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How I nailed PTE and IELTS and strategic comparison of IELTS Vs PTEA

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Director
Director
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Status: Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's a dare. Impossible is nothing.
Affiliations: University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Joined: 26 Nov 2009
Posts: 629
Location: Singapore
Concentration: General Management, Finance
Schools: Chicago Booth - Class of 2015
GMAT ToolKit User
How I nailed PTE and IELTS and strategic comparison of IELTS Vs PTEA  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 20:42
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Hello Guys

I dedicate this article to my fellow mates. Let me start off with my background. I am an Engineer from India and MBA from United States., a global program (classes divided between Singapore, London and Chicago). I worked in the States from 2007 to 2009 until the black swan event called the financial meltdown of 2008. I totally enjoyed my time working for Sun Microsystems in Santa Clara office. It was a dream come true and I am grateful to God for this time. After my layoff at Sun, I chose to come back to India to prepare for my GMAT. I struggled to notch up a 700, but in vain. God chose a different path for me from that point. Luckily I held Singapore Permanent Residency, so I got a second chance to start off my career again at a bank in Singapore at the ripe age of 33. Eventually, I started my MBA journey at the age of 35 while I was working in Singapore. At this time my GMAT score was 630.

I still dream of going to the States but I am somewhat resigned to the status quo and immigration policies of the States. That leaves me with just two countries for immigration i.e. Canada or Australia. I have professional reasons for not settling down in Singapore. So here I am writing an article to help those who are struggling to kill the exam called IELTS or PTEA.

If you ask me which exam is difficult. IELTS it is !IELTS really gave me a hard time.

My Score Board
PTEA First attempt, 27 Jan 2018- L85, R89, S90, W90 Overall 89

IELTS Scores
09 Jan 2016 L6.5 R6.5 S7 W7.5 Overall 7
25 Mar 2017 L7 R7.5 S7 W5.5 Overall 7
13 May 2017 L7 R8 S7 W6.5 Overall 7
09 Sep 2017 L7.5 R7 S8 W6.5 Overall 7.5
11 Nov 2017 L7.5 R8 S7.5 W7.5 Overall 7.5
02 Dec 2017 L8 R7.5 S8 W7.5 Overall 8


Strategic Comparison of IELTS Vs PTEA

1. Prep time (IELTS Vs PTEA)

PTEA - 4 weeks (singular attempt)
IELTS - 6 months (6 attempts)

2. Speaking (IELTS Vs PTEA)

IELTS speaking is simple compared to PTEA speaking. In PTEA two assignments are remarkably challenging, namely describe an image and retell a lecture.

IELTS focuses on content and its a test of emotional quotient. Its a test of being able to embellish speech on the fly. PTEA focuses more on delivery and not on content. You may finish strong with out being accurate - you will be pardoned. IELTS is not lax on content both in speaking and writing sections. For example, if you don't write a conclusion in your essay in IELTS then your score will max-out at 6.5. The penalty of not writing a conclusion in IELTS essay is 0.5 to 1.0 writing band. And this is so critical for anyone trying to land a score of 7 in all sections. It took me four IELTS attempts to realize this.

3. Penalty of mood swings (IELTS Vs PTEA)
IELTS does not measures disposition of test taker (except during Speaking which lasts as short as 10 minutes), whereas PTEA does. So its important to have a "trader mentality" - win or loose is part of game but you win most of times i.e. against the computer that is quantifying your mood, delivery and pronunciation. In particular, strength of speech is dependednt on mood swings. Your speech is a measure of how good you're feeling that day. The singular way to keep speech constant is to stay "calm" however difficult a question is on your screen. I cant overemphasize this. Its important that your heart beats at a steady pace. Think of yourself like a singer, an entertainer or a radio jockey during speaking exam. Pardon yourself if your previous sections have not gone well. Move on quickly. Maintain momentum. Maintain a buoyant disposition during PTEA.

4. Making notes (IELTS Vs PTEA)
I never made notes on IELTS because of the nature of exam except during preparation of IELTS Task 2 i.e. essay. Contrarily, in PTEA its a neccesary skill. You need to balance content with delivery. You may kill yourself by writing long summaries while listening to a lecture. The more complex the notes, the less effective the speech. The more complex the notes, the less effective will be your attempt to retell a lecture. Overall, speaking section of PTEA is a measure of delivery and not content. Please note this. Nonetheless, accuracy of content is measured in other sections i.e. reading and writing.

That's all!

I wish you good luck. Godspeed! :thumbup:

Wish you the very best,
Nishant
GMAT Club Bot
How I nailed PTE and IELTS and strategic comparison of IELTS Vs PTEA   [#permalink] 17 Apr 2018, 20:42
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