Score Big in English Proficiency Exams


If you are planning to study abroad, then you must have heard the debate between PTE vs IELTS. Which test should I take for IELTS or PTE? Which is easier, IELTS or PTE? What are the differences between IELTS and PTE? 

In this page, we will answer all your questions about the IELTS and PTE exams. It compares the IELTS vs PTE experience, along with all the significant aspects like pattern, structure, score comparison, similarities, differences, and more. So you can decide - which test is the best suited for you based on your skills and requirements.

PTE vs IELTS: An Overview

IELTS and PTE both evaluate the overall proficiency of a candidate in the English language. 

While IELTS is increasingly becoming a standard test of English worldwide, PTE is still not recognized by a few institutions. 

The IELTS exam is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP - IELTS Australia & Cambridge English. The PTE Academic test conducting body is Pearson PLC, a British multinational publishing company headquartered in London. 

Both of these exams test the same fundamental language competency of a candidate, i.e., Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening. 

Talking about the level of exams, none of these tests are easier than the other. Both have the same level of difficulty. 

The only difference between PTE and IELTS is the mode of examination and pattern. While PTE offers only computer-based tests, IELTS provides the option for computer-based and IELTS paper-based exams. 

The duration for both exams is around 2-3 hours. The IELTS comprises four sections with longer tasks, while the PTE has three parts with numerous short questions.

Difference Between PTE Vs IELTS

Although IELTS and PTE tests are both used for determining the proficiency of a candidate in the English language, here are a few differences between them:
Key Factors
Test Type
Computer Based
Pen and Paper and Computer-based Test
Test Format
3 Sections (Listening, Reading, (Writing and (Speaking combined))
4 Sections (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking)
Test Version
PTE-Academic for students
PTE-General for permanent residency
IELTS-Academic for students
IELTS-General for permanent residency
Grading Scale
10-90 points
0-9 band
Test Fees
INR 15,900
INR 16,250
Worldwide Acceptance
Accepted by over 3,000 institutions worldwide
Accepted by 11,500 organizations in 140+ countries
Speaking Test
The audio has to be recorded via a microphone
Accuracy of Result
Machine Evaluation Against the Global Scale of English
Manually for paper-based exams and automated for computer-based exams
Test Result Duration
The results are declared within five working days
The scores of the IELTS paper-based exam are declared after 13 days, whereas the Computer-based Test is in 3-5 working days.
Conducting Body
Pearson PLC
British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English
Test Frequency
Conducted throughout the year
IELTS General: 24 days in a year
IELTS Academic: 48 days in a year

IELTS vs PTE: Major Similarities

  • The purpose of IELTS and PTE is similar, which is to check proficiency in the English language. 
  • Both of these tests assess your proficiency in the English language on 4-components: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.
  • Both exams allow you to answer in major dialects like UK or US English. So, both British and American English are accepted.
  • Both the exams provide detailed test scores, reported on a scale (0-9 for IELTS, 10-90 for PTE) with an individual score for each of the four sections.
  • Both these tests take approximately 2-3 hours to complete.
  • Both the exams, IELTS and PTE, are internationally recognized and accepted by universities, employers, and government bodies.

PTE vs IELTS: Exam Pattern & Structure

The first step towards preparation for any exam is to understand the exam pattern and structure. It is to ensure that you have a clear idea about the IELTS vs PTE format, task types, and time requirements of the exam. 

The IELTS exam has four sections sequenced in the following order:

While in the PTE exam, there are three test sections sequenced as below:

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

Here is the section-wise structure of the exam:



Test Format

Time Given

Task Types


In this section, there are a total of 40 questions across 3 recordings. 

30 minutes

  • MCQs
  • Sentence completion
  • Short-answer questions
  • Matching information
  • Diagram labelling
  • Reading


In this section, there are a total of 40 questions that need to be answered across 3 texts. 

30 minutes

  • MCQs
  • Sentence completion
  • Short-answer questions
  • Matching features and headings
  • Diagram label completion
  • Summary note
  • Flow chart completion


In the writing section, you have to write 2 essays.

The first one includes analyzing a graph/chart/table/diagram and writing its explanation. 

In the second one, you have to define your point of view on a given topic. 

60 Minutes

  • Essay Writing


The speaking section is divided into 3 parts. 

The first one is your introduction. Secondly, you have to answer the questions asked by the interviewer. These are general questions. Lastly, you will have to speak on a particular topic and provide your point of view on the same.

15 Minutes

  • Introduction
  • Questions and Answers
  • Discussion



Test Format

Time Given

Task Types


In this section, you have to answer a series of questions based on audio and video clips. 

47-57 Minutes

  • MCQs
  • Summarising spoken text
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Highlighting incorrect words
  • Writing from dictation
  • Highlighting correct summary
  • Selecting the missed word


In this section, you have to complete the objective exercises. 

32-40 Minutes

  • MCQs
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Reordering paragraphs

Writing and Speaking

This is a combined section of two skill sets where you have to complete a list of tasks.

77-93 Minutes

  • Introducing Yourself
  • Reading Aloud
  • Short-answer question
  • Sentence repetition
  • Describing images and re-telling a lecture
  • Essay writing

PTE vs IELTS: Score Comparison

The score for IELTS is graded on a scale of 0 to 9 for each of the four sections and the overall score, with scores provided in half-point increments (6.5, 7,7.5).

The candidates are awarded the band score based on each section, along with an overall score. 

The minimum score set by most universities and organizations is 6.5 - 7.5. 

PTE scores are reported on a scale of 10 to 90 (using the global scale of English) for each of the four skills and the overall score. 

Unlike IELTS, the scores in PTE are in single-point increments.

Also, the scoring for PTE Academic is fully automated, using algorithms and speech recognition technology to assess responses.

The minimum PTE accepted score set by most universities is in the bracket of 55 to 60.

The table below mentions the scoring systems compared between the two exams: 



















IELTS vs PTE: Exam Cost and Acceptance

There is not a high difference between the costs of both exams. 

The IELTS costs INR 16250, while the PTE costs INR 15,900, including GST.

Talking about worldwide acceptance, IELTS is a popular and standardised English Exam accepted across 10,000 universities spanning 140 countries. 

PTE was introduced in 2009, and since then, it has also been gaining popularity. As per the trends, PTE is gaining more acceptance in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Score Report: PTE vs IELTS

The IELTS exam grades the candidate on a band of 0-9. This band score is the average of the scores assigned to each of the 4-sections (listening, reading, writing, and speaking)

Also, each of these band scores equates to a certain skill level. For example, those who score band 9 are expert users, and those who get band 7 are good users. 

The PTE exam is graded on a scale of 10 to 90 points. This exam tests the candidate's communication and six enabling skills (Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, Oral Fluency, Written discourse, and spelling) and provides an overall score based on that.


Overall, in the debate of "PTE vs IELTS," we can conclude that PTE is an automated evaluation exam with an almost negligible margin of error in the checking. While IELTS is a standardised exam where you can skip questions and answer them later. So, if you like solving multiple questions quickly, PTE would be an ideal exam for you. However, if you are a pen-and-paper person and capable of writing long answers, go for IELTS.

Got any further questions?  Feel free to Connect with AECC - Your Study Abroad Expert, Today!

Frequently Asked Questions

PTE and IELTS are equally competitive exams. So, you have to choose the exam based on your English language strengths. If you prefer a fixed standardised English exam, you should go for IELTS. If you want to get rewarded for your integrated knowledge and understanding, then PTE is easier.

Score Big in English Proficiency Exams