Today we have published the latest concordance report from the PTE Academic Standards and Measurement team.
Like other language test providers, the PTE team undertakes periodic reviews of its score concordance with other tests.
This enables us to re-evaluate, validate, and update our concordance as appropriate, to ensure we maintain the highest levels of accuracy when scoring test takers.
The concordance research only compares PTE Academic and IELTS Academic tests. The alignment of PTE Academic to TOEFL and the industry-standard used to describe language proficiency, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), has not changed.
The original concordance table between PTE Academic and IELTS Academic test scores was based on a linking study conducted in 2009 (published 2011). Following the recent research study, using data collected over several years, the concordance table has been updated.
The research involved collecting score data from candidates who each undertook PTE Academic and IELTS Academic tests within a short time period. Test takers were generally representative of PTE Academic test takers in terms of gender, age, primary language, and country of citizenship.
PTE Academic remains the most accurate and reliable test of academic English. There have been no changes to the construct and scoring of PTE Academic.
What has changed:
In the mid-range, where the test is typically used for academic admissions purposes, the updated concordant scores have been minimally adjusted.
At IELTS 7.5 and above, the concordant PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points higher on the scale.
At IELTS 6.5 and below the concordant PTE Academic scores, while in the same range, are at some points lower on the scale.
For more information on PTE Academic and our research, please contact your Pearson PTE Academic representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full research here.
Why has PTE Academic concordance changed?
Score concordance is a regular activity undertaken by test providers and it is important that Pearson re-evaluate and validate our concordance with other major tests. The details of these studies are important, and we have taken great care to conduct our study with attention to detail, with regard to the methodology used. The results should be used as a guide or recommendation when considering the test score comparison of PTE Academic and IELTS Academic.
What is the concordance with IELTS General?
This concordance study compared IELTS Academic results with PTE Academic results and did not involve IELTS General tests. However, as IELTS Academic and General are 50% the same test and the same scoring criteria is used for both modules it is reasonable to apply the concordance research results to IELTS General for setting entry requirements.
What does this research mean for test takers?
- There has been no change to the construct of the test or how it is scored.
- Should institutions and governments decide to review their PTE Academic score requirements, and depending on the changes they choose to make, this then may mean a test taker needs a different PTE Academic score.
- For the majority of institutions, where the test scores are typically set in the mid-range for academic admissions purposes, the updated concordant scores have been minimally adjusted.
Why has PTE Academic concordance to IELTS Academic changed, but not to CEFR and TOEFL?
- The relationship of PTE Academic to the CEFR is much deeper than just score outcomes. PTE Academic used the descriptors and scales of the CEFR as the basis for developing the test and the scoring. The CEFR and the Global Scale of English are deeply embedded in PTE Academic.
- Concordance methodologies between tests and the CEFR are completely different. We didn’t include test takers taking a TOEFL test in this study.
- PTE Academic was designed using the same ability estimates as the CEFR, at the same time. Therefore, the alignment of the PTE Academic test to the CEFR is robust. PTE Academic continues to exemplify performance and outcomes against the proficiency levels as described by the CEFR.
We currently require PTE 58/IELTS 6.5 – should we now lower our score to 56?
As PTE Academic measures performance against a range, the equivalent range for an IELTS 6.5 in the new concordance has changed from 58-64 to 56-65. You may wish to revise your PTE Academic cut score.
Will Australian, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom governments now be changing their score requirements for visas?
- Pearson has updated our government partners on the outcomes of our concordance study. It is their decision as to whether they make changes to the score requirements for visa applications.
- This is a release of our research findings; pending their review, governments and institutions may decide to make changes to their requirements.
I scored 79 to apply for an Australian skilled migration visa. Will this now change to 84? And is my test result now ineligible?
Pearson has updated our government partners on the outcomes of our concordance study. It is their decision as to whether they make changes to the score requirements for visa applications. Please check with the relevant government department on any changes.
We accept IELTS 4.0 what is the equivalent PTE score?
IELTS band 4 equivalence would be in the region of a score in the range of 10-22, at the discretion of an accepting body.
Will Pearson be changing scores every year?
Pearson will regularly undertake research on score concordance and other elements of the test, however, these research projects are undertaken over several years and is not a practice we will be doing annually.
How can I get support establishing and ensuring the level I set is appropriate?
- The PTE Academic score guide for institutions has been developed to give you all the information you need to establish your PTE Academic scores.
- PTE Academic Score Guide for institutions
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