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Which English Language Test Should You Opt for? IELTS, TOEFL OR PTE

April 14, 2019BY Dev

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Which English Language Test Should You Opt for? IELTS, TOEFL OR PTE

If you’re planning to pursue your education abroad, mastering English language proficiency is crucial. Three major English language tests, IELTSTOEFL, and PTE, are widely recognized for evaluating language skills. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the nuances of each test, helping you decide which one aligns with your goals.

Overview of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE

When deciding between IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE, consider factors such as test structure, scoring, and acceptance across institutions globally. Each test has its unique characteristics, and understanding them will guide you in making an informed choice.

IELTS

IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, is renowned for its holistic evaluation. Accepted by over 10,000 institutions globally, IELTS measures proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Its balanced nature makes it widely accepted. We at D-Vivid Consultant offer the best IELTS coaching in Ahmedabad, with lessons from a British Council-certified trainer to ensure excellence in your language proficiency.

TOEFL

TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is particularly popular among US universities. Administered online, it assesses the same four skills as IELTS. TOEFL scores are divided into four sections, each contributing to the overall score on a scale of 0 to 30. For those in Ahmedabad aspiring for excellence, investing in the best TOEFL coaching in Ahmedabad becomes a crucial step towards success.

PTE

Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a consolidated online test covering speaking and writing. Gradually gaining recognition, PTE is accepted by a growing number of institutions worldwide. Its unique format includes a variety of question types, providing a comprehensive evaluation. PTE Academic is now accepted for SDS Visa in Canada. As the best PTE coaching institute in Ahmedabad, we have a dedicated PTE lab to prepare you in an exam-like environment.

Test Patterns: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE

Understanding the test patterns of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE is essential for effective preparation. Let’s dive into the distinctive features of each exam.

IELTS Test Pattern

Sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking

Total Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Scoring: Bands ranging from 1-9

TOEFL Test Pattern

Sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking

Total Duration: 1 hour and 57 minutes

Scoring: Scaled from 0-30 in each section, totaling 0-120

PTE Test Pattern

Sections: Speaking & Writing, Reading, Listening

Total Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Scoring: Scaled from 10-90

Detailed Sectional Comparison

To choose the test aligned with your strengths, let’s analyze the reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE.

Sections

IELTS

TOEFL

PTE

Reading

  • 3 passages with various tasks

  • 60 minutes to complete

  • Tasks include multiple-choice, matching, diagram labeling, and true/false questions

  • 2 passages with 10 questions each

  • Time allotted: 35 minutes

  • Scoring ranges from 0 to 30

  • 29-30 minutes duration

  • Tasks include filling in blanks, re-ordering paragraphs, and single-answer MCQs

Listening

  • 40 questions across 4 tasks

  • 30 minutes duration

  • Recordings feature native speakers in various accents

  • Mix of lectures and conversations

  • 36 minutes duration

  • Questions follow each lecture or conversation

  • 30-43 minutes duration

  • Tasks include summarizing text, filling blanks, and highlighting incorrect phrases

Speaking

  • 11-14 minutes interview

  • 3 tasks, including personal introduction and topic discussion

  • 16 minutes duration

  • 4 tasks, including independent and integrated speaking

  • Combined with writing in 54-67 minutes minutes

  • Tasks include reading aloud, repeating sentences, and essay writing

Writing

  • 60 minutes duration

  • Descriptive and argumentative tasks based on visual information and given topics

  • 30 minutes duration

  • 2 tasks: integrated and independent essay writing

  • 54-67 minutes duration

  • Tasks include essay writing, summarizing, and answering questions

Where and How to Take Each Test: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE 

How and where you take each test varies, providing flexibility to suit your preferences. For IELTS Academic, you have options—either at a test center on a computer or on paper. Opting for the computer-based IELTS offers more choices for exam dates. Excitingly, starting early in 2023, IELTS Academic will also be available for online testing, letting you take the test from the comfort of your home. Regardless of the format you choose—computer, paper, or online—the structure, content, and timing remain the same. The Speaking part involves a face-to-face session with a certified IELTS examiner or a video call, specifically for the online test.

If you’re considering TOEFL iBT, it’s available as a computer-based exam in official test centers. However, there’s a Home Edition too, allowing you to take the test using your personal computer at home. For areas where the internet isn’t available, there’s a Paper Edition. Interestingly, the Speaking part for TOEFL iBT can be done from home using your personal computer, adding to the convenience of the test-taking process.

When it comes to PTE Academic, you have two options for taking the test. The primary choice is the computer-based format, accessible at various test centers globally. Alternatively, there’s the PTE Academic Online version, allowing you to take the test from the comfort of your home. However, it’s crucial to note that the online version might not be accepted for study visas by many institutions. Institutions often prefer PTE Academic taken in a designated test center, emphasizing the importance of selecting the right format based on your specific requirements and the preferences of the institutions you’re applying to.

Major Differences: Choosing the Right Fit

Understanding the nuances between IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE is crucial in making an informed decision. Let’s explore some major distinctions.

  • Test Medium: IELTS is both paper and computer-based, TOEFL is exclusively computer-based, and PTE is fully computerized.
  • Speaking Evaluation: IELTS involves a personal interview, while TOEFL and PTE use computer-based evaluation.
  • Language Accent: TOEFL and PTE use standard American English, while IELTS has a broader spectrum.
  • Writing Styles: TOEFL demands longer essays, suitable for fast typists, while PTE accommodates slower typists with easier essay writing.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE can guide your decision-making process.

IELTS: Widely accepted, especially in the Canada, USA, UK and Australia, but involves in-person interviews.

TOEFL: Standardized for US universities, computer-based, but may not be accepted everywhere.

PTE: Growing acceptance, fully computerized, but relatively new, and PTE Academic is now accepted for SDS Visa in Canada.

Global Acceptance

While all three tests are recognized globally, their acceptance varies by country and institution. Consider the preferences of your target universities when deciding.

IELTS: Popular in the Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, and South Africa.

TOEFL: Preferred by US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, French, and German universities.

PTE: Recently gaining popularity in Canada and also getting traction in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Comparing the Difficulty of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE

When deciding between IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE, your choice should align with your preferences and strengths.

IELTS: Stands out for its in-person interviews, emphasis on short answers, and a well-balanced mix of tasks.

TOEFL: Well-suited for those comfortable with academic reading, online interviews, and handling multiple-choice questions.

PTE: Known for providing quick results, assessing short essay writing skills, and being a computer-based test.

In conclusion, as you start your journey of mastering English language proficiency for your study abroad aspirations, consider the unique features of IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE. Choose the test that aligns with your strengths and the requirements of your target institutions. For effective preparation, seek guidance from the best coaching institute for IELTS, PTE, and TOEFL. Your success in these English language proficiency tests opens doors to exciting educational opportunities worldwide.

As you navigate this journey, remember that selecting the right test is not just about acing an exam; it’s about unlocking a world of possibilities for your future academic endeavors. Trust the expertise of D-Vivid Consultant, acknowledged as the best overseas consultancy and top overseas education consultants in Ahmedabad. Let us guide you towards success in your study abroad aspirations. 

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