I’ve seen many comments on how PTE-A is easier than IELTS. Personally, I would say that each test has its pros and cons. Ultimately, it boils down to the test taker’s English ability and preferences. Practice is only good if you learn from your mistakes. I’ve done IELTS-General Training, IELTS-Academic and PTE-A once each. Personally, PTE-A felt more challenging in terms of content.
Advantages of PTE-A:
1) Quick scheduling plus results released within 5 business days (usually next day)
2) Use of computers (no need to write and auto word-count)
3) Get to speak to a computer (only if you are uncomfortable with conversing with a human examiner for the IELTS)
Disadvantages of PTE-A:
1) Content seemed more robust and challenging
2) Possible overlapping of components
3) Not suitable for those with weak computer literacy
4) You may feel distracted by your fellow candidates
Advantages of IELTS:
1) Components are largely independent
2) Some people may be more comfortable with conversing with a human examiner in the speaking component
3) No distraction from fellow candidates
Disadvantages of IELTS:
1) Human factor in speaking component (what determines 7.5 vs 8.0)
2) No auto word-count in writing component (so you have to write and count fast)
3) Relatively longer wait for schedule and results
1) Do not panic when you get a bad score for your PTE-A practice test. Think of it as understanding the test format. You need to also understand that it’s highly likely that your practice test conditions may be different from those in the exam (ie. distractions, noise-cancelling microphone/headphones etc).
2) Check for typo errors for your PTE-A test.
3) Make sure you take the most suitable test according to your strengths. DON’T follow the others blindly. For example, if you feel more comfortable conversing with a human examiner instead of having a monologue, then you may be better off doing IELTS.
Source: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/australia-expat-forum-expats-living-australia/672738-pte-exam-311.html (page 311)