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If you are thinking about studying abroad, migrating, or settling in a foreign country, you should be aware of the English language proficiency tests that are required for international students and others to complete the pre-requisites set forth by the country’s government or university. These tests are a requirement for students who are not native English speakers. An English proficiency test is essentially a test that proves one’s English listening, writing, speaking, and reading abilities in everyday or academic contexts.

Which English language test, however, should you take? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including which test/exam is accepted by the university where you want to apply, which exam centers are nearby, how much you’re willing to pay, and so on.

Students must be aware of the tests they are required to take before applying to the universities. Since a lot of universities prefer to conduct their programs in English, it is essential to be fully conversant with the fundamentals of the English language. Students can generally select an English proficiency test based on the requirements listed by the university. There are several English proficiency tests available, however, most international universities accept IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE tests. IELTS and PTE are two popular ELP tests that measure test takers’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

For a successful application and to be considered for admission, students must achieve the minimum marks/grades specified by the university. Tutoring classes are held to assist students to enhance their knowledge and grammatical sense of the language. The benefit of taking and studying for an English proficiency course is that it not only qualifies one for universities abroad but also improves one’s communication skills in a language that is widely spoken in today’s world.

In this blog, we will discuss:

1. Test Structures for these English Language Tests
2. IELTS Vs PTE Comparison Table

Test Structures for these English Language Tests:

1. IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic exam is divided into four sections:

  • Listening (30 minutes) – You will hear four native speaker recordings. Following this, you’ll have to answer 40 questions.
  • Academic Reading (60 minutes) – You will read three texts and then answer 40 questions.
  • Academic Writing (60 minutes) – There are two assignments. You must describe a graph, table, chart, or other visual information in your own words for the first one. The second assignment requires you to write an essay in response to a point of view, problem, or argument. For both tasks, you must write in a formal style.
  • Speaking (11-14 minutes) – Speaking test has three parts:
    • You will tell the examiner about yourself,
    • You will describe or express your opinion on a specific topic, and
    • You will end by discussing more abstract ideas or concepts.

2. PTE Academic

PTE Academic, also known as the Pearson Test of English, is divided into three sections:

  • Speaking and Writing (77 – 93 minutes) – You’ll need to introduce yourself, read aloud, describe an image, summarize a text, write an essay, and do other related tasks.
  • Reading (32–40 minutes) – You will be required to complete tasks such as filling the blanks, answering multiple-choice questions, and rearranging paragraphs.
  • Listening (45 – 57 minutes) – After listening to or watching audio or video clips, you are required to answer a series of questions based on that.

IELTS Vs PTE Comparison Table



IELTS is recognized in over 10,000 universities around the world. PTE is recognized in over 6,000 universities around the world.
Paper-based or Computer-based. Entirely computer-based.
Takes 13 days for results and 28 days for online results. Takes a maximum of 5 days for results.
The duration of the exam is 2 hours 45 minutes The duration of the exam is 3 hours.
The validity of the IELTS exam is 2 years. The validity of the PTE exam is 2 years.
Exams are conducted four times a month. Exams are conducted over 360 days a year.
Measured on a scale ranging from 0-9 Measured on a scale ranging from 10-90 points.

So, which is the easier test, IELTS or PTE-A?

If the Speaking section is a matter of concern for you, IELTS may be a better option. The IELTS speaking test, for example, is conducted face-to-face in a quiet room with a real, human examiner. The test feels more like a conversation on a familiar topic and is less intimidating.

It also encourages a more naturalistic performance. As a result, you won’t have to struggle to be heard above the din of a noisy test room. It also implies that you can question an examiner.

Alternatively, you can request that the examiner repeat or rephrase the questions. While a computer evaluates your speaking abilities on PTE-A and you speak into a microphone during the test. When native speakers are graded by a computer, they sometimes perform worse.

Writing or Typing- Another decision you must make is whether to type or write. If you are not comfortable typing, then taking the PTE-A or IELTS on a computer may not be the best option for you. You can, however, still, take the paper-based IELTS and write your answers.

Getting through the questions- So, what about the actual test? Is it simpler to take IELTS or PTE-A? You can only move forward through questions in PTE Academic. This means you should correct any errors before proceeding to the next question. You can only record your response once for spoken responses. With IELTS, on the other hand, you can go back and forth between the questions in the Listening, Reading, and Writing tests. So, if you have some time left over at the end of the Reading test, you can go back and double-check your previous answers. Overall, IELTS has a better testing experience and the ability to revise your answers might help you score higher.

We get both students and working professionals with the question – what should we choose? IELTS or PTE. Well, this blog answers most part of this question, yet if you have any questions, talk to experts at Jamboree. Visit your nearest Jamboree centre or book a free online session.

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