Dinesh Pandiyan

Updated on 24-05-2023


PTE vs IELTS: What are the Differences ?

PTE vs IELTS: What are the Differences ?

If you want to pursue graduate programs abroad, then you need to take the English language Proficiency test. The two most popular English proficiency tests are IELTS and PTE Academic. "The main difference between IELTS and PTE is that IELTS provides an option between a paper-based exam and a computer-delivered exam while the PTE test offers only a computer-based test marked by a machine. "

The PTE (Pearson Test of English) is an English proficiency test that assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills using computer-based testing. It is conducted by the PLC group. And, IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a standardized test that measures English language proficiency for academic and immigration purposes, with a band score of 0-9. In this blog, you will learn about the differences between PTE Academic and IELTS in detail. 

PTE vs IELTS - An Overview

In the table below, we have given, the key differences between PTE Academic and IELTS. Followed by, we have provided a detailed account of each difference.

Factors PTE Academic test IELTS
Test Types & Format PTE Academic consists of three parts - Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing (combined).

Two types: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

It includes Reading (Academic & General training) , Listening, Writing (Academic & General training), and Speaking.

Scoring Pattern The score range of the PTE Academic test is 10 - 90 points. It includes communicative skills and a score for each enabling skill. The band score (0-9) will be assigned to each of the modules: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing.
Test Fee INR 15,900 (USD $194) INR 16,250 (USD $198)
Test Results and Validity Available within 5 working days. The validity of PTE scores is for 2 years The results will be available after 13 days. The IELTS score validity is for 2 years.
Assessment criteria PTE measures communicative skills (Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing) and six enabling skills (Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, Oral Fluency, Written discourse and spelling.) IELTS scores will depend on candidates' performance on each module - Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. 
Specifically, speaking and writing scores will be measured based on the band descriptors,
Frequency of the test It depends on the availability of the test centre in candidates’ chosen location. IELTS Academic: schedules for 48 days in a year
IELTS General Training: 24 fixed days in a year
Global Acceptance Accepted by over 11,500 organizations in 140+ countries, including UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. Accepted by over 3,000 institutions, including Harvard Business school, INSEAD.

PTE vs IELTS: Test Type & Format

In the IELTS test, your English language skills will be measured into four different parts - reading, listening, writing, and speaking. IELTS consists of two types - IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The total test time of IELTS is 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

In PTE, your English language proficiency will be assessed by using several integrated tasks such as Speaking-Listening-Writing, Listening-Writing, Reading-Writing or Writing-Reading. There are two types of PTE available - PTE Academic and PTE General. The duration of the PTE test is 2 hours and 15 minutes.

  PTE Academic Test IELTS
Listening In this section, the test duration varies between 45 and 57 minutes and answers a series of questions based on audio and video clips. Candidates will be given four recordings and need to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes.
Reading Students need to complete objective exercises such as MCQs, filling up blanks, and sequencing paragraphs of text in 32 to 40 minutes. In this section, candidates will be given three long texts and need to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes.
Speaking These two sections are combined in PTE and carried out in 77 to 93 minutes. Test takers need to tackle diverse tasks such as reading aloud, describing images, summarising essays, and essay writing.  Speaking consists of three parts: Introduction and Interview, Individual long-turn test, and Discussion. It extends to 15 minutes.
Writing Two writing tasks have to be completed in 60 minutes. In task 1, students need to describe a given graph, table diagram, or chart.

PTE vs IELTS: Scoring Pattern

The scoring of the IELTS test is based on the 0 - 9 band score scale. The maximum score that can be obtained by students is 9. The minimum score set by most institutions, universities, government and corporate organizations is 6.5 - 7.5. 

In the PTE test, the scoring pattern consists of between 10 to 90 points. Candidates can get a maximum of 90 points. The minimum range of points to be eligible for getting admission to most universities is 65 to 73.

PTE vs IELTS: Test Fee

The registration fee is vary based on the location for both IELTS and PTE. The test fee in Australia is AUD$ 410 (INR 33592) for both PTE and IELTS. In India, IELTS charges a fee of INR 16,250 and the cost of the PTE test is INR 15,900. If you want to cancel or reschedule the test, there is a separate fee to be paid.

