Try FREE now

Are you thinking about taking an English proficiency test for immigration or study purposes, but you’re unsure which test to take: the PTE or IELTS? This article will get you asking yourself questions about which test is right for you!

Should I take PTE or IELTS?

Ask yourself these 3 questions…

Let’s say you’re applying for permanent residency in Australia and you need to take an English exam to prove your proficiency. Sound familiar?

You take the PTE Academic because word on the street is that it’s easier than the IELTS. One of your friends, for example, took the PTE and scored straight 90s or close enough. ‘It must be easier than the IELTS!’ you tell yourself, for your English is just as good as your friend’s.

So you book a PTE and sit the test. The results are ready in 48 hours and what you see shocks you:

Listening = 89  |  Reading = 86  |   Speaking = 59  |  Writing = 90

(*These results are REAL by the way! I received them today from a shocked candidate.)

How can this be? You have basically aced the PTE. Your writing score is literally perfect and your listening and reading scores are almost perfect. Speaking, however, is a disaster.

The first thought that comes to mind is technical error. Your microphone must have been broken! Oh no! I demand a rescore!

Don’t. Do you know what the PTE do if you demand a rescore? They charge you an exorbitant fee and then run your speaking through the exact same computer algorithm which will no doubt yield the exact same result.

There really is no point in asking for a re-score. And they tell you this explicitly before you pay the fee to do it. Unless you said something during the test and the invigilator agreed with you that there was a technical error, don’t re-score; it’s a complete waste of time and money.

But if it’s not a technical problem, then what is it? I mean, you probably speak English at work; you might even speak English every day with your husband or wife? Your English is excellent!

Do these 3 things for choosing PTE or IELTS

If you’re wondering whether to take the PTE or IELTS then there are three things you should do.

#1 Take the PTE mock test

Pearson are a good organisation. They don’t want you to waste your money on the PTE. That’s why they provide you with an official mock test, which uses the exact same computer algorithm as the real exam.

In other words, the results you will get on the mock test will be nearly identical to the results you will receive if you paid $330AUD and took the real test. They’re accurate. And, the mock test is a tenth of the price of the real test.

(The only thing you need to consider with this mock test is that you should use a good microphone – not your in-built computer microphone. Your headphones from your phone will work just fine; just test them before you start.)

#2 Analyse your results from the mock test

Sometimes it’s dead-easy to see that that PTE is not for you. For example, the scores I showed you before are a red-flag for taking the PTE:

Listening = 89  |  Reading = 86  |  Speaking = 59  |  Writing = 90

This person CLEARLY has great English, but the PTE doesn’t like her pronunciation. The PTE is STRICT on pronunciation.

It doesn’t matter how perfect your grammar is or how precise your vocabulary is, if you have a non-native English accent (and by that I mean a  non-British, non-Australian, non-American, non-Canadian or non-New Zealander accent) – if you have any accent at all, the PTE will penalise you.

#3 How good is your writing score?

The person above should take the IELTS – no doubt about it – especially if she can take IELTS General, because that’s an easier test altogether. The main reason she should take the IELTS is because her writing score is excellent.

The trouble with IELTS is writing. Just like the PTE is strict on speaking, the IELTS is strict on writing. REALLY STRICT. If your grammar, vocabulary and essay writing skills are limited, then you have a tough choice to make.

PTE or IELTS? Really it comes down to:

Improve my speaking for the PTE?     


Improve my writing for the IELTS?

Find more insights into PTE or IELTS on the major differences and which test is easier here!

Which skill is easier to improve?

It depends on yet a couple more things…
Improving PTE Speaking

Firstly, how old are you? How ingrained is your accent? Can you neutralise your accent? Do you have methods to complete the PTE tasks? How much practice have you done? Do you get nervous on test day? Do you have a speech impediment – like a stutter?

There are a number of questions that you need to ask yourself before you choose to take on the PTE rather than the IELTS. All of the above questions are legitimate.

Speaking is a difficult skill to improve. And the older you are, the harder it becomes because our brains ‘fossilize’; they cannot mimic native English pronunciation anymore. They get ‘stuck’ with the original accent.

E2Language can definitely help you out by providing you with an initial assessment (Study Plan consultation), feedback, tutorials and probably and just as importantly, METHODS. However, in some situations, it’s a no-go zone. One of our experts might instruct you to switch to IELTS instead rather than take on PTE’s speaking algorithm.

Improving IELTS Writing

IELTS is notorious for giving 6.5 to its candidates. Score such as this are common:

IELTS Listening: 9  |  IELTS Reading: 8.5  |  IELTS Speaking: 8.5  | IELTS Writing: 6.5

Getting an IELTS 8 for writing has become a near-impossibility for some. To improve writing you really have to get your sentences straight grammar-wise. You really need to sharpen your vocabulary. You really need to learn the structures for the five different IELTS essay types.

