TOEFL vs IELTS: Which One Is Right For You?

TOEFL and IELTS are two of the world’s most popular standardized exams to test English proficiency. They are used by test takers to fulfil the requirements for education and immigration purposes. So, TOEFL vs IELTS: Which one is right for you?


Let us take a quick look at some of the similarities between the two exams before digging deep into the differences. Apart from being a test of English language skills, both TOEFL and IELTS follow a similar broad pattern of testing. They pose questions in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Also, they are priced similarly with both exams setting you back by $160-$200.


Both exams have a lot of differences. We have drawn up a table for comparison:

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Duration 4 hours 2 hours and 45 minutes
Scoring scale 0-120 1-9
Versions Academic Academic and General
Focus Standard American English Variety of dialects (British, American, Australian)
Speaking section Done with recorder In-person evaluation
Listening section Longer recordings Shorter recordings
Reading section Multiple choice questions Wider range of question types

Which one is right for you?

As you can see, both exams have their own unique characteristics. Both IELTS and TOEFL test English proficiency and there is no test which is easier than the other. If you are more comfortable with standard American English, you may swing the way of TOEFL. If you are comfortable with different dialects and want a shorter exam, go for IELTS. Generally, more schools in the US prefer TOEFL whereas more institutions in the UK prefer IELTS. Make sure that you check with the schools of your choice. Also, if you are looking at taking an English test for immigration purposes, you may find the IELTS General Training a better bet.

You may also be interested in reading:

TOEFL, IELTS or Any Other Test Of English: 4 Very First Steps

IELTS Preparation: Tips & Tricks

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