Woman thinking about IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE : Which English test should you attempt?

As an international student who has decided to study abroad, attempting one of the English proficiency tests is almost always mandatory. The question is, which exam should you give – IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE?

In the past decade, the debate of IELTS or TOEFL has become more complex with the addition of PTE in 2009. While many students preparing to study abroad in colleges and universities know about IELTS and TOEFL, many opt for the PTE exam instead. So take a look at this quick rundown of IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE and decide which is better for you!

Outline: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE


The ILETS exam is arguably, one of the most accepted English proficiency tests worldwide. The test is recognized and accepted by more than 10,000 institutions and immigration bodies all over the world. According to IELTS.org, more than 3 million IELTS tests were taken in the year 2018 alone. The test is conducted over 2 days and consists of 4 sections, namely reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  Experts think that the holistic nature of this test is the reason why it is more widely accepted than TOEFL and PTE.


TOEFL is another widely accepted English proficiency test. It is particularly standard among US universities and colleges to test overseas students’ language abilities. Like IELTS, TOEFL also consists of four major sections, and all of them are now conducted online except for some countries.


Pearson Test of English (PTE) is a single consolidated test that includes both writing and speaking sections. The test is conducted entirely online. The number of institutes that accept and recognize PTE scores is gradually increasing. Similarly, some governments (Australia, New Zealand) have also started accepting PTE results for their visa processes.


Due to its nature of scoring and exam pattern, we’ve compared TOEFL and PTE against the IELTS exam. As two of the most widely accepted proficiency tests, let’s take a quick look at some aspects of IELTS and TOEFL. You can read more about these exams in detail here.

IELTS vs. TOEFL Difficulty:

It varies from person to person. But it is often observed that people who have completed their school in British schooling systems find TOEFL more difficult than IELTS.

TOEFL or IELTS: The easier one?

IELTS is conducted in parts and spans two days, while TOEFL is conducted in one day and lasts for four hours, which makes taking IELTS relatively easier than TOEFL.


The most major differences between IELTS and PTE are between their scores. Understanding TOEFL scores is fairly easy since its four sections are divided into equal parts, with each part’s score being 30. On the other hand, PTE and IELTS give consolidated scores for the entire test, including all sections. In IELTS, the scores are further calibrated from 1-9 bands, and a score of 7 and above is considered as good.

On the other hand, PTE gives scores from 0 to 90, and getting at least 65 is deemed good. Even though there is no standard equivalence between the two, but if we draw PTE vs. IELTS score comparisons, then it is safe to assume that getting 7 bands in IELTS is equal to scoring 65 in PTE. Similarly, 9 IELTS bands are considered the equivalent of scoring 86 and above in PTE.

Major difference between IETLS, TOEFL, and PTE

The major difference in IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE is how the speaking component of the test is evaluated. In IELTS, the speaking is evaluated on the basis of a live conversation of the candidate with an actual person. On the other hand, TOEFL and PTE require candidates to record their speech in a computerized system.  If we talk about IELTS vs PTE specifically, then candidates have the option to go back and forth (with sections) in the former.

Advantages and disadvantages of IETLS vs TOEFL vs PTE

The advantages of IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE

Disadvantages of IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE


IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE: Which is more widely accepted?

IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE are all accepted worldwide in thousands of institutes. So, declaring which one is more accepted is very difficult. Nonetheless, all three exams edge each other in different countries when it comes to the English proficiency requirements set by institutes. For instance, institutes in the US prefer to assess the language skills of their overseas patients through TOEFL.  Meanwhile, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany based-institutes prefer ILETS and the institutes in Australia and Europe prefer the PTE exam. So, choosing which entrance exam to give largely depends upon the country and institution you choose to apply to.

So, all the salient details of IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE are right here in front of you. You can now decide which test suits your particular requirements and is absolutely perfect for you. Take a deep breath in, get a clear idea of your preferences and selections, and choose the perfect English proficiency test for yourself! You can read this blog about IELTS vs TOEFL, for a better perspective on the details of these entrance exams.

If you need any help choosing the right university or program, you can always consult the experts at iSchoolConnect and get further guidance on this matter. Get FREE counseling, perfect university recommendations, scholarship assistance, Essay and SOP writing assistance, and so much more!

Akanksha Vora

Bright, bold, and bubbly, Akanksha Vora is a writer at iSchoolConnect. She writes creative and curious blogs that help students with their life and studies abroad.

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