Choosing the proper English language proficiency test is crucial for individuals who wish to study or work in English-speaking countries. The International English Language Testing System and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are two of the most popular options. Mostly, people confuse them between the selection of IELTS or PTE, so we have decided to make their decision more straightforward. This blog post will explore the differences between these two tests and help you make an informed decision.


IELTS is an internationally recognized test that assesses the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. Educational institutions, immigration authorities, and employers worldwide widely accept it. The test comprises four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each team evaluates specific language skills.


PTE, developed by Pearson, is another famous English language proficiency test. Like IELTS, it measures the four language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. However, PTE is entirely computer-based and uses automated scoring, making it a preferred choice for individuals who prefer a technology-driven testing experience.

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Critical differences between IELTS and PTE

There are a few differences between these tests. So, we have shortlisted some differences in the following passages.

1. Test format

The format of the tests is one fundamental difference between them. IELTS offers a choice between paper-based and computer-delivered exams, allowing test takers to opt for their preferred mode of taking the test. On the other hand, the PTE test is entirely computer-based, conducted using a machine for scoring purposes. This distinction in format may influence test takers’ preferences based on their comfort with technology and typing skills.

2. Scoring System

The scoring systems for IELTS and PTE differ significantly. IELTS provides band scores for each section and an overall band score ranging from 0 to 9. In contrast, PTE uses a different scale, offering scaled scores for specific skills such as pronunciation, oral fluency, grammar, written discourse, and vocabulary. While both tests assess language proficiency, the way scores are reported can vary, and test takers should consider which scoring system aligns better with their goals and requirements.

3. Task Types

The task types in IELTS and PTE also differ, testing various language skills. IELTS includes completing sentences, labeling maps or diagrams, and matching answers. On the other hand, PTE incorporates tasks that require test takers to highlight incorrect summaries, identify wrong words, and write from dictation. Test takers need to familiarize themselves with the specific task types of each test to develop appropriate strategies and effectively demonstrate their language skills.

4. Speaking Section

The speaking sections in IELTS and PTE also exhibit notable differences. In IELTS, the speaking area is conducted face-to-face with an examiner, creating a more interactive and personal environment for test takers. Conversely, in PTE, the speaking section is computer-based, where test takers speak into a microphone, and their responses are recorded and assessed by a machine. The contrasting delivery modes can influence the test taker’s experience and preferences, and it’s essential to consider which format suits their comfort level and communication style.

Final thoughts

While the difficulty of a language test can be subjective, many test takers have expressed differing opinions on the difficulty level of IELTS and PTE. According to reviews, people face different difficulties if they have not prepared well for these tests. The test is easy for candidates who have adopted any preparation tips. Ultimately, we can conclude that both tests are accessible for candidates with good preparation, while the story is the opposite for dull applicants.


Q. Which test is more straightforward, IELTS or PTE?

The difficulty level of PTE and IELTS can vary depending on individual strengths and weaknesses. Some test takers may find one test easier than the other based on their language skills and familiarity with the test format. Researching and understanding both tests’ structure and requirements is advisable to determine which suits your strengths better.

Q. Are the test formats different for PTE and IELTS?

The test formats for PTE and IELTS are different. PTE is a computer-based test where you will interact with a computer for all the sections. On the other hand, IELTS has a combination of computer-based and paper-based formats for different departments.

Q. Which test is more recognized globally, IELTS or PTE?

Both PTE and IELTS are widely recognized and accepted by universities, colleges, and organizations worldwide. It is essential to check the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to determine which test they prefer.

Q. Can I take both PTE and IELTS?

Yes, you can take PTE, IELTS, or even both. However, verifying whether the institutions or organizations you are applying to accept multiple test scores is essential.

Q. How long are the test results valid for PTE and IELTS?

The validity period of PTE and IELTS test results can vary. Generally, both tests’ results are valid for two years from the test date.

Q. How can I prepare for the IELTS or PTE test?

To prepare for any test, you can consider various resources, such as official study guides, practice tests, online courses, and coaching classes. Creating a study plan, practicing regularly, and familiarizing yourself with the test format to improve your chances of success.

Q. Are there any differences in scoring between PTE and IELTS?

PTE and IELTS use different scoring systems. PTE provides a score based on a scale of 10–90, while IELTS uses a 9-band scale. Understanding the scoring criteria for each test to assess your performance is essential.

Q. Can I retake the PTE or IELTS test if I am unsatisfied with my score?

You can retake these tests if you are unsatisfied with your previous score. However, there may be limitations on how frequently you can retake the test, so it’s advisable to check the specific policies of the test providers.