PLT (Pearson Language Tests) conducts two types of English proficiency tests- PTE Academic and PTE General. They assess the speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills of non-native English speakers. There are many differences between the two tests. However, the primary distinction between them is the purpose for which people take these tests.
A brief account of the dissimilarities between PTE Academic and PTE General:
Purpose of examination
Students who want to study in English-speaking countries like UK, USA, Canada and Australia usually take the PTE Academic test. Additionally, people who want an Australia or New Zealand visa for work or immigration purposes also apply.
In contrast, applicants who want to measure their English language proficiency take PTE General. It helps them identify their weaknesses, track progress, and improve their skills over time. The governments and ministries of countries such as Ukraine, Spain, Greece, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania accept PTE General scores. It is beneficial for higher education, travel, and employment.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that only PTE Academic scores are accepted for higher education and visa purposes.
Structure of the examination
PTE Academic is a fully computerized exam. It consists of 3 modules- reading, speaking and writing, and listening. It takes place over the course of one day. Human raters do not evaluate any part of the test. For the speaking section, test takers have to speak into a microphone. Unbiased computer algorithms then assess the recording.
On the other hand, PTE General is a collection of six tests at different levels- A1, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Each level comprises two modules, a written test and a spoken test. Applicants can pick the test level according to their own English language abilities.
Availability of examination slots
PTE Academic is conducted on close to 360 days in a year, whereas PTE General is conducted thrice in a year, in the months of May, June and December.
Duration of the test
While the PTE Academic takes place over a span of 3 hours, the PTE General can last from anywhere between 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending upon the level of the test.
Validity of the score
PTE Academic score is valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issuance of the result. The PTE General certificates, on the contrary, don’t have an expiration date.