If you want to study abroad but don’t have English as your native language, it’s very likely you will need to pass a language test to get admitted to an international university offering English-taught degrees.

But which English language test should you take?

For those that do not know what any of these exams are, they are standardized English exams that measure your ability to speak English? These exams are usually required by universities or governments for visa applications if you come from a non-English speaking background. There are multiple exams and they all have a different format, but we will only talk about the PTE and the IELTS. The results from these exams are valid for 2 or 3 years, and so, as an immigrant, you might have to take them more than once depending on your visa situation.

In short, the main difference between IELTS and PTE is that IELTS is a paper-based exam, where you read and write your answers on the paper except the speaking part takes the form of an interview, and the PTE is all computers based even in speaking session you simply speak to the computer. IELTS has a maximum score of 9.0 and PTE has a maximum score of 90.  

PTE Academic is a more difficult exam than the IELTS, because of the complex content and vocabulary used in the questions, as the listening and reading passages can be based on academic readings, making it difficult for someone that doesn’t have a good grasp of the language. Also, the speaking part contains graphs and charts section where you have 25 seconds to study the image and 40 seconds to explain it.

Let’s have a look at the differences between IELTS and PTE.

One of the biggest differences is that IELTS has a computer-delivered test as well as a paper-based test. PTE is only available on a computer.

Both IELTS and PTE offer an Academic test. IELTS also offers a General Training test

Another key difference is the Speaking test. With IELTS, you do a speaking exam face-to-face with a real human. The PTE test requires you to speak in a microphone with other doing the same around you.

The length of the exam is also about the same, the PTE test takes 3 hours and 11 minutes, while IELTS takes a total of 2 hours and 50 minutes. This makes the test time in IELTS a little bit shorter.

When you sit the test, in PTE there are many integrated questions such as listening and speaking in the speaking portion of the exam or reading and writing in the reading part, or reading and speaking in the speaking part. In IELTS, your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills are assessed separately. So, your reading test only looks at your reading, and not speaking at the same time.

Another important difference is the marking of the test. PTE is an automatically machine scored. With IELTS the reading and listening tests are auto-marked, but the speaking and writing test are looked at by a real human. That’s because bias can occur by machine scoring at some parts of the test.

IELTS is accepted globally by more than 10,000 organizations including universities, professional bodies, employers, and Australian student visa and migration applications. PTE is also accepted for study applications by thousands of academic programs globally and is approved for all Australian student visa and migration applications.

Finally, the results. Nobody likes to wait for their test results. Traditionally, IELTS always released results 13 days after the test. This has changed with computer-delivered IELTS. If you did IELTS on computer, you get your results in 2-5 calendar days. With PTE you get the results in 5 business days.

Thank you so much for reading my post! I really appreciate it! ❤



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