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TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?

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Joined: 07 Jul 2017
Posts: 37
TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2017, 02:12
Should I take the TOEFL or IELTS test ? Are you confused ? Let me help you clarify the confusion.

IF you are planning for a university education, the first thing you need to check is whether the universities are accepting TOEFL or IELTS ? Based on which you can decide the test you wan’t to take. Every university has their minimum score requirements for admission.

Check for the test center location, if it’s nearby it saves you a lot of time & energy.

If university entrance is the motive, choose the test based on the university you’re opting in.

If you’re not planning to attend universities, but only planning to move to another country, the General Training paper that IELTS offers is probably much more suitable for your needs.

Let me cover the Similarities between the tests -

Both tests the four main language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
They are both standardized tests which actually means that the scores are consistent throughout the world.
There is not much difference in price either, with both costing between $150 and $250 dollars depending on where the test is taken.

Followed by the differences between the tests -

Let us Compare every test section -

This is probably the biggest difference between the two tests.
In the IELTS test you will talk to a real person and in the TOEFL test you will speak to a computer!
Some people find talking to a computer quite strange while others might prefer it. It comes down to personal preference.

The TOEFL test is totally a. internet based test,(except some areas) for which you will type everything on a keyboard, but for IELTS you have option to write on paper or take online. If you are not comfortable with computers, then IELTS has the option to write on paper.


When it comes to IELTS vs TOEFL for the listening test, the main differences is the length of the test, context, question type and accent.
The TOEFL listening duration is longer than the IELTS listening.
The TOEFL listening duration is for 60 mins, but the IELTS listening is for 30 mins.

The two main differences here are question types and context.
The TOEFL test is multiple choice only but the IELTS test has a wide range of question types.
If your comfortable with multiple choice then TOEFL might be the test for you, but some people feel that a range of question types gives them a better chance of getting a high score.

TOEFL has only academic texts available, but with IELTS you can choose either the Academic paper or the non-academic one- that is the General Training paper.

IF you answer “YES” to most of the following questions, you should take the TOEFL test -

I find American accents easy to listen to.
I like multiple choice questions.
I prefer reading and listening in an academic context.
I can concentrate for long periods of time.
I prefer talking to a computer.
I am good at typing.
I can easily follow a lecture and take notes.
I am comfortable with computers.

IF you answer “YES” to most of the following questions, you should take the IELTS test -

I like talking directly to people.
I don’t like multiple choice questions.
I don’t like reading or listening to academic contexts.
I’m comfortable to write by hand, than typing on computers.
I can understand a variety of English-speaking accents.
I prefer shorter tests.
I prefer a range of questions.
I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.

I hope this helps you to take the right decision.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Posts: 49
Re: TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2018, 01:08
Generally speaking:

IELTS is usually for universities in Australia, UK, Europe.
TOEFL is usually for universities in Canada, USA.
However, in recent years, there seems to be a more widespread acceptance in IELTS. Universities in Canada are starting to accept IELTS too.

So, which exam should you choose to take?

The best way is to pick the university and check their requirements. Some accept only one of them, most accept both exams these days.

For universities which accept both exams, of course you want to choose the one where you can get higher score in!
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Re: TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 08:55
Yes, you are right. As far as I have researched, nowadays most of the American universities accept IELTS, with every University having their own score requirements for obvious reasons.

So, I guess now one can find out which one is easier for one and decide accordingly.

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Joined: 20 Aug 2018
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Re: TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 03:12
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are two of the most widely-accepted tests to certify your English proficiency. The decision to take the TOEFL vs IELTS will ultimately depend on a number of factors.


4 hours long
Available at over 500 locations in the US, over 4,500 worldwide
Cost is usually between 160 and 200 USD
Score on a sliding scale from 0 to 120


2 hours and 45 minutes long
Available at 59 locations in the US, about 900 worldwide
Cost varies widely even within the same country; usually is around 200 USD
Score in any of 9 "bands," or levels
Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 28
Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q59 V57
Re: TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2018, 01:08
IELTS & TOEFL both are English Proficiency test. Both tests are widely accepted by almost all universities across the world. Let’s see the difference between them:


First and foremost, IELTS is easier than TOEFL.
It’s a paper based exam.
Test duration is 2 hours 45 minutes.
There are four sections: Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading.
Speaking Section :
Speaking test lasts for 11–14 minutes. It is face to face interview and there are total three tasks.

Task 1: In task 1, first of all you will give your introduction and then you will be asked questions on familiar topics such as about family, hobbies, hometown etc. Task 1 lasts around 4–5 minutes.
Task 2: Task 2 lasts for 3–4 minutes. You have to talk on very simple topic such as ‘Describe a place you have visited recently.’ or ‘what you did in your recent free time?’ etc. You will be given 1 minute for preparation, you can make notes too. Then you have to speak 2 minute continuously about given topic.
Task 3: In task 3, you will be asked questions that are related to task 2 topic. Again this task is for around 4–5 minutes.
Speaking test can be taken either before, after or on the same day as the other sections.

Listening Section :
There are total 4 sections in IELTS listening test. Best part is this listening test is similar for both Academic and General module. So this test is too easy and scoring section as well.

1st and 2nd section are based on social situation while 3rd and 4th sections are academic. There are total 40 questions and test lasts for 40 minutes. You listen to the recording and answer the questions for 30 minutes. After that you have 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. While listening you have question paper in front of you, so you know what answer you have to find and when you get your answer you can write it over there.

Writing Section :
There are two tasks in this section. In task 1, you have to describe a pie chart/ bar graph/ line graph/ table or diagram. Task 2 is an essay. you have total 60 minutes for overall writing task. In task 1, you have to write at least 150 words and in task 2 at least 250 words. If you write less than these, you will lose band 1. There are real sample answer sheets are available, you can download it, print it and practice on it. As it’s a paper based test, you can write it either by using pencil or pen. While in TOEFL you have to type your essay.

Reading Section :
Reading test is also lasts for 1 hour. It comes directly after your test. There is no extra time for you to transfer your answers on answer sheet, you have to write your answers while reading only. There are three reading passages in academic module. These passages are usually taken from books, magazine and newspapers, so they are easier than that of TOEFL reading section.

I didn’t appear for TOEFL, so i don’t know much about it. I heard about it from my friends. So many of my friends gave TOEFL 2–3 times and scored low. Some people might not be comfortable with computerized test. Even i heard during speaking section in TOEFL, Other candidates are also speaking so one may could not give that much concentration to one’s speaking. Sometimes there were some technical problems. Some topics or unfamiliar or not relevant, ambiguous. In listening section, you first have to listen recording and then questions will appear, so that time it may difficult to answer some questions.

Well, recently i have appeared for IELTS and my experience with it was awesome. IELTS test conducts at hotels so environment was great. I was made comfortable by examiner before my speaking test so i didn't even feel like i am here for any test and all and i scored well in my IELTS test.

Hope this information helps.

Good luck,

Thank you.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?   [#permalink] 12 Sep 2018, 01:08

TOEFL or IELTS ? Which to take ?

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