IELTS or TOEFL, Which English test to take?



Why do we need to take English Proficiency tests?


English is the official language around the globe and it’s almost certain that you are required to take an English language exam if you are not a native English speaker and intend to study abroad in an English-speaking University, migrate to an English-speaking country or work at a multinational company. Different universities required different test scores and often, for example, the English proficiency requirement is higher for medicine or law degree programs.


Most english proficiency tests are broken into four important parts of linguistics which are speaking, writing, reading and listening. The two most widely accepted English language tests are the International English Language Test System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). They are widely accepted around the world, including institutions, state agencies, professional and industrial organisations, but the two tests are different in terms of approach, structure and educational criteria.


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Read our guide below to find out which English test is the best for you to take.



What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System, or more commonly known as, IELTS, was founded in 1989 as a means of providing international standardized testing of the proficiency of the English language. It is managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English. IELTS is now accepted by over 3000 institutions worldwide.


What is TOEFL?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is a standardized test, first administered in 1964, to measure language proficiency in the English language. In 2005, the earlier format of Computer-based tests and paper-based tests were largely replaced by Internet-based tests however some places still prefer paper-based testing.


Difference between IELTS AND TOEFL

Although IELTS and TOEFL are quite similar in their structure and mechanics, there are quite a few differences:


  • TOEFL questions are mainly multiple choice whereas IELTS has a mixture of short-answer, fill in the blank and short essay questions
  • IELTS is 2 hours 40 mins of a duration whereas TOEFL can take up to 4 hours
  • TOEFL has one computer based exam whereas both the IELTS exams are paper based
  • TOEFL focuses on students analytical thinking especially between options whereas IELTS requires more use of memory, comprehension and question format skills
  • In the Speaking exam, for IELTS, students have a face-to-face spoken test whereas TOEFL is recorded and then reviewed by many reviewers
  • For speaking and writing, IELTS emphasizes more on the use of logic, grammar and fluency whereas TOEFL focuses more on how the speech or written essay appears as a whole
  • IELTS scoring is on a 1-9 band system whereas TOEFL is a test graded out of 120 points


TESTIELTSTOEFL
AcceptedbyAustralia, UK, US and over by 10, 000 institutions across 140 countries.Australia, UK, US and over 8, 500 institutions across 130 countries.
StructureReading, writing, listening and speaking
Mode of ExamPaper-based and in person for Speaking test100% computer-based
Type of Questionsmixture of short-answer, fill in the blank and short essay questions.mainly multiple choice
DurationUnder 3 hours4 hours
Scoring1- 90-120
Use forUniversity enrollment, migrationUniversity enrollment, migration


Here are some free sites to prep for IELTS and TOEFL.


You can take the IELTS or TOEFL test at the British Council or authorized education consultancies in your country. The IELTS costs about AUD $270 whereas TOEFL costs about AUD $250. The examination fee varies in different countries.


Did you know you can study English and immigrate abroad?


Check out this article to know more


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About Post Author

Manahil Ijaz

An international student from Taylor's University, Manahil Ijaz is a freelance writer from the field of PR and Marketing who indulges in different forms of art including writing, painting and designing. Manahil has a great passion for psychology, English literature and travelling.


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