PTE or IELTS? Which is the Right Option for You to Study in Australia?

Study Abroad Team 28/12/2023

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How is PTE Different from IELTS?

The famous English aptitude tests are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Pearson Test of English (PTE). Students seeking admission to foreign universities have to prove their language expertise by appearing for PTE or IELTS tests. One should know the PTE score in bands to optimize their chances of successful admission to foreign universities. The two tests are essentially the same. However, they differ in critical aspects.

The primary difference between these two language proficiency exams is the grading system. The computer and pen-paper-based versions of IELTS are manually graded. On the contrary, the PTE tests are graded by Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. In other words, human errors have no place in the PTE academic ratings. Following is the list of differences between IELTS and PTE language proficiency tests.

The Types and Purpose of the Tests 

General IELTS and Academic IELTS are the two types of IELTS tests. The IELTS Academic Test is typically suitable for student visas. On the contrary, the IELTS General test is for migrants who want permanent residency. PTE Academic is suitable for admission to Australian universities.

Range of Acceptance 

Around 10000 universities worldwide review the IELTS score of students during admission. On the contrary, PTE is accepted by over 6000 universities worldwide.

The Scoring Areas 

in IELTS, the sections are speaking, writing, listening, and reading. 0 to 9 is the score range in IELTS examinations. The score scale range of PTE is from 10 to 90.

Difficulty Areas 

Students who have appeared for PTE exams opine that PTE Academic is easy. The PTE Academic focuses on the practical components of communicative English. IELTS analyzes the candidate’s adaptability in an English-speaking environment.  Students interested in seeking admission to universities in Australia should know about PTE scores in bands. It will help them stay prepared for language proficiency tests.

Knowing the Differences in the Exam Pattern and Tasks in PTE and IELTS

The exam pattern of PTE and IELTS is similar. Students should know about PTE scores for IELTS to get better scores. Both these exams test students on all four language skills. The four language skills are writing, speaking, reading, and listening. But the ways in which these skills are analyzed differ. The overall exam pattern of the IELTS and PTE examinations are as follows.

IELTS Academic 

  • Listening- 30 minutes
  • Reading- 60 minutes
  • Speaking- 11 to 14 minutes
  • Writing- 60 minutes

PTE Academic 

  • Speaking and Writing Assessments – The time duration is 54 to 67 minutes
  • Listening- 30 to 43 minutes
  • Reading- 30 minutes

Unlike IELTS, PTE tests the student’s integrated writing and speaking skills. Here are some significant differences in the tasks in PTE and IELTS.

Writing 

In IELTS and PTE, the writing tasks are pretty similar. However, in PTE, the students must summarize the written texts in paragraphs and single sentences. To score well in both these tests, students should:

  • Analyze information to write a summary 
  • Use correct grammar and spelling 
  • Organize sentences and paragraphs logically 

Reading 

The reading sections of PTE and IELTS differ based on timing and structure. In the PTE test, the students must answer a few questions over a short duration. Individuals appearing for the PTE test are only asked one question per text. In IELTS, students should be asked 40 questions from three input texts.

Speaking 

The speaking section of the PTE test is more challenging. For instance, most students find solving the describe image section difficult. The time duration of the speaking section in the PTE exam is 30 to 43 minutes. On the other hand, the speaking section of IELTS is 11 to 14 minutes.

Listening 

The listening sections of IELTS and PTE are pretty different. The IELTS exam comprises conversations and monologues set in social contexts. On the other hand, the recording in PTE belongs to academic sources. The listening section of IELTS is more challenging as it has fewer recordings and more questions. The PTE score for IELTS is different because of the variances in the task types. In the IELTS exam, students must complete the sentence, match answers, and label a map. On the contrary, PTE asks students to illustrate incorrect summaries, words, etc.  

How are PTE and IELTS Scoring Different from Each Other?

If a student is seeking admission in Australia without IELTS, they should consult directly with the university. IELTS analyzes the student’s performance as a band score of 1 to 9. PTE evaluates scores against the global scale of English. It is a granular score from 10 to 90.  

Some Information on the Global Recognition of these Tests

Both IELTS and PTE are language proficiency tests. However, IELTS boasts a higher recognition and acceptance in countries worldwide. Therefore, IELTS is the obvious choice for international students who want to achieve their academic goals.

IELTS comprises numerous test centers in the world. It has over 4000 test locations across 120 countries. Over 11000 organizations worldwide trust IELTS to evaluate a candidate’s English language skills. PTE Academic Test is applicable for admission in more than 3000 educational institutions, including Oxford University and Harvard Business School.    

How do you decide which Test is Easier?

Neither of the two exams is easy or difficult. But considering the differences in pattern, students might find one exam easier to appear for. IELTS comprises a fixed set of questions. On the contrary, PTE follows an adaptive approach.

Common Myths on PTE and IELTS

Students seeking admission to Australia without IELTS must contact the university admission council to learn about the eligibility criteria. Here are some of the common myths associated with the IELTS examination.

The IELTS Band Grade Increases by Exceeding the Word Limit 
The more words a student writes, the more mistakes they will make by exceeding the word limit.

Articles are Not Counted in the IELTS Exam 

Articles like “a”, “an”, etc., are always counted in the total word count.

The myths associated with the PTE exam are:

Candidates can Select Multiple Answers in MCQs 

In the PTE examination, there is a negative marking. It is always better for students not to attempt the questions if they’re not confident.

Skipping the Difficult Words in the Reading Section 

Skipping the words that are difficult to pronounce in the reading test in PTE can affect the student’s final scorecard negatively. Therefore, students should never skip difficult-to-pronounce words.  


Similarities Found between PTE and IELTS

Students should know Australia University IELTS requirements for securing better grades. Aspirants should know about the similarities between PTE and IELTS. Both PTE and IELTS have academic and general versions.

The academic versions are for aspirants who want to pursue their studies in foreign and English-speaking countries. On the other hand, the general versions are for people who wish to migrate to an English-speaking nation. Furthermore, both IELTS and PTE have reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections.

The main objective of these tests is to assess the aspirant’s ability to understand and use English. Aspirants seeking admission in English-speaking countries should know the differences between PTE and IELTS. Both PTE and IELTS are widely recognized worldwide. Students seeking admission in Australia should properly know Australia university IELTS requirements.

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Manivannan Posted on 09/04/2024
  • Neha Answered on 09/04/2024

    To study MBA in the USA, you need to follow these steps: 1. Research and select the universities you want to apply to based on your preferences and eligibility. 2. Take the required exams such as GMAT or GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS if you are an international student. 3. Prepare a strong application package including transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and resume. 4. Apply to the universities of your choice following their application deadlines and instructions. 5. Upon acceptance, apply for a student visa and make necessary travel arrangements. Please note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary by university, so it is important to carefully review the information provided by each institution.

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