In the PTE Academic you must:
- Write an argumentative essay of between 200 and 300 words in 20 minutes (Write Essay)
- Summarize a block of text into a single sentence in 10 minutes (Summarize Written Text)
- Summarize a spoken lecture into 70 words in 10 minutes (Summarize Spoken Text)
In IELTS Academic you must:
- Describe a graph/process in at least 150 words in 20 minutes (IELTS Writing Task 1)
- Write a 250 word essay presented in various formats in 40 minutes (IELTS Writing Task 2)
PTE Write Essay vs IELTS Writing Task 2
Comparing the essays is the most obvious place to start because both tasks are the biggest and most time-consuming.
In PTE Write Essay you have 20 minutes to write a 200-300 word argumentative essay. In IELTS Writing Task 2 you have a number of different essay types that you may see, and you have 40 minutes to write at least 250 words. Overall, I think it’s easier to score a higher mark in PTE Write essay for the following reasons:
In PTE Write Essay there is only ONE type of essay – the argumentative essay. While the question prompts differ slightly, you can always use the same structure for all of your essays. How you organise – or structure – your essay has a massive impact on your overall grade. In this respect, PTE wins a point for easiness because IELTS Writing Task 2 hits you with various question types – agree/disagree, give you opinion, double question etc.
In PTE Write Essay you get 20 minutes to write at least 200 words while in IELTS Writing Task 2 you get 40 minutes to write at least 250 words. Hmmm, that’s 20 more minutes for only 50 more words, right? Well… it’s not that simple: Consider that in the PTE you get to TYPE on a computer! I don’t know about you, but I can type MUCH FASTER than I can write with an old-fashioned grey-lead pencil. What’s more, if you want to change something, delete something or move something then it is super easy. For me, typing 200 words in 20 minutes versus writing 250 words in 40 minutes with a pencil is a no-brainer. I choose the keyboard any day of the week.