Testing for English language competence is an essential qualification for all individuals seeking admission to their preferred international university. IELTS Academic and TOEFL® iBT have long been the go-to exams for students looking to study abroad. The British Council, IDP, and Cambridge Assessment English jointly administer the IELTS. The TOEFL, on the other hand, is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). However, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) has recently acquired favour in demonstrating English ability for international admission.

When picking an English language examination, one of the most challenging decisions for candidates is deciding between IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL. Which is more difficult, IELTS or PTE? What's the distinction between IELTS and PTE?
This article will concentrate on the IELTS and PTE tests. It compares IELTS with PTE in all key elements like pattern, structure, score comparison, and so on. As a result, you will be able to answer the question: which exam would be the greatest fit based on your talents and requirements?
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IELTS vs PTE Overview

Although IELTS and PTE are both used to assess a candidate's English fluency and abilities, they have significant variations.
  • IELTS offers both a classical pen-and-paper test and a computer-based test in various time windows. As a result, a test taker can select the form of examination that is most comfortable for them. In comparison, PTE solely provides a computer-based test.
  • PTE and IELTS both assess the same essential language abilities, namely speaking, writing, reading, and listening. And, aside from the variations in the assessment style and pattern, neither test is easier than the other.
  • Both tests take three hours in total. The IELTS is divided into four portions with comparably lengthier tasks, whilst the PTE is divided into three sections with several short problems. In comparison to IELTS, PTE places a greater focus on Speaking and Writing.
The primary distinction between IELTS and PTE is that IELTS provides both a paper-based test and a computer-delivered assessment. On the other hand, the PTE test is entirely computer-based and scored by a machine. In addition, the speaking component of IELTS is performed in the form of a face-to-face conversation with an examiner, whereas PTE requires a candidate to speak to a computer.

Difference between IELTS vs PTE

Here is a detailed comparison between IELTS and PTE:
  • This year, PTE changed how its scores are connected to IELTS.
  • IELTS has a computer-delivered and a paper-based test, which is one of the most significant differences. At the moment, PTE-A can only be accessed through a computer.
  • Academic tests are not available through PTE or IELTS. In addition to the Academic test, IELTS offers a General Training test for people wishing to relocate to Australia.
  • The International English Language Testing System is one of the world's most well-known assessments for English language ability (IELTS).
  • PTE is recognised as a condition for admission to thousands of academic institutions worldwide in all Australian student visa and migration applications.

IELTS vs PTE Test Types

Understanding the subtleties of the test design, its parts, organisation, and time requirement is crucial when planning for success while studying for language examinations. This section is dedicated to giving that information.

The IELTS exam is divided into four portions, which are listed below:

There are three test portions in the PTE exam, which are as follows:

  • Speaking and Writing (Combined Section)
  • Reading
  • Listening

The following table summarises the specifics of the various components for PTE vs IELTS:





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

The distinction between the PTE and IELTS patterns is evident. Let's look at the score comparison between the two.

IELTS vs PTE Scores

Comparing the PTE Score chart to the IELTS score chart would offer a good knowledge of the IELTS score's equivalency with the PTE Score in the band. The table below compares PTE band scores to IELTS band scores to evaluate the PTE scoring band:

























The abilities will be the same whether preparing for the PTE or the IELTS. Regular practise and the mock test would aid in achieving high results.

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Academic Criteria

Every applicant wants to know which test is ideal for them. We encourage applicants to take at least one mock exam in each and compare their PTE scores to IELTS scores before selecting which is the best fit.

The acceptance of the exam result by the chosen university or nation is the most important element. For language proficiency, certain universities only accept specified exam scores. Furthermore, the language proficiency exam result is important throughout the student visa application procedure. Different countries' immigration ministries clearly state which test results are accepted.

Academically, there are a few subtle variations between IELTS and PTE. Academically, there are four major characteristics to consider while deciding between the two:
  • Comfort with Test Type: If you are familiar with the written examination style, IELTS would be comfortable, but PTE would be chosen if you are confident in your ability to operate a digital UI.
  • Agility in Solving: If you are capable of answering a large number of questions swiftly, PTE is the examination to take over IELTS.
  • Writing Comfort: Given the importance it takes on this skill, IELTS is an excellent option if you can write analytically rapidly.
  • The PTE examines the speaking part using pronunciation as the primary criterion. As a result, if you have a thickish accent, IELTS is the better alternative.
The general recommendation is that you determine which examination would be best for you based on your appraisal of the four factors listed above and your performance in the mock test.

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Administrative Factors

In addition to the academic benefits mentioned above, there are certain administrative or operational benefits to taking the PTE, especially if you need to offer the exam within a few days and send results to a university within a week. PTE's super-short booking process and average results delivery time of two days may give you an advantage over IELTS, especially if you have a deadline to fulfil. Furthermore, the PTE may be retaken within five days after the prior try, which is worth considering if you're concerned about taking the test for the first time.

However, the number of test centres is higher for IELTS, which might be important if you're taking the exam in a few days and need to travel to a neighbouring city for the test.


Even if you know the solution to the question, which is easy? PTE or IELTS. In any case, keep in mind that each examination requires students to prepare to take on the pattern and structure provided for each, which demands extensive practice over time, even if the mock test score is rather good.

Once you've made your option and obtained your desired IELTS or PTE score, contact one of our well-trained advisers to start the next steps in your study abroad adventure, such as filling out a university application, scholarship/loan application, visa application, profile development, and so on. All you have to do is join AECC. They will undoubtedly make your study abroad experience a pleasant and profitable one!

We'll even call you once you've arrived at your chosen university to ensure everything goes smoothly. Simply walk into an AECC office near you if you need help with your study or job!


Is PTE easier than IELTS?
Neither of the two tests can be classified as simple or challenging. People may find one simpler to swallow than the other due to the difference in pattern/structure. Furthermore, IELTS has a set number of questions, but PTE is adaptable.
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