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PTE Vs. IELTS: Why is PTE Academic slowly gaining ascendancy over IELTS?

Nobody seemed to have heard of PTE Academic until a couple of years back. The only language-based qualifying exam that came to one’s mind for all general migration and for Study Abroad purposes in respect of Europe, Asia-Pacific, even Canada, was IELTS. TOEFL iBT was a distant second as it was more aligned to US-oriented qualifying exams like GRE and GMAT.

And now, all of a sudden, PTE Academic is making waves, and every other aspiring migrant to the West is talking of PTE in the same breath as IELTS. The more ‘aware’ an aspirant is, the more s/he is thinking in terms of PTE Academic. The niche that PTE has made for itself is bound to become the mainstream in foreseeable future, and unless IELTS does something substantive to stem the tide, its popularity is bound to be overtaken by PTE Academic.

The question is why PTE Academic has gained so much of popularity (and acceptability across continents) in such a short period. Here are a few reasons:


IELTS test papers, markings same globally

Mr. Kevin McLaven

Practice is the key to good band-scores and Indian students should make frequent use of the English language to improve their communication skills, says British Council’s IELTS head in India, Mr. Kevin McLaven, in an exclusive interview with TCYonline.com, the largest teacher-student platform in the country. Mr. McLaven is the First Secretary (Education Services), British Council Division, British High Commission, New Delhi.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Do you think the present system of testing English language skills is effective enough in view of the changing education scenario, with the coming in of the Internet?

Ans: The standards, marking and monitoring of IELTS have been formalized after extensive worldwide research. Research is continuous and ongoing and the partners invest heavily in ensuring that the test standards are effective in measuring the true-to-life English language proficiency of the candidate and suit the needs of receiving institutions. The face-to-face speaking test, which sets IELTS apart from competitor tests, is widely recognized as the most effective indicator of an individual’s oral communication ability.


Good English important for UK study

Study in the United Kingdom may be expensive but it is the best in the world, says Mr. Dan Chugg, the First Secretary and the official spokesman of the British High Commission in New Delhi, in recent exclusive phone-interview with TCYonline.com.

We also spoke to Ms. Gurpreet Wadhera, Head, English Programs at BetterThink, Ludhiana, the language division of Top Careers & You (TCY), an education company with 34 centres in North India.

These experts throw light on various issues concerning a prospective Indian student desiring to pursue his/her studies in the land of the Cambridge and the Oxford.

Q 1. How much weightage do you give to the Indian education from the   visa point of view?

DAN CHUGG: A degree from an Indian university is as good as one from any other country and we give it the same weightage.  For example, under the points system, students get points for having a (graduation) degree or a post-graduation degree. He gets the same amount of points as he gets from the Indian university or from the British or French university.  Well, our eligibility criteria are very simple. If somebody comes to us with a letter saying he has been accepted by a UK university, got a place to stay and have a proof of enough funds, he is given a student visa.