Most importantly, you need FEEDBACK. You need to know what you’re doing wrong; otherwise, you are roaming around in the dark now knowing what’s good and correct and what’s incorrect.

If you do choose to take on IELTS writing instead of PTE speaking then check out for tutorials, writing feedback and just as importantly METHODS for the different tasks.

So here’s my two cents when it comes to choosing the PTE or IELTS.

Learn about the differences between PTE and the IELTS in this video on E2 YouTube channel below: 

So, PTE or IELTS? Ask yourself:

1. Which is better: My speaking or my writing?

If speaking, choose PTE.

If writing, choose IELTS.

2. Which test do I need to take? PTE Academic, IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

If IELTS General, choose IELTS General. It’s easier.

3. Should I prepare before I take this test?

Absolutely. At least sign up for the E2Language “budget” package to learn the methods and get access to quality practice materials. It’ll help enormously.

Check this video as Jay answers some FAQS from students for IELTS, PTE or OET

Written by Jay

All Comments 64
  • Hi Jay,
    this is Ankur from India and is a free member for PTE.
    I have attended two of your free webinars and have cleared many of of doubts. I am very thankful to you for the guidance provided to me for PTE. I have scored 82 (Listening 81, Reading 79, Speaking 90 and Writing 82).
    If I were paid member, with your guidance and super methods, I would have done still better (but these are serving my purpose).
    Once again thanks a lot from bottom of my heart.


    • Hello Ankur,

      Thank you very much for your kind words 🙂 We are glad to assist you in any way possible!

      Please feel free to send across your scorecard to [email protected] and provide a testimonial as we would love to share your story.

      Congratualtions, once again and good luck 🙂


    • Do NOT waste your money on the PTE test. It is inherently flawed.

      I’m a native English speaker with a master’s degree (American), and I scored 57 on the speaking section.

      Listening: 89
      Reading: 84
      Speaking: 57
      Writing: 90

      Shocking …

  • Hi dear i gave the pte test and i got score L -49 S 33 R -42 W51
    but i need 50 each so do you think i can improve my score plz suggest me thanks

    • Hello Vick,

      Sure, we would be glad to help you out here! 🙂

      Please send across your latest test scores, the scores you are looking to achieve and your next test date to [email protected] so that our Duty Tutor can assist you right away.


  • Hi Jay,

    This is Sagar Kadam from India. I have seen your videos on youtube and it’s really very good. I and my wife are planning for Australian PR. Both of us have appeared PTE and IELTS more than 2 times. Both of us fall short by 5- 6 marks. We would like to book an appointment with you for counseling. If you could let us know convenient time and process. We would like to upgrade our account too. But before that, we would like to have one in one session.
    Please help.
    Many thanks,
    Sagar Kadam

  • Gayathri T A says:

    Hi Jay
    I am Gayathri from India.
    Though I enrolled for PTE coaching from one of the local tutors, I never attended any of their sessions as I had your videos, your methods on me. The first time I took my PTE, I scored an over all 74 with 90 in speaking, 88 in reading, 62 in listening and 59 in writing. I was not disappointed at my scores Coz I was not well n I had to leave the room multiple times because of that. I did not attend a single question from dictation and also could not submit one of the summarise in one sentence.
    I did a retake in a weeks time once I recuperated . My overall score was 88 ( S-90, L-90,R-81,W-86)
    I would like to thank you, your videos, your methods. I would say it is numero uno.
    The only tip I could give to the test takers : listen to E2 videos n PRACTICE their methods diligently. You will come outta flying colours.
    Thank you E2 team. If I land in OZ, I would love to meet you guys personally n THANK YOU 🙏

    • Hi madam,

      I am Nyni From India.I am working as a software Engineer.My speaking ability is average.Is Pte need native like english,while speaking?

      • Hello Nyni,

        PTE Speaking is generally referred to as the most difficult section in the test. You are absolutely right about the native-like English that is expected. Unlike how it happens in the other tests, your voice is analysed by a computer algorithm so your pronunciation needs to be as accurate as possible.



    Hello sir, i have confusion about what i choose ielts or pte? I have appeared 3 times IELTS but i got 5.5 band (L=6.5,R=5.5,W=5.0,S=5.5). So, PTE would be easier for me. please suggest me.

