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Both IELTS and PTE are English proficiency tests, but IELTS enjoys higher recognition and is accepted in more countries, making it the obvious choice for test takers worldwide.

IELTS over PTE for migration: Understand the difference

Canada does not recognise PTE-A for migration

PTE Academic is currently not accepted for immigration by Canada. Compare that with IELTS, which is recognised worldwide and has been accepted by IRCC in Canada since 2005.

IELTS is world's number one English test for migration

IELTS is accepted by all immigration departments that require an English Language test, including: Australia, Canada, UK and New Zealand.

Gives you the flexibility to choose paper or computer

PTE is only available on computer, whereas with IELTS you can choose whether you want to take your test on paper or computer in many locations across the world. The freedom to choose is important to test takers who are more comfortable using paper and pen to write their answers.

Fairness in testing

Unlike PTE, IELTS follows a test format that is fairer for test takers. Whether it’s IELTS on paper or IELTS on computer, you are allowed to skip questions and come back to them later, so you don’t waste time. With PTE, you must answer the question before moving on to the next one.

Fairness in marking

Robots may be great in a factory but unlike PTE, we don’t leave our test takers’ futures in their hands. English experts assess our Speaking and Reading tests, following global marking standards. This ensures fairness for all test takers to give them the best chance of achieving their migration goals.

Global footprint

With over 4,000 IELTS test locations across 120 countries, including more than 280 computer-delivered test centres, IELTS has one of the largest test centre networks in the world, making it easily accessible worldwide.

Trusted worldwide

Over 11,500 organisations around the world trust IELTS' evaluation of English language skills. PTE on the other hand is accepted by around 3,000+ organisations (just 27% of the recognition rate of IELTS).

Fast results

With IELTS on computer you receive your test results within just 1-5 days. The quick turnaround time provides peace of mind to help you meet your immigration application deadlines.

Prepares you for success

IELTS Prepare by IDP gives you access to a range of preparation materials at your fingertips. From practice tests, videos and articles to expert assessments, online courses, webinars and more, this preparation support helps your confidence grow to make it easier for you to reach your goals.



Which is the more popular test, IELTS or PTE?

The most popular English test worldwide with over 3 million tests taken annually.

Up to 828,000 tests taken in 2022*

What test types of tests are available for IELTS vs PTE?

Available on paper and computer

Computer-based only

Are IELTS and PTE accepted by the Canadian Immigration Department?



What is the difference between IELTS and PTE Speaking test?

One-to-one speaking test with a real person who understands different accents.

Talking into a microphone in a room full of other test takers who may also be speaking at the same time can be distracting.

What is the difference in how IELTS and PTE are marked?

Reading and Speaking tests marked by experts who understand different cultural nuances.

Marked by AI

“I got my required IELTS score and in a couple of months, a shiny new visa arrived in my inbox.”Anthea, former IELTS test taker and now a successful business owner








Information current as of 01/02/2023.