IELTS 2020 NEWS
Settling abroad is a dream of many aspirants. Going to the best of the universities in different countries and getting top-class education is what people aspire for. Choosing between taking the three exams, i.e. TOEFL or IELTS or PTE is a difficult task and many aspirants face the challenges to understand the basic difference. Both, Test of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL and International English Language Testing System or IELTS, are the major English language proficiency examinations and are widely accepted. The Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE) was launched in 2009. Pearson, which launched this test, is one of the most prominent educational companies and publishing houses. PTE test is slowly catching up with the other two in terms of acceptance and popularity.
It is not a straight answer to choose one of the three. The answer depends on several factors such as the institution of choice, score requirement, or personal preference. Usually, IELTS is more accepted in Australia and Europe whereas TOEFL is more accepted in the USA to pursue MBA. The PTE Academic, however new, is also accepted all over the world by MBA colleges.
All three language tests are in some way resemble each other and also differ in other ways. All three tests measure all aspects of the English language but grade them differently. The tests are available throughout the year with test centers located across India. The cost of the exams is also almost similar and the duration of the exam also varies slightly. Let us dig deeper into each exam and then do the comparison along with the pros and cons of each.
IELTS is one of the most popular English language tests across the world. It is accepted by 10,000+ organizations in 140+ countries. The test is co-owned by the British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment, and IDP (International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges). It is offered by both IDP and British Council in India. IELTS is a paper-based test but nowadays is offered in the computer-based format also. The Speaking section, however, in both cases is conducted in a face-to-face setting. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes which is divided into two days. One day is allocated for Listening, Reading, and Writing part of the exam and the other day is for Speaking test. The test fees for both paper or computer-based exam is Rs 13,250.
Apart from IELTS, TOEFL is one of the widely accepted English language exams. The test is administered and designed by ETS (Educational Testing Service). The exam is accepted by 10,000+ universities in 150+ countries. TOEFL is conducted as an internet-based test in India. The test has four sections that are to be completed in a single sitting on any internet-connected computer. The test can be given in all major cities across the country. The fees for giving the exam is USD 180 or INR 13755.
The PTE exam is conducted by Pearson Inc which was launched in 2009. The test is accepted worldwide by thousands of universities and is gaining popularity quite fast. It is also accepted by Australian and New Zealand governments for visa purposes. The test is conducted on the internet-connected computer for all its sections. The major difference between the other two exams and PTE is that it has Speaking & Writing section combined together as one section. The total fees for the exam is Rs. 13,300 with a total duration of 3 hours approximately.
The table below gives a brief comparative overview of three exams:
|Organization||British Council/IDP||Educational Testing Service (ETS)||Pearson|
|Format||Computer-based or Paper-based (Face-to-face Speaking test)||Internet-based||Internet-based|
|Duration||161 to 164 min||200 to 250 min||154 to 191 min|
|Fee||INR 13250||INR 13755||INR 13300|
|Sections||Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking||Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking||Speaking & Writing, Reading, Listening|
Getting a good score is one of the most important factors to decide the examination. There are specific cut-offs of each university or college of the required language examination. All three tests have a different scale for the measurement of scores. IELTS score uses a 9-band scale to measure the scores whereas TOEFL score has 30 marks for each section and hence a total of 120 marks. PTE uses a granular scale of 10 to 90 for overall scores along with individual scores for Enabling Skills and Communicative Skills.
The table below gives the comparison of the scores along with the proficiency level in each of them.
All three sections in each test are designed to test the proficiency of the English language for each Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. All the tests are almost similar with slight changes. In IELTS, the Speaking section is face-to-face and is divided from the rest of the section. PTE has Writing and Speaking section combined as one section.
We will see the basic differences in all the sections in each test.
Refer to the below table for the basic overview of the Reading section across all the tests:
|Duration||60 min||60-80 min||32-41 min|
|No of Questions||40||36-56||15-20|
|No. of Passages||3||3-4||5|
Refer to the below table for the basic overview of the Listening section across all the tests:
|Duration||30 min||60-90 min||45-57 min|
|No of Questions||40||34-51||18-25|
|No. of Recordings||4||6-9||8|
Refer to the below table for the basic overview of the Speaking section across all the tests:
|Duration||11-14 min||20 min||40-50 min|
|No. of Tasks||3||6||5 (Up to 40 questions)|
Refer to the below table for the basic overview of the Writing section across all the tests:
|Duration||60 min||50 min||30-40 min|
|No. of Tasks||2||2||2|
After looking into the basic difference between each examination, let us focus on the pros and cons of each test. The decision on taking IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE should be based on the comfort level and the requirement of the university or college.
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