    • Hello Neel,

      I understand your confusion here. Please reach out to our Duty Tutor here and raise your concern. They will be able to guide you further with this matter 🙂


  • Reshma Erimmal Sathyan says:

    hello jay,
    I am reshma pursuing my masters in Sydney. I have gone through two times PTE and my score was not favorable. At first attempt speaking 82, reading 62, listening 63 and writing 66.In the second attempt Speaking 86, reading 70, listening 64 and writing 63. To get RN i have to get 65 and overall 65. What should i do to get 65 points …plz reply

  • Gurmukh singh says:

    My name is Gurmukh singh. I gave ielts exam in october 2017 and got:-
    But i needed each 7.0
    Now i want to give exam again but confused between PTE and IELTS. Please guide me.

  • Hai team

    If our voice is not clear than speaking score will be reduced? Some of my friends said that my voice is not clear while speaking, is there any relation between this and PTE scoring? I already attempted except speaking everything I got above 50, S-34.

    • Maybe! Have you tried using things like the IoS Siri Voice App? See if other programs can understand your speech!

      GOOD LUCK,
      The E2 Team

  • Hello Jay and team,

    I am Saowapapan. I am a PTE member.
    I failed PTE 3 times.
    1st L33, R44, S19, W49
    2nd L36, R38, S31, W46
    3rd L33, R37, S26, W47

    I am thinking should I continue PTE or change to IELTS general. I need IELTS 6 to apply PR and I am on working visa 457 at the moment.

    Do you think I should test to IELTS general?
    Almost 2 years ago, i got
    L5.5, R4.5, S5.5, W5.5.

    I am lost now, please give me a suggestion.
    Thank you so much

    Kind Regards,

  • Hi Jay,

    I did PTE 2 times and first time I had W-80, R-79, L-73 and S-65

    I need to get 79 for each. I have tried IELTS and I’ve got L-8.5, R-8.5, S-8 and W-6.5. And surprisingly, I got 7.5 for writing in my very first IELTS attempt, without any preparation.

    What do you think is best for me PTE or IELTS.


  • Hello sir,
    I have confusion about what i choose ielts or pte? I have appeared 2 times in PTE but i got L=39,R=29,W=45,S=24. So, IELTS would be easier for me. please suggest me.

  • Gauarav Rathore says:


    This is gaurav from India, I have given PTEA test in February and following are the results
    Listening: 51
    reading: 55
    Speaking: 65
    Writing: 54
    grammer: 64
    Oral Fluency: 64
    Pronunciation: 57
    Spelling: 66
    Vocabulary: 38 🙁
    Written discourse: 55

    and OVERALL SCORE: 56

    Please help me out I am not confident to apply for PTEA or IELTS after reading you blog.
    get back to me ASAP.

  • Hi

    I have done IELTS twice and I reached twice overall 6, apparently I need nothing below 6 on all of the segments, and I had 5.5 on reading.

    I was advice to take the PTE. I did the sample test, the one we can purchase, and I did very terrible results.

    L-44 R-38 W-46 S-40

    Also the Pronunciation was really bad, I got 10 , in my opinion is the main reason for the terrible results. Could you please advise?

    In addition I have been practicing the PTE exercises and have watch hips of Jay’s tutorials too

    My test is this Wednesday, on 25.07

    Please advise


  • Hello Jay,
    I read the article and read the comments above. I am planning to file immigration for Australia. I am working for last 12 years, hence very far from any sort of exam. I understand that my English is somehow average, as I am attending several business meetings with Americans, British, Europeans, and they all can understand me very well. But for sure, I have clear Indian accent. My grammar is somehow good in writing, when I compare to other people working with me (you can call me Frog of the well, who doesn’t know world outside it). I feel that my listening is very bad.

    What is your opinion, whether I should take PTE or IELTS.

  • Abdul Azeez Hussain says:

    I Have answer IELTS And scored L-7.5, W-6, R-6, S – 7.5 and my PTE Practice TEST Results were 50’s in all.
    Which is easier for me to improve as my desired scores are 8 in IELTS or 79+ in PTE??
    Please guide…..

  • I took PTE 2years ago… I prepared for the exam in a short period of time, and I got the following scores:

    I thought the speaking section was annoying because of the background noises,,esp the people shouting into their microphones. After the first try I was pretty shocked, and also unhappy with the noisy exam setting… so I didn’t go for the second shot…

    Now, I want to get the scores before it’s too late. I need 79+/band 8 for each…and I’m not sure if Ielts would suit me better… but people tell me it’s almost impossible to get band 8 or above for IELTS writing…

    Please give me some tips!

  • Hi Jay!

    I hope you are well!
    My name is Gabriela from Brasil

    I’m recently took IELTS and my results were:
    Overall-7.5, L-7.5, S-8.5,R-7.0, W-6,0. I must get an 8.0 to serve my purpose. I had a very short prepararion time prior the test. Your videos were great help by the way!

