Unlocking the Secrets: Exploring the Difference Between IELTS and PTE

Difference Between IELTS and PTE

Difference Between IELTS and PTE – When it comes to evaluating English language proficiency, two widely recognized tests stand out: IELTS and PTE. These exams serve as benchmarks for individuals who seek to show their language skills for immigration, professional, and academic purposes. 

If I talk about these tests, both tests assess similar language abilities, such as writing, reading, Listening, and Speaking. There are notable differences between the two. 

Understanding these differences is very important for candidates to make an informed decision about which exam aligns best with their needs and strengths. 

In this blog, I will provide you with some of the differences between IELTS and PTE, examining factors such as, scoring system, format, test structure, and content. 

By exploring these variations, you can better navigate the options and select the test that suits your specific requirements and aspirations. 

What Is The IELTS Exam?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a globally recognized English proficiency test. It assesses the ability of individuals to understand, communicate, and use English effectively in academic, everyday contexts, and professionally. 

This test is widely accepted by colleges, universities, immigration authorities, and employers in numerous English-Speaking Countries. 

Types Of IELTS Exam

There are two types of IELTS Exam:

  • IELTS Academic: This test is designed for those candidates who want to pursue Higher education or professional registration in an English speaking country. It is typically required for University admissions, scholarships, and professional certifications. 
  • IELTS General: This test is for those who want to migrate to an English speaking country for work experience, training programs, and immigration purposes. 

What Is PTE?

PTE (Pearson Test Of English) is another popular English proficiency test which is designed to assess the Candidate’s ability in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. This test is accepted by many professional organisations, educational institutions, and governments around the world. 

It is a computer based test that assesses English language skills through many tasks and question types. This test assesses the ability to understand spoken and written English, summarise information, write essays, and engage in oral communication. 

Types of PTE exams

There are two main types of PTE Exam:

  • PTE Academic: This test is for those who are planning for higher education abroad. This test assesses English proficiency in academic contexts. It evaluates a candidate’s ability to comprehend academic lectures, understand and summarise written text, and communicate effectively in Spoken and written English. 
  • PTE General: This test is designed for employment purposes, professional development, and immigration to countries where general English language skills are required. This test is available at six proficiency levels, ranging from A1 (Beginner) to C2 (Proficient). 

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Structure Table

Here’s comparison the structure of IELTS and PTE exams:

Exam SectionIELTSPTE
Listening4 sections (40 questions)8 sections (45-57 questions)
ReadingAcademic 3 sections (40 questions)
General Training: 3 Sections (40 questions)
Academic: 5 Sections (15-20 question per section)General Training: 5 sections (15-20 questions per section)
Writing Academic: 2 tasks (1 graph/tables, IELTS Writing task 2 essay)
General Training: 2 tasks (1 letter, 1 Essay)
Tasks (1 essay, Summarise written text)
speaking3 parts (face-to-face interview with an examiner)Personal introduction, reading aloud, repeat sentence, re-tell lecture, describe image, answer short questions
Overall timeApproximately 2 hours and 45 minutesApproximately 3 hours
Test formatPaper-based or computer based (depending on locationComputer-based 
Scoring Band Score (0-9)Overall score (10-90) and communicate skills scores
Test Results Available within 13 days Available within 5 business days

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Test Format And Administration

Here is the comparison of the test format and administration of the PTE and IELTS: 


  • Test Format: IELTS offers both computer based and paper based exams. Reading, Listening, and Writing sections are the same in both formats, while the Speaking section is conducted face-to-face with an examiner for both versions. 
  • Test Centers: IELTS is administered at numerous authorised test centres located in various countries worldwide. You can choose a convenient test centre based on your location. 
  • Scheduling: Test dates for IELTS exam are scheduled in advance and are available on specific dates throughout the year. You can register for a preferred test date based on availability at your chosen test centres. 


  • Test Format: PTE is a computer based exam. All sections, including Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking, are conducted using a computer interface. You listen to audio recordings, read passages, type responses, and speak into a microphone for the speaking section. 
  • Test centres: PTE is administered at authorised person test centres worldwide. These centres are equipped with the necessary technology and facilities to conduct the computer-based exam. 
  • Scheduling: Test takers can choose a preferred test date and time slot based on availability at their chosen test centre. PTE offers flexible scheduling options, allowing test takers to select a convenient date and time within the available slots. 

Difference Between IELTS and PTE: Test Content And Question Types

Exam SectionIELTSPTE
ListeningConversations and monologuesAudio recordings with multiple-choice questions, summarise spoken text, highlight correct summary, multiple-choice
ReadingAcademic: Texts from books, journals, articles
General Training: Everyday contexts, advertisements, notices
Academic: Multiple-choice, identifying information, matching headings, sentence completion, summary completion, matching sentence endings, True/False/Not Given, Yes/No/Not Given
General Training: Multiple-choice, identifying information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, True/False/Not Given, Yes/No/Not Given
WritingAcademic: Task 1 (Graphs, charts, diagrams)
Task 2 (Essay)
General Training: Task 1 (Letter writing) and Task 2 (Essay)
Essay writing, summarize written text
SpeakingFace-to-face interview with an examinerPersonal introduction, reading aloud, repeat sentence, describe image, re-tell lecture, answer short questions

Choosing Between IELTS And PTE

Choosing between IELTS and PTE depends on different factors, including your specific requirements, preferences, and the institutions or organizations you are applying to.

Purpose: determine the purpose of taking the exam. Are you applying for higher education, employment, professional registration, or immigration? Both IELTS and PTE are widely accepted for these purposes, but it’s important to check the specific requirements of your target institution or organisation. 

Test format: Consider your comfort and familiarity with the test formats. If you prefer a paper-based exam for certain sections or are more comfortable with computer-based testing, it can influence your choice. IELTS offers both paper-based and computer-based options, while PTE is entirely computer-based. 

Test Availability: Check the availability of test centres and test dates for both exams in your location. Ensure that you have ample time to register and prepare for the IELTS and PTE test.

Scoring System: Understand the scoring systems of IELTS and PTE and determine which aligns better with your goals. Consider the score requirements of your target institutions of organisations. 

Test Preparation: Evaluate the availability of study materials, resources, and preparation courses for both exams. Look for resources that suit your learning style and needs. 


In this blog, we have discussed the difference between IELTS and PTE. I hope you have understood easily. Both IELTS and PTE are reputable English proficiency tests that are widely recognized and accepted by educational institutions, immigration authorities, and employers worldwide. 

While they serve a similar purpose of assessing English language skills, there are differences in terms of test format, scoring systems, and question types.

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