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Types of PTE Tests & Vouchers

This article covers:

  • What are the different types of PTE tests?
  • Which PTE test should my student take? Who should take a PTE Academic test? Who should take a PTE UKVI test?
  • What is the purpose of PTE A1, A2, and B1 tests?
  • Which schools accept PTE test results to prove English language proficiency?

    Pearson offers five different PTE tests. Each test is unique, with different purposes, lengths, and test formats. This article will walk through the different English exams offered by Pearson and how to decide which of these tests your student should take.

    Here are the different tests offered by Pearson:

    • PTE Academic
    • PTE UKVI
    • PTE A1
    • PTE A2
    • PTE B1

    Ready to save up to 30% on PTE exams and simplify the application process for your students? Purchase vouchers now.

    PTE A1, A2 & B2

    PTE A1, PTE A2, and PTE B2 exams should be taken by people who are hoping to live and work in the UK.

    UK flag and Big Ben illustration
    These tests are less academically focused. They are also generally less difficult than the PTE Academic & PTE UKVI exams.

    Here is a summary of each of these tests and their use cases:

      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
    • Taken using a 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
    • Taken using a computer with a headset
    30–33 questions lasting up to 25 minutes
    PTE B2 CEFR level B1
    • For those looking to settle in the UK permanently
    • Valid for both settlement and citizenship applications
    • Taken at a test center
    • Taken using a computer with a headset
    32 questions lasting up to 22 minutes

    Looking for more PTE practice materials and resources to help your students prepare? Discover official preparation products

    Pearson PTE logo
    PTE Academic & PTE UKVI

    The remaining two tests are the PTE Academic and the PTE UKVI (also known as the PTE Academic UKVI). These two tests are graded faster than any of the other English proficiency exams.


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

    Both tests are an integrated test meant to test your student’s speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. They use the same questions and the tests are scored the same.

    The PTE Academic & PTE UKVI were updated on November 16th, 2021. Changes to the tests included:

    1. Shorter Length: Changed from 3 hours to 2 hours
    2. Improved Feedback: Now provides personalized feedback on your student’s test performance as well as advice on how to improve
    3. Online Availability: The PTE Academic can now be taken online (depending on your institution and country)


    The only functional difference between the PTE Academic and the PTE UKVI is the registration process. The PTE UKVI is only relevant for study abroad applications to the UK. The UKVI should be used when your student requires a SELT Unique Reference Number (URN) for their visa application.

    PTE Academic & PTE UKVI Differences Summary

      UK CAN 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 many 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) N/A N/A N/A
    PTE Academic & PTE UKVI Fees £180 GBP

    PTE Academic: $300 CAD

    $310 CAD

    $215 USD

    $385 AUD

    Remember to always check which English Language Exams are accepted at the school your student wants to attend!

    Test vouchers
    PTE Academic & PTE UKVI Vouchers

    Pearson and ApplyBoard have partnered to offer discount PTE exam vouchers for PTE Academic, Online, and UKVI exams. With ApplyBoard’s vouchers, you can offer your students amazing discounts of 20% or more on their exam. Vouchers are valid for exams done at a test center or at home.

    The steps are very simple:

    1. Purchase a voucher from ApplyBoard and receive a voucher code via email.
    2. Provide the test voucher code to your student so they can use it during the registration process for their PTE Academic or UKVI exams.

    Curious about other English Proficiency Tests and vouchers, such as TOEFL or IELTS, and which is the right one for your students? Learn more about choosing an English Proficiency Test