Friday , March 31 2023

PTE vs IELTS- Which is the best?

PTE vs IELTS, which is the best, is a question that comes to mind of every candidate preparing to immigrate abroad or to study in a foreign university. The main difference between the PTE vs IELTS exams is that the PTE exam happens on a computer, basically, it is a computer-based exam, whereas IELTS, asks for your physical presence for a paper-based exam- with exceptions for online tests in India.

The assessment process for both tests varies from each other. PTE-A applies artificial intelligence to allot scores, whereas IELTS evaluates manually. Other differences include which one is globally accepted, which is the affordable one, the number of tests allowed annually, and much more.

PTE vs IELTS – Which exam should a candidate give?

Pearson test of English- Academic (PTE- A), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are three globally recognized and accepted systematized tests of English for immigration, or study purposes.

What is the IELTS test?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a widely accepted test of the English language and is owned jointly by the British Council, IDP Australia, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. IELTS is an acceptable choice of more than 10,000 employers, universities, schools, and immigration bodies globally.

For Immigration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, a great IELTS score plays an important role in the eligibility criteria.

What is the PTE test?

The PTE test is a broadly acceptable English language proficiency test for candidates and students’ visa immigration application process around the world. PTE runs on an Artificial Intelligence (AI) scoring that offers an unprejudiced approach with a faster result.

A Comparative Study: PTE vs IELTS

PTE computerized tests extend from MCQs to writing essays to reading and speaking your answers into a microphone. PTE is just like an online exam and surely not a better option for slow typers.

IELTS is a pen and paper-based exam but it also offers computer-based tests.

  PTE Academic test IELTS
Test Types PTE Academic test – a single test with three sections:54 speakings, and writing (together), listening and reading IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.   It includes listening, academic reading, general training reading, academic writing, general training, writing, and speaking.
Score Report It includes the overall score (10 to 90 points), the score given for each communicative skill (listening, reading, speaking, and writing: 10 to 90 points), and the score for each enabling skill. Candidates get an overall band score (0-9), the average score allotted for each of the sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
Overall Score The overall score is not just a standard calculation of the communicative scores. Average the four sections’ scores, rounded to the nearest whole or half band.
Scoring Accuracy Automated scoring against the Global Scale of English (Thermometer-style scale) Human assessment (subjects to manual errors)
Test Fairness High Medium to high
Result Available within five business days IELTS Paper test: Test Report form available in 13 days after the test.   IELTS Computer test: Results available in 3 to 5 days after the test.
Speaking Test The candidate has to speak in a microphone Face-to-face speaking test with an examiner
Price INR 13, 300 (USD 160) INR 14, 000 (USD 185)
Test Authority Pearson PLC British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
Global Acceptance Selected universities and governments but renowned in many countries around the globe. Widely acceptable. Many universities and governments globally enlist language test on their website.

PTE vs IELTS: Test Types

PTE Academic
Test Format Time Given Task Types
Speaking & Writing 77-93 minutes Repeat sentence Describe image Re-tell lecture Answer short question Summarize written text Essay (20 mins)  
Reading 32- 40 minutes Reading & writing: Fill in the blanks Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers Re-order paragraphs Reading: Fill in the blanks Multiple-choice, choose single answer  
Listening 45-57 minutes Summarize spoken text Multiple-choice, choose multiple answers Fill in the blanks Highlight correct summary Multiple-choice, choose single answer Select missing word Highlight incorrect words Write from dictation  

PTE test duration: 3 hours

IELTS Academic
Test Format Time Given Task Types
Listening   4 recordings 30 minutes Multiple choice Matching information Plan, map, diagram labeling Form, note, table, flow-chart, summary completion Sentence completion Short-answer questions  
Reading 3 reading passages   60 minutes Multiple choice Identifying information Identifying writer’s views/claims Matching headings Matching features Matching sentence endings Sentence completion Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion Diagram label completion Short-answer questions  
Writing 2 Parts   60 minutes Part 1 –Identify information and trends in a graph, chart, table or diagram, and explain it Part 2 – Write an essay on a given topic  
Speaking 3 Parts   11-14 minutes Part 1 – Introduction and interview Part 2 – Talk about a particular topic Part 3 – Discussion on the topic given in Part 2  

IELTS test duration: 2 hours 45 minutes

The International English Language Testing System speaking test is mostly scheduled anytime within the 7 days period which often becomes inconvenient for the candidates appearing for the IELTS, and especially for the candidates who have a tight deadline for immigration and university applications.

Score Report: PTE vs IELTS

How is PTE scored?

The PTE test scores get allotted to the candidates based on different sections or item types. The scores get assigned against the Global Scale of English (Thermometer- style scale) which award pre-defined points based on different sections.

Communicative skill scores

In the PTE test, the communicative skills of candidates get measured, and then the candidate receives points based on their skills. The communicative skills are- listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

Enabling skill scores

In enabling skills the candidate’s grammar, oral fluency, pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary, and written discourse gets measured and based on which they get the scores.

Item scoring

For a correct answer, the candidate receives one point and for an incorrect answer, the candidate receives zero points.

Partial credit: If the candidate has got the right answer, they will receive the maximum point for that answer, but if the candidate has responded partly correctly, they will receive fewer score points than the maximum point.

PTE Scoring Example:

Item Type: Read aloud

Number of items: 7

em scoring: Partial

Communicative skills scored: Reading and writing

Traits scored: It includes content, pronunciation, oral fluency, form, grammar, vocabulary, etc.

Native-like – 5, Advanced- 4, Good- 3, Intermediate- 2, Intrusive- 1, Non-English- 0

How is IELTS scored?

Section band scores

In IELTS the candidate receives points based on different sections:


The Listening section of the IELTS test consists of 40 questions.