    I’m highly consider to switch to PTE. What would you recommend?

    Thank you in advance!

  • Hello Jay,

    I am trying to get a score of above 65 in all and if possible a score of 79 in all in order to get shortlisted in the draw for australia PR. I have given PTE exam twice, but ended up getting 3 marks less the first time and 7 marks less second time. Though I improved a lot in written skills just by watching your videos but couldn’t improve upon my spoken and listening skills. What should i do?


  • Subhasree Mohapatra says:

    Hi Jay,
    This is Subhasree from India . I watched your videos for PTE on you tube and followed your instructions. This was my first attempt for PTE and I scored overall score 79 ( listening-85, Reading -80, Writing -83, Speaking -81)
    Your videos really helped me a lot to improve .
    Thanks a lot!!


  • I just have to say that PTE is the clear winner between the two. Everyone should ditch IELTS (which I swear has to be a scam) and just focus your energy on PTE.

    I’m Canadian (fluent in English which happens to be my only language), educated (two university degrees) and I’m a lawyer (not trying to sound like ‘that guy’, just emphasising that I know my way around the English language) and I could not crack the IELTS. First attempt I got 9 (S), 8.5 (R), 8.5 (L), 7 (W) and this was with no preparation as I figured ‘I’m Canadian, I got this’. Getting below a 7 was a shock, but I figured I should just prep this time and watch some online videos (like E2, thanks guys) and I’ll get it next time. I did the test again and I got 9, 9, 9, 6.5 (W) which is crazy because I actually did worse AFTER preparing for the exam. I finally gave up and decided to try to PTE (got the practice exams because who has time to waste with these stupid and arbitrary tests). First practice test averaged 88, second practice test averaged 90 and I just got my results back for my test – perfect 90s across the board.

    Will this mean that you’ll get perfect if you do the PTE? Probably not, I have an unfair advantage of being a native English speaker. Will you do better if you swap to the PTE? Yeah, I’d say so. The IELTS writing is marked by subjective examiners, how can we rely on that?

    Long story short, avoid the IELTS. Do the PTE, get your 79 and get that 189 EOI in.

  • Hi Jay,
    After trying one month for PTE with numerous sources including your free video I got folling marks for pte gold mock test
    Listening 51
    Reading 47
    Speaking 43
    Writing 52
    Overall 48

    I didn’t get marks for pronunciation and only 12 for oral fluency. I’m very disappointed with results,specially for reading section.
    What do you recommend for me to continue the PTE or shift to IELTS.i feel IELTS is easy than pte when looking at online resources.Please advice me.

  • Hi,

    I have tried PTE multiple times and eeverytime my Listening and Speaking scores are low. My latest result is Overall: 65 (Listening:60, Reading:66, Speaking:57, Writing:75). How can I get 65 in all catagories as am not a native like speaking person. Is it worth to try IELTS?

    • That must be very frustrating! Our expert Duty Tutors are trained in understanding the scores of exams. Please message them to see what they suggest. They may also offer you an E2 package! We’d love to help! If you’re interested in our services we can suggest you a package that’s right for you! Just message here:

      Share with them your test, previous scores, and next exam date.

  • hello I’m have taken the IELTS academic and I got overall 5.5=(L)5.5 (R)5.5 (W)5 (S)6.5
    so I was wondering if I give the PTE academic is there a chance to get overall 58 and each section have to be over 50 any help guys?

    • I wish it was that simple and we could confidently say that an IELTS score of ___ = a PTE score of ___. But we can’t because, remember, these exams are tricky in the way that most importantly you must understand how to TAKE THE EXAM.

  • Hi e2language test was able to score above 80 in all 4 sections just by following your advice on e2language Portal and in the online classes . Thank you for all the helpful materials.

  • Hi,

    I saw a few of Jay’s videos the night before the exam and scored straight 90s. That was the only preparation I had/needed. And am not a Native Speaker.
    Thanks a ton for the amazing content you guys have on YouTube.

  • Hello,
    I had given UKVI IELTS General 3 years bak without any preparation amd my score was L-7.5 R-7 W-6 S-7.5. But my plan was cancelled bak thn and now planning to goNZ for studies.. can u plz suggest which will be better?? IELTS Academic or PTE.

    • Honestly, Aditya!

      It’s hard to say! BUT one thing us sure: THE TESTS ARE VERY DIFFERENT. Switching is NOT that simple.. As you can imagine the exams have TOTALLY different task types so it might be easier to stick with what you are familiar with!

