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PTE vs IELTS for Canada PR - here’s which to take


Is IELTS a better choice vs PTE for Canadian immigration? If you’ve got your eye on the Great White North and want to gain PR status there, one of the first things you’ll have to do is prove your fluency in English.

This can be done by sitting for an English proficiency test such as the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

In this article, we will take you through the differences between IELTS and PTE for immigrating to Canada.

What Is PTE?

Launched in 2009, the PTE is an English language test that was launched by Pearson Inc. It has two tests: PTE Academic and PTE General, both computer-based and automated.

These tests have only begun to be accepted in recent years by governments like Australia and New Zealand for visa purposes.

For work and migration to Canada, there is no PTE test available yet as of July 2023, though there are plans for a version for this purpose.

What Is IELTS?

Set as the golden standard for English proficiency tests, IELTS was launched in 1980 and evaluates the fluency of English in both written and spoken formats.

Accepted by over 11,500 institutions in more than 140 countries, IELTS is the most recognised test of its kind, and the most popular. It has both paper-based and computer-based versions of its test, which is split into four sections: speaking, writing, listening and reading.

If you lean towards reliability and decide to go with this test, the suitable IELTS for Canada PR is General Training.


Choosing between PTE and IELTS for Canadian PR - what you must know

Now that you have a slightly better idea about your test options, you might be wondering which one you should take.

If you have yet to make up your mind, read on to explore some key differences between the PTE and IELTS language tests.

1. PTE is still not accepted for Canadian immigration (as of July 2023)

While the Academic version of both tests are accepted by Canadian education institutions, this unfortunately isn’t the case for working professionals or those looking to migrate at this point – as the PTE Core test will only be accepted later this year.

However, the good news is that the IELTS is widely recognised in Canada and can be used to prove English proficiency, regardless of whether you’re a student or a working professional.

2. IELTS has a global reach and established trust

As compared to the IELTS, the PTE is a much newer test. Hence, it is not as recognised globally.

Over 11,000 organisations worldwide trust IELTS’ evaluation of English language skills while only around 3,000 organisations accept the PTE.

If you want your test to have the greatest possible reach, then your choice should be IELTS. The last thing you want is for your certification to not be recognised, and still ending up needing to take the IELTS test.


3. The IELTS score requirements

In order to successfully migrate to Canada, you’ll have to score at least 6.0 across the four skills portions of the IELTS – reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Your scores will then be translated into points according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which is the official point system used by Canada for immigration.

4. IELTS use in Canada

As a skilled immigrant, the Express Entry system is a much faster way for you to gain PR in Canada.

Under this system are three different pathways which you can choose according to your individual skill set: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class.

Regardless of which program you pick, you can use your IELTS test scores to prove your language proficiency.


Take the next step towards your Canada PR today

Living and working in Canada requires you to prove your English proficiency. If you are looking for the best test to take, you can’t go wrong with choosing the IELTS test as your preferred option.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and move to Canada, we’re here to support you!

Besides being the official co-owner of IELTS, IDP offers convenient test locations and free test preparation materials to support you. Learn why you should take your IELTS test with us.

Book your IELTS test today to begin your journey.