Which is easier for immigrants, IELTS or PTE?

apply for Canada PR from India

If you’ve done your research and are considering studying or the process to apply for Canada PR from India, or in other well-known countries like Australia, New Zealand, the United States, or the United Kingdom, you probably already know that you must pass an English proficiency test. 

These two exams—IELTS and PTE Academic—are the most well-known of all the English Proficiency Tests available. So, it certainly begs the question: what makes IELTS and PTE different?

Here’s everything you need to know – 

IELTS vs. PTE: The similarities

Let’s start by identifying the similarities before moving on to the many differences. Both of these exams evaluate basic English skills:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening

The difference between the two exams’ testing formats is fading as a result of IELTS’s gradual transition to a computer-based format. The IELTS has historically been a pen-paper exam that is now making the transition to a computer-based testing environment, whereas PTE Academic has been entirely computer-based since its inception.

IELTS vs. PTE: The Differences 

The way the two exams are evaluated is where the primary difference between them lies. IELTS is graded manually for both the pen-paper based and computer-based versions, but PTE Academic is graded entirely by an artificially intelligent (AI) scoring engine. As a result, there is no room for error in the PTE Academic scores.

  • Test Versions & Acceptance

IELTS is available in two versions: Academic and General. IELTS General is typically required for permanent residency and other visa categories, while IELTS Academic is frequently required for student visas. PTE Academic, on the other hand, is accepted in Australia and New Zealand for a variety of visa types, including student and permanent residency. While 6,000+ universities accept the PTE Academic, more than 10,000 universities accept the IELTS.

  • Test Registration

The IELTS test is administered in India by the British Council and IDP. Both of these organizations run various test centers, and dates are listed both online and offline. On the other hand, Pearson is the one who organizes the PTE globally. Some of the test centers are run by Pearson directly, while others are run by its franchise partners for test centers. 

  • Availability of Test Scores

After the test, 13 days later, the results for the IELTS on paper are made available. IELTS computer-delivered scores are available in 5 to 7 days. As 80% of test results are made available within two days of the test, PTE hits a home run here. According to Pearson’s official statement, PTE test results are made available at the latest within 5 business days. A candidate may send their PTE test results for free to as many universities as they choose.

  • Score Format

IELTS provides separate scores for each of the four sections—Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening—as well as an overall score on a scale ranging from 0 to 9. The PTE score scale, in contrast, ranges from 10 to 90, with 90 representing a perfect score and 10 representing a score of 0. PTE awards both skill-based and overall scores, similar to IELTS. For enabling skills like pronunciation, oral fluency, grammar, written discourse, vocabulary, and spelling, the PTE also offers scaled scores.

  • Ease of Scoring

Many test takers who have registered for both of these exams claim that the PTE Academic is simpler than the IELTS. This is a significant distinction between IELTS and PTE. IELTS requires a deeper understanding of grammar’s foundational concepts, whereas PTE Academic concentrates on communicative English’s practical applications. It makes sense because the main goal of an English Proficiency Test is to assess a candidate’s potential for adapting to life in an English-speaking country.

So, which exam should you take?

Because the PTE Academic is accepted for all relevant visa categories in both countries, you should DEFINITELY take it if you intend to study or apply for Australia PR or New Zealand PR. Both the USA and the UK recommend PTE for the student visa category. 

IELTS is a good option for people who want to study in Canada or looking at how to get Canada PR from India. IELTS is preferred by the High Commission of Canada over PTE. However, Pearson is in communication with the High Commission, so a favorable growth is soon to be expected.


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