There exist a lot of difference between the test patterns and formats of both the IELTS and PTE Academic test. But there are certain similarities noticeable. Firstly both are standardised language tests conducted to test the language abilities of prospective candidates who are willing to pursue a career abroad. To check whether the candidates will be able to survive in the new academic environment where English only would be the medium of instruction and communication. Both these tests pave way to the candidate to follow their dreams and accomplish their academic tasks. The concept or idea behind conducting these tests is one.
Next similarity we can state is that both the tests follow the standard CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) scale ratings while declaring the scores or bands and hence the scores and bands are accepted in many countries around the world as part of the eligibility criteria for education or immigration. These tests enjoy wide acceptability throughout the world due to the standard.
Another similarity we can notice is in the writing part of both the tests. For instance the writing task-2 in IELTS is quite similar to the writing essay in PTE Academic test. Both these tasks expect candidates to write an essay on the given topic with a slight change in the word limit. In IELTS task-2 essay writing the word limit will be 250-280 words to be written on sheets of paper, whereas in PTE-A writing section the essay writing word limit will be 200-300 words and the candidate has to type it on the system. The assessment criteria for both these tasks will be similar wherein the candidates’ task response, grammatical range and accuracy, lexical resource and content is assessed and taken into consideration while scoring.
Another similarity is in reading part of both the tests. Multiple choice questions are there in both the tests wherein candidates have to choose correct options as per the information given in the text. The approach to answer these question types is similar in both the tests. That is to say a candidate has to skim and scan the text to search for possible and appropriate answers. Same strategy works for both the tests in this question type.
A few items in listening part of both the tests have some similarities. Like completing notes in IELTS listening is similar to fill in the blanks in PTE Academic listening part. Here also the approach will be same. Listening to the recording and finding the correct answers. Likewise task-1 of IELTS writing for academic, that is writing a report is similar to the describe image question type in PTE Academic speaking part. The only difference is time limit and the response format. The concept is same, that is to share the main points of the given image which could be a graph, a picture, a diagram, a table or a map. The above mentioned similarities are discussed just to clear the confusion in the minds of the candidates. So go through them thoroughly to have a better understanding.