Exams Know-how

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE: Know the Difference between PTE vs IELTS vs TOEFL

Tumul Buch

When applying to any program in an English-speaking country, or when looking for jobs there, and even for basic immigration documents, one thing that you'll always need is: an English proficiency test.

These exams test your ability to read, understand, speak, write, and listen to the English language and then grade you accordingly. There are certain set scores required, and anything under that score will not allow you to enter the country as a student, employee, or resident. Mainly, there are three standard tests: TOEFL vs PTE vs IELTS. Each is a unique system and works for different individuals.

Table of Contents

Before making a decision, you should know the difference between PTE vs TOEFL vs IELTS and only then decide which one works for you the best way. In this article, we will be going through the various distinctions and give out a verdict as to IELTS vs TOEFL or PTE which is easier, and which is better.

What is the Basic Difference between IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE?

In a gist, there is one basic difference that sets aside the three tests and helps you segregate IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE. All three test your English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills as a non-native speaker. However, the three tests differ mainly in their medium of examination.

  • The IELTS is a computer plus face-to-face examination, which means students with excellent English but poor social skills and public speaking might get nervous and not get their target score. On the contrary, PTE and TOEFL are both conducted on a computer system. This gives a slight edge over the IELTS as most of us are more comfortable and used to writing on computers.
  • The second basic difference is the way these papers are checked. IELTS papers are half computer and half human evaluation. TOEFL papers go through each system, while PTE is only evaluated by the computers. While both systems have an advantage over the other, it is a personal choice as to which one you would prefer.

Suggested: Difference between IELTS vs TOEFL

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE: Which is easier?

The PTE Exam is considered the easiest out of all the three exams!

Let us dive into the gory details of the many differences between IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE.

What are the IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE Exams?

First, in the discussion of IELTS vs PTE vs TOEFL, we must know what these are. Here’s a gist:

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The IELTS is the most commonly taken exam for English proficiency. There are four categories in this system: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each section is graded in halves, from 0 to 9. Then, the average is taken to be the total IELTS score of an individual. The IELTS is the most widely accepted test globally. However, it is also the hardest to crack.

Suggested: Difference between IELTS and IELTS UKVI

A majority of our Yocketers take the IELTS as their go-to English language proficiency exam! If you haven’t decided which exam to take- Take a 15-minutes FREE consultation call and Speak to our highly experienced Yocket Counsellors!

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

The TOEFL is the oldest English language test. Also accepted internationally, the test is a little more difficult than the IELTS and has four sections. Each section is graded from 0 to 30. Your final TOEFL score is a sum and is given out of 120 in all. Anything above 100 is considered a good score for the TOEFL.

Suggested: Colleges Accepting TOEFL Score 100-110

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

Also comprising four sections, the PTE test is yet another globally renowned test of English that grades students’ knowledge of the English language from 10 to 90. Anywhere above 76 is a good score. Test takers have reviewed the PTE to be the least difficult when grading between TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE.

Suggested: PTE vs IELTS- Which is Better?

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE: Key Differences

The basic difference between IELTS vs. TOEFL vs. PTE is simple: the way they are conducted. For example, the IELTS is both paper and computer-based, while the TOEFL and PTE are only computer based. Next up, IELTS is far more global than PTE, and TOEFL is in the middle rung. But there are so many gory details with which these three differ from one another.

Let us now dive into the key differences between these tests that will finally help you make the decision: IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE, which is for you?










15,500 INR

14,242.11 INR

13,300 INR


Paper and Computer



Assessed by

Human or Computer

Human AND computer








In halves



In decimals

Good Score




Ideal for

UK, USA, Canada, etc.

