IELTS vs PTE: Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Popular Language Tests

Jun 01,2023

IELTS vs PTE: Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Popular Language Tests

When it comes to proving your English language proficiency for academic or immigration purposes, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are two of the most widely recognized tests. While both tests assess your listening, reading, writing, and speaking abilities, they differ in certain aspects, making it difficult for the candidates to decide between PTE and IELTS, which is easy. This blog will explore the pros and cons of these two popular language tests, helping you decide which one best suits you.

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IELTS Vs PTE: Which One is a Better Choice?

IELTS:

IELTS undoubtedly gained immense popularity among dream-abroad aspirants, and there are some obvious reasons for it. Most candidates choose IELTS to assess their language skills because of their familiarity with the test format and easy accessibility to the test centers. The IELTS Test is divided into two categories:- IELTS General for immigration purposes and IELTS Academic to pursue higher education in foreign universities.

The IELTS test has a few more advantages over other language proficiency tests, making it superior to others. Let’s check out the pros and cons of taking an IELTS test. 

Advantages

  • It is widely recognized and accepted by universities, colleges, and organizations worldwide.
  • Offers a paper-based option for those who prefer writing on paper.
  • More than 4000 test centers worldwide, and accepted for academic and residency purposes in countries like the UK, Australia, the USA, Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and many others.
  • Easy availability of IELTS computer-based test dates almost every day of the year.
  • The vast amount of practice materials available offline and online, including official practice tests, sample questions, and study books, makes it easier for test-takers to study before the actual test.

Disadvantages

  • Face-to-face speaking sessions in front of the examiner can be intimidating for some test-takers. They might feel nervous and end up scoring low in this module.
  • Results may take longer to arrive. You need to plan beforehand to meet admission deadlines for colleges and universities.
  • Speaking test is conducted on a different day, making it inconvenient for working individuals and students to adjust their schedule.
  • The writing section of the IELTS test is more challenging to score high than the PTE writing module.

PTE

PTE is entirely computer-based, offering a modern and efficient testing experience. The test is conducted on a computer, and all sections, including speaking and writing, are assessed by an automated system. It offers a perfect test system for the current generation’s tech-savvy study-abroad aspirants, giving them an efficient platform to prove their linguistic skills.

Not only is the test acknowledged by prestigious institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, but it also offers the convenience of scheduling the exam with just a 24-hour notice, making it highly flexible. Additionally, the test duration is limited to a three-hour timeframe. Like the IELTS test, the PTE Test has two types: Academic and General.

While many foreign universities worldwide accept the PTE Academic, PTE General is accepted by non-English-speaking European nations. PTE General is conducted only three times a year-May, in June, and December.

Advantages

  • PTE provides faster results than IELTS, with scores typically available within a few business days. It can be beneficial for those with tight deadlines.
  • PTE’s automated scoring system eliminates potential bias and ensures consistent evaluation, providing a standardized assessment of language skills.
  • PTE offers diverse question formats, including speaking and writing tasks involving recorded responses. This variety can make the test more engaging and dynamic.
  • The PTE can be completed in just one day, making it convenient for test-takers.
  • The absence of a paper-based option for the PTE means that individuals with limited computer skills may find this test more challenging.

Disadvantages

  • PTE has a smaller test center network than IELTS, particularly in certain regions. It may limit the availability of test dates and locations, potentially posing challenges for test-takers.
  • While PTE has gained popularity, it may not have the same level of recognition and acceptance as IELTS, especially in certain regions or among specific institutions.
  • The automated scoring system used in PTE may not accurately capture the subtle nuances of human speech, potentially affecting the evaluation of speaking and pronunciation skills.
  • Also, limited PTE test preparation materials make it difficult for candidates to prepare in advance. 

Must Read: PTE vs IELTS – Which is Better?

Comparison Between IELTS Vs PTE

We hope the above comparison between both test structures will enhance your knowledge of popular language tests. A comprehensive comparison between IELTS and PTE is presented below to get deeper insights.

IELTSPTE
Test formatGetting recognized slowlyComputerized test only
Test Centers Over 2000 test centers in 130 countries400+ test centers
Test resultsTakes longer than PTEFast delivered
acceptanceWorldwideGetting recognised slowly
Access to Study MaterialReadily available online and offlineDifficult to find genuine practice material
Speaking ModuleSpeaking is conducted via microphone in the test roomSpeaking is conducted via a microphone in the test room
Test FeesRs.16,500Rs. 15,900

IELTS Vs PTE Score

IELTS and PTE have different scoring systems and score interpretation methods.

In the IELTS test, the overall band score ranges from 0 to 9, with half-band increments (e.g., 6.5, 7.0). Each of the four sections (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) is given a band score, and the overall band score is an average of these four scores. The scores reflect the test-takers’ proficiency level, with 9 being an expert user and 0 indicating no attempt was made.

On the other hand, PTE uses a scoring scale from 10 to 90, with increments of 1 point. The scores are based on the test taker’s performance in each section, including speaking, writing, reading, and listening. PTE scores are mapped to the Global Scale of English (GSE), which provides a more detailed breakdown of the individual’s proficiency level across different language skills and subskills.

It’s important to note that while IELTS and PTE use different scoring scales, both tests assess language proficiency accurately and provide a reliable indication of a test taker’s English language abilities. Although it is essential to research the score requirements of the specific institutions or organizations you are applying to, as each may have its own minimum score requirements. 

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the choice between IELTS and PTE depends on your preferences, requirements, and circumstances. It is crucial to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements of the organizations or institutions you intend to apply to. Aspirants must consider factors such as test format, PTE vs IELTS Score system, test availability, and comfort level with different assessment methods. Remember, the ultimate objective is to accurately and effectively showcase your English language skills. With thorough preparation, practice, and a clear understanding of your requirements, you can excel in either test and achieve your desired results. We hope that this blog has provided you with valuable information and given you answers to all your questions on IELTS vs PTE.

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Written By

Kirati Shah

Kirati Shah is a certified IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Trainer with 10 years of experience. She is on a mission to provide good quality lessons about IELTS and PTE through blogs and videos that can help students get their desired score and achieve their dream to migrate/study abroad.

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