TOEFL Or IELTS: Which One Can Place You At University Doors?

By Sashikanth

It is a known fact to many of us that all the prospective international students who aren't English native speakers have to submit their standardized score of the English proficiency test. This is one of the important prerequisites set by almost all the world universities in the English-speaking countries.


Most of you agree that taking an English proficiency is a part of our application process. However, when we think of an English proficiency test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) strike in our mind as they're the most accepted ones across the world. And most of the universities either ask TOEFL or IELTS.

TOEFL Or IELTS: Which One To Choose?

Whenever we discuss about an English proficiency test, one question that keeps on intimidating us "TOEFL or IELTS: which one to take?" Let's start our discussion by providing some basic information about the IELTS and TOEFL.

IELTS (Academic) TOEFL (iBT)
Administrator British Council, Cambridge English Language Assessment and IDP: IELTS Australia Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Test Fee $185 (approximately) $180 (approximately)
Result 13 days after the exam (approximately) 10 days after the exam (approximately)
Scoring Scale 0-9 0-120
Test Format Paper-based Computer-based
Test Sections Listening: 30 minutes
Reading: 60 minutes
Writing: 60 minutes
Speaking: 11-14 minutes
Reading: 60-80 minutes
Listening: 60-90 minutes
Speaking: 20 minutes
Writing: 50 minutes
Test Time 2 hours 45 minutes 4 hours
Test Break No breaks between Listening, Reading and Writing sections 10 minutes break between Listening and Speaking sections
Format of Speaking Section With an examiner (in-person) With an examiner (in-microphone)
TOEFL Or IELTS: Which One To Choose?

Which One To Choose?

Prior to our discussion, we just want to make it clear that we do not recommend either one or the other. It is you who have to solve the dubiety and choose between the IELTS and TOEFL based on the prerequisites set by the universities.

The prospective international students are suggested to list the universities first based on their interest because almost all the universities accept both. However, a few universities might prefer one, specifically in the USA.

Compared to the TOEFL, candidates who prefer IELTS have to be good at the use of memory. It doesn't mean the TOEFL is not a hard nut to crack. It too, has a few consequences. The TOEFL exam is conducted in the multiple choice type which makes candidates think analytically.

If the university accepts both the proficiency tests, candidates who are good at typing skills can choose the TOEFL because it is a computer-based test. On the other hand, students who prefer IELTS should be very careful about their penmanship because it is a paper-based test, however, a legible handwriting is sufficient.

Whilst both the TOEFL and IELTS are equally popular in their own approach, we guess, it is a tough call for students to choose one. What we recommend is, go with your strengths and the university requirements. Drop your comment to make this item much better!

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