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:

CAEPTEA
PriceAUD 330AUD 330
Test SchedulesAround 20 test dates in a year. Visit – CAE Exam DatesCan be as frequent as four times a week and three to four times per day in Australia.
Test CentersAn 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 FormatThe 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 LengthFour hours approximatelyThree hours approximately
Assessment CriteriaLanguage Skills:

Listening

Reading and Use of English

Writing

Speaking

Communicative Skills:

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Enabling Skills:

Grammar

Oral Fluency

Pronunciation

Spelling

Vocabulary

Written Discourse

ScoresScale 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
200–210Grade A C2
193–199Grade BC1
180–192Grade CC1
160–179Level B2 B2
Scores range from 10 to 90 points. To achieve Competent English, minimum score for each skill must be 50.
Scoring SystemThe 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 FormThe 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 scoresSee below table for a summary of the candidate’s waiting time:

Paper-basedComputer-based
Statement of ResultsFour to six weeksTwo to three weeks
CertificateSeven to nine weeksFive to Six Weeks
Results are typically available within five business days.
ValidityThe 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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