Update:

We know that some of you have been worried about aspects of our Concordance Report, published below. We didn’t intend to confuse anyone so we hope that this message helps explain.   

The report is about how the PTE scores align with IELTS scores. Nothing has changed to the PTE exam itself, how it is scored, or the scores that you need to achieve for your Australian, New Zealand, and UK visas or for university admissions. 

Your PTE test result is still valid and will not change. A candidate who scored 79 will continue to score a 79, their level of English Proficiency will remain the same.

We’d like to explain a little about the purpose of the Concordance Report – it is to enable Governments, Universities, and professional bodies to see how we have updated our score ranges against IELTS bands.

It does not require them to make any changes or to take any action regarding your PTE test scores. For the majority of universities, where the test scores are typically set in the mid-range for academic admissions purposes, there is minimal change to the scores.

If universities, professional bodies, such as Nursing, or the Australian, New Zealand or UK governments decide to review their PTE Academic score requirements and make changes we expect this would happen over a period of months and years and that notice would be given if score requirements change so that everyone is aware and can prepare.

We hope this has clarified the purpose of our report. If you have the time, we do have more information and FAQS available below.

We would also be pleased to hear from you if you have any further questions: https://pearsonpte.com/contact-us

 

Summary:

Today we have published the latest concordance report from the PTE Academic Standards and Measurement team. 

Like other language test providers, the PTE team undertakes periodic reviews of its score concordance with other tests. 

This enables us to re-evaluate, validate, and update our concordance as appropriate, to ensure we maintain the highest levels of accuracy when scoring test takers. 

The concordance research only compares PTE Academic and IELTS Academic tests. The alignment of PTE Academic to TOEFL and the industry-standard used to describe language proficiency, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), has not changed.  

The original concordance table between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic test scores was based on a linking study conducted in 2009 (published 2011). Following the recent research study, using data collected over several years, the concordance table has been updated. 

The research involved collecting score data from candidates who each undertook PTE Academic and IELTS Academic tests within a short time period. Test takers were generally representative of PTE Academic test takers in terms of gender, age, primary language, and country of citizenship. 

PTE Academic remains the most accurate and reliable test of academic English. There have been no changes to the construct and scoring of PTE Academic. 

What has changed 

PTE IELTS Table

In the mid-range, where the test is typically used for academic admissions purposes, the updated concordant scores have been minimally adjusted. 

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

At IELTS 6.5 and below the concordant PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points lower on the scale

If you are a test taker and require more information, please contact our support team via the Contact Us page. 

If you are an institution and require more information, please contact us here

Read the full research here.

FAQs

Why has PTE Academic concordance changed?

All test providers undertake regular reviews and research. These reviews are helpful for the organizations that set English proficiency requirements and allow them to understand how different test scores relate to each other. We last updated our score concordance over ten years ago, so we needed to re-evaluate and validate our original findings.

What is the concordance with IELTS General?

This concordance study compared IELTS Academic results with PTE Academic results and did not involve IELTS General tests. However, as IELTS Academic and General are 50% the same test and the same scoring criteria is used for both modules it is reasonable to apply the concordance research results to IELTS General for setting entry requirements.

What does this research mean for test takers?
  • There is no change to PTE Academic scores or how the test is marked. All test results remain valid. 
  • We are unaware of any universities, professional bodies, or governments changing their scores. 
Why has PTE Academic concordance to IELTS Academic changed, but not to CEFR and TOEFL?
  • The relationship of PTE Academic to the CEFR is much deeper than just score outcomes. PTE Academic used the descriptors and scales of the CEFR as the basis for developing the test and the scoring. The CEFR and the Global Scale of English are deeply embedded in PTE Academic.
  • Concordance methodologies between tests and the CEFR are completely different. We didn’t include test takers taking a TOEFL test in this study.
  • PTE Academic was designed using the same ability estimates as the CEFR, at the same time. Therefore, the alignment of the PTE Academic test to the CEFR is robust. PTE Academic continues to exemplify performance and outcomes against the proficiency levels as described by the CEFR.
We currently require PTE 58/IELTS 6.5 – should we now lower our score to 56?

As PTE Academic measures performance against a range, the equivalent range for an IELTS 6.5 in the new concordance has changed from 58-64 to 56-65. You may wish to revise your PTE Academic cut score.

Will Australian, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom governments now be changing their score requirements for visas?
  • There has been no change to the Australian, New Zealand, or UK government score requirements for visas. 
  • Our research is produced to allow Governments, Universities, and professional bodies to see how we have updated our score ranges against IELTS bands. It does not require them to make any changes or to take any action regarding your PTE test scores. 
  • If universities, professional bodies (e.g. Nursing), or the Australian, New Zealand, or UK governments decide to review their PTE Academic score requirements and make changes we expect that this would happen over a period of months and years.  
  • We would also expect that notice would be given if score requirements are updated so that everyone is aware and can prepare. 
I scored 79 to apply for an Australian skilled migration visa. Will this now change to 84? And is my test result now ineligible?
  • There has been no change to the Australian, New Zealand, or UK government score requirements for visas.
  • Your PTE test result is still valid and will not change. 
  • If universities, professional bodies (e.g. Nursing), or the Australian, New Zealand, or UK governments decide to review their PTE Academic score requirements and make changes we expect that this would happen over a period of months and years.  
  • We would also expect that notice would be given if score requirements are updated so that everyone is aware and can prepare.  
We accept IELTS 4.0 what is the equivalent PTE score?

IELTS band 4 equivalence would be in the region of a score in the range of 10-22, at the discretion of an accepting body.

Will Pearson be changing scores every year?

Pearson will regularly undertake research on score concordance and other elements of the test, however, these research projects are undertaken over several years and is not a practice we will be doing annually.

How can I get support establishing and ensuring the level I set is appropriate?
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