Difference Between PTE and IELTS: PTE vs. IELTS (Updated 2019)?

Source: E2 PTE Academic

Both IELTS and PTE are popular exams for testing the proficiency in the English language. IELTS has been around for quite a sometimes while PTE is relatively new. A large number of colleges around the world are accepting IELTS score from students who are from the countries where English is not the first language.

PTE also test the proficiency of a student in the English language. IELTS vs. PTE is a question that bothers many students and choosing between the two should be done only after knowing and considering all the factors.

This post is about the differences among IELTS and PTE and it will help in selecting one among the two.

What is the difference between IELTS and PTE?

How PTE is Different From IELTS


IELTS and PTE have two common versions: Academic and General Training. PTE has one additional version viz. Young Learners Test.

Now further differentiating between the versions, Academic versions are meant for students planning for an admission into a university and General versions of IELTS and PTE indicate one’s realistic communication skills. 

What is the difference in IELTS band and PTE score?

As mentioned earlier, PTE is the newest of all the English exam. IELTS, however, is traditional yet reliable. But, at the same time PTE has successfully carved a corner and earned itself a respectable position for itself. Where one side PTE is entirely computer-based, IELTS involves a usage of pen and paper. Where on one hand, IELTS is considered to be a quality exam for every field, PTE has soon gained wide acceptability in MBA institutions. Now, it depends entirely on the candidate which exam he would prefer because it depends entirely on his intellect and ability to score. Moreover, different courses demand different exams to be given thus, one should keep this thing in mind. Now moving forth, let us answer the question of noting down the difference between the two and from them, which one to go for.

What is the difference in  Content and Structure of IELTS and PTE?

Pearson Test of English, like IELTS, involves four main structures of Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening whereas in PTE, the speaking and writing go simultaneously.  

It aims to test your spoken English with the help of readout aloud section, repeat sentences and personal introduction. Moreover, in the writing section, it judges the ability of a candidate to respond in a correct language.

On the other hand in IELTS there is a provision for a live conversation between the examiner and the candidate. This is absent in PTE. In PTE one is required to speak on a microphone and all the responses are recorded for a better grading ability of the computer.

In IELTS, it has time set for each paper, and candidates can move forward and backward, whereas PTE has section timings and can move forward only.

Where the contents match to a great extent, it is basically the way the exam is conducted that makes all the difference.

What is the difference in  Scoring Pattern of IELTS and PTE?

Now let us take a look at the scoring pattern differences in both the tests.

PTE is the world’s largest computer-based English exam and the scoring is also completely based on computerized scoring where automated scoring, grades a test taker in the band of 10-90. This is known as the Thermometer Scale.

On the other hand, IELTS uses a 0-9 band in the manual scoring pattern of IELTS.

What is the difference in Conductibility of IELTS and PTE?

PTE is conducted all around the year and takes place over 199+ centers. Whereas, IELTS has fixed dates and occurs at definite intervals. Academic Tests takes place 4 times whereas general takes place twice a month.

What is the difference in Declaration of Results of IELTS and PTE?

In terms of the declaration of results, PTE is well known for its fast delivery of results and holds one of the biggest advantages in this aspect. The PTE scores are delivered within 5 business days. Also, one can send an unlimited copy of their scores to as many sources they wish to send, free of cost!

On the other hand, IELTS takes an average of 13 calendar days from the date of examination held.

These are some of the basic differences between IELTS and PTE.  

What Is IELTS?

International English Language Testing Systems is the standardized test for English language speakers which hold a great relevance in Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand academic institutions. Also, it is the only test approved by UK visas and immigration and also in New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Who developed the IELTS exam?

IELTS was developed jointly by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment and its relevance are just as the other tests like TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.

This test judges the proficiency of non-native English speakers and is ranked as the most popular English language test for higher education and immigration.

This Exam is meant to test the knowledge of the language among the students as they must be fluent in the language in which they are going to be taught.

How to prepare for IELTS?

Familiarize yourself with the format of the test by reviewing the content of the test, as well as the question and task types for each section. It’s also important to read through the IELTS rules and regulations.

What Is PTE?

PTE Academic took over in 2009 and is accredited by the QCA in association with Edexcel. It is a new entrant in the field of online English examinations and is taking over with utmost speed and determination. PTE Academic with time has become one of the most recognized English tests.

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What is the significance of PTE?

This computer-based test has an ample number of academic test papers and also provides to its candidates Pearson Test of English sample tests. Also, it has its academic results available within five business days. PTE Academic is trusted by all the universities, colleges and governments around the world and holds a respectable position.

You can use your previous Test Taker Score Report to determine the enabling skills (grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse) and communicative skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) that require further study to improve your English language ability.

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How to prepare for PTE?

Make sure you’ve prepared so that you have the right level of English for your goal, know the test format and timings and have practiced the test questions.

Arrive early at the test center. If you’re rushed, it will affect your performance.

Write with full sentences, capital letters and full stops.

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These are some of the basic differences between IELTS and PTE. However, here is an additional section regarding the difference between PTE, IELTS, and TOEFL.
For a better understanding of the three, let us define TOEFL firstly-

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a recommended test for non-native speakers of English. It is a compulsory requirement by most U.S institutions. It has almost the same pattern as IELTS where the listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities are examined. This is a computerized test; unlike IELTS which requires you to write. TOEFL to some extent is similar to PTE in terms of computer usage during the exams.

Let us now understand the basic difference between the three in brief-

What is the difference between IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL?

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PTE Score VS IELTS Band vs TOEFL Score

All the three exams hold equal position and deliver almost similar results based on your performance. However,  IELTS is more accepted in Europe and Australia while the TOEFL is much more commonly accepted by in the US. The PTE Academic, though the newest of the three, is making good headway into being accepted by MBA programs all over the world. Therefore, it is required by the candidate to make the right move by choosing the right exam for himself as all do not accept all! All the Best!

Also, what are your opinions about all three? Do let us know in the comment section below and sign up to Admitkard to study abroad now!

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I am a study abroad content expert, associated with the study abroad industry since years. I am a firm believer that study abroad is once a lifetime experience and everyone should get a chance of having this experience.

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