Crackdown on the “IELTS or PTE” Dilemma!


One of the most widespread concerns of students desiring to pursue higher education overseas and personnel seeking work-opportunities or wishing to migrate abroad is the decision to pick from the available choices of English proficiency tests. One cannot merely depend on hearsay and should be able to make an informed decision while opting for either IELTS or PTE. The choice must take into account core factors such as preferred country, motive (study, work, or immigration), testing style etc.

While both the exams are designed to measure the English language competence and aptitude, they differ in their methodology as well as acceptability. A brief overview of the two testing systems and a few basic similarities and differences between the two are summarized in the ensuing paragraphs, to throw light on the pros and cons of selecting either and help the readers choose an appropriate test pertaining to their purpose.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is jointly conducted by British Council and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is designed to test four fundamental English skills namely Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

It is a paper-pen assessment where emphasis is given on the comprehension of extended text in the receptive papers (Reading and Listening), and the direct testing of performance through a face-to-face Speaking test and the use of essays and report formats in the Writing test.

There are two versions of the test to suit the educational and professional goals of the test taker:

  • Academic(IELTS AC)- for university and tertiary education, and
  • General Training (IELTS GT)- for work experience, training programmes and visa applications.


About PTE

PTE (Pearson Test of English) is conducted by Pearson, a leading UK-based education company. PTE also assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing skills; but unlike IELTS, it is an online test where one has to use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions. It is divided into three main parts: Speaking and Writing (together), Listening and Reading. It comprises of an extensive variety of question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.

PTE Academic is accepted for all educational and immigration purposes.



IELTS and PTE both have their strengths, and the choice between the two will depend on the requirements and constraints of the test taker. The safest way to go is to assess your situation, understand and weigh the advantages for each test method and select an option most suited to the scenario.

We at C.Ed. can help you make an informed choice. Book an appointment with our certified trainers to share your concerns and be assessed for the best choice for you based upon your current English proficiency level.

We wish you all the luck.

Compiled by – Ms. Neha, C.Ed. Overseas Education

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