For each correct answer, the candidate receives one point.


The Reading section of the IELTS test consists of 40 questions.

For each correct answer, the candidate receives one point.


For the writing section of the IELTS test, the examiner chooses the assessment criteria to assign the score for each of the four criteria:

Task achievement (for Task 1), Task Response (for Task 2)

Coherence and Cohesion

Lexical Resource

Grammatical range and accuracy

Each of the criteria weighs equally and the score for the task is average.


For the speaking section of the IELTS test, the examiner chooses the assessment criteria to assign the score for each of the four criteria:

Fluency and Coherence

Lexical Resource

Grammatical Range and Accuracy


PTE vs IELTS Scoring

Skill Level PTE IELTS
Expert 89-90 9
Very Good 83-85 8.5
Very Good 74-84 8
Good 73-77 7.5
Good 64-72 7
Competent 58-63 6.5
Competent 50-57 6
Modest 42-49 5.5

PTE vs IELTS: Overall score

PTE Academic overall score IELTS overall score
The PTE overall score is not just the average calculation done for the communicative scores. For the IELTS overall score, the score of the four of sections gets rounded to the nearest whole or the half band
10 to 90 points, a score for each of the communicative skills, and a score for the enabling skills 0 to 9, in 0.5 band increments

Scoring Accuracy

PTE provides high accuracy in the writing section but it is not the same for the speaking section. In the PTE test the pronunciation points, are oftentimes low in the speaking module. But the candidate can tackle it with the PTE coach offered by the PTE.

IELTS candidates report that the writing section evaluation includes firm research. Candidates who do not get a satisfactory result have an option of reassessment and some have been revised with leniency, giving better scores.

Test Fairness: PTE vs IELTS

The PTE has a fair scoring system as the test are algorithm-based and have many predictability factors.

PTE test fairness

  • PTE has designed proprietorial automated software for the PTE assessment.
  • The PTE test-takers have less pressure on them as, during the test, there is no person to judge their performance while they answer the questions.
  • The PTE has typical question formats, so there cannot be any partiality at the time of scoring.

IELTS test fairness

  • The IELTS candidates get encouragement from the IELTS to react as they are put in a real-life situation to answer the questions.
  • The IELTS test-takers get to communicate with people and not with computers.
  • In IELTS, the human examiner allows the points to the candidates.

Declaration of the results: PTE vs IELTS

PTE offers fast computer-tabulated results.

IELTS Paper test: Test Report Form available 13 days after your test

IELTS Computer test: Results available in 3 to 5 days after your test

PTE-A results:  Within just 48 hours of taking the test

PTE results: Within 2-5 days

Speaking test: How PTE speaking test is different from IELTS?

Speaking test differs between IELTS and PTE-A.

In the PTE-A speaking test, the candidate has to speak with a microphone, while for the IELTS test, the candidate has to speak to a human examiner.

Which test is an affordable option for Indians: PTE or IELTS?

Both PTE and IELTS are nearly the same, although their prices could vary as it depends on the candidate’s country.

The cost of IELTS and PTE in India are as follows:

PTE Costs IELTS Costs
USD 160 USD 185
INR 13, 300 INR 14, 000

Test Authority

The IELTS and PTE, both get operated through trustworthy institutions with years of evaluation, experience, and expertise.

PTE Academic: Operated by Pearson PLC, the world of prominent leading British MNCs for publishing and education.

Headquarters: London

IELTS: Collectively run by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English.

Globally Acceptance: PTE vs IELTS

The PTE academic scores have a global acceptance similar to many top institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and Yale. It is also an approved test for all UK, Australian, and New Zealand student visa and immigration applications.

The IELTS scores are also acceptable in more than 140 countries, and with over 10,000 organizations for immigration, study, or work visas (including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada).

The IELTS Advantage

Here is the list of the IELTS advantage:

  • Valid Evaluation, in an organized, compatible, and secure environment.
  • Clearly defined test criteria
  • Certified examiners, language specialists
  • General topics of tests, easy questionnaire format
  • Concentrate on daily communication skills
  • Two types of test options: academic and non-academic
  • A unique chance to test your language ability through the face-to-face speaking test with a human examiner
  • Reevaluation option by a senior examiner
  • Strict confidential verification of test taker’s identity
  • Unique test versions – Candidates will never receive the same test twice
  • Printing Test Report Forms on security-enhanced paper
  • Online Results Verification Service.
  • Double marking system to assess the crucial differences in writing, speaking, reading, and listening scores. 

The PTE Advantage       

  • Artificial intelligence-based impartial Evaluation.

The English language skills of candidates get evaluated by algorithm checking.

  • Fast Results

PTE uses a prominent scoring technology and offers fast results within just 48 hours of taking the test in over 350 centers in more than 70 countries.

  • Free Unlimited score linking

The PTE sends the candidate’s scores to many prestigious organizations as per the candidate’s choice without any additional cost, which helps the candidate in immigration and study applications worldwide.


Q1. Which test is easier, PTE or IELTS?

Ans. We cannot compare both tests, as both tests have different difficult modules in different sections. The writing sections of IELTS are much harder because of its higher standards, as it’s a globally accepted test. The academic reading test of IELTS may hold content with bigger complications in comparison to other general training reading tests.

The Pearson Test of English is an approved option for people who believes that they are good at expressing themselves on a digital platform. This test is getting widely accepted because of its operating process.

Q2. Which test is a better option for me, if I just need the score for my visa process?

Ans. The IELTS test proffers an Academic English test as well as a General Training test, specifically created for immigration purposes. IELTS is a better option for immigration to Australia as it is a joint owner of the test authority and the score will have a better impact.

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