Many people consider the PTE English language test to be easier than the IELTS test, however, other people disagree. Both exams test your reading, writing, speaking, and listening ability and are commonly used as part of applications for Australian visas or to study at Australian universities.
So is PTE easier than IELTS? The short answer is no. Which test you will find easier thoroughly depends on you as an individual. However, there are some factors to consider when deciding whether you will find the PTE easier than the IELTS.
Here we will delve into some of the reasons why the PTE is considered easier, and how you can decide which will be easier for you in order to answer the question: is PTE easier than IELTS?
Why do people think that PTE is easier than IELTS?
There are a few reasons why many people consider PTE to be easier than IELTS. Firstly, IELTS has been around for much longer than PTE. Since your score is only valid for 2-3 years, there are plenty of people who have previously taken IELTS one or more times before taking the PTE.
Many of these people will go on to score higher on PTE than IELTS, and therefore consider it to be easier. However, their improved score may simply be a result of increased experience and preparation, having now taken multiple English language tests.
Another reason why PTE is often considered to be easier is that the test contains several tasks that a lot of people find easy, for example writing from dictation and highlighting incorrect words in a passage.
It can also be argued that since the PTE is 100% machine-scored it removed human error and moderator bias. On the other hand, some people argue that computer-bias may be an issue.
In the IELTS test, the speaking section is conducted face to face with an examiner. However, in the PTE test, you are speaking to a computer. For a lot of people who easily get nervous, they find this to be a less stressful option.
Another factor is that the PTE test is slightly shorter than the IELTS and may for that reason be considered easier. Whilst it does mean that you don’t need to maintain energy and concentration for as long, it doesn’t necessarily affect your score.
Skill testing in each section
In order to answer the question: ‘Is PTE easier than IELTS?’ we are going to take a more in-depth look at the types of questions used to assess each skill. Both tests assess four English skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
The reading section is shorter on the PTE, lasting for between 31-41 minutes and consisting of multiple-choice questions, reordering paragraphs, and fill in the blanks questions. The IELTS reading section consists of 40 questions and lasts for 60 minutes. Whilst the IELTS reading section is longer, many people find it to be slightly easier, however, this is subjective.
The PTE writing section is combined with the speaking assessment. It includes essay-writing, short answers, and summarising passages. The IELTS writing section lasts for 60 minutes and compromises two tasks: essay-writing and summarising graphical data. It is generally considered to be tougher than the PTE writing section.
Whilst the PTE speaking section is combined with the writing assessment and conducted via computer, the IELTS includes a separate short speaking section which is carried out in person. Many people prefer speaking to a computer and therefore determine that the PTE speaking assessment is easier, however, there is no evidence to support higher scores.
The listening section of both tests involves listening to a recording before answering questions based on what they have heard. Whilst the PTE listening section is longer, there is no evidence that it is any easier or more difficult.
Is PTE easier than IELTS?
Which test is easier is subjective. Since the general consensus is that the reading section of the IELTS is easier, whilst the writing section of the PTE is easier, you may want to consider exactly where your strengths lie.
You should also think about whether you are more comfortable speaking to a computer or a human being, regarding the speaking section. This may be particularly important if you speak with a strong accent.
The IELTS test can be either paper-based or computer-based, whilst the PTE is always completed on a computer. When deciding which test to take, you should think about how legible your handwriting is and how good you are at typing.
Overall the best way to determine which test to take is to take a look at the online learning materials and mock tests to decide which one you find easier.