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?

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

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 at www.ptepractice.com

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 (and I mean non-British, non-Australian, non-American, non-Canadian, non-New Zealander) – 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?     

OR;

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?

PTE or IELTS
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 www.e2language.com 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. 

34 thoughts on “Choosing the PTE or IELTS? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions!”

  • 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.

    Ankur

  • 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

  • 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,
    Regards
    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.

        Best,
        AC

  • NEEL GHANSHYAMBHAI PATEL says:

    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 🙂

      Best,
      AC

  • 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

    • Hello Reshma,

      Sorry to hear about your scores.

      Could you please share your test results with our Duty Tutors here? They would be able to assist you further.

      Best,
      AC

  • Gurmukh singh says:

    Hello,
    My name is Gurmukh singh. I gave ielts exam in october 2017 and got:-
    Speaking-5.0
    Writing-6.0
    Listening-6.5
    Reading-6.0
    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,
    Saowapapan

  • 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.

    Thanks

  • 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:

    Hi,

    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

    Nevena

  • 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:
    SPEAKING 57 LISTENING 78 READING 81 WRITING 90

    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!

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