Are you planning to study abroad? Or are you applying for a PR? Which English
language proficiency test should you go for according to the country you plan to
explore? Is it PTE or IELTS or will it be TOEFL?
Let us check out what these tests are and what is the acceptance of these tests
according to the country.
PTE or Pearson Test of English is an international computer-based English
Competency test to assess the English language skills a candidate applying for
university courses in English speaking countries.
IELTS is also an English language proficiency test for expatriates who plan to
study, migrate or work in the countries where English is the language for
TOEFL tests the English language ability of non-natives who wish to apply to
universities where is English is the medium of communication.
As we can see all these three tests are to check a candidates competency towards
English language, so how are they different and why not only one of these?
IELTS is the most widely accepted English proficiency test worldwide, while
TOEFL also has a wide acceptance but it is particularly customary among US
Universities to test the English language abilities of students. PTE is
comparatively new, but is gradually getting recognized and its acceptance is
The pattern followed
IELTS is a 2-day test to be completed over a period of 2 hours 45 minutes. On the
other hand TOEFL and PTE both are 3 hour long tests.
IELTS and TOEFL both have 4 sections – Listening, reading, writing and
speaking, while PTE includes just writing and speaking sections.
In TOEFL, a candidate experiences tests that include reading of passages,
listening audio clips, speaking on a particular topic and writing structured
While in PTE a candidate gets 20 different question formats that include essay
writing, MCQs, deciphering and repeating information.
Let us check some of the differences between all the three tests:
PTE and TOEFL, are both computer-based tests, while IELTS is both
computerised and paper-based test.
In IELTS a personal interview is conducted as a speaking test while for
TOEFL and PTE it is an online test through a computer.
For TOEFL and PTE, it is the standard American English that is accepted.
When it comes to the writing part, you are expected to write lengthy essays
in TOEFL, while for PTE the essays are too easy
In IELTS the format followed for written test is of short answer questions,
while in TOEFL it is MCQ-type questions. PTE follows a combination of both
for the written section.
The reading section of IELTS and TOEFL are lengthy with long passages. The
reading section for IELTS lasts for 60 minutes and for TOEFL it lasts for 60-
80 minutes. While for PTE its just 32 to 41 minutes.
Scoring pattern of the three tests
IELTS results are testified on a 9-band scale, which ranges from 1 as the lowest
to 9 as highest. While the TOEFL test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120points, each
of the four sections on a scale of 0 to 30. The total score is determined by adding
the scores of the four sections. Meanwhile, the PTE Exam is tested on a scale of
10 – 90 wherein 10 is the lowest score showing the person's ability to read,
speak, understand verbal instructions and write the English language.
IELTS/TOEFL/PTE where are these accepted?
All the three tests have a worldwide acceptance and in thousands of institutes.
Though there are different countries, which give preference to one of these over
When we talk about the institutes in the US, they prefer to assess their
candidates through TOEFL. While, Australia, UK, Canada and Germany based
institutes have an inclination towards IELTS and the institutes in Australia and
Europe give preference to PTE.
So, which English proficiency test you choose majorly depends upon the country
and institution you apply for.
By now you know the acceptance criteria of each test but which of these is
easier? Though, choosing one out of the three depends on your requirement and
particularly according to the country you choose. All the three tests are
demanding and require skills and knowledge of the test format.
But, in case you are looking for faster results and prefer a short exam you can go
for PTE. If you are the one who prefers and can perform the best in personal
interviews and can attempt short answers rather than MCQ’s, then go for IELTS.
If it is about choosing to go for online interviews, academic reading, MCQs and
doing a computer based test rather than writing then TOEFL is the preferred
Some of the tips that can help you crack these proficiency tests are:
Be attentive in the class so that you do not miss out on shortcuts that are
shared by the trainers, as these can be helpful for different modules of the
Do not miss out on mock tests as these give you a sense of how the original
tests will be and further help in scoring high.
Conversing in English and listening to the language will help in a great way to
score in listening and speaking modules.
Focus on and practice pronunciation of words, which can lead to reading the
words correctly further assisting in the reading section.
Practice writing and typing to develop a good speed for the writing module.
For more insight into which test to choose and for the entire career guidance you
can contact Edcosmo Education Advisors - https://www.edcosmo.com/