore, and Canada. With a total duration of 3 hours, it comprises integrated sections of listening, speaking, writing, and reading.   

What is IELTS?

IELTS( International English Language Testing System) is set as the golden standard for English proficiency tests, which was launched in the year 1980. It evaluates the English of people who are willing to study or work in English-speaking countries. It is accepted by over 10,000 institutions in over 140 countries. 

The primary paper-based test is now also providing a computer-delivered format; however, the speaking section of the test will be conducted in a face-to-face manner just like an interview. They segregate the 2 hours and 45 minutes long test into listening, reading, and writing which is completed in one sitting, and then the speaking section which may or may not is conducted on a different day. The students can appear for IELTS Academic or IELTS General depending on their purpose.

PTE vs. IELTS: Comparison

 

IELTS

PTE

FORMAT

Paper-based and computer-delivered.

Computer-based

DURATION

2 hours and 45 minutes

3 hours

SCORE COMPARISON

0 - 9 band scale

10 - 90 granular scale

AVERAGE SCORE REQUIRED

6.5

65

TEST SECTIONS

Listening: 30 minutes

Reading: 60 minutes

Writing: 60 minutes

Speaking: 11-14 minutes

Speaking & Writing: 40 minutes each

Reading: 31 - 41 minutes

LIstening: 45 minutes

PTE being just a computer-based test whereas IELTS being able to offer both paper-based and computer-delivered tests holds delicate differences. These English proficiency tests give the candidates the free will to choose among them, which should also be accepted by the institution and the country they wish to apply to. Here are some differences that may help you decide between the two. 

  • Test Format

IELTS holds 2 modules of tests, namely IELTS General and IELTS Academic. The former features everyday English at work or in a social context. The latter features academic English containing tasks for test-takers applying for universities or schools in an English-speaking country. The exam comprises listening for 40 minutes, reading for 60 minutes, and writing for 60 minutes. The speaking section (15 minutes) may take place either on the same day or on some other day. 

PTE comprises several integrated tasks that evaluate communicative English, namely speaking and writing, reading, and listening. It uses academically relevant tasks to measure skills in an integrated manner. 

Learn More About 7 IELTS Speaking Tips to get a band 8+ score

  • Scoring Pattern

The writing and speaking tests of IELTS are evaluated by English experts following global marking standards. Its reading and listening tests are auto-marked. It uses the scoring system of band-scale ranging from 0 to 9, where 9 is the highest score one could achieve. Even if there is no fail score, most of the universities and institutions keep a minimum score of 6.5 to 7.5. 

PTE being a computer-based test, all the tests use the automated system. The scoring system uses a granular scale of 10 to 90. Most institutions keep a minimum score of 65 for the candidate’s eligibility. 

Learn More About  How to Score a 7+ Band in IELTS - 7 Steps to Follow

  • Difficulty Level

The difficulty level depends on how the candidate perceives the exam. If you are comfortable with the pen and paper method, having to go through an interview-like speaking test and attempt long tasks, IELTS may seem easier to you. 

If you are more tech-savvy where you are comfortable attempting various tasks via the computer, PTE may seem more easygoing to you. However for you to take the exam, you must require sound knowledge in the format and the English language to succeed. Changing from one exam to another thinking the other would be easier will not work if your fundamental English skills lack proficiency. 

  • Results and Validity

The IELTS results would be declared within 13 days of taking the tests and has a validation period of 2 years. This applies to both IELTS Academic or IELTS General tests. 

PTE being computerized tests with automated grading, it takes 5 working days to release the results. Just like IELTS, PTE also has a validation period of 2 years. 

  •  Dates

IELTS Academic tests are conducted on 48 pre-fixed dates over the year, and it conducts the IELTS General tests on 28 dates over the year. Whereas PTE exams are conducted over 360 days a year.  

  • Acceptance

IELTS is known for its global acceptance by over 10,000 institutions and universities in more than 140 countries. The most popular countries include Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. The IELTS General is the only non-academic English test that is accepted by Australian migration. 

You can take the PTE test at over 200 exam centers across 50 countries. It is accepted by thousands of academic programs globally, and it is growing rapidly over the years. It is also accepted by an increasing number of professional associations across the world for registration and assessment. 

Concluding 

While going through the comparisons, you might have made a clearer picture of both IELTS and PTE. Each has its pros and cons with its significance. It is up to a candidate and their skills in the English language to decide which test would seem simple to them. For example, if speaking to an examiner makes you uncomfortable and nervous, or if you don’t have the habit of writing in pen and paper, then IELTS may not be the option for you. However, both the tests require a high level of preparation and you will need to be exceptionally good in the English language. 

article1Vandana Kirat

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Vandana is a highly qualified IELTS (British Council trained), and TESOL holder, with over 15 years of experience. She is a proactive professional with a progressive approach to teaching and lesson planning. She has the sound ability to maintain curriculum development. She is a science graduate, Six Sigma and PMP trained individual who has also worked with multinational companies in the Training & Quality domain for more than a decade. Right now, Vandana is working as an IELTS Trainer with Edoxi Training Institute, Dubai.

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