You have decided to enter the university abroad and started to prepare. English proficiency is the first and the most important demand to become a part of English-speaking society, you have learned it, and now it is necessary to pass IELTS or PTE. Of course, you aim to take as high score as possible; thus you want to know which test is easier. Let’s check all the pros and cons of them and determine which would be easier for you.
Both of them are intended for non-native English speaker. IELTS is taken by those who want to study or immigrate, while PTE Academic is created exclusively for people, whose aim is to be engaged in the academic activity. PTE General differs a lot from the Academic test. It assigns the applicants CEFR level of language proficiency and has only two parts – writing and interview.
The most distinguishing factor between PTE and IELTS is the way of evaluation. IELTS consists of four parts – writing, listening, reading and speaking. All of them are checked by a person, and his or her opinion could be subjective. I have heard many stories of discontent applicants, who had been confident of successful passing, while the result disappointed them. The evaluation will be influenced not only with examiner’s professional qualities but also with her or his mood and personal attitude towards you.
Recently, I came across an interesting statistics. As it turns out, the verdict of a judge in most cases is favourable to the accused, if the court session occurs after lunch, but not before the end of the working day. I think there is no point in the discussion about examiners’ objectivity if human destinies depend on lunch.
PTE exam format is similar to IELTS, but all the tasks are implemented on a computer, and the result is also defined by the computer. You do not need to worry about making a good impression; speech disabilities, thick accent, non-confidence and even a dozen of piercings on your face play no role.
Many applicants think that PTE tasks are nonstandard and more similar to an intellectual game than to an ordinary exam, while IELTS has a traditional approach to testing people’s language proficiency. Therefore, if you are a diligent person who does not like unpredictable circumstances, the last option is better for you, because the process of taking does not keep any surprises. However, my personal choice concerning IELTS vs PTE is the opposite. I do not like interaction with other people, and, being a spontaneous and emotional person, I find a clear action plan extremely boring. One more reason why I vote for PTE is the possibility to make up for law score of one section with another. For instance, if you are bad in writing but good in listening, the final PTE test result will be an average of these two points.
An obvious advantage of IELTS is the prevalence. You can use the experience of the applicants who passed it, find a lot of literature and sources to prepare. Those who are determined and persistent enough, come to the exam well-prepared and confident.
The popularity of Pearson PLC is growing fast. One of the reasons is the possibility to buy two trial tests for $50 and take them on the official site; in a few minutes after that, you will know your PTE test result. This fact attracts a lot of applicants who have not decided which test is more convenient to them. Concerning the issue regarding PTE vs IELTS score, Pearson PLC informs about the official result in a day or two, while IELTS announces in two weeks. Time of taking is also among PTE benefits. You can choose any day and any time – morning, noon or evening, so applicants are able to use their biorhythms to their advantage. All the examination is held in one day within three hours, while some part of IELTS could be delayed until the next day.
I think that PTE test is more modern and convenient for young people, who are used to work with a computer. All the tasks are versatile and interesting, and your skills are evaluated complex. However, there are also some distinctive features in languages of the tests: PTE is oriented towards American English, and IELTS is created for Australian and British English. As well, there are no Pearson PLC centres in some countries and not every university accepts the results. If the first problem could be solved with a short trip, the second requires only IELTS or TOEFL taking.
Both PTE and IELTS validity is about two years. If you can choose which test to take, I would recommend the first option, as it is a little bit easier for perception and costs approximately the same, but saves your time.