PTE vs IELTS: Test Results and Validity

The IELTS test results will be out after 13 days and it will be online for 28 days from the date of declaration. Your IELTS score will be valid for 2 years, irrespective of Academic or General training. You can appear for the test any number of times but have a gap of at least a few months to prepare well and get good results. 

As PTE is a computerized process, the results will be announced within 5 working days. Mostly, you will get the results in 2 days. The PTE results are valid for 2 years. The PTE score will not be available on the PTE official website after the 2-year duration. Both IELTS and PTE are valid, if it is for Australian migration.

PTE vs IELTS: Assessment Criteria

The IELTS test is assessed based on how the candidate performed the test. It ranges from band score 0 - 9. Each band score equated to a certain skill level, for example, those who got band 9 are expert users, and those who obtained band 7 are good users. PTE tests the candidates’ communication skills and six enabling skills - Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, Oral Fluency, Written discourse and spelling.

PTE vs IELTS: Frequency of the Test

IELTS General Training tests are made available for 24 fixed days in a year, while IELTS Academic test is scheduled for 48 days in a year. IELTS test centres are located in 140 countries all over the world. PTE tests are conducted across 50 nations throughout the year. And, it depends on the availability of test centres chosen by the candidates.

PTE vs IELTS: Global Acceptance

IELTS scores are accepted by over 11,500 organizations in 140+ countries, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. It is approved by all the key immigration authorities for visa applications and migration purposes. 

PTE Academic Scores are accepted by over 3,000 institutions, including Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Oxford University, and Yale. It can also be used to get a visa from the Australian, UK, and New Zealand governments.

PTE vs IELTS: Difficulty Level of the Test

Both IELTS and PTE have their own difficulties and challenges which need to be tackled in various ways. You can take IELTS in either pen and paper format or computer. But, when it comes to PTE, you have to take a test by sitting in front of a computer. You need to do longer tasks in IELTS, while 20 shorter tasks in PTE test. However, deep knowledge of the format and well-versed in English fundamentals are required to perform well in both of the tests.

PTE vs IELTS - Which test is easier?

It depends on the test taker’s personality, English language proficiency, and other skills. If the candidate is comfortable speaking in front of an examiner, then they can do well in the IELTS speaking test. If it is not the case, then PTE is a preferable choice since the candidate needs to speak through a microphone, and the computer captures the audio. However, your potential PTE score in speaking might get affected if you have a sore throat or common cold, which needs to be taken into consideration. 

Candidates who are having a habit of writing things in pen can take the IELTS test. They can match with speed and timing which can help them to get a good band score. On the other hand, you can take PTE if you are not comfortable with writing by hand and are better at computer typing. It’s better to attempt practice tests in both IELTS and PTE to determine which suits you. However, the key to better performance is having better English language skills and consistent practice.


1. Is PTE easier than IELTS?

Both PTE and IELTS test the fundamental English language skills - Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading. And, neither of the tests is easier than the other since each test has a different exam mode, pattern, and questions.

2. Which is better IELTS and PTE?

IELTS is accepted by over 11,500 organisations in 140+ countries for university admissions, visa categories, and permanent residency. PTE Academic is approved by thousands of institutions across the world for study applications and for all Australian student visa and migration applications.

3. What is IELTS 7 equal to PTE?

The equivalent of the PTE Academic score to the IELTS 7 band score is 66.3.

4. Is Canada accept PTE?

PTE is accepted by most Canadian universities and colleges. And, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that PTE is accepted for Canada Visa applications.

5. Which topic is hardest in PTE?

According to 100 random PTE results, the hardest part of the PTE test is reading followed by writing. 


About Author Dinesh Pandiyan

Dinesh is a highly experienced content writer who specializes in language proficiency tests like IELTS, GRE, PTE, TOEFL, and study abroad. He provides valuable insights and tips to students on various modules of these tests, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. His articles are well-researched, informative, and engaging, offering practical guidance to students looking to succeed in their academic pursuits. Additionally, Dinesh has coordinated with IELTS trainers to prepare test preparation materials, guides, practice tests, and mock tests, and worked closely with counsellors for study abroad consultancy, providing guidance on choosing the right institution, preparing for interviews, and writing effective statements of purpose (SOP) and letters of recommendation (LOR). Students can benefit from Dinesh's comprehensive knowledge and experience by checking out his articles.

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Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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