The Difference Between General and Academic Pearson Test of English

The Pearson Test of English General was designed for non-native English speakers who want to earn an English qualification assessment for submission to employers or educational institutions. This serves as proof of English language ability. PTE General comes in six different levels (A1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and is granted by Edexcel Limited, Pearson’s premier qualification brand. It is the only authorized awarding body for PTE General.

The test has 13 sections which are divided into groups. Each division has a distinct theme, e.g. community life, environmental issues and school routine. Texts and passages are taken from newspapers, books, radio broadcasts and podcasts. PTE General was developed to evaluate a person’s ability to socialize, interact and linguistically survive in an English-speaking setting.

Unlike PTE Academic, PTE General is not accepted as evidence of English competency by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of the Australian government.

General Academic
Test Schedules

Test dates are available only in the months of May, June and December.

Can be as frequent as four times a week and three to four times per day in Australia
Test Centers There are only 30 registered test centers around the world. In Australia, there are 15 test centers located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Toowoomba.
Exam Format The spoken test (Speaking sections) is carried out with a trained examiner. The Listening, Reading and Writing sections compose the written paper. Machine-based examination. Speaking Section is performed by speaking in a headphone with a built-in microphone.
Time Length 1.3 to 3 hours depending on the chosen level Three hours approximately
Assessment Criteria Language Skills:





Communicative Skills:





Enabling Skills:


Oral Fluency




Written Discourse

Scores Each level of PTEG has a corresponding level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) Scores range from 10 to 90 points. To achieve Competent English, minimum score for each skill must be 50.
Scoring System The Listening and Reading sections are scored by a central online marking system. The spoken test will be sent to the UK for assessment by trained professional markers.


Pearson developed automated scoring systems.
Availability of scores Results will be released five to eight weeks after the exam day. Results are typically available within five business days.
Score Report/ Report Form Scores can be viewed at Edexcel Online, the secure online portal for PTEG. Test certificates will be sent to registered test centers within two to three weeks after the results are released.


Will be released in a PDF format and can be accessed by an unlimited number institutions and organizations by means of Pearson’s secure online website
Validity PTE General Certification has no expiration. Three years prior to lodging the visa application
Acceptance Accepted by several ministries of education and employers in 15 countries located in Europe and the Americas. A complete list is found in, Accepts PTEG Accepted by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, various assessing professional bodies, and educational institutions


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