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How to choose between IELTS and TOEFL exams when both look same on paper?

How to choose the ideal English Proficiency Test for taking admission to foreign universities when both IELTS and TOEFL look same in structure? Here we have come up with detailed comparison on the basis of several factors. This will help you to select the best-suited test according to your skill set.

Jun 25, 2019 17:43 IST
How to choose between IELTS and TOEFL exams when both look same on paper?

Foreign universities usually ask for IELTS or TOEFL score of international students. Scores of both the tests are accepted by international universities for admission purpose. What is the format of these tests? Which test should you take? Is there any special preference given to IELTS or TOEFL? Which test will fetch you more score?

As an English Test Taker, get all your answers in this article. This guide will provide you a detailed comparison between IELTS and TOEFL, and help you to choose the test according to your skill set and aptitude:

Let’s begin with some of the basic questions to get a glimpse of these two tests:

Question No. 1: Which English Accent Suits you most?

For American accent – TOEFL, and for British Accent – IELTS

Question No. 2: Are you comfortable with American Vocabulary or British Language

For American English – TOEFL, and for British English – IELTS  

Question No. 3: Are you computer savvy?

If you can type fast and aware of basic computer skills you might opt for TOEFL and if you are not good in typing go for IELTS as it is a handwritten test.

Question No. 4: How good you are with time management?

Time duration of IELTS is about 2 hours and 45 minutes whereas TOEFL is quite lengthy and lasts for 4 hours approximately.

Question No.5: What type of question pattern suits you?

IELTS is generally a long test with various types of questions including MCQs, fill in the blanks, matching exercises and many more. However, in TOEFL exam only multiple choice questions are asked.

Question No. 6: How good are you in taking notes?

Though note taking is important for IELTS as well as TOEFL, nevertheless, it is much more crucial for TOEFL. In IELTS, you need to answer the questions as you listen.

Question No. 7:  What is the difference in exam structure of IELTS and TOEFL?

Structure

TOEFL

IELTS

Reading

Multiple choice questions, Academic Study Materials, 3 to 5 reading selection of 20 minutes each

Multiple choice questions along-with gap-filling and textual questions, Academic Study Material, 3 reading selection of 20 minutes

Listening

40 to 60 minutes of listening selections from academic conversations, Take notes and answer MCQs

Wide variety of question types, and exercises, Answer question by moving through the listening section

Writing

Five paragraph essay of 350 words, Note taking is important,

Short Essay for 300 words, Explanation of graphs, charts or infographics

Speaking

Record responses on the computer of 60 seconds to six different questions based on short descriptions and the speaking section is of 20 minutes

Speaking section of 15 minutes and short warm up exercises

Question No. 8. What is the section-wise score of IELTS and TOEFL?

IELTS vs TOEFL: Total Score Comparison

IELTS Score

TOEFL Score

0-4

0-31

4.5

32-34

5

35-45

5.5

46-59

6

60-78

6.5

79-93

7

94-101

7.5

102-109

8

110-114

8.5

115-117

9

118-120

Hope, this will give you a clear understanding of which test to choose according to your skill set and ability.

IELTS vs TOEFL: Best Books

Now that you have got a clear understanding of which test will suit you best, let’s take a look at the best books for IELTS and TOEFL preparation:

List of IELTS Books:

List of TOEFL Books:

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