IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Academic vs Duolingo : Which test you should take

3 mins read25.5K Views 4 Comments
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Aug 2, 2022 14:23 IST

Being the universal language, English is a compulsion for students who aspire to study abroad. Universities abroad follow rules of the global education system, which judges on the basis of your score in standardised tests designed to test your language fluency. There are predominantly three standardised English language tests that are widely accepted in most foreign universities i.e. IELTS (International English Language Testing Service), TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), PTE (Pearson Test of English), and Duolingo English Test. While all three of them evaluate your English language skills based on four parameters of Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, the ongoing debate of which test to take has become a moot point amongst aspirants. Before landing on any conclusion, it is essential that we consider our requirements or preferences.

Let us closely examine the factors to consider before zeroing in on which test to take up:

Exams have been compared on the basis of versions, organizer (conducting body), and fee.






- Academic

- General Training

British Council, IDP Education, and Cambridge Assessment English

INR 15,500


- TOEFL PBT (TOEFL Paper-based Test)

- TOEFL iBT (TOEFL Internet-based Test)

Educational Testing Service (ETS)



-  PTE Academic

- General

- Young Learner Test

Pearson PLC Group

INR 14,700

Duolingo (DET)

Duolingo Academic



Exams have been compared on the basis of their structure, duration, and score.






Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

2 hours 45 minutes

1 to 9


Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

3 hours

0 to 120


Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening

2 hours

10 to 90

Duolingo (DET)

Literacy, Comprehension, Conversation, Production

1 hour

0 to 160

Exams have been compared on the basis of their results, popularity, and acceptance.






3 to 5 days after the test date

Widely popular in Canada, UK, and Australia

11000+ International Colleges


6-10 days after taking the test

Widely popular in USA and Canada

11,500+ International Colleges in 160 countries


Declared online within two working days

Recognized in many institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, and Canada

3,000+ International Colleges

Duolingo (DET)

Within 48 hours of completing the test

USA, Canada

Accepted by thousands of institutions worldwide

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Quick links:

IELTS Important Dates

TOEFL Important Dates

PTE Academic Important Dates

Register for IELTS

Register for TOEFL

Register for PTE Academic

IELTS Syllabus

TOEFL Syllabus

PTE Academic Syllabus

IELTS Preparation Tips

TOEFL Preparation Tips

PTE Academic Preparation Tips

IELTS Practice Papers

TOEFL Practice Papers

PTE Academic Practice Papers

IELTS Test Centres in India

TOEFL Test Centres in India

PTE Academic Test Centres in India

'Which test to take?' is mostly a matter of opinion and individual preference. If you are not taking external assistance to help you decide, you may decide on the test on the basis of the location you choose to study. For instance, if you are planning to join universities/colleges in North American countries, TOEFL is the right choice for you. The IELTS score is generally accepted worldwide, with a higher acceptance rate in the European countries as well as New Zealand, and Australia. Nowadays, PTE Academic is also accepted in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It is always recommended that you conduct thorough research before finalizing an exam. To avoid further confusion, you may always seek assistance from the study abroad experts, who with their valuable experience and expertise can help you make useful decisions.

You might also want to read Choosing between TOEFL and IELTS: A Comparison. If already finalised, you might be interested to know When to start preparing for IELTS or TOEFL?

Also, check:

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio





5 months ago

I want to work only in New Zealand, which exam I should give?



Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

5 months ago

Hi Mayuri, at Shiksha Studyabroad, we assist you with your queries related to study abroad education. All the best!

3 years ago

hlo mam i have completed my bachelor in Business information management from Kathmandu and scored 64 in PTE and planning to go canada for higher study, whether PTE is accepted by high commission of Canada or not?

Reply to

3 years ago

I wanted to know if I apply in germany for undergraduate course, english as a medium of education then what score in IELTS I need to get.

Reply to


Swati Singh

5 months ago

You need to get minimum 6.5 overall.


Swati Singh

5 months ago

You need to get minimum 6.5 overall.

3 years ago

How do I write TOEFL and ielts exam online

Reply to

Swameeka Medhi

3 years ago

These tests are conducted at authorize test centers where you take the test after booking the same. The article above has quick links to registration guidelines, please check.

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