IELTS Vs. TOEFL Vs. PTE Vs. DuoLingo – Which English Test Should You Take

Reading Time 5 minutes/Published 13-8-2022

Non-native English-speaking people are required to take an English language proficiency test. The test qualifies participants to take admission to an English-speaking university and obtain a visa for their destination country.

Non-native English-speaking people are required to take an English language proficiency test. The test qualifies participants to take admission to an English-speaking university and obtain a visa for their destination country. 


The IELTS and the TOEFL have always been the primary choice of English tests for students to go abroad for their higher studies. However, PTE and Duolingo’s English tests have been gaining momentum. 


What follows is a comparative study on the IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo English tests. 

IELTS Preparation


The International English Language Testing System is accepted in more than 10,000 institutions and 140 countries. There are two variants in this test, academic and general training. 


The utility of either test depends on your requirements. As a student, the academic IELTS test is the right option for you. The general IELTS test is for those looking to migrate to an English speaking nation. 


The second-best English proficiency test, TOEFL, is accepted in over 8500 institutions spanning 130 countries. Because the TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is administered by an organisation based in the United States, you will find that the majority of institutions that accept these test results are from the United States. 



The PTE is an organisation-based testing system administered by Pearson Inc., and that’s why its full form is the Pearson Test of English. PTE is quickly gaining importance in the industry as it has gained recognition in several educational institutions across the globe. These include Harvard Business School, Yale University, INSEAD, etc. Moreover, the governments of Australia and New Zealand also consider PTE test scores for granting visas. 


Duolingo is the new kid on the block. The pandemic enforced lockdown has become Duolingo’s rise to fame as students can take this test online anytime, anywhere. As a result, the total number of programs accepting it to assess an individual’s English has grown from 1000 to 3000 during the pandemic. 

Decoding the Four Types of English Proficiency Tests

IELTS Exam Preparation Online


  • IELTS: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • TOEFL: 4 hours
  • PTE: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Duolingo: 1 hour

Test Format

  • IELTS: Paper-based and computer-based with face to face speaking test. The test includes listening, academic reading or general training reading, academic writing or general training writing, and speaking tests. 


  • TOEFL: Internet-based with multiple-choice questions. The test measures your ability to read, listen, speak, and write. You also have to listen to recordings and give responses based on your understanding of what was said. 


  • PTE: The test includes answering multiple-choice questions and writing short answers, among other tasks. The test is created to assess your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. 


  • Duolingo: Duolingo also has four sections for assessing your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills. 


Types of Questions

All four types of tests have a wide array of questions, including;

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Short descriptive answer writing
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Listening to audio and responding
  • Mapping, diagram labelling, summary completion, etc. 
  • Sentence completion
  • Matching the answers (features, headings, sentence headings)
  • Long answer writing
  • Giving an introduction and interview
  • Discussions 
  • Writing summaries from dictation, spoken texts, lectures, etc. 
  • Reordering paragraphs
  • Highlighting correct/incorrect words


IELTS Preparation With The WorldGrad


  • IELTS: The IELTS have an overall band score representing an accumulated account of the correct responses in the test. The band goes from 0 to 9, where 0 is “Did not Attempt”, and 9 is an “Expert User”. 


  • TOEFL: After the test, you will get four sectional scores and one total score. The sectional scores are added to generate the final score. Speaking and writing sections have five levels of scoring (Advanced, High-Intermediate, Low-Intermediate, Basic, and Below Basic). Reading and Listening have four levels of scoring (Advanced, High-Intermediate, Low-Intermediate, and Below Low-Intermediate). The score for all levels ranges between 0 to 30. 

  • PTE: PTE has a point system scoring for each of the four sections. The scores range between 10 to 90. Based on the total points of each section, an overall average is calculated. 

  • Duolingo: The Duolingo test is scored between 10 to 160. Any number in this range represents a holistic score of the test taker.  

Mode of testing

  • IELTS: The IELTS can be conducted on either the computer or on paper. Students have to visit a test centre on the allotted date. The IELTS test is taken in different centres in 67 Indian cities

  • TOEFL: TOEFL test is conducted as an iBT (internet-based test), which you can either take at home or at an authorised centre. You can search for your nearest centre here

  • PTE: This is an online test. There are multiple test centres situated in 38 cities across India.

  • Duolingo: The Duolingo test can be taken online from the comfort of your home at any time. 


IELTS Exam Preparation Online With The WorldGrad


  • IELTS: INR 14,700
  • TOEFL: TOEFL iBT test – INR 17,919
  • PTE: INR 11,610
  • Duolingo: INR 3,646


*Although the costs are converted to INR from USD, they can change according to the exchange rate at the time of taking the test. 


Before taking any test, check with the institution that you’re applying to about the tests they accept. Focus on your ielts preparation and give it your best. As some of these tests are costly, try to clear them in the first attempt.