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Want to study abroad? Then, you have to take the English proficiency test. These days, clearing the English proficiency test is important to study in any country. For example, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia,  and New Zealand, among others, In the English proficiency test race three main examinations stand out. They are TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE. However, it can be confusing as to which examination a student should take. Hence, we have provided the main differences between TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE to help the student make the right decision. Keep reading to learn more.


Deciding which English Test to Take: TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE

TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE are some of the best examinations that a student can take to study abroad. Clearing any one of these examinations can help a student provide proof of English language proficiency to the university. Thus, cleaning any one of these examinations is mandatory. The main difference between TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE is as follows.


TOEFL is the oldest English test launched by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). TOEFL results are accepted by several universities, for example, USA, Canada, UK, and Australia. Moreover, the test can be taken either on paper or online. TOEFL tests a candidate’s reading, listening, grammar, and writing skills. However, it is based on US English language. Hence, it is preferred by students who want to study in the USA. The total score band of TOEFL exam is 0-120.

Also Read: TOEFL Exam 2023: Latest Updates, Format, Registration Process


The IELTS test is one of the most popular tests in the world. The IETLS exam follows a band scoring pattern, That is scores are given from 0 to 9 bands. The IELTS exam tests a person’s reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. IELTS exam duration is less compared to TOEFL and PTE. The exam is mostly preferred by those who want to study in the UK. 

PTE Test 

The newest English proficiency test is the PTE test. It is conducted completely online. The scores are based on the Global Scale of English. That is, scores are given from 10-90. A score of 90 represents the highest level of language proficiency. The exam tests a candidate’s English listening skills, speaking skills, writing, and reading skills. PTE test scores are accepted in countries such as Germany, USA, France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, among others.

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE Examination Pattern

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE examination pattern is completely different. The three exams test a person’s reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. The IELTS exam is conducted for a duration of 2 hours and 45 minutes. On the other hand, the PTE, and TOEFL exam takes 3 hours.

IELTS Exam Pattern
SectionsTotal QuestionsDuration
Reading4060 minutes
Listening4030 minutes
Writing260 minutes
Speaking3-511-14 minutes
TOEFL Exam Pattern
SectionsTotal QuestionsDuration
Reading30-4054-72 minutes
Listening28-3941-57 minutes
Writing4 tasks17 minutes
Speaking2 tasks50 minutes
PTE Exam Pattern
Reading32- 40 minutes
Listening45 – 57  minutes
Writing77 – 93 minutes
Speaking77 – 93  minutes

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE Scoring

The TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE scoring varies. When it comes to the TOEFL exam, the four sections are divided equally, and each part’s score is 30. However, PTE and IELTS give consolidated scores for the entire test. In the IETLS exam there are mainly 1-9 bands, a score of 7 is considered as good. However, the PTE scores vary from 0-90. Getting a PTE score of 65 is considered as good.

Minimum Grades for Admission to the University

The minimum grades for admission to the university for the English proficiency test scores vary. Hence, we have provided the minimum scores for the TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE examinations. Do note that the minimum score required can differ on the basis of the university as well.

English TestMinimum Grade Required
TOEFL70 – 80 
PTE55 – 60 

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Result Validity 

The IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE results are not valid forever. The results are considered valid only for a certain period of time.

English TestValidity
IELTS2 years after the declaration of results 
TOEFL2 years after the declaration of results 
PTE2 years after the declaration of results 

Also Read: How to Prepare for IELTS?

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Examination Fees

The cost of the English proficiency tests varies. The cost of the examinations is as follows. The examination fee to take any of these examinations ranges between 15,900 – INR 17000. Students can check out the exact fees below

English TestExamination Fees
IELTS AcademicINR 16,250
TOEFL IBT Exam FeeINR 16,900
PTEINR 15,900

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE  Acceptance 

IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE acceptance is recognized by thousands of institutions worldwide. These exams are popular in several countries around the world. The general acceptance of these examinations is listed below:

IELTS 140 countriesUK, Australia, South Africa, and Ireland
TOEFL160 countriesUS, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany.
PTE Academic73 countries Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

How Difficult are IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE?

It is difficult to access which examination is more difficult. IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE examinations are all some of the best English proficiency exams a student can take to study abroad. To start with, a student can access his/her current level of English by trying out the free materials available on the official site of these exams.   

Moreover, the way a student prepares for an exam is more important than how difficult an examination is. The tests prove the English language skills a student can have to study in another country. Successfully clearing these examinations can show that the student has mastered the language.

Also Read: PTE Exam: Everything You Need To Know


Which exam is easier TOEFL or IELTS or PTE?

Choose the TOEFL if you must do MCQs, online interviews, and academic reading. PTE is a good option if you want your results in 5 days and want to write short essays.

Which exam is better TOEFL or PTE?

The examination TOEFL is preferred by universities such in Canada, Australia, the US, New Zealand, and Germany. Moreover, it is accepted in several countries of the world. It is mainly popular in  New Zealand, Australia, and UK

Is PTE accepted in USA?

PTE is a popular choice for professionals who want to work in the US. It is being accepted in several countries across the world. For example, the USA. 

TOEFL vs IELTS vs PTE is one of the most popular English tests that a student can take to pursue their studies overseas. To discover more articles like this one, consult the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu.

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