Types of PTE Tests & Vouchers

Here we’re going to walk through the different English exams offered by Pearson and how to decide which of these tests you should take. 


Okay, so first off, what are the different tests offered by Pearson?

  1. PTE Academic
  2. PTE UKVI
  3. PTE A1
  4. PTE A2
  5. PTE B1

PTE A1, A2 & B2

These exams are specifically for those who are hoping to live and work in the UK. 


These tests are less academically focused and generally are less difficult relative to the PTE Academic & UKVI exams. 


You can see a summary of each of these tests and their use cases below:


English Level

Use Cases

Test Format

Test Length

PTE A1

CEFR Level A1

  • Spouse / Partner visa
  • Parent of a dependent
  • Rep of an overseas business visa
  • Tier 2 sportsperson visa
  • Taken at a test center
  • Computer with a headset

32 questions lasting up to 22 minutes

PTE A2

CEFR Level A2

  • For those already living in the UK and needing an extension to their A1 visa
  • Taken at a test center
  • Computer with a headset

30 - 33 questions lasting up to 25 minutes

PTE A3

CEFR level B1

  • If you wish to settle in the UK permanently
  • It is valid for both settlement and citizenship applications
  • Taken at a test center
  • Computer with a headset

32 questions lasting up to 22 minutes


The remaining two tests are:

  • PTE Academic
  • PTE UKVI also known as the PTE Academic UKVI

Similarities

The PTE Academic and PTE UKVI are actually the same test! 


Both tests are an integrated test meant to test your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills. They use the same questions and the tests are scored the same. They also grade your exam the fastest of any of the English exams.


The PTE Academic & PTE UKVI were updated on November 16th, 2021. 


The changes to the test include: 

  1. Length: the test was changed from 3 hours to 2 hours
  2. Improved Feedback: get personalized feedback on your test performance plus advice on how to improve
  3. At home: the PTE Academic can now be taken online (depends on your institution and country)

Differences

The PTE UKVI is only relevant for study abroad applications to the UK. The only functional difference between the two exams is in the registration process. Use the UKVI when you require a SELT Unique Reference Number (URN) for your visa application.


PTE Academic & PTE UKVI Differences Summary

UK

CAD

US

AUS & NZ

Applicable Schools**

98% of schools

177 / 436

1,190 / 5,300

All schools

PTE Academic Use Cases

Student route visa (at degree level or above)

Study permit application (non-SDS stream)

Valid for student visas for relevant schools

Valid for all schools and all student visas

PTE UKVI Use Cases

Student route visa (below degree level or above but NOT at a higher education institution (HEI)

N/A

N/A

N/A


**You should always check that the school you want to attend accepts your chosen English Language Exam. 


PTE Academic & PTE UKVI Vouchers

Pearson and ApplyBoard have partnered to offer students discount vouchers for their PTE Academic and UKVI exams. With ApplyBoard’s vouchers, you can save 20% or more on your exam. 


The steps are very simple:

  1. Purchase a voucher from ApplyBoard and receive a voucher code via email
  2. Enter the voucher code in the checkout process when registering for your PTE Academic or UKVI exams (vouchers are valid for exams done at a test center or at home)