difference between ielts and pte

PTE vs IELTS: Know the Difference & Which is Easier?


18 November 2023



 If you are planning to study in universities abroad where English is a primary language, then you must know that you have to prove your English language proficiency by appearing in the exam.


In the realm of English language proficiency exams, two prominent players stand out: PTE (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Choosing the right exam is crucial for individuals seeking to prove their English language proficiency for various purposes, such as immigration, study abroad, or employment. In this regard, the blog will delve into the PTE vs IELTS, comparing their exam patterns scoring systems and exploring which is easier. 


What is PTE Exam?

The PTE (Pearson Test of English) is an English language proficiency test conducted by Pearson. It evaluates the speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills of non-native English speakers. PTE is known for its use of artificial intelligence and automated scoring, providing a quick and unbiased evaluation of test-takers' language abilities.


What is IELTS Exam?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is another widely recognised English language proficiency test. It is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English. IELTS examines listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills and is accepted by numerous institutions and organisations worldwide.


PTE vs IELTS – Exam Pattern

Understanding PTE and IELTS exam patterns is pivotal for those preparing to take these tests. Let's break down the key components of each -


PTE Exam Pattern

IELTS Exam Pattern


Integrated into a single section, test-takers are evaluated on their speaking and writing skills through tasks such as summarising spoken text, essay writing, and summarising written text.

A face-to-face interview with an examiner assesses the candidate's verbal communication ability.


This section evaluates reading skills through tasks like multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and re-order paragraphs.

This section examines reading skills through tasks like multiple-choice, matching headings, and identifying information.


Integrated into a single section, test-takers are examined on their speaking and writing skills through tasks such as summarising spoken text, essay writing, and summarising written text.

Consists of two tasks—an essay and a letter or report.


The listening section includes tasks like summarising spoken text, multiple-choice questions, and filling in the blanks.

Test-takers listen to recordings and answer questions based on them.

Difference between IELTS and PTE

Although both exams aim to evaluate English language proficiency, there are notable differences between PTE and IELTS. You can check these differences below.

Difference Between IELTS and PTE




Test Ownership

Conducted by Pearson

Jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English.

Scoring System       

Automated scoring using AI algorithms.     

Human examiners assess speaking and writing; other sections may use automated scoring.

Test Format           

Fixed test format: all test-takers receive the same questions.

Two versions: Academic and General Training with different reading and writing tasks.

Speaking Evaluation   

Recorded speaking tasks assessed by a computer.

Face-to-face speaking interview with an examiner.

Test Duration         

Fixed duration for each section.             

Longer test duration with a separate speaking test scheduled.

Score Conversion     

PTE scores have approximate equivalents to IELTS band scores.

Band scores are used directly, but the score scales are different.


Generally, it is more flexible due to a fixed test format and automated scoring.

Less flexible due to different versions (Academic and General Training) and human assessment in speaking and writing.

PTE vs IELTS Score Comparison

Understanding how scores correlate between PTE and IELTS is vital for individuals considering one test over the other. Below, we have provided the PTE vs IELTS Score Comparison.

PTE Score






















Is PTE Easier than IELTS?

The question of whether PTE is easier than IELTS depends on individual preferences and strengths. However, students who appeared in both exams find PTE easier than IELTS. The following factors contribute to making the PTE Test easy:

  • Automated Scoring - PTE's automated scoring can be advantageous for those who prefer an unbiased evaluation without human subjectivity.

  • Speaking Format - Some find the recorded speaking tasks in PTE more comfortable, while others may prefer the face-to-face interaction in IELTS.

  • Test Duration - Individuals who prefer a shorter test duration might find PTE more convenient, as it is a computer-based test with a fixed time for each section.



In conclusion, choosing between PTE and IELTS depends on individual preferences, comfort with test formats, and the specific requirements of the institutions or organisations to which the test scores will be submitted. Further, both exams are reliable indicators of English language proficiency, and success in either can open doors to various opportunities.


We hope the above information is helpful to you in gaining detailed knowledge of PTE and IELTS. Still, if you want a deeper understanding or have questions, we encourage you to speak with our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC).


Visit our website for free online counselling, or contact us at application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011 for personalised support.  


Q1. Which is more widely accepted, PTE or IELTS?

Ans. IELTS is generally more widely accepted globally, especially in traditional English-speaking countries. However, PTE is also gaining recognition and acceptance in many institutions.


Q2. Is PTE scoring more objective than IELTS?

Ans. PTE's automated scoring system is designed to be objective and consistent, whereas IELTS involves human examiners for the speaking and writing sections, introducing an element of subjectivity.


Q3. Can I use PTE scores for immigration purposes?

Ans. PTE scores are accepted for immigration purposes in some countries. However, the specific requirements vary, and it is crucial to check with the immigration authorities of the respective country.


Q4. Which test is better for academic purposes?

Ans. Both PTE and IELTS are widely accepted for academic purposes. Some universities or programs may have a preference for one over the other, so it's essential to check specific requirements.

Post Comment

Book Your Online Counselling Session