IELTS vs. PTE – Learn about all the Differences

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English proficiency tests are often a prerequisite when you want to study in international universities or migrate to English speaking countries. While IELTS or International English Language Testing System is one of the globally recognised English proficiency tests around the world, PTE or Pearson Language Tests is also equally capable of assessing and validating the English language usage by non-native English speakers. In this blog, we will explore the differences between IELTS vs PTE in depth.

FormatIELTS Academic and IELTS General TrainingPTE Academic
Length of TestApproximately 170 MinutesApproximately 191 Minutes
AcceptanceGlobally AcceptedGlobally Accepted
Speaking TestFace-to-Face Speaking TestMicrophone Based Speaking Test
MarkingSpeaking and Writing are examined by experts whereas Listening and Reading are auto-examinedAll the tests are examined through an automated scoring system
Navigation Through QuestionsYou are allowed to skip the questions and come back to them againOnly forward navigation is allowed
PriceINR 14,700INR 13,300
Results2-5 Business DaysTypically 5 Days

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IELTS vs PTE – Variants

IELTS Academic vs IELTS General

The IELTS Academic Training is suitable for those candidates who want to study in English speaking higher education institutes or universities in countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also applicable for those candidates who are seeking professional registration in English speaking countries.

Whereas, IELTS General Training shall be opted by the students who wish to study in secondary level or study below degree level at an English speaking school or institute. It is also applicable for those candidates who plan to pursue vocational training or migrate for work to countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

PTE General vs PTE Academic

PTE General Test assesses the level of English proficiency and tracks the progress as well as determines any weaknesses while speaking English. While this test is not suitable for immigration purposes, it is applicable for those who wish to learn English or in some cases, for work purposes. PTE General is accepted for higher education and work purposes in countries like Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Switzerland, Greece, Spain and Poland.

On the other hand, PTE Academic must be taken by the students who wish to seek higher education in English speaking institutes or universities as well as for immigration purposes. PTE Academic is accepted in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

PTE Young Learners

PTE Young Learners is for students between the ages of 6 to 13. PTE Young Learners is a test that assesses the student’s understanding of the English language and their level of proficiency. This test also consists of two sections, a writing section consisting of listening, reading and writing as well as a final spoken test.

IELTS vs PTE: Format

The next point of distinction in our discussion of IELTS vs PTE is based on the format of both tests. There is slight differentiation in the format between IELTS and PTE. The format of IELTS consists of 4 sections :

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

The format of PTE consist of 3 sections :

  • Speaking and Writing ( Together)
  • Listening
  • Reading

Reading Section

In the case of the IELTS Exam, the reading section comprises 40 questions. These questions are designed to test the candidate’s aptitude for identifying the main idea and gist of the text, understanding the logical arguments and recognising the author’s attitude and opinions. The total duration for the IELTS Reading Section is 60 minutes.

In PTE, the reading section consists of a total of 15 to 20 questions which tests the candidate’s independent and integrated skills. Under the reading section, the candidate will attempt a variety of tasks such as MCQs, fill in the blanks and re-ordering the paragraphs. Also, under PTE Academic, one of the tasks also assesses writing skills. The duration for the PTE reading section is 32- 40 minutes.

Listening Section

In our debate of IELTS vs PTE, let us now go through various insights of the listening section. The listening section comprises 40 questions which are based on 4 recordings. These recordings are of various types such as a monologue and a dialogue. Essentially there are 4 recordings with 10 questions each. The duration of the IELTS Listening Section is 30 minutes.

The PTE exam’s listening section comprises 8 question types or 8 subsections that test at least two skills. Each section may comprise 2-3 questions. The subsections of this section include summarization of the text, MCQs, Dictation and Fill in the Blanks. The duration of the PTE Listening Section is 45 – 57 minutes.

Writing Section

The writing section comprises 40 questions that have distinctly different types of tasks. The candidates will be required to infer details from a graph or a chart or write an essay in response to an argument or a problem. Furthermore, the candidates may also be required to write a letter requesting information or explaining a situation. The duration of the IELTS Writing Section is 60 minutes.

In the case of the PTE Exam, the writing and speaking sections are combined together. It consists of 8 subsections which may range from personal introduction, essay, read aloud, repetition of sentence and summarization of the written text. The speaking section tests the candidate’s ability to speak proper English in an academic environment. The writing section tests the candidate’s ability to write responses in proper academic English along with proper grammar and spelling. The duration of the PTE Writing and Speaking is 77-93 minutes.