      That said! You’re SPEAKING score is one of your highest and the PTE’s difficulty lies notoriously only in it’s Speaking! So maybe you would do well! Additionally the PTE Writing section is known to be somewhat ‘easier’ than the IELTS so it really depends on your strengths and weaknesses. Especially evaluating where you are NOW in your English strengths vs where you were 3 years ago.

      There are many considerations to be made and I think the best suggestion we can give is to consider this information and ultimately go with what makes YOU feel most comfortable and confident! (BUT if you were to take the PTE you HAVE to prepare, the timing and specifics are extremely hard to ‘WING’)


      Sometimes sticking with what you know is the best!

      Hope that helps,
      Olivia, & The E2 Team

  • Hi,
    I have taken both the IELTS and PTE to gain extra points for our visa application and I just wanted to share my experience with people in the same situation as this blog really helped me.
    I am an English native speaker and after weeks of preparation i took the Ielts general test. The results came back L:8.5 S8.5 W:7 R:8, as I need superior points for our 189 application, I focused all of my efforts and used revision materials for writing and sat it a second time but the writing came back worse! I had put a lot of hours into revising and practicing tests so I was really deflated, I looked online and saw people talking about PTE-A. I tried the practice tests and it seemed ok and I paid for the e2l tuition bundle (which I highly recommend). After weeks of practice I took the test yesterday and I passed first time! L:90 R:81 W:90 S:88. I would say that there is a lot of content to learn for the Pte and I spent lots of hours watching videos, practicing the tests but Pte is much more fair in the way they score your test. Hope this advice helps someone else – good luck!!

  • Priyanka balutia says:

    Hello Jay,
    I gave PTE twice and below are my scores
    Dec 2018: L=78, R=86, S=88, W=78
    April 2019: L=54, R=71, S=90, W=53
    I have three questions:
    1. What are the chances of getting 79+ in PTE after taking e2 language package?
    1. Should I take IELTS general now instead of PTE?
    2. Which e2language package would you suggest for me?
    Request your guidance please.
    Thanks & Regards

    • Hi there Priyanka!

      Thank you so much for reaching out!

      We have trained E2 Duty Tutors who can suggest you the right package and answer your questions regarding the PTE. Please reach out to them via our student help desk: This way we can start a conversation with you! 🙂

      Olivia & The E2 Team

  • Hi I am Kiran, Living in Sinapore, originally from India. Spoken English is no issue- have always scored 8-9 on Ielts academic.
    I had given ielts academic 10 years back and score over all band of 8 with writing at 7, rest all 8-8.5
    This year I have tried IELTS academic 4 times- Each time overall band is more than 7.5. But my writing skill is 6.5 and latest is 6.
    I am frustrated as I have seen videos and did practise session.
    What shall I Do

  • I am doing IELTS for Australia. I need a suggestion can PTE is a better option for Australia or not. Now I don’t know what can I do IELTS or PTE.

  • From my experience I strongly recommend NOT to take a Pearson PTE test. IELTS is a much more trustworthy and professional organisation. I paid for a Pearson UKVI English test to get my Skilled Worker Visa in the UK thinking that the fully computer-based test would be a quick/easy and good fit for me as I had to rapidly transition from a job in NYC to London.
    I regret my choice sorrowfully! I was scored A2 level in Listening and B1 level in the three other categories (Reading, Writing, Speaking), which does not represent at all my English language ability. Two weeks later I took an English UKVI test with IELTS SELT and got a C2 level in Listening and C1 overall (and I was finally able to submit my work visa application!).
    Then I tried to get an explanation of my results from the Pearson Customer Service. First, they explained that it is very unlikely that a rescoring will change the results (even of a point) with the fully computer-based scoring. But obviously you have to pay for a rescore. Second, the Customer Support Service was unable to provide any further assistance for months about my complaint. I am still in conflict with them to get a refund as I cannot get any help and solution on their side.
    I fully recommend IELTS instead of Pearson PTE. My experience with Pearson PTE was a disaster from start to finish (an expensive language test for a fully computer-scored system, training mostly not for free versus plenty of free mock exams, exercises, and videos with IELTS, and incompetent customer services). Good luck!

    • E2Language Team says:

      Hi Andrea,

      We are sorry to hear that this has been your experience with the Pearson organisation, we have not heard of other students experiencing this issue before. Unfortunately, we are unable to help in this scenario but we appreciate your contribution to this discussion! Congratulations on achieving your IELTS goals and all the best.

  • HI
    I.m sowmya from hyderabad. I am planning to go USA abroad for study purpose .IS this PTE exam will accept from usa universities can i know please it will be more helpfull to me .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.