All you need to know about IELTS, TOEFL and PTE exam

All you need to know about IELTS, TOEFL and PTE exam
If you are planning to go abroad to study and find employment, you will have to appear for IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE to move forward with the visa and the application process. This test is necessary as it showcases your language proficiency. The admission committee needs to know whether you will understand the concepts being taught in class and communicate with your peers efficiently. Besides that, business companies also need to examine your English language proficiency so that they will know whether you will be able to understand their instructions clearly or not.
Here is a detailed article on all that you need to know about IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE exams.
IELTS is considered one of the most common English language tests all over the world. This test is adopted by over 10,000 organizations worldwide across 140 nations. The exam is co-owned by the British Council, Australian Universities and Colleges’ Cambridge English Language Assessment, and the International Development Program. In India, it is provided by both- British Council and IDP. IELTS previously used to be a paper-based test; however, now it is available in a computer-based format. The speaking section of the exam is conducted face-to-face in both cases. The IELTS test lasts for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. It is carried out on a two-day procedure. Listening, Reading and Writing are taken in a single session. The speaking test is taken the other day or in a different session. The registration fee for this test is INR 13250, whether it is computer-based or paper-based.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is considered one of the most commonly accepted English proficiency tests. It is regarded as one of the leading English language exams along with IELTS. This test so far is adopted by more than 150 nations worldwide and is managed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). In case you are planning to study Masters in Canada or the USA, you can appear for TOEFL. The exam is conducted in two modes, namely, internet-based and paper-based. Usually, people prefer to give the TOEFL online as it is more convenient. However, if students live in areas with poor internet connectivity or lack computer facilities, they can opt for a paper-based exam. The duration of the TOEFL exam is 3 hours and 30 minutes. Like IELTS, TOEFL consists of four sections. This includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The examination fee for TOEFL is 180 USD.

PTE (Pearson Test of English)

The PTE test is conducted only in online mode and by the Pearson PLC group. The PTE is categorized into two categories: PTE general and PTE academic. The PTE general is usually given for work purposes, whereas PTE Academic is accepted by New Zealand and Australia governments. PTE Academic consists of three categories: Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The reading and speaking portion are combined all together in the test. If we talk about the duration of the test, it is nearly 3 hours. PTE Academic scores are evaluated on a scale of 10-90, where 10 is the minimum possible score. Individuals who decide to not take the PTE Academic Test after making the online booking have up to 14 calendar days before the test date to claim a refund. After seven full days but less than 14 days, candidates who cancel the exam receive a partial refund of 50% of the test fee paid. However, no refund would be provided if the candidate decides not taking the test less than a week before the test date. The cost of the PTE exam is INR 13,300.
Below are given a few advantages and disadvantages of TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE:

TOEFL Advantages and Disadvantages

  • This test is very much acceptable as it has over 4000 exam centers across the world
  • TOEFL scores are widely accepted in Canada and the United States
  • The questions in TOEFL are comparatively easier than IELTS, and the chances of getting a good score are higher
  • The examination fee for TOEFL is also slightly less expensive than PTE and IELTS
  • Candidates need to register for this test fast as the TOEFL exam dates fill up quickly, after which one will have to pay a late registration fee.
  • The TOEFL exam is strictly online-based
  • The duration of the TOEFL test is the longest when compared to other exams.
  • Unlike IELTS, TOEFL does not have a separate exam for general purposes. Hence, it might be difficult for candidates who are moving abroad for immigration purposes.

IELTS Advantages and Disadvantages

  • It is mainly preferred by students who are familiar with the British English Language. Indian students are usually the ones who go for this test.
  • This test is widely accepted by Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
  • The IELTS test is a separate exam for general candidates who are going abroad for work purposes. It is an added advantage for them as such kind of option is not available for TOEFL candidates.
  • Candidates who are not comfortable with the online-based tests can give the IELTS test offline in a paper-based format.
  • It has a formal in-person interview for the speaking segment. It allows the candidate to know their examiner better and more comfortable with the process.
  • Some candidates are not comfortable giving an in-person interview and prefer to speak over a microphone. IELTS holds a disadvantage for such individuals.
  • The writing exam of IELTS is comparatively considered more challenging than TOEFL and PTE.
  • The speaking test is not conducted on the same day. Hence, the candidate will have to wait for some time after completing the reading, listening, and writing test.
  • The score reports of IELTS are not detailed as PTE and TOEFL report cards.

PTE Advantages and Disadvantages

  • The writing section of PTE is more accessible as compared to TOEFL and IELTS.
  • There is no physical examiner present during the test
  • PTE test results are generated within a week, so the individuals who are in a hurry to get their English proficiency test results can consider going for PTE.
  • Unlike IELTS, the PTE test can be finished within a single day and does not require more days to get completed.
  • In general, PTE is easier as compared to TOEFL and IELTS.
  • The speaking segment is not conducted in-person, instead, it is computer-based, and the candidates can record their answers over a microphone.
  • PTE is comparatively a new test, and many universities still do not accept its admission process scores. Hence, you need to verify with your target university if they receive PTE scores or not before scheduling the exam.
  • The recordings used in the PTE exam are comparatively more challenging as they use English lessons for their listening section recordings.
  • A computer evaluates the speaking test, so there are high chances of getting a low score because of a heavy accent as compared to IELTS.
In conclusion, all of the tests have different approaches; hence before appearing in them, make sure you confirm with your target universities whether they accept it or not. Various universities accept different test scores, so you need to make sure that you give the proper exam and score exceptionally well in it.
Abhyank Srinet
Passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He started his first company while he was still studying at ESCP, and managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years.  Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School to get in touch with schools and get their application queries resolved.