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IELTS & PTE – Understanding the Difference

To test any applicants English language proficiency, there are mainly three major standardized tests conducted, namely PTE, IELTS and TOEFL. International universities or institutes consider student’s ability to speak and understand the basics of English language while shortlisting candidates from foreign countries.

Pearson Test of English (PTE) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are the most common tests undertaken by Indian students. Pearson is one of the most prominent educational companies and publishing houses. IELTS, one the other hand, is organised and conducted by British Counsel for many aspiring students across the world. Even though every exam is an exam of the same English language, the format is very different. Therefore, it is extremely important to know the exact exam format and understand the difference between PTE and IELTS before you actually plan to appear for one. Also, every exam has difference acceptance rate depending on the region of the university one is applying. For example, IELTS has more acceptances in regions such as Australia and Europe, whereas PTE, comparatively a newly introduced exam, is widely accepted for MBA programmes in all across the world. TOEFL is primarily for US admissions.

Now, let’s discuss the difference in exam structure. The most crucial speaking section is very different in every exam format. It is advisable the students pick up the test which is most suitable to your English speaking abilities. In IELTS, examiner directly speaks with the candidate. This could be comforting for some and haunting for many. On the other hand, PTE involves the candidate speaking on a microphone with voice recorded and verbal exam rated by the same computer.

Another extremely important point to be considered while you decide which exam to take on is the university you wish to study in. Always note that PTE is a new exam as compared to TOEFL or IELTS and thus, many universities and institutes accepting PTE will also be accepting the other two options available.

Lastly, the score bands of each of these exams are also very different from each other. Do study the individual exam score bands to understand the pattern better.

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