Register for IELTS

IELTS or PTE: Which test is best for migration?

If you want to study, work, and live in an English-speaking country, you’ll have to take a language proficiency test. These tests, such as IELTS are designed to check how proficient you are in the language and how well you will be able to communicate in an international space.

As the most widely accepted English language proficiency tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Pearson Test of English (PTE), we will discuss these in detail – what are IELTS and PTE, and the main differences between both.

What is IELTS?

The International English language testing system (IELTS) is the most popular English language proficiency test, accepted by over 11,000 universities, employers, and immigration authorities in many countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is offered in two modules – on Paper and Computer to provide flexibility to the test takers.

What is PTE?

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is an English language proficiency test for student visas and immigration purposes, taken by non-native English speakers. The computer-based test is accepted by many colleges, universities, and educational institutions globally.

IELTS vs PTE: Which one is better?

Confused about which test is better for you? We will simplify the difference for you!

  • Recognition/ acceptance: IELTS is accepted worldwide by 11,000+ organisations, while PTE is accepted by 3,000+ organisations only. Do note that PTE is not recognised by Canada for migration, while IELTS has been accepted by IRCC Canada for over 30 years.
  • Flexibility offered: IELTS is a test designed to make it convenient and flexible for the test taker and offers both formats - paper-based and on computer-delivered across the globe. The PTE test is only available on computer.
  • Fairness in testing: IELTS has no negative marking, unlike PTE. In IELTS, whether paper-based or computer-delivered, you can skip questions and return to them later, avoiding wasted time. In contrast, PTE requires you to answer each question before proceeding to the next.
  • Fairness in marking: Unlike PTE, where the test is graded by AI, your IELTS test is graded by a certified English expert following global marking standards. This gives you a fair chance as a human examiner can reason and analyse each aspect of your test more clearly.
  • Faster results: Your IELTS on computer test scores are delivered within 3-5 days, PTE, on the other hand, takes 5 working days.
  • Free preparation material: IELTS offers a variety of preparation resources including practice tests, videos, articles, expert evaluations, online courses, webinars, etc. This material will not just prepare you but also boosts your confidence, making it easier to excel on your test.
  • Global footprint: IDP has more than 2,000 test locations across 62 countries. This includes more than 300 computer-delivered IELTS centres.

IELTS for migration: The clear choice of test takers

Test types available? Available on both, paper and computer Computer-based only
Acceptance by the Canadian Immigration Department? Yes, accepted by IRCC Canada for study and migration purposes Not accepted under SDS visa category
Difference between IELTS and PTE Speaking test? Speaking test with a real person who understands different accents. Talking to a robot in a room full of others also talking into a microphone.
Difference in how IELTS and PTE are marked? Reading and Speaking tests are marked by experts who understand different cultural nuances. Marked by AI
How much do IELTS and PTE cost?
  • Computer-delivered IELTS: INR 15,500*
  • Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI: 15,750
  • Paper-based IELTS: INR 15,500
  • IELTS Life Skills (A1 and B1): 14,600
  • IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration: 15,750
  • PTE Academic: INR 15,900
  • PTE Academic Online: INR 15,900
  • PTE Academic UKVI: INR 15,900
  • PTE Home A1: INR 13,500
  • PTE Home A2: INR 13,500
  • PTE Home B1: INR 13,500

*Effective April 1, 2023, the IELTS test fee for all bookings (Academic and General Training) will be INR 16,250

Well, we hope this blog will help you in understanding the difference between IELTS and PTE, and you can now make a well-informed choice which is best for you.

To know more about IELTS and to book your test date, get in touch with your nearest IELTS centre.