Vineel Chandra
Updated on 28 May, 2018

TOEFL vs IELTS





The TOEFL offers only academic English, while the IELTS offers a general test also. This test is more preferred for immigration purposes to the UK and Canada. And overall, the IELTS has more of a real-world feeling than the TOEFL.

TOEFL IELTS
About four hours long. 2 hours and 45 minutes long.
Available at over 500 locations in the US, over 4,500 worldwide. Available at 59 locations in the US, over 9,000 worldwide.
Cost of the exam is usually between 160 and 200 USD. Cost varies widely within the same country, usually is about 200 USD.
Score on a sliding scale from 0 to 120. Score at any of 9 “bands”, or levels of proficiency.

WHICH IS HARDER?

This is probably the question you’re most concerned with, but it’s pretty difficult to compare the both directly. A better way to find the answer to this question is to ask yourself a few questions. Answer the following questions with a simple “yes” or “no.”

I am comfortable with computers. YES/NO

I can type quickly. YES/NO

I prefer standard American English. YES/NO

I am good at answering multiple-choice questions. YES/NO

It is easy for me to take notes from a recording. YES/NO

The authentic English sources I read/listen to/watch are usually intended to inform rather than entertain. YES/NO

If you answered YES to most of these questions, the TOEFL is the best fit to your mind set.

I am comfortable having a detailed interview in-person. YES/NO

I have legible English handwriting. YES/NO

I can understand a variety of dialects of English. YES/NO

I prefer tests with many question types, including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, and flowcharts. YES/NO

I feel most comfortable discussing non-academic topics in English. YES/NO

The authentic English sources that I read/listen to/watch are usually made to entertain. YES/NO

If you answered YES to most of these questions, then you might find the IELTS to be more up your alley.

Both the tests are widely-accepted and are available at a variety of locations. When trying to decide between the two, first consult the programs you want to apply to and make sure that they accept both; after that, the most important factors are convenience and your particular skill set.

No matter which test you take, be aware that the scores all expire 2 years after your test date.

NOTE: The above views/statistics are indicative. Opinions and experiences may vary from person-to-person.

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