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PTE vs IELTS: Which is Easier for Exam Preparation?

Author: Transglobal Overseas Education Consultants

So you're looking to study abroad or migrate to a country that requires proof of English proficiency. You've narrowed it down to two popular tests: PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). But with both testing your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, which is easier to prepare for?

The truth is, there's no single "easier" test. Both PTE and IELTS similarly assess your English abilities. The key differentiator lies in the format and your personal preferences.

When comparing PTE vs IELTS, it's essential to consider factors such as the test format, scoring system, and test centre availability. Each test has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it's crucial to choose the one that aligns best with your learning style and goals.

Here's a breakdown to help you decide:Test Format:
  1. PTE: Completely computer-based. You'll interact with a headset and microphone, responding to prompts on the screen.

  2. IELTS: Offers both computer-based and paper-based testing. The paper format might be familiar for those comfortable with pen and paper.

Test Structure:
  1. PTE: Uses an adaptive approach, meaning the difficulty of questions adjusts based on your performance. This can be good for test-takers who struggle with anxiety, as a bad answer won't necessarily make the whole test harder.

  2. IELTS: Follows a fixed structure with a set number of questions for each section.

Choosing Your Exam:
  1. Consider your strengths: Do you perform better typing or writing by hand? Are you comfortable speaking into a microphone?

  2. Think about your study style: If you find computer-based practice tests helpful, PTE might be a good fit.

  3. University Requirements: Make sure your target universities accept the test you choose. PTE is generally less widely accepted than IELTS, especially in North America.

PTE vs IELTS: Exam Pattern & Structure

A deeper dive into the exam structure of each test might help you decide which format you find more suitable.

  1. Reading (54-67 minutes): Multiple choice, fill in the blanks, summarizing text, identifying missing information.

  2. Writing (77-93 minutes): Summarizing written text, writing short essays, and answering open-ended questions.

  3. Listening (45-57 minutes): Summarizing audio, multiple choice questions, and filling in the blanks based on listening comprehension.

  4. Speaking (30-43 minutes): Reading aloud, describing images, answering short questions, role-playing.

  1. Listening (30 minutes): Four audio recordings with a variety of accents, followed by multiple-choice, matching, sentence completion, summary completion, and short answer questions.

  2. Reading (60 minutes): Three reading passages with a variety of question types, including identifying information, matching information, completing sentences, identifying the writer's opinion, and summarizing the main idea.

  3. Writing (60 minutes): Task 1 - writing a factual report based on a graph, chart, or diagram. Task 2 - writing an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem.

  4. Speaking (11-14 minutes): Short answer and interview questions, followed by a more extended monologue on a given topic and a two-way discussion.

PTE vs IELTS: Score Comparison

Both PTE and IELTS use a scoring system from 10 to 90. However, the score reports look different.

  1. PTE: Provides an overall score and individual scores for each of the four test sections (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

  2. IELTS: Provides an overall band score ranging from 1 (no user) to 9 (expert user) and individual band scores for each of the four test sections.

IELTS vs PTE: Exam Cost and Acceptance

The cost of the exams can vary depending on your location. In general, PTE tends to be slightly cheaper than IELTS.

  1. IELTS: The global average cost for the IELTS test is around RS 17000

  2. PTE: The global average cost for the PTE test is around RS 17000

In terms of acceptance, IELTS is more widely accepted than PTE. Over 10,000 institutions worldwide accept IELTS scores, while over 6,000 institutions accept PTE. It's essential to check the specific requirements of your target universities or immigration programs.

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Administrative Factors

While both PTE and IELTS assess your English proficiency, the administrative aspects of each exam differ significantly. Here's a breakdown to help you choose the test that best suits your needs:

Test Availability and Location:
  1. IELTS: Generally, test centres are available in more locations, including remote areas. This can be a significant advantage if you live far from a major city.

  2. PTE: Test centres might be less frequent, particularly outside major cities. However, PTE offers more flexibility as testing happens throughout the year on various dates.

Test Duration and Results:
  1. IELTS: The entire test takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes, with results typically available within 13 calendar days.

  2. PTE: The test duration is slightly shorter, around 3 hours. However, PTE shines in terms of result turnaround time, often delivering scores within 48 hours to 5 business days. This can be crucial if you have application deadlines approaching.

Test Format Flexibility:
  1. IELTS: Offers a choice between a computer-delivered and a paper-based exam. Some test-takers prefer to be familiar with pen and paper, especially in the writing section.

  2. PTE: Entirely computer-based. This can be a plus for those comfortable with technology and typing. Still, some might find speaking to a computer unnatural.

  1. Registration and Score Reporting:

    1. IELTS: Registration can involve registering with a specific test centre and following their procedures. The test centre might also handle score reporting.

    2. PTE: The online registration process is generally considered more straightforward. Score reporting is also entirely online, providing easy access to your results.

Choosing Based on Administrative Factors:
  1. Location: If you live in a remote area, IELTS might be more easily accessible.

  2. Time Constraints: If you need results quickly, PTE's faster turnaround time is a clear advantage.

  3. Test Format Preference: Choose between a computer-based (PTE) or a mix of computer and paper (IELTS) based on what you find more comfortable.

By considering these administrative factors alongside the exam format and structure (covered in the previous section), you can make an informed decision about PTE vs IELTS, Which is easy for you to prepare for and take.

FAQ's: Is the PTE exam easy or difficult?

There's no easy vs. complicated answer for PTE. It depends on your strengths! It's computer-based and adapts to your performance, which can be helpful for test anxiety. But consider how comfortable you are with typing and speaking into a microphone.

Is it easy to clear PTE on the first attempt?

It depends! PTE is possible on the first try, but strong preparation is critical. Focus on areas like typing speed and comfort speaking to a microphone.

Which exam is easier, PTE or IELTS?

Neither PTE nor IELTS is inherently easier. It depends on your strengths! PTE is computer-based and adapts, while IELTS offers paper and fixed sections. Choose the format that suits you best.

Is 79 PTE easy to score?

No, scoring 79 on the PTE is not easy. It requires a high level of English proficiency across all four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

About the Author

Transglobal Overseas Education Consultants has laid its foundation and success on the strength of its dedicated teams striving hard to ensure the highest level of customer gratification with the commitment to deliver results.

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Author: Transglobal Overseas Education Consultants

Transglobal Overseas Education Consultants

Member since: Feb 07, 2022
Published articles: 14

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