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Understanding your PTE score

Understanding your PTE score

PTE Academic gives you a score from 10–90 on the Global Scale of English, so you can measure your English skills with pinpoint accuracy. Read our guide below to learn more about the broad bands of achievement for PTE.

Asian man looking at computer

PTE Academic Score: 85 - 90

  • CEFR Equivalent: C2

  • IELTS Equivalent: Band 9

Required for: Typically, we don't see universities or governments requesting scores this high.

This is the highest level of English ability we can measure. At this level, you would be extremely comfortable engaging in academic and work activities at all levels. At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.

  • Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.

  • Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations.

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Listen to an example test taker response at C1 level.

PTE Academic Score: 76 - 84

  • CEFR Equivalent: C1

  • IELTS Equivalent: Band 7 - 8

Required for: Australian Skilled Migration Visas

This is a very high level of English proficiency. This level of English is generally not required for undergraduate courses.

At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning.

  • Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.

  • Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.

  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

The markers commented about the test takers response:

"The test taker discusses the major aspects of the graph and the relationship between elements. The response is spoken at a fluent rate and language use is appropriate. There are few grammatical errors in the response. The candidate demonstrates a wide range of vocabulary. Stress is appropriately placed."

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Listen to an example test taker response at B2 level.

PTE Academic Score: 59 - 75

  • CEFR Equivalent: B2

  • IELTS Equivalent: Band 5.5 - 6.5

Required for: Typically, this is the level required to be able to follow academic level instruction and to participate in academic education, including both coursework and student life, and may be set for undergraduate or post-graduate entry requirements. This is also the level required for professional registration and employment, and also for Australian skilled migration visas.

At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization.

  • Can interact with a degree of oral fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.

  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

The markers commented about this response:

"The test taker discusses some aspects of the graph and the relationship between elements, though some key points have not been addressed. The rate of speech is acceptable. Language use and vocabulary range are quite weak. There are some obvious grammar errors and inappropriate stress and pronunciation."

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Listen to an example test taker response at B1 level.

PTE Academic Score: 43 - 58

  • CEFR Equivalent: B1

  • IELTS Equivalent: Band 4 - 5

Required for: Typically, this may be required for undergraduate level study.

At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.

  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst in an area where the language is spoken.

  • Can produce simple connected text on topics, which are familiar or of personal interest.

  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

The markers commented about this response:

"The response lacks some of the main contents. Only some obvious information from the graph is addressed. Numerous hesitations, non-native-like pronunciation, poor language use, and limited control of grammar structures at times make the response difficult to understand."

Male-student-taking-notes-at-university-outdoors

PTE Academic Score: 30 - 42

  • CEFR Equivalent: A2

  • IELTS Equivalent: N/A

Required for: Typically, this level is too low to engage in academic coursework, but may be set for Foundation Year courses.

At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g., very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).

  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.

  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Image - Male student - studying with laptop and headset

PTE Academic Score: 10 - 29

  • CEFR Equivalent: A1

  • IELTS Equivalent: N/A

Required for: Typically, this level is too low to engage in academic coursework or Foundation Year courses.

At this level, test takers:

  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.

  • Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has.

  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.