IELTS vs PET vs TOEFL vs SAT ? Complete Details

When we move to another country it is very obvious that we can not speak our native language in that country as that is not their ideal way to communicate. This is why English has turned out to be the common language spoken by most of the people across the globe. Wherever you go, which country you go, you will surely find that English is the centric language that outstrips communication between two individuals or a group of people. Amidst this, if a student is thinking of moving abroad then let me be very clear that having basic communication skills in English is a must. Without it, you just can not stand amongst the people and can not bring up opinions of your own. Being an international student you must excel at the basic structures of the English language.  

We are surely aware of the English language proficiency exams that are taken to evaluate the proficiency of an individual, the IELTS exam being the most popular among them. But apart from this, the other exams including PET, TOEFL, and SAT are some of the most commonly taken exams worldwide. With the help of this blog, let us take an in-depth view of these exams respectively, which would subsequently help you make a clear choice for your future too. 


Deciphering English Language Proficiency Exams

It has been observed that many individuals are aware of the IELTS exam, as it is widely known but to look at the other broader paths then there are exams like SAT, PET, and TOEFL which are also great choices for people thinking of moving abroad. Let us delve into the essentials of these exams in the process of our English language learning journey.

IELTS Exam (International English Language Testing System)

Non-native speakers should take the IELTS exams as it helps them to build a holdover of the most reliable aspects of communication, i.e. listening, spelling, reading, and writing. It is globally recognised and is accepted by universities, employers, and immigration authorities in English-speaking countries such as the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

What makes it ideal is it facilitates mobility and communication across diverse contexts. Diverse universities across the globe accept students who score decent in the exams, and many governments consider IELTS scores even for granting permanent residency in the country. 


Structure and Format

The IELTS exam assesses your skills over four aspects: Listening, reading, writing, and speaking. There are two main formats of the test: IELTS academics; which is for those seeking higher education opportunities and IELTS general; which mainly focuses on practical language skills for work and migration purposes.

Ielts table

Scoring system

The score ranges from 1 to 9 in each module of the test.  The overall Band Score is an average of these scores rounded to the nearest half or whole band. You can score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5, 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test. Band 1 represents a non-user and Band 9 represents an expert user.

PET (Preliminary English Test)

The Cambridge Assessment English administers the Preliminary English Test (PET) exam and assesses the basic English skills of individuals to use in their everyday lives. It is suitable for individuals at the B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Like all the other exams of Cambridge English, the PET Exam is a pass/fail test. The ones who pass, deliver a certificate that does not expire. The B1 Preliminary exam can be either a paper-based test or a computer-based test.


Structure and Format

The structure of the PET test consists of four papers: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The Reading and Writing paper includes tasks such as multiple-choice, gap-fill, and short answer questions. The Listening paper comprises four parts with multiple-choice questions. The Speaking test involves a face-to-face interaction with an examiner.
Scoring system.

The score which is validated on the B1 Preliminary exam today ranges from 120 to 170. Scoring 140 or above is considered a pass and the ones who pass the exam are eligible to receive the certificate. Other than that the students who score 160 or above on the PET Exam get the chance to receive a Cambridge Preliminary English Test certificate for level B2. Students scoring between 120 and 139 will receive an A2 English certificate.


PET table

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

This exam is used to assess university applicants’ English language skills who primarily speak other languages. Again the same purpose; is to navigate the English speaking skills of an individual whose native language is not the same. 

This test is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is primarily taken by non-native English speakers seeking admission to universities in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States.


Structure and Format 

The test consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The Reading and Listening sections contain multiple-choice questions, while the Speaking and Writing sections involve tasks such as speaking responses, writing essays, and summarising information.


toefl Table

Scoring system

The TOEFL scoring system depends on the type of TOEFL you take. Right now, there are two different types of TOEFL available: the paper-based test (PBT) and the internet-based test (iBT). The score of each section ranges from 0 - 30 and is added together for a total score of 0 -120 in the internet-based test. Scores are valid for two years after the test date. The TOEFL score for paper-based tests ranges between 310 - 677. The lowest TOEFL score you can earn on the PBT is 310 and the highest is 677.

SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)

SAT is a multiple-choice, computer-based test created and administered by the College Board. It is widely used for admissions in the United States. It primarily evaluates critical reading, mathematical, and writing skills, it includes an English language component that assesses reading, writing, and language skills.

Structure and Format

The English language component of the SAT assesses reading comprehension, grammar, and writing skills through passages and multiple-choice questions. The test is divided into two main sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: Reading Test, Writing & Language Test, Math Test, and SAT Essay (optional). It takes 3 hours to complete without the optional section and 3 hours and 50 minutes with the essay section. 

It focuses on evaluating a candidate's ability to analyze and interpret written material, revise written passages, and use standard English conventions effectively.

SAT Table

Scoring system

The score ranges between 400 - 1600. It compiles the scores of the two exams:  Math and Reading and Writing. Each section uses a scale of 200-800 in 10-point increments. A good score on Math or Reading and Writing, then, would be around 600. The Writing and Language Test section and the Essay section receive separate scores on a scale of 200 to 800.


English language learning is an essential step when you think of moving abroad for any specific intention. It is very evident that without having proficiency in the language, you are intended to come across various hurdles. Therefore, it is advised to learn and test your English speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills beforehand. There is the IELTS exam which is considered to be the most popular amongst all for examining your skills and the rest aligned are as follows: SAT, PET, and TOEFL. While IELTS is considered and is reputable across many lands, the leftovers duly carry certain value to evaluate your English language skills. With the support of this guide, you can understand each of these exams and find a suitable one for yourself, based on multiple factors.

In case of any other query arising your way regarding the examinations, how to begin, or any major concerns, find us best leading by your side. At OZ Assignments, you can get assistance from highly professional experts. Visit us!

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