Students and visas

Students running late with their English test

English System Used

British or American

British and American

British and American

Question Types

MCQs, yes/no, true/false, matching headlines, features, information, essay writing

Factual information, negative factual, vocabulary, sentence formation, essay writing

20 different types including essay writing and MCQs


2 hours and 45 minutes

3 hours

2 hours and 15 minutes

Results validity

2 years

2 years

2 years




Once every 3 days


Once every 5 days

Accepted by

Internationally by most countries and institutions

Internationally, more preference by American schools

Internationally, but less than the other two (70 countries globally)

Suggested: IELTS Accepting Universities in USA

The table has clearly illustrated the key differences and similarities between PTE vs IELTS vs TOEFL. Let us dive deeper for a few sections here:


Each of the three exams encompass the four major pillars of the English language: Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Reading. To accommodate and be inclusive, these include all accents and spelling styles. All four sections hold equal importance. Most test takers find the reading section the hardest, mainly because it is extremely time taking.

Suggested: TOEFL Scores and Results


You can keep taking your English tests as many times as you want. However, there is a limit for the TOEFL and PTE as to the frequency with which you take these tests. Also, you will have to pay the fee every time you give the test.

Check out this video to know all about IELTS vs TOEFL:


The cost of the tests is variable from country to country. In the standard USD, an IELTS attempt costs 250 for the academic and 215 for the general paper. The TOEFL fee is set at 190 USD and 170+taxes for the PTE test. Although the difference is not very gigantic, choosing the right test for yourself goes a long way.

Suggested: IELTS Scores and Results

You should now have a clearer picture of which exam to consider when taking one. If you still find yourself picking fingers at TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE, we have the verdict right here.

Know More About PTE vs TOEFL vs IELTS

PTE Accepted Colleges in Canada

USA Colleges Without IELTS and TOEFL

IELTS Exam Preparation Tips

PTE vs IELTS vs TOEFL: Which Exam Should You Choose?

The exam you choose greatly depends on who you are as a person.

For a student:

  1. Check with your university and program’s requirements and acceptance. See which test they accept.
  2. Then, check the costs and see if they match your affordability.
  3. Next up, check with the forum for the amount of preparation required for each test and compare it with the time you have.
  4. Also check the time it takes to give out the results, you don't want to get your results after the deadlines!
  5. Lastly, if nothing really seems to make way, choose a test that will last you longer and in broader arenas.

Suggested: Duolingo vs IELTS vs TOEFL

For an immigrant/employee:

  1. Check with your visa/job provider for their preferences
  2. Check the costs.
  3. Check the preparation time and the time you have.
  4. Check the time for results and compare them with the time you have.
  5. As a busy person, go with a test that doesn't require much preparation and one that makes you confident about clearing.

Suggested: PTE Exam Dates and Centers 2022

The three internationally accepted tests are great and unique in their ways, but choosing the right for yourself is the way to go. For people with more than one institution and country in mind, check if all of them accept the test you’re about to give. Also, consider the amount of time your scores will be valid, and choose smartly whichever coincides with your preferences the best.

If you still find yourself buzzed over IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE which is easier, better, and more preferable, book a free consultation call with Yocket’s most experienced experts and find your answers in a go. Hurry! You have a flight to catch.



Frequently Asked Questions about TOEFL vs PTE vs IELTS

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE which is easier?

Is IELTS more difficult than TOEFL?

Are Canadian spellings acceptable in the IELTS or TOEFL or PTE?

Is IELTS expensive?

How long should I study to prepare for IELTS vs TOEFL or PTE?

More Topics

Top Premium Admits

View all admits

Articles you might like

The Indian Dream To Go For Higher Studies Abroad?

Hold all the aces before you depart for your higher studies

What After SAT / ACT Exam? | Things to do for Studies Abroad

Upcoming Events


Scholarships and Other Funding Strategies 2025

June 15th, 7:00 pm IST | 1hr


Fireside chat with Brown uni admitted student

June 21st, 3:00 pm IST | 1hr


Looking for Funding options: Scholarships, RA & TA are the way forward!

July 2nd, 5:00 pm IST | 1hr