PTE Academic VS IELTS: What’s the Difference?

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) has established a strong brand name and has gained the trust of thousands of educational institutions, government bodies and professional organisations. Unfortunately, it has also built an image of being a tough test to beat. Aspiring migrants, students and foreign workers from non-English countries have been considering other English language proficiency tests and one of the most popular especially among those who are applying to move to Australia is the Pearson Test of English (PTE). The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection recognises the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA) as an accepted English language test.

Before asking which one is easier, here’s a comparison of these two equally difficult language tests:

PriceAUD 330AUD 330
Test Schedules

Up to four test dates per month in Australia

Can be as frequent as four times a week and three to four times per day in Australia
Test CentersAround 50 test centers all over Australia in various IDP Education Centers and universities

Go to –

In Australia, there are 15 test centers located in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Toowoomba.
Exam FormatPartly paper-based examination. A test administrator will conduct the Speaking section which may be scheduled on a separate day.Machine-based examination. Speaking Section is performed by speaking in a headphone with a built-in microphone.
Time LengthTwo hours and 45 minutesThree hours approximately
Assessment CriteriaLanguage Skills:





Communicative Skills:





Enabling Skills:


Oral Fluency




Written Discourse

Availability of scoresResults can be viewed online 13 days after your test day from 5pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).Results are typically available within five business days.
Scoring SystemThe Listening and Reading sections are scored by counting the correct answers while the Writing and Speaking sections are evaluated by human raters.Pearson developed automated scoring systems.
Score Report/ Report FormTakers will receive a certified copy of their Test Report Form by postal mail. Copies can be sent to up to five organizations or institutions which must be identified during online registration.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
ValidityThree years prior to lodging the visa application.Three years prior to lodging the visa application.


How do IELTS scores and PTE scores compare?

Here is the official comparison chart from Pearson:

Listen to this Episode of the EasyPTE Podcast:

Click ‘Play’ below to hear the episode. When you’re done, subscribe using the links to the right to get access to all our episodes! Or simply search for ‘EasyPTE’ wherever you get your podcasts.

Get the Complete eBook

Like this article? Buy our eBook to get all of the best content in one place. This is how you get better, fastest!