International English Language Testing System or IELTS test was established in 1989 to test and certify the proficiency of non-native English speakers. It is a standardized test jointly conducted by IDP Education, Cambridge English Language Assessment and British Council. IELTS scores are accepted globally as evidence of proficiency in English language by over 8,000 organizations.
On the other hand, Pearson Test of English which is commonly known as PTE was launched by Pearson in 2009 and obviously is a new set of criteria in testing and certifying English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. PTE Academic scores are accepted by top UK universities and US universities and all across Australia.
IELTS and PTE have two common versions: Academic and General Training. Both IELTS and PTE have similar test sections of Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. However, some unique features in content pattern are the focal point that differentiates IELTS from PTE.
The speaking abilities of the candidate in IELTS test is evaluated by conducting a live conversation with the candidate and the conversation is recorded in some recording device whereas in PTE there is no live conversation. The candidate has to speak into a microphone and the computer captures the audio. A computer program then evaluates the speaking and rates the candidate.
IELTS test is completely paper based and uses diagrams, graphs and charts for the writing section. On the contrary, PTE is totally computer based and hence incorporates other techniques to test the writing capabilities of the candidate.
IELTS has set time for each paper and hence the candidates have the right to move forward and backward, whereas PTE has section timings and can make only a forward movement.
Scoring Pattern and Results
While IELTS is evaluated manually, PTE incorporates completely automated procedures. They rate the candidates based on scores which range from 10 to 90. Whereas IELTS evaluates the test takers and award them bands which range between 1 and 9.
The IELTS test results are published within 2 weeks from the commencement of the test, whereas PTE scores are available online within five business days.
Test Location and Dates
PTE test centers are located in over 50 countries worldwide and can be taken on any date of the year. The test can be taken depending on the availability of seats in the desired centers. In India, PTE test centers are located in over 15 plus cities. IELTS tests are conducted every year at more than 900 centers spreading over 130 countries in 48 pre-fixed dates. In addition, IELTS General Training test is available on 24 fixed days of a year.
Both IELTS and PTE candidates are assessed within 3 hours duration. IELTS can be quite comfortable as candidates are habitual of reading and writing and when it comes to speaking, they need to only interact with a human being. Whereas PTE can be a challenge to those who do not have a great typing speed and accuracy.