PTE vs IELTS – Which is Better?

Feb 08,2023

PTE vs IELTS - Which is Better

For applicants who want to study or immigrate overseas, demonstrating their English language proficiency is essential. Among the most popular test options are IELTS and PTE, leaving candidates in confusion about which one to take. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve discussed PTE vs IELTS in a bit of detail here. Before moving on to PTE vs IELTS, let’s understand the PTE Test and IELTS Exam in brief. 

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What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a long-standing test of English language proficiency. The test can be taken for both immigration and study-abroad purposes and is trustworthy, broadly supported by colleges and organizations, and widely recognized.

IDP and the British Council are in charge of IELTS, which is offered in two formats: paper-based and computer-based.

What is PTE?

Another English language proficiency test alternative to IELTS is the PTE (Pearson Test of English), which is rather new but has already gained wide adoption around the world. The Pearson-managed PTE test is available in three different forms—PTE General, PTE Academic, and PTE Young Learners—each of which has a different vision and mission.

PTE vs IELTS – Which One is Easier?

It’s a common misconception that PTE is easier than IELTS, although this is not entirely true. While some people think the PTE English language test is simpler than the IELTS test, others don’t share that opinion. IELTS and PTE are nearly equal in terms of their degree of difficulty. In spite of the fact that they differ in terms of format, flexibility, method of administration, length of the test, and other aspects, both are challenging enough to cause trouble for test-takers who are not well-prepared. To take any of these, having a good command of the English language is a must. Both IELTS and PTE require candidates to put in hardcore study and effort to achieve the desired score.

Must Read: IELTS Exam Preparation: Where & How to Begin?

PTE vs IELTS – Which One to Choose?

You have the option of taking either the IELTS or PTE exams, both of which are highly respected for use in immigration or study abroad purposes. Both are rigorous exams that evaluate the test-taker’s proficiency in English speaking, listening, reading, and writing and are typically deemed as part of applications for immigration and study abroad. When deciding between the PTE test and the IELTS exam, there are various factors that need to be taken into account.

1. Format

The IELTS and PTE tests have very distinct formats. IELTS gives test takers five longer tasks. The PTE test, on the other hand, offers 20 separate, shorter tasks. So, this is all up to you whether you would like to attempt longer tasks or are comfortable with the shorter ones. 

2. Popularity

IELTS has been around for a very long time. More than 140 organizations worldwide accept and trust IELTS. Universities, schools, colleges, and training organizations are among these. PTE, in contrast, is a newcomer and is still not acknowledged by several big colleges and organizations.

3. Time Duration and Convenience

In terms of test durations, the IELTS and PTE differ. The typical timings of the IELTS exam are 

  • Listening Section – 30 minutes
  • Reading Section – 60 minutes
  • Writing Section – 60 minutes
  • Speaking Section – 11 – 14 minutes. 
  • The section-wise timing of the PTE test is 
  • Writing and Speaking Section ( Together ) – 77 to 93 minutes
  • Listening Section – 45 to 57 minutes
  • Reading Section – 32 to 40 minutes

As far as convenience is concerned, in IELTS, the speaking test is conducted on a different day than the other sections of the IELTS exam, so students have to take out two days to take the IELTS exam. All the sections of PTE can be completed in one day in a single sitting, hence, is a more convenient test option, especially for those who are traveling from long distances to take the test.

4. Availability of Results

PTE provides results in 5 working days, usually in 24 hours. PTE is therefore the best choice when quick results are required. Furthermore, the PTE score report is more detailed, including information that will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and work on them in preparation for your upcoming test. IELTS, however, may take up to 13 days to deliver results, so you need to wait a little longer.

Must Read: PTE-A Exam: 10 Common Mistakes to Avoid in the PTE Exam for a Good Score

5. Freedom to Take the Test

The PTE exam is offered in more than 200 places across the world, and it can be taken as often as 363 times per year. When it comes to the number of attempts you can make with IELTS, you are restricted to 48.

6. Mode of the test

PTE runs purely on computers. So it’s essential for test-takers to have a firm understanding of computers. PTE is not a feasible option for you if you type slowly and are not familiar with the computer well. IELTS offers both paper-based and computer-based testing options, allowing you to select a format that works best for you.

7. Reliability

The PTE evaluation process is unbiased. PTE Scores are more reliable since there is less chance of human error because the evaluation is carried out by a computer.

In IELTS, the evaluation is done by humans, hence, the counterpart has more possibility of errors during the scoring process.

8. Test Environment

The PTE test is given in a room with multiple candidates, which makes the ambiance noisy and distracting and can affect your test result. So, in order to manage the difficulties imposed by an uncomfortable environment, practicing in an environment that is similar to the PTE Exam procedure can be helpful. IELTS, on the other hand, is administered in a completely calm and quiet testing atmosphere. So, instead of worrying about the test setting when you study for the IELTS exam, you have to only concentrate on increasing your knowledge.

9. Ease of Taking the Test

In the PTE Exam, candidates interact with a computer instead of with actual people. Since no one is looking over test takers’ eyes as they attempt to answer, they tend to be less stressed and nervous. PTE is thus a viable choice for those who get stressed easily. In the IELTS Exam, speaking is conducted in person with an examiner, making IELTS an unpleasant choice for students who dislike taking tests with people.

Endnote

People take a language proficiency test when they need to demonstrate their English language ability for immigration or studying abroad purposes. Both the PTE and the IELTS Tests are top-notch options for assessing your language skills; each has its own set of features and advantages. Despite being pretty different in nature, both are well-known and admired, however, various viewpoints exist regarding their difficulty level. Hence, to choose between the two, applicants are advised to have a look at the crucial factors described above.

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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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