What is the difference between TOEFL and IELTS? Which is better?

By Anusha

TOEFL vs IELTS. Which is better?


If you have decided to pursue higher studies in an English speaking country and if your first language is not English, then you will be required to take up standardised English test by the universities you are applying to.

The two important tests which are accepted by the universities around the world are TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing Service).

The similarities between TOEFL and IELTS:

  • Both these tests are similar on the grounds of testing a student planning for higher education.
  • They assess the ability of the candidate on the levels of English speaking, reading, listening and writing capacities.
  • Both are paid tests. The fees will depend on where you take the tests.

The differences between TOELF and IELTS:

  • In TOEFL, the speaking section consists of 6 questions for which the answers need to be given into a microphone. However, for IELTS, this sections involves an IELTS examiner asking you questions and you will be required to answer them. It is a face-to-face question-answer round.
  • In TOEFL, SAT-type of scores are awarded, it is more numerical where the scores are totaled from all areas. In IELTS, rating is done between 0 and 9, resulting in halfway points in between.
  • Educational Testing Service, US based non-profit organisation, conduts TOEFL. Whereas, British Council, the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education Australia, jointly administer IELTS.
  • TOEFL tests are conducted according to US English. IELTS are conducted according to UK English.

Which is better?

No judgment can be passed on this. It depends entirely on you and the place you wish to go for higher education. If you are comfortable with US accent and spellings then take up TOEFL, conversely, if you are comfortable with the UK accent and spellings, then take up IELTS.

Also, keep in mind the requirements of the University you are applying to, asks for. If the university asks particularly for TOEFL over IELTS or vise versa., then take up that test accordingly.

Read more on TOEFL here

Read more on IELTS here

You can read more education related news here

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