Is IELTS or PTE Easier?

If you are from a non-native English-speaking country and are looking to migrate to another country, like Australia, or pursue education abroad, then you must have come across the common dilemma of choosing between taking the IELTS or PTE exam.

IELTS and PTE are among the common English proficiency tests used by immigration and education agencies to test a candidate’s language skills. The candidate must demonstrate their English language knowledge thoroughly to be able to secure a high score required for their visa or academic admissions.

Both IELTS and PTE differ from each other in certain elements, which provoke the debate of which test is easier. This article details the differences between IELTS and PTE to determine which of the two tests is more straightforward.

Differences between IELTS and PTE

Let’s have a look at the differences between IELTS 2022 and the PTE exam 2022 to conclude which is the easier test:

Mode of exam

Candidates appearing for IELTS have the liberty to select between a computer-delivered test and a paper-based exam. However, PTE-A is only available in the computer-delivered test format.

Purpose of test

While IELTS and PTE both offer candidates an Academic test to demonstrate their English language skills, IELTS also has a General Training test for candidates looking to migrate to other countries.

Acceptance of test

IELTS is famous for garnering global acceptance by more than 11,000 organizations, which include professional bodies, universities, employers and UK/Canadian/Australian migration applications. PTE is also globally accepted for admission to study programs and Australian migrant applications and student visas.

Testing Pattern

The IELTS test has a Speaking component, which requires the candidate to appear for an English-language speaking exam face-to-face with a human invigilator. The tester navigates the questions or the conversation to complete this particular section. However, candidates appearing for the PTE-A test need to speak into a microphone with the other candidates appearing for the exam.

Pattern of the test

While appearing for a computer-delivered IELTS exam, candidates have the option to skip questions and come back to attempt them later. Since IELTS doesn’t time each question, it is easier to navigate as per your comfort. However, a candidate may only navigate forward to the next question in a PTE-A exam. Since individual questions are timed in a PTE-A exam, candidates must correct their mistakes or choose the right option before moving ahead to the next question.

Scoring pattern

The IELTS exam is divided into sections that are a combination of computer testing and human marking. The Reading and Listening tests in the exam are auto-marked. However, the writing and speaking sections of the test are marked by an expert.

As for the PTE-A test, it is entirely machine-scored without any human intervention.

Test fee

The price for both the IELTS General Training Test and IELTS Academic test is the same. The test fee amounts to AUD$375 in Australia, including all the extra charges like the registration fee and processing the payment. IELTS also does not charge any late payment fee.

PTE-A is also priced in a similar range, and a test costs AUD$375. However, candidates may need to pay a little extra, as much as AUD$395, if they book late.

Which of the two tests is easier?

The primary difference between the IELTS and PTE tests is that IELTS 2022 offers options to the candidates of appearing for a computer-delivered test or a paper-based exam. The PTE exam 2022 is only computer-delivered, and candidates must be familiar with the computer testing format to appear for the exam successfully.

Neither of the exams is easy or difficult because the candidate requires a fundamental understanding of the English language and concepts to qualify for either. This being said, the PTE exam is more innovative and friendly for the candidate and does not involve the five long task patterns of IELTS. Rather, it is an exam consisting of 20 different short tasks.

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