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PTE Academic or PTE Core: Take your pick

PTE Academic or PTE Core

Whether it be for immigrating to a new country, studying overseas, or professional development, language aptitude test scores are a vital step to securing an opportunity for your new path forward. The PTE is one such test that is officially recognized by global institutions and governments. Within the PTE, there are two prominent exam options: PTE Academic and PTE Core. While both exams evaluate your English language abilities, they have distinct features and purposes.

Why should I take PTE?

The PTE is a completely computerized exam assessing candidates on their reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities. Meaning that those who may have anxiety speaking in front of another person may find the PTE to be more suited to them.

Not to mention that PTE offers flexible test dates and times between the morning and evening, accommodating the schedules of different people.

PTE scores are not only recognized by international organizations, but the test is also renowned for its quick distribution of scores relative to other language proficiency tests thanks to the exam process and grading being done by AI, which minimizes the possibility of human error in grading. Test-takers can usually expect to access score reports within 48 hours (2 working days) of their completion.

What’s the difference between PTE Academic and PTE Core?

Many countries and academic bodies accept PTE Test scores, but which test you choose depends on where you want to go and your reasons why.

The test formats of both PTE Academic and PTE Core are exactly the same. Both tests are split into 3 parts that are completed in around 2 hours.

These 3 parts include:

  • Part 1: Speaking and Writing

  • Part 2: Reading

  • Part 3: Listening

What differs between the two tests is the content and usage of the exam results.

PTE Academic

PTE Academic is the pathway to enrolment for individuals wanting to study at overseas universities or immigrate to certain countries. Tailored for proving your competency in an educational setting, PTE Academic scores are widely recognized by institutions and are also specifically desired by Australian and New Zealand visa authorities. If your goal is higher education or an occupational opportunity abroad, PTE Academic is your choice.

In line with its name, PTE Academic’s test content is focused primarily towards assessing your English language competency in an educational framework, meaning you may come across reading materials from an academic article or hear an extract from a university lecture about a particular subject.

Test takers for PTE Academic should expect to read and listen to terminology that may not be used in daily life. In order to deal with uncertain words, it is recommended to find and revise strategies to help you navigate questions that contain such unknowns.

PTE Core

PTE Core is recognized by the Canadian Government (IRCC) for all economic visa categories including people applying for a work permit for Canada, or to migrate through Express Entry, the PNP, permanent residency and citizenship except for the Student Direct Stream. Those looking to immigrate to Canada specifically, will find PTE Core to be the appropriate choice.

The difference from PTE Academic is that PTE Core focuses entirely on determining your English skills in everyday situations, whereas PTE Academic focuses on academic settings. In PTE Core you may be asked to read a magazine article or write an email.

PTE Core candidates should expect to encounter topics that are based on real life situations such as conversations in the workplace, chatting with friends or reading a newspaper article. In general, the test content of PTE Core is relatively straightforward in comparison to PTE Academic.

Note that if you are looking to study in Canada, the PTE Academic will be the only suitable option for you.

Which test should I pick?

Choosing between PTE Academic and PTE Core depends on your future plans and destination.

In general, if you are looking to immigrate to Canada, PTE Core would be your best fit.

For studying overseas, working abroad, and settling in other countries, consider applying for PTE Academic

How do I start studying for PTE?

If you are looking to prepare ahead of the test, be it PTE Academic or PTE Core. We are an official partner of Pearson and offer a range of supporting resources to help you achieve the results that you need. This includes a FREE trial lesson, handouts and homework for building a stronger foundation of English and understanding of question types, along with a practice test to give you a feel for the full test experience.

If you are looking for professional support for PTE preparation or have further inquiries, please feel free to reach out to us, and get a FREE trial lesson!


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