The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) and Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) are the widely accepted English proficiency tests across a number of reputed universities around the world.

The immigration authorities accept IELTS and PTE scores for immigrating applicants. Having said that, let us learn about these two examinations and also the differences between them.

Permanent Residence and Mandatory English Proficiency

Permanent Residence (PR) Visa is a special type of Visa offered by governments of certain countries to skilled workers. The PR Visa comes with benefits that a candidate will enjoy just as the citizen of a respective country does.

The PR Visa also permits the candidate to stay in the country for long-term (5 Years). Upon consecutive stay for 3 years, the candidate can also apply for citizenship and live in the country indefinitely. However, in order to live and work in an English driven country, one requires competent English skills.

IELTS – The International English Language Testing System

IELTS is a popular English proficiency test. A candidate who passes an IELTS test, steps into a world of new opportunities where he can live, work and study in foreign countries. Moreover, many countries have made English proficiency tests mandatory before inviting professional candidates to live and work there.

Students who wish to study in top-notch universities are often bound to clear the IELTS to be eligible to take admissions. IELTS determines a candidate’s English skills, which include listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Candidates looking for opportunities in countries like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand will have to face IELTS and score a minimum of six bands in each module. There are four English skill assessments for speaking, reading, writing and listening. Sometimes the professional body of a specific country might demand more bands. This depends upon the occupation and job duties that the candidate may perform in the country.

IELTS – Study Material, Test, Scores, and Difficulty

The famous and widely used study material for IELTS exams by students and professionals include the ‘Cambridge IELTS 4 Audio CD Set’, ‘Cambridge IELTS 4 Student’s Book with Answers’, ‘IELTS Tutor’, ‘Step Up to IELTS self-study Pack’ and ‘Cambridge Practice Tests for IELTS 1 Self-Study student’s book’.

The Listening assessment of IELTS requires the candidates to listen to conversations between two people. Based upon the conversation, questions are put up before the candidates that they have to answer on an answer sheet.

Total 40 questions appear and candidates should answer these questions within 40 minutes. Additionally, the penalty is levied for grammatical mistakes and poor spelling.

The Reading Assessment of IELTS requires the candidates to study three different passages. Varieties of questions emerge from the passages. A total number of 40 questions appear in this test and candidates have to write down the answers on an answer sheet. Each right answer awards the candidate with one mark.

The Writing Assessment of IELTS consists of two tasks that the candidates have to complete. The tasks include formal and informal/neutral writing styles. The examiner checks for quality in writing style, clarity, relevance, language accuracy, etc. Two questions appear in this module and candidates have to answer all of them within 60 minutes.

The Speaking Assessment of the IELTS lasts for about 15 minutes consisting of three rounds. The candidate has to face an interview with the examiner. He shall then talk about a given topic and also discuss a topic with the examiner.

The scores of each module translate into the IELTS 9-band scale. In order to qualify as a student or immigrant, the candidate will need to secure 6 in each band. However, some organization, government body or university might demand more IELTS bands for a qualifying candidate.

The IELTS test is not difficult if a candidate analyzes previous test papers. The pattern almost remains similar for most years. That is why preparation and proper study material is necessary.

PTE – Pearson’s Test of English

The Pearson’s Test of English came to practice in the year 2009. Candidates appear for the PTE exam online and this saves a lot of time. A computer AI examines the tests and declares results within few hours. Something worth noting about PTE is that the exam focuses more on day-to-day English usage rather than on high-level English skills as in IELTS.

It should sound a lot like a relief to many migrating aspirants. Australian and New Zealand immigration authorities are readily accepting PTE pass out candidates. Thus, PTE has become the first choice for candidates when it comes to clearing an English proficiency test.

One should also know that Canadian immigration authority does not accept PTE scores. In order to pass the PTE exam, the candidate has to score a minimum of 51 points which is considered equal to 7 bands in IELTS and securing 79 points is considered 8 bands in IELTS.

PTE – Study Material, Test, Scores, and Difficulty

The website of PTE offers free sample courseware to interested candidates. The recommended books for preparation of PTE are ‘The Official Guide to PTE Academic’, ‘Practice Tests Plus’ and ‘Expert PTE Academic course book’. All the three books are available online on

The PTE exam approximately takes 2 hours. Speaking and writing, reading, and listening are a part of PTE assessment. Speaking and writing tests include a personal introduction, answering short questions and writing essays.

The reading tests include fill in the blanks, multiple-choice questions, and re-ordering paragraphs. Finally, listening tests include summarizing, selecting missing words, and writing from dictation, etc.

Pearson’s computer-judged scoring system evaluates the answers and awards 1 point for correct answers. The scoring system also awards partial points for partial answers. These partial points can add up to the main score that the candidate ultimately secures.

Though considered the easiest English competency exam, candidates still need to have decent English skills to crack PTE exam. Given that, a good preparation can help candidates score well above 70 points in the PTE exam.



Author: visasabroad
Visas Abroad Services LLP dealing with Canada, Australia & New Zealand permanent residency visa under skilled worker category.