PTE Core, formerly announced as PTE Essential is the latest English Proficiency Language Test to be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Initially it was referred to as PTE Essential, but on May 9th Pearson announced that the test would be renamed to PTE Core.
What is PTE Core?
PTE Core is a new English proficiency test that is expected to launch in late 2023. However, the specific launch date has not been announced yet. It is designed to assess general English skills for everyday situations, rather than academic English skills.
Similar to other IRCC approved English proficiency tests like IELTS General Training and CELPIP, PTE Core is expected to assess the four key language skills: speaking, writing, listening, and reading.
Compared to PTE Academic, PTE Core is likely to place a greater emphasis on vocational training, real-life experience, and non-academic topics. This suggests that the test may be more suitable for individuals who are seeking to use their English language skills in practical, everyday situations. Find more about PTE here!
How does PTE Core compare to other language tests?
The recent approval of PTE Core as a designated language test by IRCC means that there are now five language tests available to economic-class immigration candidates, including IELTS, CELPIP, PTE, TEF Canada, and TCF Canada. Of these five, three are in English and two are in French. While all these tests assess language proficiency, they differ in their formats and scoring systems. Find more about other tests here!
To better understand the differences between these tests, the following table provides a comparison of PTE Core with the other four designated language tests accepted by the IRCC for economic class immigrants:
|Test Name||Language||Administered By|
|IELTS||English||Cambridge Assessment English, International Development Program (IDP) Australia, and British Council|
|CELPIP||English||Paragon Testing Enterprises Inc.|
|PTE Core||English||Pearson Canada Inc.|
|TEF Canada||French||Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry|
|TCF Canada||French||Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry|
How does PTE Core affect economic class candidates applying for Canadian immigration?
Economic class candidates applying for Canadian immigration must demonstrate language proficiency by completing one of the designated language tests and achieving the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score required for their pathway. The approval of PTE Core provides another option for candidates to fulfil this requirement.
The language tests are mandatory for all economic-class immigration candidates, including those applying through the Express Entry system, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), Caregivers, Agri-Food Pilot, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Economic Mobility Pathways Project, Atlantic Immigration, Quebec Skilled Workers and Business, and more.
However, it is important to note that IRCC has not yet specified when applicants will be able to submit PTE Core scores in support of their applications. It is expected that IRCC will start accepting the scores towards the end of 2023.
In addition to completing an IRCC designated language test, candidates must achieve the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score set for a given pathway. CLB is used by the Government of Canada to identify an individual’s mastery of the English language, while the French language equivalent is the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC).
The approval of the PTE Core by IRCC means that candidates now have more options to choose from when it comes to demonstrating their language proficiency, however it is not yet known what the CLB scores will be for PTE Core, and how that compares to the currently accepted immigration tests of IELTS and CELPIP.
PTE Core test format and scoring system
We don’t have specific details on the test format. However, we can expect it to have similar hallmarks as the PTE Academic test; with the same scoring system being used. PTE Academic is an existing English proficiency test that measures a candidate’s ability to use English in an academic setting and is currently accepted by select institutions in Canada for study. Find more about PTE Academic here!
The PTE Academic test is divided into four sections, namely Speaking, Writing, Reading, and Listening.
Speaking and Writing is the longest part of the test and lasts between 54-67 minutes. It evaluates a candidate’s ability to speak and write in English in an academic environment. PTE Academic uses artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate a candidate’s speaking skills. During the speaking section of the test, candidates are recorded while responding to prompts and engaging in discussions. The recorded responses are then assessed by an automated scoring system that uses AI algorithms to analyse the candidate’s pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, and grammar. Similar to person evaluated speaking assessments, candidates must express their thoughts clearly and use correct pronunciation and intonation. Reading lasts between 29-30 minutes and evaluates a candidate’s ability to read and comprehend academic texts in English. Listening lasts between 30-43 minutes and evaluates a candidate’s ability to understand spoken English in an academic setting.
PTE Core is expected to have a similar testing format to other PTE tests but may be shorter as it assesses practical and everyday English proficiency. It is highly likely that, similar to other PTE tests, the speaking component of PTE Core will be evaluated by an AI language model to determine a test taker’s level of practical speaking proficiency in English.
Should you take PTE Core?
While PTE Core will be accepted by the IRCC in late 2023, it is not yet accepted and little is known about the specific details of the test or the specific date the IRCC will begin accepting scores as proof of English proficiency. If you are looking to sit a test to show your English Language proficiency that is currently accepted by the IRCC, the main two options accepted are the IELTS General Training and CELPIP. The IELTS General Training test is widely administered across the globe and can be booked here
Most Common Asked Questions about PTE Core Currently
When will PTE Core be available for testing?
PTE Core is expected to launch in late 2023. However, the specific launch date has not been announced yet.
How does PTE Core impact economic class candidates for Canadian immigration?
PTE Core offers an alternative way for candidates to meet the language requirement, but it’s still unclear when IRCC will accept PTE Core scores.
How might the test format and scoring system of PTE Core be?
While we don’t have specific details on the test format, we can expect it to be similar to PTE Academic, an existing English proficiency test that measures a candidate’s ability to use English in an academic setting.
Can candidates take any of the five designated language tests for Canadian immigration?
Yes, candidates can choose to take any of the five designated language tests for Canadian immigration applications. However, they must achieve the minimum CLB score required for their pathway.