Is it easier to get the required high score in PTE than in IELTS? It was, but not anymore!!

There was a general impression ever since the launch of PTE that it is easier to obtain a higher score in PTE compared to IELTS. However, with Pearson’s recent research finding that updated the concordance between IELTS and PTE-Academic, now you may need to score higher in PTE to match the IELTS equivalent (especially for Immigration purposes) If the proposed changes are accepted by immigration authorities or universities, entry-level PTE-A score requirement criteria will change.  

What are the changes and how it will affect the test-takers?

Pearson has recently released their research findings and updated the concordance between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic. While the changes are pending approval from respective governments/institutions, if accepted, the immigration score requirements as well as study abroad score requirements will change. Broadly speaking, while the changes are positive for study abroad candidates, it is somewhat worrisome for candidates seeking immigration. Let’s see what these changes are and how it will affect the test-takers.

So, what are the changes?

First let’s understand what a PTE-IELTS concordance table is, and why it is needed.  Below shared is the concordance table between PTE and IELTS prior to December 1, 2020. 

Old PTE-IELTS Score Mapping
IELTS - PTE Score (Till Nov 30, 2020)

A PTE – IELTS concordance table is a comparison table that links PTE score to its IELTS equivalent. For example, a student seeking admission to a higher study program might require a 6 in IELTS.  The PTE equivalent of the same can be found out by the concordance table, which is at least 50. So, if the country/university accepts PTE score as their entry requirement, a score of 50 in PTE would suffice for that particular student. Similarly, the majority of test-takers planning to apply for immigration aim for a score of 8 bands in IELTS or an equivalent 79 in PTE.  

This was the case until November 30, 2020.  

On December 1, 2020, Pearson updated the concordance table on the basis of their research. Check below the updated concordance table between PTE and IELTS. 

New PTE IELTS Table mapping
IELTS - PTE Score (Updated) (Dec 1, 2020 onwards, if accepted)

As you can see, there are some significant changes that makes it a bit more difficult for test-takers aiming for a higher PTE score. As per the updated table, an IELTS equivalent of 8 is now at least 84 in PTE.

However, for students seeking admission for higher studies, it’s good news. Most of the universities set a cut off at 6 in IELTS for entry to their program, which was equivalent to 50 in PTE. This now has come down to 46.  

This research is pending approval from the respective government partners as of December 03, 2020. Pearson has updated their government partners on the outcomes of their concordance study. It is up to these institutions (immigration authorities/ universities) to decide whether they make changes to the score requirements for visa applications. Please check with the relevant government department on any changes.

Though it’s going to be challenging to score higher in PTE from here on, having a clear strategy will always help.  Follow our experts’ advice and maximize your chance to score well in the first attempt.

Check out what Fountainhead Prep 90 scorers have to say about their test-taking experience.  

Watch our PTE Expert explain the new IELTS-PTE score mapping

Watch this space for more updates.

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