The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. The IELTS results are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.
You can choose to take your IELTS test either on paper or computer, depending on your convenience. There is no difference in the content, format or level of difficulty between the two options. Remember, you will have to carefully choose which module you wish to take – IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training, depending on the purpose of your taking the test. However, to study in the UK, you’ll have to take the IELTS test approved for UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI).
IELTS test format
IELTS is a test of all four language skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day one after the other, with no breaks in between. For the Speaking test, you can book a slot online on your preferred date and time. If you fail to choose a slot within the stated time period, a time slot will be automatically allocated to you. The total test time is under three hours.
PTE Academic is a computer-based academic English language test aimed at non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad. It tests four modules of the language – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. PTE Academic is the world’s leading computer-based test of English for study abroad and immigration, which assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing all via computer in a single 3 hour test session.
To complete a PTE Academic test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson test center. You will use a computer and headset to listen to, read and respond to questions.During the three-hour test session there will be three main parts to the test: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice through to essay writing and interpreting information.
PTE Academic assesses real-life, academic content, so you will hear excerpts from lectures and view graphs and charts. You will hear a range of accents in the test, from British and American to non-native speakers, so you will be exposed to the type of accents you will encounter in everyday life.
Questions often test 2 skills together, such as listening and reading or reading and speaking. The whole test is done in a single session, lasting 3 hours and is taken sitting at a computer in a secure test environment. The speaking part of the exam is done at the computer. Your voice is recorded and sent for marking.
PTE Academic is scored against the Global Scale of English. The Global Scale of English is a granular score scale from 10 – 90. Students receive an overall score on this scale, which gives an accurate assessment of their English ability.