PTE Academic VS Cambridge English Test: Advanced

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is one of the English qualifications test developed by the Cambridge Assessment – English department of the University of Cambridge, a premier university in the United Kingdom. This test is conducted every month at 2,800 test centers worldwide. It is accepted by over 6,000 professional organizations, government bodies and educational institutions.

So how does CAE compare with PTEA (Pearson Test of English Academic), the trusted choice of hopeful migrants and students to Australia?

A summary is outlined in below table:

Price AUD 330 AUD 330
Test Schedules Around 20 test dates in a year. Visit – CAE Exam Dates Can be as frequent as four times a week and three to four times per day in Australia.
Test Centers An authorized exam center is classified as either:

  1. Open Center. It offers examination to all applicants, whether they are taking a preparatory course or not at the institution that runs the center.
  2. Internal Center. An Internal Center does not accept applicants who are not enrolled in the institution running it.

In Australia, there 28 test centers for non-computer based CAE while there are only 15 centers offering computer-based CAE. The complete list of authorized centers in Australia can be viewed at, CAE Exam Centers.

In Australia, there are 15 test centers located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Toowoomba.
Exam Format The Listening, Reading and Writing test components compose the paper-based test. The Speaking section is administered by two examiners who will interview two candidates. Machine-based examination. Speaking Section is performed by speaking in a headphone with a built-in microphone.
Time Length Four hours approximately Three hours approximately
Assessment Criteria Language Skills:


Reading and Use of English



Communicative Skills:





Enabling Skills:


Oral Fluency




Written Discourse

Scores Scale Scores are between 160-210 points.

A score of at least 169 in each test component must be attained to prove English competency.

Cambridge English Scale Score  Grade/CEFR  CEFR level
200–210 Grade A  C2
193–199 Grade B C1
180–192 Grade C C1
160–179 Level B2  B2
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 marked for every correct answer. Certified and trained examiners use assessment scales to rate the Writing and Speaking sections. Pearson developed automated scoring systems.
Score Report/ Report Form The Statement of results can be viewed via Cambridge’s web page and can be verified by organizations and institutions by means of Cambridge’s online results verification service. Do not forget to provide them your candidate ID and secret numbers. A paper certificate will be given to each test taker by their test centers. 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.
Availability of scores See below table for a summary of the candidate’s waiting time:

Paper-based Computer-based
Statement of Results Four to six weeks Two to three weeks
Certificate Seven to nine weeks Five to Six Weeks
Results are typically available within five business days.
Validity The exam must have been taken on or after the 1st of January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application. Three years prior to lodging the visa application


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