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Should I choose PTE or IELTS?

Updated: May 13, 2023


PTE, Hong Kong, PTE Academic, English exam, test

English language proficiency tests are required by many countries and institutions as proof of a candidate's ability to communicate effectively in English. Two of the most popular tests are the Pearson Test of English (PTE) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Both tests are accepted by a large number of organizations and universities, but there are key differences between the two that candidates should consider before choosing which one to take.


Format: PTE is a computer-based test, while IELTS is available in both computer-delivered and paper-based formats. The computer-delivered IELTS test is known as IELTS Indicator, while the paper-based test is referred to as IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. Candidates should consider which format they are most comfortable with before making a choice.


Content: Both tests cover a range of language skills, including reading, writing, listening and speaking. IELTS focuses more on a range of academic and practical English, assessing a candidate’s ability to communicate in real-life situations while the PTE may test examinees on more formal and academic uses of English. Candidates should consider which type of English is more relevant to their needs before deciding on which exam to take.


Result Time: PTE results are usually available within five business days, while IELTS results are available after 13 calendar days. Candidates should choose the test that suits their timeline better, based on when they need the results.

Scoring: PTE uses an automated scoring system, while IELTS scores are assessed by trained examiners. PTE scores are available immediately after the test, while IELTS scores are released 13 calendar days after the test date.


Test Centers: PTE test centers are located in over 50 countries, while IELTS test centers are available in over 140 countries. Candidates should choose the test that is more accessible to them, based on where they live.


In conclusion, the choice between PTE and IELTS depends on a candidate's individual needs, circumstances, and goals. Candidates should carefully consider the differences between the two tests before making a decision, and choose the test that is best suited to their needs and requirements.


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