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Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS??????

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Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 07:28
Hi all,

I have to admit that I am very unsatisfied with this conversion. Some of my favorite B-Schools require either 110 TOEFL or 7.5 IELTS. I found that 110 TOEFL is much more difficult than 7.5 IELTS. Unfortunately, I had not known this conversion when I had to make a choice between TOEFL and IELTS. Now I can not come back to IELTS because it's quite late for this year.

Can anybody explain me this conversion?

Thank you.
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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 20:07
TrueLie wrote:
Hi all,

I have to admit that I am very unsatisfied with this conversion. Some of my favorite B-Schools require either 110 TOEFL or 7.5 IELTS. I found that 110 TOEFL is much more difficult than 7.5 IELTS. Unfortunately, I had not known this conversion when I had to make a choice between TOEFL and IELTS. Now I can not come back to IELTS because it's quite late for this year.

Can anybody explain me this conversion?

Thank you.


First, there is no conversion. Neither IDP IELTS Australia, the British Council or the ITC will ever agree to compare the tests.

IELTS is a much tougher and much more objective test, and 7.5 on Academic Module is an exceptionally good score (I used to work as an IELTS examiner in China). I have also taken IELTS twice myself, and I have also taken the TOEFL two times: the last time for MBA application purposes.

IELTS components are well balanced, and human scored, i.e. a human examiner will look at every answer; every essay is read several times, and some of the oral interviews are listened to by several independent examiners. The score is very objective. Even then, if one thinks they deserve a different score, they can appeal the decision of the examiners, and another group of senior examiners will look at the work.

TOEFL is not a balanced test. iBT TOEFL speaking module is ridiculously unnatural and more difficult than the other components of the test. The rest of TOEFL is pretty straightforward; in China, New Oriental School has built a whole business around rigging TOEFL because there are certain things that are predictable. Whole armies of exam takers in the PRC come in prepared with all sorts of test taking tricks that have nothing to do with their language ability, and yet - allows them to score higher than their true level of language mastery permits.

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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 20:26
I do not say what is more difficult. 120 TOEFL is as difficult as 9 IELTS.
However, if we look at the percentile ranking of TOEFL (Table 2) and that of IELTS (Table 1) for all academic test takers, we can see that 108 TOEFL is at 90th percentile while 7.5 IELTS is at 82nd percentile. And we all know that there is a very big difference between 90th percentile and 82nd percentile, it is like the difference between 650 GMAT and 700 GMAT.
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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 23:46
Well, if you look at Table 3 for TOEFL (Graduate students) - 108 is 86%.

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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 23:48
xerox wrote:
Well, if you look at Table 3 for TOEFL (Graduate students) - 108 is 86%.


Yes, but it's for Graduate Students (Master, PhD). I am talking about all academic test takers (undergraduate, graduate, trainee, employee ... ).
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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2011, 23:54
And the IELTS data is not entirely comparable. But assuming that those who take Academic IELTS for attending a formal educational institution longer than 3 months come from the same sample as the guys mentioned in the TOEFL table #3, 7.5 is only awarded to 5% of such test takers.

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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS?????? [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2011, 00:01
TrueLie wrote:
xerox wrote:
Well, if you look at Table 3 for TOEFL (Graduate students) - 108 is 86%.


Yes, but it's for Graduate Students (Master, PhD). I am talking about all academic test takers (undergraduate, graduate, trainee, employee ... ).

To me, it looks like you want a lot of noise in your statistical sample; say, Australian doctors who want to work in the UK must take IELTS to get a work permit; Commonwealth Countries use the test for other formal purposes, even if English is your native language, e.g. Canada and South Africa are contributing to that process. These people skew the sample because there are a lot of them, and they invariably do much better than ESL students.

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Re: Why 110 TOEFL = 7.5 IELTS??????   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2011, 00:01
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