IELTS vs PTE: A Comprehensive Comparison for International Students - Gateway International
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IELTS vs PTE: A Comprehensive Comparison for International Students


Introduction: Deciding Between IELTS and PTE

In today’s globalized world, proficiency in the English language is crucial for international students aspiring to study or work abroad. Two prominent tests that assess English proficiency are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE). Choosing between them can be daunting, but fear not, as we’ll delve into a detailed comparison to help you make an informed decision.

General Differences between IELTS vs PTE

Both IELTS and PTE assessments are meticulously structured to gauge a test taker’s overall English proficiency. While IELTS provides choices between computer-based and pen-and-paper examinations, PTE exclusively offers computer-based tests. An examination of both tests will reveal the prominent distinctions, as illustrated in the following table:

Conducted byIDP Education Ltd.Pearson PLC group
Test typesIELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, IELTS IndicatorPTE Academic
Duration2 hours and 45 Minutes3 hours
Break No breaks. Although, the speaking portion can be taken up to a week before or after the rest of the test.Optional 10 minutes
Range of scores0 – 910 – 90
Mean of accepted score6.350
Result 13 days after the test48 hours after the test
Cost16,200 INR (198 USD)15,900 INR (194 USD)

IELTS vs PTE Exam Format

As previously mentioned, IELTS and PTE are nearly identical in terms of exam format and syllabus. Both tests test the test takers’ reading listening, writing and speaking abilities. IELTS offers UK and US versions of English as the test format, whereas PTE provides UK, US, and Australian versions of English.

Check out the table below which detail the pattern of tests for both English language tests. You can choose which test is more easy test plan based on your skills.

IELTS Exam Format

SectionTasks – IELTS AcademicTasks – IELTS General Training
Writing (60 minutes)Summarize or explain the given data, Write an essayWrite a letter, Write an essay
Reading (60 minutes)Reading 3 long textsReading some everyday literature from newspapers, brochures, etc.
Listening (30 minutes)A conversation between 4 people in an academic setting and a monologue on an academic subject

A casual dialogue between two individuals in a familiar setting or a monologue delivered in an everyday context.

Speaking (11 – 14 minutes)
General questions regarding the person and topics that are familiar to you Talk about the subject in the form of a card. More questions regarding abstract concepts and subjects.

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PTE Exam Format

Speaking & Writing (54 – 67 minutes)

Read a passage aloud, repeat a sentence, describe an image, retell a lecture, answer a brief question, summarize a written passage, write an essay.

Reading (30 minutes)Reading passages with blanks to fill in using drop-down options, MCQ with multiple answers, rearranging paragraphs, reading passages with blanks to fill in using drop-down menus, multiple-choice questions with single answers.
Listening (30 – 43 minutes)Summarize the spoken texts, MCQ with multiple answers, fill in the blanks, choose the correct summary to highlight, select the missing words, MCQ with single answers, identify the incorrect words to highlight, and transcribe dictated sentences. IELTS VS PTE Score Comparison
IELTS vs PTE Score Comparison

When comparing IELTS vs PTE scores, several key factors come into play:

1Scoring SystemScores range from 0 to 9 bandsScores range from 10 to 90 points
2Validity PeriodScores remain valid for up to two yearsScores remain valid for up to two years
3Score ReportingPaper score reports sent to candidatesOnline score reports provided
4Comparative DifficultyTraditional formatComputer-based format

This table presents a comparison between IELTS and PTE in a numbered format for easy reference.

IELTS vs PTE Fees: Counting the Costs

Unraveling the Cost Structure of IELTS: IELTS fees vary depending on the test location and administration. Additionally, preparatory materials and coaching may incur additional expenses.

PTE Fees: Budgeting for Success: Similarly, PTE fees fluctuate based on geographical location and test administration centers. Test-takers should budget accordingly, factoring in registration fees and preparation costs.


IELTS vs PTE: Which is the Most Appropriate Assessment For You?

It’s time to choose which test is best for you. Although both tests are both effective however, you may choose either one or the other for personal situations, as shown below:

  • If You prefer to take a pen-and-paper test instead of a computerized test then you should take the IELTS.
  • PTE will be your most suitable solution if you are concerned about getting an immediate result.
  • IELTS Speaking section of the test will take place on a different day. PTE can save you time as the test is complete in one day.
  • If you are concerned about the mood of the examiner and biases, you should take the PTE instead of the IELTS exam, because the PTE is completely computer-generated.
  • PTE recognizes Australian English too. Therefore, it is recommended to use PTE to learn at a university in Australia and New Zealand.

In the end, just because many people are taking IELTS is not a reason to make you choose to not take PTE as it has its own advantages over IELTS. Know the basics of the two tests, and take plenty of time to record your own concerns and select the test that best suits your needs effectively. If you require more information about the entrance test, book a 20-minute phone video call and avail our professional’s assistance.

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Conclusion: Making an Informed Choice

In conclusion, both IELTS vs PTE are reputable tests that assess English proficiency and are widely accepted by institutions and organizations worldwide. When deciding between them, consider factors such as test format, scoring system, and institutional requirements to make an informed choice aligned with your goals and preferences. Remember to prepare diligently, seek guidance if needed, and approach the test with confidence and determination. Best of luck on your English proficiency journey!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To provide clarity and guidance, let’s address some frequently asked questions about IELTS vs PTE:

Q1. Which test is easier, IELTS or PTE?
A. There’s no definitive answer as the perception of difficulty varies among individuals. Some find PTE’s computerized format more convenient, while others prefer the traditional approach of IELTS.

Q2. How long are IELTS and PTE scores valid?
A. Both IELTS and PTE scores are typically valid for two years from the date of the test, ensuring relevance and currency.

Q3. Can I take both IELTS vs PTE?
A. Yes, you can take both tests if you wish. However, it’s essential to check the requirements of the institutions or organizations you’re applying to, as they may prefer one test over the other based on their accreditation and assessment criteria.

Q4. How soon can I retake the IELTS vs PTE exam if I’m not satisfied with my score?
A. You can retake both exams as soon as there is a test date available. There are no restrictions on how many times you can take either test, providing flexibility for candidates to improve their scores.