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Choosing Between IELTS General Training and PTE Core for Migration to Canada

PTE Core for Migration to Canada

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IELTS has long been a top choice for individuals migrating to Canada, with over 4 million tests administered worldwide in 2023.

In January 2024, PTE Core joined IELTS General Training and CELPIP as one of the English language tests accepted by the Canadian government for work and migration visas, as well as permanent residency.

Let’s take a closer look at how IELTS General Training and PTE Core compare, and why IELTS continues to be a clear and straightforward choice for Canadian immigration.

Comparing IELTS General Training and CLB Equivalency Scores

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) are used by the Canadian government to standardise score equivalencies across different language tests. Since different visas have varying test requirements, it’s essential to always check the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most current information. For instance, applying for permanent residency through Express Entry for many programs requires a minimum language proficiency of CLB 7.

The tables below compare how the IELTS General Training and PTE Core tests compare to the CLB benchmarks:






IELTS General Training vs. PTE Core for Migration: Understanding the Differences

IELTS General Training is an internationally recognized English language test available at more than 4,000 locations across 120 countries.

Since its inception in 1989, IELTS has expanded to include both traditional paper-based and computer-based tests at over 380 centers worldwide. In contrast, PTE Core, a newer test that began in 2024, is entirely computer-based.

The table below shows some of the other differences between the two tests:

IELTS General Training vs PTE Core 



How Does the Speaking Section of IELTS General Training Compare to PTE Core?

When you take the IELTS General Training, you demonstrate your real-life communication skills to future employers in Canada by participating in a one-on-one speaking test with a real examiner.

In contrast, the PTE Core speaking test is AI-marked and requires you to speak into a computer microphone in a room shared with other test takers. This setting can be distracting, as you may hear others speaking simultaneously.

IELTS General Training: Offering Greater Flexibility

Are you more comfortable typing in English, or do you prefer using pen and paper for your test answers? PTE Core is exclusively computer-based, whereas IELTS allows you the flexibility to choose between computer-based or paper-based testing.

Both IELTS General Training and PTE Core, along with CELPIP, are accepted for Canadian migration. However, we believe IELTS stands out due to its flexibility, widespread recognition, and the opportunity it provides to showcase real-world speaking skills, making it the preferred choice for those aiming for success.

Contact us for more information.

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