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IELTS sets the standard for high-stakes language testing. Comparing test scores is notoriously difficult, but the following tables which are all based on extensive research will help organisations to have confidence that they are treating all test takers fairly and setting their applicants up for success.

If your organisation accepts IELTS and other language tests, our team is available to make sure you have the data and expert support to help you set the right score. Contact us.

Alignment of IELTS bands and PTE-A scores

The table below summarises the IELTS and PTE equivalencies, based on a lengthy study conducted by the IELTS Partners from 2018 to 2020. We encourage test users to review the full report to understand this equivalency study. The report is available here:

Download the full report here

IELTSPTE-A overallIELTS & PTE-A ListeningIELTS & PTE-A ReadingIELTS & PTE-A SpeakingIELTS & PTE-A Writing
540.840.243 40.243.1
5.545.4 42.747.942.251
651.648.153.546.262.2
6.558.556.860.653.574.1
766.366.267.865.382.3
7.574.673.973.775.387.5
882.379.478.480.989.4
8.588.184.783.785.589.5

How to read this table:

The first two columns on the left present the alignment of the tests at the overall score level. 
To interpret the other columns, identify the skill you are interested in, identify the IELTS level, then look across to the appropriate skill column – so for example the alignment of the tests of reading at IELTS 6.5 is 60.6 on the Pearson scale. 

Please note: We are not sure of the specific ways in which the PTE-A overall score is calculated; we recommend referring to the four skills columns when making decisions and comparing test scoring systems.

Canadian Language Benchmarks

Equivalencies between the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) (for English) and the results of language tests from designated testing organisations have been established. To review the full equivalencies table, visit the Canadian Government website.  

This table shows the relationship between CLB and IELTS:

CLB levelReadingWritingListeningSpeaking
1087.58.57.5
97787
86.56.57.56.5
76666
655.55.55.5
54555
43.544.54

Source: Government of Canada, cited 5 January 2020
   

Cambridge Assessment English (CAE)

Cambridge Assessment English’s B2 First and C1 Advanced both report on the Cambridge English Scale.

The table below shows the relationship between Cambridge English Scale and IELTS:

 

IELTS band scoreCambridge English scale score
7.5191
7185
6.5176
6169
5.5162
5154

Source: Comparing scores to IELTS B2 First and C1 Advanced, Cambridge Assessment English, cited 5 January. 
   
  

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

The Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a series of descriptions of abilities at different learning levels that can be applied to any language. It provides a globally recognised framework for comparing the results of different language tests. More information here.

Graphic showing the CEFR Framework vs IELTS

Why accept IELTS scores?

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As an organisation based in an English-speaking country, it’s imperative that everyone on your team has a high level of English proficiency. Not only is it important for the work carried out internally in your organisation, but for the individual’s ability to integrate into the community too.

IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. Approximately three million tests are taken every year in over 140 countries.

Moreover, IELTS is the only English language test that is accepted by all key immigration authorities for visa applications and migration purposes. This includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

IELTS test types

We offer two types of tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The choice offers flexibility for organisations as IELTS Academic is suited to those who will be entering a higher learning environment, whereas IELTS General Training focuses on a test taker’s proficiency in a practical, everyday context.

We want to test individuals in the right areas, so they best fit the needs of your organisation.

Regardless of which IELTS the individual takes, they will be thoroughly assessed on four key areas which include: Listening, Reading, Writing and speaking.

Test fairness

IELTS actively avoids cultural bias in order to ensure all test takers are treated with the utmost fairness. The test consists of questions that are relevant to the way people need to use English in their studies or working lives. The topics covered by the test are both interesting and contemporary and are based on an analysis of the ways in which language is used in everyday life.

Face-to-face speaking test

IELTS includes a face-to-face speaking test with a qualified and trained examiner. They will interact and assess the test taker’s communicative skills in English. This prompts a more realistic performance from test takers than simply responding to recorded cues from a computer.

We believe this approach to testing allows institutions and employers to be able to better identify test takers who can communicate effectively in English.

All standard varieties of native English are accepted. This includes Australian English, British English, North American English and New Zealand English.

 

 IELTS gives a reliable indication of entry level English Proficiency. Other tests are less satisfactory at providing this.

Lecturer in Academic English and Study Skills, King’s College London, UK

 

 As part of our assessment processes all IELTS reports are verified using the online IELTS results verification site. Access to this site has enabled us to ensure that the IELTS results we receive are genuine.

Julianne O’Brien, Client Manager of the Skilled and Business Migration Program, Australian Capital Territory

 

 We consider an IELTS qualification to be a reliable indication of a student’s English language competencies and of their ability to pursue their higher education in English.

Carvi Stucki, Senior Admissions Office, École hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland
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