Which Test Should You Take? IELTS Academic or PTE Academic?

If you intend to pursue your studies abroad, you probably have a lot of questions. Which English language test, for instance, should you take? PTE Academic or IELTS Academic? Selecting the best test for you could seem like a difficult undertaking. We recognise that this is a significant question for you given that you will be investing a lot of time and money into studying for and taking the exam. This article’s goal is to help you understand the differences between IELTS and PTE so that you can decide which test is best for you.

One of the most well-known English proficiency tests in use today is the IELTS, or International English Language Testing System. 140 governments and more than 10,000 institutions all around the world acknowledge it. The British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment, and the IDP Education in Australia are its three illustrious management partners. IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are the two test variations. What you want to do will determine which test is best for you. If you want to be accepted into a university or other institution, you need take the IELTS Academic exam.

The relatively new company Pearson Test of English (PTE) is owned by Pearson PLC. PTE Academic, which was established in 2009, has the support of GMAC, the organisation in charge of the GMAT test. The PTE has received recognition from about 6,000 institutions worldwide, including colleges, universities, and governments. Depending on your needs, various test types are available. The PTE Academic and PTE General tests are the most popular. We will talk in-depth about the PTE Academic in this blog because our main focus is on education.

How to take the tests?

Nowadays, IELTS exams can be taken both on a computer and on paper.

For those who choose to take the IELTS on paper, the Listening, Reading, and Writing parts must be completed on paper with a pen or HB pencil. An IELTS examiner who has received training administers the Speaking test face-to-face. After 13 calendar days, the IELTS test taken on paper yields its results.

When taking the IELTS on a computer, test-takers complete the Listening, Reading, and Writing portions online. With a certified IELTS examiner, the Speaking test is still administered face-to-face. You have the option of selecting from multiple test dates with computer-based IELTS, and results are made public within 3-5 days.

On the other hand, PTE is entirely online, and the outcomes are often made public within 5 business days. The very following day, several of our students at Abe Services received their test results.


Test Modes 
Name of the Test  Mode 
IELTS Academic  Both paper-based and computer-based tests are available. Face to face session with an IELTS examiner for the speaking test. 
PTE Academic  Only computer-based tests are available. 


How are the tests structured?

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic is for those who want to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies as well as those who want to be registered as professionals.

The test consists of 4 parts.

Academic Reading: There are three texts in this part, totaling 40 questions. These texts may have been taken from journals, books, newspapers, or magazines. Multiple-choice, identifying Information (T/F/NG), matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, notes/summary/table/flow chart completion, labelling a diagram, and short answer questions are among the 11 different types of questions you can anticipate.

There will be two assignments for academic writing in this session. You must describe a chart, graph, or table for the first work, then compose an essay in response to an argument, point of view, or problem for the second task. Candidates are advised to spend more time on the second test because it has a bigger impact on the writing score.

Four recordings of native speakers will be played for your listening pleasure. You will then be required to respond to roughly 40 questions after listening to them. Short answer questions, sentence completion, classification, matching, notes/summary/table/flow chart completion, or labelling a diagram, a plan, or a map are examples of the different question types.

Speaking—This session consists of three parts. The examiner could inquire about your background and opinions on many subjects. This portion of the test is typically administered on a different day.

PTE Academic

Candidates who wish to enrol in reputable universities at the undergraduate or graduate levels should take the PTE Academic exam.

Speaking and Writing are two of the three components of the academic Pearson Test of English (77-93 minutes). You must perform a variety of tasks in this session, including an introduction, describing an image, summarising a written text, etc.

Reading (32–41 minutes): In this section, you’ll have to complete exercises including multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank exercises, and paragraph rearranging.

Listening (45-60 minutes) (45-60 minutes)

After listening to audio or video samples, you will be required to respond to questions.

Name of the Exam  Test Sections  Duration 
  • Reading 
  • Writing 
  • Listening 
  • Speaking (Face to face with an examiner)
2.40 Hours + 11-15 mins (speaking)
  • Speaking and Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening 
Approximately 3 Hours 


How are the tests scored?

Scores from the IELTS are assigned a nine-band scale. On a scale of 0 to 9, it assigns you a score for each part. Additionally, it assigns you a grade based on your overall language proficiency.

On the other hand, PTE scores range from 10 to 90. It provides an overall score as well as a score for each test section.

IELTS and PTE Scores 

IELTS  PTE  Proficiency Level 
9 N/A Expert 
8.5 89 Very Good 
8 84 Very Good 
7.5 76 Good 
7 66 Good 
6.5 56 Competent 
6 46 Competent 
5.5 36 Modest 
5 29 Modest 
4.5 23 Limited 

How much do IELTS and PTE cost?

Name of the Course  Fee 
IELTS  INR 14,700*
PTE INR 13,700*


Which one should you choose?

The appropriate test for you to take can depend on a variety of factors. Find out what English Proficiency Tests the university you’re applying to accepts by contacting them. IELTS and PTE are both frequently accepted, however it’s best to check with the university first just to be cautious.

Which test is easier?

This may differ from person to person. Below is a table we created comparing each test part. You must identify your strengths and weaknesses in order to select the appropriate test.

Test Comparison 
Name of the Test  Test Section  What’s the difference? 
IELTS  Speaking  The IELTS Speaking test is done face to face with an IELTS examiner. If you are someone who gets very nervous when speaking with a person in English, this is not a test for you. On the other hand, if you love speaking with a person, which is more of a conversation, you will probably ace the IELTS Speaking module. 
PTE  Speaking  For PTE Speaking, you talk to a computer. There is no room for any kind of unwanted human biases as you will not be having any kind of human interaction. 
IELTS  Writing  IELTS paper-based test could be a trouble if you are not used to writing on paper with a pen. If that is the case, you can take the online version of IELTS, which enables you to write on a computer. 
PTE  Writing  This is a computer-based test and all the answers have to be keyed-in to a computer. If you are not used to typing or find it difficult to use a computer, this is probably not a test for you. 
IELTS  Reading  Same level of difficulty. Both computer-based and paper-based tests are available. 
PTE  Reading  Same level of difficulty. Only computer-based tests are available. 
IELTS  Listening  Same level of difficulty. You will have to write down the answers on paper or a computer, depending on the platform you have chosen.
PTE  Listening  Same level of difficulty. You will have to type your answers into a computer. 


Out of the two exams, IELTS has been around for the longest, is generally recognised worldwide, and is versatile in terms of exam format. One disadvantage that a person can experience is that the speaking portion of the test is delivered in-person rather than online. For those who are uncomfortable conducting in-person interviews, this may be challenging.

PTE benefits from this as the speaking portion is computer-based. You can anticipate a very fair assessment because there won’t be any place for any human prejudices.

Many of our students say that the PTE writing section is simpler to score than the IELTS writing section when it comes to writing. It is preferable to choose PTE or the online IELTS if you are not accustomed to writing on paper.

Most of our students have found PTE to be more simple overall than IELTS. You can achieve the required PTE or IELTS score with the right instruction and practise. At Abe Services, we have a group of knowledgeable trainers who can assist you in passing any language exams.

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