IELTS VS PTE Difficulty: The Writing Sections

4 minute read

The IELTS and PTE exams are language efficiency tests which are conducted to check the candidate’s English language reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. With both tests having somewhat similar objectives, a lot of students preparing to study abroad often have this question of which one is better or easier. The writing section in both these exams contains maximum weightage. Students who have given any of these exams have mentioned that to secure maximum marks in the writing section, you have to prepare rigorously and with a disciplined approach.

Highlights IELTSPTE
Full formInternational English Language Testing SystemPearson Test of English
Conducting BodyIDP, British Council, Cambridge Assessment English.Pearson PLC
Difficulty LevelHard to MediumHard to Medium
Application FeeINR 15,50013,300
Frequency48 times annually34-35 times annually

IELTS vs PTE – Difficulty Level

The scoring of both tests is quite similar. But for obvious reasons, there is a difference in the difficulty level in both exams.  Students who have already given the IELTS and PTE exams are of the opinion that under the writing section, the PTE exam is slightly easier than the IELTS writing section. The assessment system of both IELTS and PTE is quite accurate, but scores under the writing section depend on the quality of the candidate’s response.

Under the PTE Writing section, candidates find tasks like writing from dictation and highlighting incorrect words in a passage easy, when comparing tasks given in the IELTS. For one more reason, some people find PTE Writing easier than IELTS because of the short length of the PTE writing section. Moreover, the difficulty level often depends on the candidate’s preparation and how much time they have devoted to their preparation.

IELTS vs PTE – Exam Pattern Difference

Under the IELTS exam, there are four sections. These are given below.

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing 
  • Speaking

In the PTE exam, there are only three sections. These are as follows.

  • Speaking and Writing (combined)
  • Reading
  • Listening

IELTS vs PTE – Score Comparison

Both IELTS and PTE exams have different ways of scoring.

In the IELTS exam, grades are given between grades of  0 to 9, with a gap of 0.5 under each section. Universities, on average, accept scores between 6 to 6.5. Each candidate is given a band score for each section and then an average score is calculated under each section.

Under the PTE exam, each candidate is given a score in percentage between 90 to 10, where a global scale of English is used. Universities usually prefer a minimum of 55-60 scores. 

Below is a table, giving examples of IELTS and PTE scores.


IELTS Writing Section

Under the writing section in IELTS, candidates will be given two different tasks, task 1 and task 2, where candidates have to understand the given tasks and give relevant responses within the time limit. For the entire writing section in the exam, candidates will be given 60 minutes to complete it. 

Task 1: Candidates have to give their response to this task within 20 minutes. Here, candidates are required to write at least 150 words.

Task 2: this task will take around 40 minutes, in which candidates are required to write their response in at least 250 words. The weightage of this task is double what it is of task 1.

Candidates will be provided with Writing Answer Sheets, in which they have to write their responses. Candidates are suggested not to write notes as these will not be accepted.

PTE Writing Section

The first part of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) consists of the speaking and writing section.

The writing test assesses candidates writing skills about how good they are in grammar, formatting sentences, and giving topic-specific responses. Under the writing section, candidates have to give their responses after listening to the audio. Based on the quality and quantity of candidates’ responses, they will get scores. 

Candidates will be given 25 seconds to read the prompt and prepare their responses relevant to the audio they listen to. You will have only 30 seconds to record your response and candidates will be given only one chance to record. 

Below is a table given, where all the details about the PTE Writing section are given.

PartsTasks Response LengthScoringTime
Summarize Written textYou have to summarize the given passage into a single sentence.Upto 300 wordsPartial Credit10 minutes
Write EssayOn the given topic, you have to write an essay of 200-300 words.2-3 sentencesPartial Credit20 minutes


What is the weightage of the IELTS writing section?

Candidates attending the IELTS writing section will get twice the points for giving a response to task 2 than they will get for writing task 1. Writing task 2 is about 60% of your marks and writing task 1 is about 30%.

What is the weightage of the PTE writing section?

Under the PTE writing section, candidates will be given two tasks; Summarize Written Text and Write an Essay. The weightage of this entire section is 20 marks.

What are the application fees for IELTS and PTE exams?

While filling out the application form for ILETS and PTE, candidates have to pay the required application fee.
IELTS- INR 15,500
PTE- INR 13,300

Candidates who want to prepare for IELTS or PTE or any other language proficiency test, can Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers and strengthen your English score as well as your application so that you can secure your spot in your dream college.

Fulfil your dreams of studying abroad with Leverage Edu, to get a free counselling session, reach us at 1800527000

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