TOEFL vs PTE Tests Comparison Of Study Abroad Exams
E-Shriniketan, Ashok Nagar, Road No. 10, Opposite Lakecity Mall, Udaipur (Raj.), 313001

TOEFL vs PTE English Exams For Study Abroad


Why English Language Proficiency Tests Matter TOEFL vs PTE

For those aiming to study abroad, mastering English is crucial. However, if you’re from a non-native English-speaking country, you’ll need to demonstrate your proficiency through English language tests. Three prominent tests in this realm include PTE (Pearson Test of English) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

Wondering why these tests matter? Well, universities worldwide require evidence of your English skills to ensure success in English-speaking academic settings. Additionally, immigration authorities may request these scores for visa applications. Given the stakes, selecting the right test is a pivotal decision that shapes your study abroad journey.

TOEFL: The two modes in which TOEFL is conducted are

  1. TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) – this is conducted at an offline location where there is no availability of internet. This has three sections – reading, writing, and listening.
  2. TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT) – this is an internet-based test that measures individuals against 4 criteria (sections) that are reading, writing, speaking, and listening. It is the most preferred mode of TOEFL , almost 97% of people prefer this mode.

PTE: There are two different versions of the tests but both versions are conducted via online medium. The two versions are:

  1. PTE Academics – PTE Academic is the major online test that you can undertake if you are planning to work or study abroad. This can be used as proof of English language proficiency.
  2. PTE General – PTE General is only conducted for rewarding brilliant achievements in English language learning and is not used as an English proficiency test.
FormatComputer-basedFully computer-based
SectionsReading, Listening, Speaking, WritingSpeaking & Writing, Reading, Listening, Enabling Skills (Grammar, Oral Fluency, Pronunciation, Spelling, Vocabulary, Written Discourse)
Scoring Scale0-12010-90
Speaking SectionIncludes 6 tasks, both independent and integratedVarious question types, including reading aloud, repeating sentences, and answering questions
Writing SectionEssay tasksEssay tasks
Test AvailabilityAdministered by ETS, available at authorized test centers worldwideAdministered by Pearson, available at designated test centers globally
Score ReportingTypically available within 10 daysUsually available within 5 business days

This table provides a concise comparison of the key aspects of both TOEFL vs PTE.

Read More: Important Documents Required to Study Abroad

TOEFL vs PTE: Exam Format and Duration

TOEFL: This test also consists of the same four sections just like IELTS. The difference is the pattern in which these sections are further divided. The cumulative time limit for this test is 3 hours.

  1. Reading – in this, the individual has to read 2 – 3 passages and then a total of 20 questions need to be answered based on the read passages. The time limit for the test is in between 35 minutes.
  2. Writing – one writing for an academic discussion question will be there which needs to be answered. Approx 20 minutes is allocated for this section.
  3. Listening – in this section, 2 – 3 conversations and lectures are shown each and then based on it questions are asked 28 questions are asked. The total time limit for this section is approx 36 minutes.
  4. Speaking – this section consists of one independent speaking test and 3 small dependent speaking tests. The time limit for the same is 15 – 20 minutes.

PTE: This test is divided into 3 sections which need to be completed in 2 hours.

  1. Speaking and Writing section – there are in total of 28 – 36 questions in this section for which a total time of 55 – 65 minutes is given. The questions may include, self-introduction, reading aloud, repeating sentences, essay writing, summary writing, and more.
  2. Reading section – this section is further divided into 5 segments that need to be attempted based on the understanding of the reading material. The section are: fill in the blanks, MCQs, Re-order, MCQs with multiple answers, and fill in the blanks in another style.
  3. Listening section – this section consists of 12 – 20 different types of questions that need to be attempted in 30 – 45 minutes. The question can be – summarize the spoken, fill in the blanks, MCQs, select missing words, highlight the wrong word, and more

TOEFL vs PTE: Acceptance and Relevance

The English proficiency tests have been compared based on their popularity in different countries. Also in the same table below few top educational institutes which accept these tests have also been shortlisted.

Test NamePopularity In CountryFew Institutes Accept
TOEFLWidely popular in USA and Canada
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Princeton University
  • New York University (NYU)
PTEAustralia, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, UK, and Canada
  • Sydney metropolitan Institute of technology
  • University of Auckland
  • McMaster University


In conclusion, both the TOEFL vs PTE serve as reliable assessments of English language proficiency, offering a comprehensive evaluation of reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. While they share similarities in their objectives, the tests differ in format, section structure, scoring methodology, and test administration processes. Ultimately, the choice between the TOEFL vs PTE depends on individual preferences, test-taking strategies, and the specific requirements of academic institutions or organizations.

For further assistance or queries students can contact us, study abroad consultancy, and avail of our wide range of services for students on destinations like  study in Australiastudy in Singaporestudy in Switzerlandstudy in New Zealandstudy in Germanystudy in Ireland and many other countries.


1. Why do I need to take these tests?

These tests are often required by universities worldwide to ensure that prospective students have the necessary English language skills to succeed in English-speaking academic environments. Additionally, immigration authorities may request these scores as part of visa applications for studying abroad.

2. What are the main differences between TOEFL vs PTE?

While both tests assess English proficiency, they differ in format, scoring, and administration. PTE is fully computer-based and includes sections such as Speaking & Writing, Reading, Listening, and Enabling Skills. TOEFL, on the other hand, has sections for Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing and can be taken either on a computer or in a paper-based format in select regions.

3. How long are the test scores valid?

The validity of test scores varies depending on the institution or organization requiring them. Generally, scores are valid for two years from the test date, but it’s crucial to check with the specific institution or immigration authority for their requirements.

4. Can I retake the test if I’m not satisfied with my score?

Yes, both TOEFL vs PTE allow test-takers to retake the exam if they are not satisfied with their scores. However, there are specific rules and waiting periods that vary depending on the test provider. Be sure to check the policies regarding retakes before registering for the exam.

5. Can I request accommodations for the test due to a disability or special need?

Yes, both TOEFL vs PTE offer accommodations for test-takers with disabilities or special needs. However, specific documentation and approval processes may be required, so it’s essential to contact the test provider well in advance to make necessary arrangements.

6. How soon can I receive my test scores?

Test scores for PTE are usually available within five business days of the test date, while TOEFL scores are typically available online within 10 days. However, it’s essential to check the specific timelines provided by the test providers.