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Why more people now prefer PTE to IELTS?

 There was a time when IELTS was the go-to exam for people looking to migrate to Australia or Canada. IELTS was so hugely popular that the word had entered the vernacular of many countries like India and China.


And then came PTE! The Pearson Test of English. If you are new to it this is a good place to know more about PTE –


In just a few years PTE has become a strong competitor to IELTS and if the recent trends are to be believed it will overtake IELTS in the next two to three years.


What are the reasons behind this?


First, many people were fed up with the slow IELTS exam. Taking IELTS was a long and painful process. The exam happened only about couple of times a month and one had to wait a few weeks for the results. In contrast PTE can be taken every day of the week and the score report is usually available within the next 24 hours. People no longer need to plan months ahead or wait for months to see improvement in their scores.


Second, IELTS was controversial as the spoken part of the test was assessed by a human examiner. Many test takers have complained of the human bias. Whether this was perceived or true, it did impact the performance in the exam. PTE is fully automated. You don’t seem a human at all! Every response is judged by a computer algorithm whether it is spoken or written. Students somehow feel more confident in PTE.


Third, PTE has questions which seem much closer to everyday work and study situations. IELTS on the other hand is much more formal. Most young people who study in an English medium school or university can quickly get ready for PTE compared to IELTS. The presence of large number of PTE YouTube channels has further made PTE more accessible to everyone.


Fourth, it is much easier to prepare for PTE than IELTS. There are about ten times more online courses for PTE than that for IELTS. IELTS is still dominated by offline old style boring tuition centers. On the other hand, PTE courses can be taken online and at less than tenth of the cost. This is one major reason for the popularity of PTE.


Finally, PTE got a big boost when it was officially accepted as one of the recognized tests for Australian visa requirements. In our opinion Australian Immigration contributes more than 90% of the total PTE demand. PTE is backed by Pearson which is world’s largest education company. The high impact marketing undertaken by Pearson made PTE a household name in the developing world.


Ultimately all test takers just want to achieve their goal score. Noone takes exams like IELTS, PTE or TOELF because they truly want to learn English or prove their English skill. This is almost a necessary evil one has to meet to get through the visa hoops. In future we hope English skill assessment can become much cheaper and democratic. In fact with the advent of tools like ChatGPT foreign language hurdles might be overcome for once and all!


Till then, students can rejoice that they have options. If you have taken IELTS before or just don’t have the patience for a month long IELTS dance, then go ahead and embrace PTE. It is willing and waiting.



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