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Changes to PTE Score Requirements Underway

A recent study of PTE Academic and IELTS Academic tests has changed how Pearson compare PTE and IELTS scores. Here is what they found:

  • At IELTS 6.5 and below the comparative PTE Academic scores are at some points lower on the scale than what they used to be.

  • In the mid-range, where PTE is typically used for academic admissions purposes, the updated comparison has been minimally adjusted.

  • At IELTS 7.5 and above, the comparative PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points higher on the scale.

Pearson has updated the Australian Government on the outcomes of their study. It is up to the Department of Home Affairs as to whether they make changes to the score requirements for visa applications.


Should the new comparison apply to visa applications, it is likely to affect skill assessments as well.


Some test takers claim that it is easier to obtain higher scores with PTE Academic compared with IELTS. If the Department accepts these changes, that advantage will diminish or even disappear.


For example, a person pursuing a Skilled visa invitation currently needs a PTE Academic score of 79 in each of the main four test components in order to claim 20 points for Superior English. Should the Department adopt Pearson's new comparison, the same person will need to score 84 in each part.


There is no change to how either tests are constructed or scored.

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