In 2017, there are three major English language proficiency exams that MBA and other programs use to test an applicant’s ability to speak in English. In the past, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) were the most common.
In 2009, Pearson–one of the most prominent educational companies and publishing houses in the US–launched its own Proficiency Exam: the Pearson Test of English, Academic (PTE Academic).
Now, The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Pearson Test of English (PTE) are three widely accepted standardized tests measuring English language ability for non-native English speakers.
What is the difference between them?
The IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System. It has long been in use as an English language test usually for entry into the commonwealth countries, majorly, the United Kingdom, other European countries, Australia, and even Canada.
It differs from the TOEFL in that it follows the Queen’s English and the scores are provided on a 9 band scale, though beyond that the sections of the actual test are similar, them being reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Of course, as one who has given the test, I would say that the IELTS is comparatively much easier than the TOEFL, and it gets over comparatively quickly as well.
A score of 6.5 or above is a must to gain entrance into your program of choice.
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is usually necessary for American graduate schools and MBA programs. The four individual sections are reading, writing, speaking and listening, similar to the IELTS, but here the test-giver is marked out of 30 in each section, and the final score is then out of 120.
A score of 90-95 on 120 is generally the minimum required to get into your preferred program. For Ivy League colleges (such as Columbia), the cut-off is at 113, but that is an altogether different story.
The PTE stands for the Pearson Test of English. It was recently launched by Pearson, one of America’s most prominent educational publishing houses. It is widely accepted in most American MBA programs today, but as it is a comparatively newer test, most colleges which accept a PTE may also accept either an IELTS or TOEFL score.
Look into your college of choice and inquire which test they require before proceeding with any of them. Some colleges are strict about accepting only TOEFL scores, while others may only consider IELTS scores, while yet others may be willing to accept any of these tests; after all, the test is only to check your prowess over the English language and to see whether you will be able to handle studying in it.
Remember to mail the universities and see if you can get a waiver by noting down your accomplishments in the English language – if they accept then this not only saves your fee, but also saves your time which would have been spent studying for it. However, take it as a guideline that the TOEFL works for most colleges in the USA, while the IELTS is good for most places in the UK.
IELTS Academic vs TOFEL vs PTE Academic
Detailed difference in assessing four skills
From the chart above, we can see that IELTS Academic, PTE Academic and TOFEL assess takers all of the four skills. Here are the detailed difference of the four sections in these tests.
IELTS General and PTE General
Both IELTS Academic test and PTE Academic test are designed for students who want to study in English speaking countries. The IELTS and the PTE also have a general test for people who want to work or live in those countries.
The format and content of IELTS General is slightly different from that of IELTS Academic.
Unlike PTE Academic, PTE General consists of a written paper and a spoken test which is marked by examiners. The content of PTE General assesses takers’ communicative language ability because it is based on real life settings and materials.
Based on these differences between IELTS, TOEFL and PTE, choose the one suits your need and work hard for it!
And you can find a lot of free material about TOEFL at: https://wiki-toefl.com and material about IELTS academic at: http://ieltsmaterial.com and material about IELTS general at: https://ieltsgeneral.net .
Score Comparision between PTE, TOEFL and IELTS
|Paper Based||Computer Based||Internet Based|
|Score valid for||2 Years||2 Years||5 Years||5 Years||2 Years|
|Test Dates||Every Week||Every Week||Every Week||Every Week||Every 2-3
|Test Centers||IDP & British Council i.e. 2 centers||Many||Prometric Test Center||Prometric Test Centers||1 at all major cities|
|Retaking of Test||No minimum time frame||Not in the same month||Not in the same month||Not in the same month||Not Specified|
|Type of Testing||PBT*||iBT*||CAT*||CAT*||CAT*|
|Maximum Marks||9.0 Bands||120||340||800||2400|
|Minimum Qualifying Score||5.5 Bands||73 Bachelor’s
|Modules Tested||Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening||Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening||Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical Writing Assessment [AWA]||Verbal, Mathematical & quantitative Skills. Analytical writing Assessment(AWA)||Essay, Reading, Writing, Mathematics|