IELTS Academic vs PTE Academic – Which should I take?

IELTS Academic has been a well-known English test among students who want to study in English speaking countries for many years and PTE Academic has been an increasingly popular test among these students in recent years. As they sound similar to each other, you may wonder which test you should take. Actually, the choice between these two tests should be based on many factors. Find out about the difference between IELTS Academic and PTE Academic and then ask yourself the following questions.

1. Which score does my preferred universities accept?

The most important factor is the admission requirement of your preferred schools. Most universities in UK and Australia accept both IELTS Academic and PTE Academic scores. A growing number of schools in US and Canada also accept these two scores. Besides, PTE Academic is accepted by many MBA programs of leading business schools such as London Business School, Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Check out the admission requirement on the official website of your preferred schools and then decide which test to take.

2. Can I do better on a computer than on the paper?

As you can see from the difference between the two tests, IELTS Academic is available as a paper-based test while PTE Academic is a computer-based test. Some people are better at taking computer tests because they are used to screens and keyboards. They can read fast and type fast. Some people don’t like computers because screens make eyes dry and it’s hard to concentrate on the test when your eyes are not comfortable. Besides, some takers may prefer IELTS Academic because they want to take notes during the reading section in order to locate information for the questions better. (Note, however, that in select locations around the world, you have the choice to take a paper IELTS or a computer IELTS.)

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3. Can I understand different accents?

In most cases, you will hear British accent in IELTS Academic listening section while a variety of accents such as North American accent, Australian accent and Indian Accent may be included in PTE Academic. If you are a good listener who can understand different accents, you can take PTE Academic. Otherwise, IELTS Academic will be a better choice as accent plays an important role in understanding information in the listening section.

4. Am I comfortable with a face-to-face interview?

You will have a face-to-face interview with examiners if you take IELTS Academic for assessing your English speaking ability. You will be asked to discuss some topics with an examiner and your words will be recorded. Some takers are worried about this part because examiners cause more anxiety and greater pressure. Unlike IELTS Academic, you will talk to a computer during the speaking section of PTE Academic, which may be easier for some takers.

The ultimate goal is to have a greater chance of being admitted by your dream schools. Just think about your advantages and weakness. Then make the right choice for yourself and try your best to prepare for it!





  • Kuangyan

    Kuangyan creates IELTS blogs at Magoosh. She is passionate about language education and has a MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from New York University. Kuangyan has experience of teaching English both in China and in US. In her free time, she drinks mocha, does yoga, takes photos and travels to different places to explore the exciting world.

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