PTE vs IELTS - Know the Differences

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 26 July 2023 & Read Time 8 minutes



When desiring to study or live in an English-speaking country, linguistic proficiency becomes a critical factor. Tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE serve as evidence of one's language skills and are widely recognised by educational institutions and immigration authorities.


IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a well-established test that assesses listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. It is available in two formats: Academic and General Training, depending on your purpose.


On the contrary, PTE (Pearson Test of English) is a computer-based exam that evaluates communication skills through various tasks, including speaking, writing, listening, and reading, all in a single session.


Both tests have their unique qualities and benefits. IELTS typically involves face-to-face speaking tests with real examiners, while PTE's speaking section involves recorded responses.


PTE often delivers quicker results, whereas IELTS results may take slightly longer. However, the choice between PTE and IELTS depends on individual preferences, learning styles, and the requirements of the specific university or country.


Research thoroughly the eligibility criteria and formats of each test and opt for the one that aligns best with your strengths and goals.


Let’s move ahead and get to know more about PTE and IELTS. 


Introduction to PTE and IELTS

PTE is a Pearson PLC Group English language proficiency exam that you may take for education and job purposes, or for immigration settlement purposes.


IELTS, which is owned and administered only by IDP in India, primarily assesses your ability to communicate via four core skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Both IELTS and PTE are English proficiency examinations.



Both the IELTS and PTE assessments are well-organised to measure your overall English ability. Whereas IELTS provides both computer-based and pen-and-paper assessments, PTE solely offers computer-based tests.


Take a look at the table below to know the differences between both the exams:




Conducted by

IDP Education Ltd. 

Pearson PLC group

Test types

IELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, IELTS Indicator

PTE Academic


2 hours and 45 Minutes

3 hours


No breaks. Although, the speaking portion can be taken up to a week before or after the rest of the test. 

Optional 10 minutes

Range of scores

0 - 9

10 - 90

Mean of accepted score




13 days after the test 

48 hours after the test

IELTS vs PTE Exam Format

Now, let’s begin to understand the test format and structure for PTE vs IELTS. Before you proceed to linguistic adventure, it’s important to understand the nuances of its pattern, sections, and structure to achieve a higher score. Take a look below at the table to know the basic difference between IELTS and PTE.





In a section which varies between 45 and 57 minutes answering a series of questions which are based on audio and video clips.

Students need to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes across four recordings


In 32 to 40 minutes, complete objective exercises such as MCQs, filling up blanks and sequencing paragraphs of texts

Students have to answer 40 questions in 30 minutes across 3 texts


These two sections are merged in the PTE over a period of 77 to 93 minutes. Students must complete diverse tasks, such as introducing themselves, reading aloud, describing images, summarising texts, and writing essays. 

There are two essays to be written in 60 minutes. The first is analysing a visual graph/data, while the second is an argumentative task to discuss a point of view.


This task of 15 minutes requires students to speak to the examiner about themselves, give an opinion about a topic, or finally discuss abstract concepts

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PTE and IELTS Score Comparison

With an exam format, an understanding of the scoring system to know the difference between IELTS and PTE is also important.


The IELTS exam is graded on a scale of 0 to 9, with a 0.5 gap for each component, and the four sections are averaged, with universities accepting minimum scores of 6.0 and 6.5.


You'll get a band score for each segment they finish, as well as an average score based on those band scores. The PTE exam evaluates you on a worldwide English scale from 10 to 90, with institutions wanting a minimum of 55 to 60.


The PTE scores are given in section-by-section breakdowns, exactly like IELTS scores. The table below compares PTE and IELTS scores.

IELTS Band Score

PTE Score























Knowing the intricacies of PTE and IELTS score is not enough; you must also understand the validity. Well, the validity term for both is two years.


Common Test Preparation Tips

From the introduction to the test format to the scoring system, you’ve gone through all the significant aspects possible for a brief comparison of PTE vs IELTS. Now is the time to have a look at some common strategies for language proficiency preparations.

  • Before trying the final exam, take many mock tests. To reduce ambiguity or delay, you should be familiar with the format and pattern of the test.

  • Keep a close watch on the time restriction for each section. To prevent missing any questions, you must use efficient time management while tackling all parts.

  • Be mindful of your pronunciation in the speaking section. Because English is a tough language, there are countless weird and challenging pronunciations that you may discover. To avoid faltering on exam day, practice your pronunciation loudly and ensure the right manner of saying specific terms.

  • While writing, there’s a possibility that you’ll get confused between American and British English. Learn to detect the difference and stick to one English throughout the exam. Also, be certain that you have a strong knowledge of grammar and spelling.

  • When tackling the listening and reading section, be sure to check through a list of English films and recordings to improve your listening abilities. Every day, read the recommended English novels and develop your vocabulary.

  • Finally, read newspapers, magazines, journals, books, and internet articles to immerse yourself in the English language.



Q: Is PTE accepted in Canada?

A: Yes, PTE is recognised in Canada for academic purposes but not for job or immigration. PTE Core, which is set to launch later in 2023, has been approved for work and immigration in Canada.


Q: In which countries the PTE is accepted?

A: The PTE is accepted in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, France, and the Netherlands.


Q: Which countries accept IELTS scores?

A: IELTS is the most common English test, and it is approved by many nations throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and European countries.


Q: Can I move forward, skip questions in the test and come back to them later?

A: Because there is no going back in PTE Academic, you can only move on through questions after correcting mistakes. You can only record your response once for spoken responses. IELTS, on the other hand, allows you to move back and forth through the questions, even within the distinct modules of Listening, Reading, and Writing, allowing you to revise your answers and enhance your score.


Q: If I want the test scores just for visa purposes, which test should I take?

A: IELTS offers an Academic English test as well as a General Training test for migration purposes. Because IELTS Australia is a co-owner of the Test Authority, the scores will carry more weight when applying for immigration to Australia.



To conclude, the most crucial aspects of weighing while selecting an exam have been explained here with clarity and impartiality. Let your personal tastes guide you when taking the exam. Trust in yourself and plan ahead of time.


Remember that it is not only the test you choose but also your foundation of strong English that will earn you great marks and bring you one step closer to realising your dreams. We hope you had an insightful read about PTE vs IELTS.


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