IELTS and PTE are exams that test your proficiency in the English language.
Being competitive exams, many universities and colleges abroad have a specific score requirement in either of the exams.
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System, and PTE stands for Pearson Test of English.
Passing these exams is a necessity to get into universities in Europe and Australia.
Even the visa for specific countries approved for education does not process without the eligible scores of these exams.
For an informed decision, this blog will help you know all the differences, IELTS vs PTE.
1. Who runs the test?
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
PTE is run by Pearson PLC, a British multinational publishing and education company headquartered in London.
Both exams are run by established organisations that specialise in language learning.
2. Who accepts the exam?
IELTS is accepted for both study and migration by governments (UK, Canada, Australia, etc.) in more countries than any other English language test.
PTE Academic is accepted by thousands of universities and colleges worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Yale University. PTE Academic is also accepted for visa and migration purposes by the Australian and New Zealand governments only.
IELTS has existed for a more extended period and has a broad reach in this field.
3. Format of the exam
IELTS is a standard pen-paper based exam. This might be a drawback for candidates with slower writing speed and doctors handwriting.
PTE, on the other hand, is a computer-based exam. Accordingly, you may have to type your answer, choose the right option or even speak your answer into a headset. This can be a drawback for candidates with slower typing speed.
But comparing both, these days people have a pretty good typing speed rather than writing speed.
4. Test structure
IELTS has four components to the test:
Listening (30 minutes)
Reading (60 minutes)
Writing (60 minutes)
Speaking (11–14 minutes)
The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are done at a stretch. The Speaking test may be on the same day or up to seven days before or after the other tests.
PTE Academic has three main components:
- Speaking and writing (77 to 93 minutes)
- Reading (32 to 41 minutes)
- Listening (45 to 57 minutes)
The PTE Academic test is completed within 3 hours in one sitting. A short optional break 10-minute break is included as well.
Here mostly candidates prefer PTE because the entire exam is done in one sitting, whereas for IELTS, the speaking section might not be on the same day, which causes inconvenience to candidates.
5. Time to receive results
IELTS results are made available to candidates 13 days post-exam. Test centres will post your result, or you can collect them in person.
PTE scores published within five working days. Mostly, they are visible in 3 days, and in some cases, it extends up to 5 days.
PTE being entirely computerised, it delivers its results much quicker as compared to IELTS.
6. Validity of scores
The scores of both IELTS and PTE are valid up to 2 years from the date of examination.
However, some organisations or governments accept three-year-old scores too.
7. Price of the test – IELTS vs PTE
The cost of taking both exams vary per country, but both exams cost the same.
The standard price for IELTS and PTE:
India: INR 12,100
Australia: AUD 330
8. Cancellation, rescheduling and refunds
In certain situations, you may need to cancel or postpone your test. Both exams allow you to do so for a specific fee.
The IELTS allows cancellations or a request for transfers of the test date for up to five weeks before the scheduled test date. Although charges vary per country, it’s approximately about 25% of the test fee. If you cancel your test or request a transfer within five weeks of the test date for medical reasons, you must compulsorily provide a medical certificate.
The PTE Academic exam gives you a partial refund if you cancel or reschedule more than7 calendar days before the exam. If you cancel more than seven calendar days before your test date, you will be entitled to a 50% refund. If you reschedule more than seven calendar days before your test date, you will pay an additional 25% of the test fee.
9. Transparency in scores
Both test-taking organisations provide guidelines and criteria for marking. The IELTS is much more transparent and easier to understand.
IELTS publishes its marking scheme and clear regulations for scoring.
While PTE abruptly declares that they use complex algorithms to calculate the scores and not reveal them to anyone.
10. Preparation material – IELTS vs PTE
IELTS has plenty of free and paid resources available online to help you prepare for the exam. But IELTS does not provide any official mock test or scores. You need to book the exam, which is not economical and also takes a lot of time.
The best feature of the PTE Academic is their official online mock test. Pearson has been kind enough to offer scored online mock tests for the PTE Academic aspirants.
You receive scores like the actual exam, which boosts your confidence and helps you prepare better.
This blog has mentioned the most important outlines of taking both the exams. This will help you make an informed decision on which test to take.