What Are The Basic Differences between IELTS and TOEFL Exams?

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The Basic Differences between IELTS and TOEFL Exams

Selecting between the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exams is a crucial decision for students who are aspiring to study or work in English-speaking countries.

Both IELTS and TOEFL are globally recognized and designed to assess the English language proficiency of non-native speakers. 

The question is, if both the tests’ purposes are the same, which test a student should take and which will be easier for them to score good marks? 

In this blog, we’ll try to find an answer for it!

An Introduction to IELTS

IELTS is considered one of the most popular English skill proficiency tests.

The test is divided into four categories:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

Over 8,000 universities around the world accept the test. 

While speaking about test types, there are two types of IELTS tests. 

  • Academic IELTS 

It is for international students who want to study at a UK university.

  • General IELTS 

It is ideal for those who are planning to migrate to English-speaking countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

You have to remember that the IELTS score is valid for two years. The score is divided from Band 0 to Band 9 depicting your score from Did not attend the test to Expert users. 

An Introduction to TOEFL

TOEFL is the most popular and significant entrance language test along with IELTS. 

Just like TOEFL, IELTS is also divided into four categories:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking

The test is conducted by the ETS (Educational Testing Service). 130 countries around the world accept the test. More than 10000 colleges and universities recognize TOEFL as the perfect English language proficiency test. 

This is an introduction to IELTS and TOEFL. Now, take a look at the major differences prevailing between the two English language proficiency tests.

IELTS & TOEFL: What is The Difference?

You know both these tests eventually assess a candidate’s command over the English language. However, there are a few basic differences between IELTS and TOEFL. 

Go through the table to know more about it.

Core Differences IELTS TOEFL
Country Specific UK USA
Test Taking Organisation British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Exam Duration 2 hrs 45 minutes 2 hrs 
English Accent Checks primarily British, New Zealand and Australian English and accents  Checks American English and accents
Marks  IELTS Band (0-9) TOEFL Score (0-120)
Question Pattern Variety Question Types Multiple Choice Question
Result Declaration Within a week 4-6 days from the test date
Exam Frequency 48 test dates available per year Over 50 times a year
Speaking Section Conducts face-to-face interview with an examiner Conducts interview via computer
Purpose Used for education, immigration, and occupational purposes Used for academic purposes

IELTS & TOEFL: Which Is Easier for Students?

Although both IELTS and TOEFL test the English proficiency of the individual, many students consider IELTS to be easier than TOEFL, particularly speaking about the reading sections. 

In IELTS, the reading question samples are taken from magazines, books, journals and newspapers. The TOEFL reading passages are taken from academic textbooks and publications. 

Candidates who are not habituated to reading English academic textbooks may find it challenging as the textbooks usually include English jargon and complex sentence structures.

This is the only parameter of selection between IELTS and TOEFL tests.

Final Thoughts

It is individual strength and preference that determines whether IELTS or TOEFL is easier for candidates. You can decide after researching each exam format, practising with sample questions and understanding your capability.

Texas Review can help you to understand the exam format with thoughtful teaching and mock practice sessions ultimately helping you to realise your ability. 

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