The fast and fair English test
PTE Academic is a computer-based language test that provides the most unbiased and secure proof of a candidate’s English skills for university, professional, and migration applications.
PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking, and writing – all via a computer in a single three-hour test session. To complete the test, you will need to attend a secure Pearson Test Center. You will use a computer and a headset to listen to, read, and respond to questions.
PTE Academic is accepted by thousands of universities, colleges, and institutions around the world, and approved for all Australian, New Zealand, and UK visa and migration applications.
PTE uses genuine academic materials
PTE Academic uses genuine academic content to make it more authentic. This is taken from real-life situations that test takers would encounter in an academic environment. The reading texts in PTE Academic include academic study texts, plus texts related to all aspects of student life.
The test also includes genuine academic lectures rather than actors reading scripts or other simulated materials. Question writers for PTE Academic are required to use actual texts as stimulus material and no question without a source reference is accepted.
We are committed to ensuring that students are better prepared to use their English for academic study, wherever they are in the world.
Suitable for international use
PTE Academic delivers real-life measures of a test taker's language ability to institutions requiring an agreed standard of proficiency in international academic English.
We ensure an international character by selecting texts and settings encountered in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA. This ensures that all test takers are on an equal footing. Tests that use only one specific English variety put test takers not familiar with that variety at a clear disadvantage.
PTE Academic is the only academic English test to include non-native English accents. This reflects the diversity of English that students are likely to experience at any university where English is used, and where students will be taught by professors and teaching assistants who are not native speakers of English. This makes PTE Academic highly relevant to today’s modern international academic institutions.
All national variations of language are considered correct in the PTE Academic test, as long as test takers use the same spelling conventions consistently in their responses.
What is the test format?
The test takes three hours and consists of three parts: speaking and writing (completed together), listening, and reading. There is an optional 10-minute break between the reading and listening parts.
During the test, you will find 20 different question styles, from multiple choice to essay writing and interpreting information.
For more on our test format, please read our PTE Academic test format guide
How does PTE Academic compare to IELTS and TOEFL?
PTE Academic has numerous advantages compared to IELTS and TOEFL. Read more.
PTE Academic is scored against the Global Scale of English, a global English language standard that aligns with a variety of well-known tests and scales around the world. It has a thermometer-style scoring scale of 10-90, which gives you an accurate overview of your skills. Find out more about the Global Scale of English.
Based on our research into the relationship between the PTE Academic test, the IELTS Academic test, and TOEFL, we have developed the following comparison tables as a guide to show how PTE scores relate to other score bands.
These are a guide only; we always advise you to check with the university or college you are applying to for details of their PTE score requirements.
In December 2020, we released research showing updated concordance between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic. PTE scores and scoring have not changed. View the full report.
Do I need to know a specific academic subject to take the test?
No. PTE Academic is a test of your English ability in academic settings. The test covers a range of subjects within the question content but you are not being tested on these subjects.
Do I need computer skills to take the test?
You do not need special computer skills to take PTE Academic.
PTE Academic is taken using a QWERTY keyboard. This is where the letters on the top line spell out ‘QWERTY’. If you are not used to this type of keyboard, it may help to practice with one before you take the test.
Do I have to take PTE Academic in my home country?
You can take it at any of our test centers around the world.