Before moving on with IELTS vs PTE, let us explore How to Ace IELTS Writing Test?

Speaking Section

The speaking section comprises 3 sub-sections with a total of 11-17 questions. Each subsection may take up 4-5 minutes. While the first section focuses on the personal life and interview of the candidate, the last two sections consist of the candidate speaking about a topic from a task card and being questioned on the same. The duration of the IELTS Speaking section is 11 – 14 minutes. It is very important to note that in the case of the PTE Exam, the Speaking Section is taken on the same day as the other sections. While in the IELTS exam, the speaking section is taken on the same day.

IELTS vs PTE – Duration

The IELTS Exam is roughly for a duration of 170 minutes or 2 hours and 45 minutes. The section-wise duration for the IELTS exam is as follows :

  • Listening Section – 30 minutes
  • Reading Section – 60 minutes
  • Writing Section – 60 minutes
  • Speaking Section – 11 – 14 minutes.

The duration for PTE exam is 191 minutes or 3 hours whereas the sections wise duration for the PTE exam is as follows :

  • Writing and Speaking Section ( Together ) – 77 to 93 minutes
  • Listening Section – 45 to 57 minutes
  • Reading Section – 32 to 40 minutes

IELTS vs PTE – Scoring Range

Scoring range is a major pointer to elaborate upon in our discussion of IELTS vs PTE. The scoring range for the IELTS Exam in between band 1 to band 9. It is given for each section and the individual scores are rounded up in order to calculate the final band score. Based on the scoring, the candidate’s skill level may range from an expert user to a non-user.

The score range of PTE Exam is between 10 to 90 and it is automated in nature. It is of two types, i.e, partial credit and correct or incorrect. In the case of partial credit, points will be deducted for wrong answers and in case of correct or incorrect, wrong answers do not result in loss of points. Based on the scoring, the candidate’s skills level may range from being capable of interaction to be able to speak and comprehend with ease. In the following table, you can find a score comparison between IELTS and PTE :

PTE Band ScoreIELTS Band Score
86 and above9

IELTS vs PTE – Results

For IELTS exam, candidates can expect the results of the computer-based test online 2 to 5 days after the examination. In the case of the paper-based test, the candidate can expect the test results online after 13 calendar days of the test date. Those who will appear for the PTE exam, will receive the results online within 5 business days. The candidates will be notified about the arrival of their results and they can be accessed through their online registered account.

IELTS vs PTE – Cancellation and Rescheduling

Candidates must cancel or reschedule their exam within 5 weeks of the test date. You will be charged the full fee unless they have a valid medical reason. Also, if the candidate successfully provides a medical certificate within 5 days of the test date, they are eligible to receive a refund after the deduction of the administration cost.

In the case of the PTE Exam, the candidate must cancel or reschedule their exam before 14 full calendar days of the test date, in order to avail of free rescheduling. If the candidate reschedules the test 13 to 8 calendar days before the test date, they will be charged 50% of the test fee. If the test is rescheduled 7 calendar days before the test, there will be no refund and the candidate needs to pay a new test fee.

Common Tips for the Exam

Before we conclude this blog on IELTS vs PTE, let us quickly go through the below-mentioned tips.

  • Practice multiple mock tests before attempting the final test. You should be familiar with the format and pattern of the test to avoid any confusion or delay.
  • Keep an eye on the time limit for each section. You must have effective time management while attempting all the sections to avoid missing out any questions.
  • In the case of the speaking section, be careful with the pronunciation. Since English is a very tricky language, there are many odd and tricky pronunciations which may trouble you. Practice your pronunciation aloud and check the correct way in which certain words are spoken to ensure no fumbling on the test day.
  • While writing, we may often get confused with American and British english. Learn to differentiate between the two and stick to one English throughout the test. Also ensure you have proper command over your grammar and spelling.
  • While attempting the listening and reading section, ensure that you go through a list of English films and recordings to strengthen your listening skills. Read prescribed English books and practice your vocabulary everyday.
  • Lastly, immerse yourself in the English language by reading newspapers, magazines, journals, books and online articles.

So, we hope through this blog, you have understood the differences between the IELTS vs PTE examination. Leverage Live by Leverage Edu is a unique platform that will make your IELTS preparation a piece of cake. Get in touch with our experts and avail a free demo session. Hurry up! Sign up with us today.

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