IELTS vs PTE: Which is Easy & Better for You?

May 22,2024


IELTS vs PTE Academic: Introduction

Proficiency in the English language is crucial for students opting to pursue academic or professional programs abroad. 

Tests like IELTS and PTE are widely accepted, but which English proficiency test should you choose? PTE vs IELTS has been an ongoing debate for many. Which is easier, IELTS or PTE? What are the difference between IELTS and PTE?

These kind of questions are always making students worry. I’m here to clear up any confusion about the PTE vs IELTS.  In this blog, I hope to clear your doubts regarding the PTE vs IELTS debate and help you decide which test is ideal for you based on your needs and aptitudes.

IELTS vs PTE: An Overview

When it comes to English language proficiency tests, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are two popular choices. Both are accepted by most of the institutions and organizations worldwide for assessing language efficiency.

Although the exam structures, scoring systems, fees, academic background, and administrative requirements are different, both are the traditional names stage. It’s pivotal for the test-takers to understand the difference between IELTS and PTE and find the one that suits their preferences and needs.

In doing this, one also needs to look at the IELTS vs PTE score comparison to determine which test corresponds better to your goals and requirements.

What is the IELTS Test?

The IELTS is an acronym for International English Language Testing System. The main purpose of the IELTS is to give an indication of the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. The number of test-takers grows year by year and the test scores are accepted by the governments of about 140 countries as well as by universities, schools, and companies.

  • It contains four elements: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
  • The IELTS has two exams: Academic and General Training.
  • The exam is available in two formats: paper-based and computer-based systems.
  • In the IELTS, Listening, Reading, and Writing parts are conducted on the same day and take a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • The band scale for reporting your result is 0 to 9.
  • The Speaking Test is carried either on the same day as the other parts, or up to one week before or after.+
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What is the PTE Test?

The PTE test stands for Pearson Test of English. It is designed to assess your ability in Speaking & Writing, Reading, Listening and Enabling Skills (Grammar, Oral Fluency, Pronunciation, Spelling, Vocabulary, And Written Discourse) It is a computer-based test where candidates interact with computerized questions and prompts.

  • In the PTE exam, aspirants face a total of 20 different types of questions within an approximate duration of 2 hours.              
  • The four modules are segmented into three parts. Speaking and Writing are merged, but individual time slots are allotted for each question.               
  • In the Reading module, students have a total of 30 minutes to complete all the questions.
  • For the Listening section a specific time is allocated for first question type, whereas for other sections, time management is the candidate’s responsibility.
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IELTS vs PTE: Exam Pattern and Structure

Both IELTS vs PTE are designed to measure proficiency in all the primary areas of the English language. When preparing for a language test, an essential step is acquiring knowledge about the exam and understanding the exam format (PTE vs IELTS) adds value for the student.

Exam SectionsPTE TestIELTS Test
                  ListeningThis segment of the exam spans 30 to 43 minutes and features eight distinct question types. Questions are presented in audio or video format, with clips starting automatically. Each clip is played only once, and note-taking is permitted.The IELTS Listening test measures candidates’ expertise in understanding main ideas, recognizing opinions, attitudes, and following speakers’ reasoning.  It includes 4 tasks that contain a total of 40 questions that must be answered in 30 minutes.  
                  ReadingThis segment spans 29–30 minutes and includes five different question types. PTE Academic underscores integrated skills, with particular attention to the assessment of writing abilities through the item type: “Reading and Writing: Fill in the Blanks”There are three parts with 40 questions and students will have 60 minutes in total. Although the format is similar for Academic and General Training; however, the texts vary.
                          Speaking                            This segment spans 54–67 minutes and encompasses seven diverse question formats. As the part of the test, it evaluates your proficiency in speaking and writing, employing English commonly encountered in academic settings.The IELTS Speaking test for both Academic and General Training exams measures many abilities. Candidates speak to an examiner to share their viewpoint, discuss various topic logically, express diverse perspectives with reasons, and analyze problems from practical standpoint.  
                         WritingIELTS General Training and Academic Writing Test is designed with two kinds of writing tasks. These tasks are assessed based on a variety of criteria such as grammar, accuracy, task response. Test-takers are required to write their answers in full sentences on the provided answer sheet.  

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Academic Criteria

Students who consider their options for studying abroad frequently ask, ” IELTS vs PTE, which of these English language proficiency tests is right for me?” It is advisable to take one or two mock tests for both to compare scores and determine the best option for you.

Such scores are also instrumental for the student visa process, as immigration departments typically require the minimum marks in the academic tests as a part of entry requirements.

When comparing the academic criteria of IELTS vs PTE, several key factors should be kept in mind:

  • Test Format:  IELTS follows a more traditional pen-and-paper approach so, if you’re okay with taking a written exam and feel confident speaking in front of an examiner, then IELTS might be suitable for you. However, if the idea of facing real people makes you nervous, and you’re comfortable using a computerized interface, then PTE could be a better fit.
  • Time Pressure: PTE is generally considered more time-intensive, requiring you to think quickly and respond promptly. If you excel at problem-solving under pressure and can work efficiently, PTE’s format might play to your strengths. Conversely, IELTS allows for a more paced approach, which could be advantageous if you prefer a more composed environment.
  • Writing Skills: Both of these tests assess your writing skills; however, IELTS require a strong analytical and fast writing skills. If you have a mastery over expressing ideas coherently and producing well-structured arguments, IELTS could be a better fit for showcasing your writing prowess.
  • Speaking Preferences: When it comes to the speaking section, personal comfort plays a big role. If you get anxious speaking to strangers, you might prefer the PTE’s computer-based format. If you’re confident enough to handle conversations with strangers, the in-person format of the IELTS could be a more suitable fit for you.

By considering these characteristics, you can pick whether the IELTS or PTE mode align better with your strengths and fulfils the specific requirements of your educational or professional objectives.

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PTE vs IELTS: Validity and Exam Results

In terms of getting your results, both PTE and IELTS have separate timelines. In IELTS your scores become available 13 days after the test date. Your full report will be available within 28 days. (Typically, you will get your results in just a couple of days.)

If we talk about PTE, thanks to its computer-based format, you will get your results at lightning-speed, within just two days. That’s the biggest perk of PTE.

Both IELTS and PTE score reports are valid for two years from your exam date, after that, it will be ineffective.

When it comes to how many times you can take the test, well, both of these exams permit you to take them numerous times. The minor difference between IELTS and PTE is that, with IELTS, you have to wait a few months between your attempts as they won’t allow you to sit in exams in short succession. PTE is more flexible in terms of attempts, you can retake the exam within five days, but prepare to dig into your pockets for each attempt.

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IELTS and PTE from an Administrative Standpoint

If we judge based on registration and results criteria, PTE is the way to go if you’re working on a tight timeline. You can book an exam with short notice, and have your results ready to go within just two days.

Both PTE and IELTS offer computer-based testing options, whereas IELTS also have a paper-and-pencil version.

Both PTE and IELTS have their respective strengths, so it’s necessary to consider your options and favour the correct one for you. Contemplate things like the different formats of the tests such as paper, computer, or online, its scoring methods, and the question types. While IELTS can be taken in different forms, PTE supplies a more thorough assessment.

At the end of the day, your decision will likely come down to these key factors. Just consider your preferences and decide the right option that works best for you. There’s no chance of going wrong with either of these tests as long as you have prepared well.

I would suggest staying true to yourself and don’t think too much about what is “BETTER” or “WORST”. With the right attitude and proper practice, you’ve got this. So take a break and a deep breath so you can focus better on making your dreams a reality.

Still Confused About Which Exam to Take? Get in Touch with Us!

That’s a Wrap!!!!!

And hey, if you need some expert guidance along the way, the folks at Aspire Square have got your back. A little extra assistance might be just what you need to crush that exam irrespective of which one you choose 

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    IELTS vs PTE: FAQs

    01 Is PTE easier than IELTS?

    Both these tests pose a unique set of challenges. IELTS can be demanding, especially in the writing section, where more advanced academic skills are required. In the IELTS Academic Reading section, a candidate is expected to deal with more complex texts as compared to the IELTS General Training Reading Paper. On the other hand, PTE might seem a little more straightforward to students as it deals with more real-life applications rather than delving into foundational questions. An awareness of the differences between IELTS and PTE is important in choosing the right option.

    02 If you want test scores for visa purposes, which test should you take?

    During the process of selecting the test scores required for visa purposes in immigration, IELTS emerges as the top choice. Commonly used in immigration, IELTS has gained its reputation as a reliable indicator of English language competency. Choosing IELTS for your visa application provides alignment with immigration authorities’ conditions and delivers you with a top-notch language testing tool recognized globally. If you need guidance on picking the right test for you, contact Aspire Square.

    03 Is PTE accepted in Canada?

    Yes, in Canada, PTE Academic is already accepted, including the SDS route. It grants shortcuts for academic life and is recognized by many DLIs (Designated Learning Institutions) as well.

    04 Can I proceed, skip questions in the test, and return to them later?

    One key difference between PTE and IELTS is the flexibility they offer during the test-taking process. PTE is a highly dynamic test; once you have skipped a question, there is no way to go back to it. You must complete each question in order, as the assessment moves sequentially. Meanwhile, the IELTS test offers a more flexible way of taking it; you can switch between sections. Such flexibility enables you to revisit your answers, make amendments, and adopt a more strategic approach.

    05 What should I choose, IELTS vs PTE?

    The selection between IELTS vs PTE comes down to individual preference. IELTS may be a more reasonable choice if you are more accustomed to traditional written test formats, IELTS might be more suitable, whereas, for those who are used to digital interfaces, PTE might be a better choice. If you are concerned about accent; IELTS is the best choice, as the PTE Speaking section strictly assesses pronunciation. Discussing with experts, for example, Aspire Square can lead to the right conclusion.

    06 How many attempts for IELTS and PTE have?

    You are free to try the IELTS and PTE exams as many times as possible. Candidates can take PTE exams again after a-5-day waiting period. Nevertheless, the candidate must cover the exam fee for every subsequent attempt. For professional help in IELTS vs PTE and to master exam skills, contact the experts at Aspire Square!

    Written By

    Farhin Makrani

    Farhin Makrani, an experienced educator at Aspire Square, possesses proficiency in IELTS, PTE, and Spoken English. Her primary focus is on PTE, where she not only imparts technical knowledge but also nurtures holistic development. With seven years of dedicated teaching experience, She is enthusiastic, enjoys her work, and is wholeheartedly dedicated to assisting every student in achieving their aspirations.


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