TOEFL Vs IELTS – Know Differences And Similarities



Students who are planning to undergo education abroad in any English native country for bachelor’s or master’s degree will have to submit their scores in IELTS or TOEFL exam. The primary similarity in both these exams is that both are standardized examinations for determination of the English level of the individual. Both the exams make assessment of reading, writing, listening and speaking skill of individuals (Li, 2018). However, these two examinations are of different format. The scoring pattern of the two examinations are also different. The scope of this report is an analysis of the difference and similarity between the two kind of examinations. The different contexts like that of practice for the two examinations and the approach of the examinations will be analysed in terms of determining similarity or difference.


Weather IELTS for TOEFL score is required to be attached with the application to a foreign English-speaking university in English native country. The score should be above a certain rank in order to ensure that the students should be able to understand all teaching direction and course materials published and conveyed in English. The two exams are considered to be the major only accepted proficiency exams for English language throughout the world (Hoa, 2018). The structure as well as approach and criteria of teaching of the two exams are completely different. This implies that it is important to understand both difference and similarities of the two tests for ultimately determining their importance.

Scope Of IELTS

IELTS is the abbreviated form for international English language testing system. There are two formats for this test. The first format is IELTS academic. This test is for the people were planning to undergo higher education in any university abroad. On the contrary the IELTS general training is emphasized on developing social skills and different workplace context for professionals who are generally trying to shift abroad for the objective of jobs. In context of discussing its similarity and difference with TOEFL exam, the prospective of IELTS academic should be considered only. The IELTS test uses the context of British English. The test is itself differentiated into four segments. The first segment is reading which is followed by listening and writing and speaking. The complete exam takes a time period of 2 hours and 45 minutes`(Baghaei, Bagheri and Yamini, 2020). This time includes transfer time from one section to that of the second section. Score gained by students against IELTS exams is accepted by thousands of universities throughout 140 countries where almost all the English universities of English native community are located. However, all these universities have specific respective requirement of score attend in the IELTS exams. After taking the test the students can select up to 5 universities where they want the copy of their IELTS results to be sent free of charge.

Scope Of TOEFL Exam

The TOEFL examination is the abbreviated form of test of English as a foreign language. It is basically a proficiency test for English which is developed by the American company called ETS. This test is the measurement of the reading, speaking, writing and listening proficiency of the individual in American English. Therefore, it is evident that in context to the broad parameter of analysis of English skill and efficiency both examples are almost similar in nature. However only one of them is a test against the British English standards which is the IELTS exam. According to homework helper the other exam that is TOEFL exam is a parameter for understanding proficiency of individuals in American English (Mushtaq, Shakir and Ahmad, 2020). The subject matter to be studied in the two different forces will be different however the objective to be attained in both the test is ultimately understanding the proficiency of the individual in English language under four parameters of reading for writing and listening and speaking. The TOEFL scores are the official parameter for admission in more than 900 universities and English medium institutions in more than 130 nations. In terms of acceptance the IELTS exam score is more acceptable in comparison to TOEFL exam score. However, there are specific criteria in some universities which highlight that they would only accept the TOEFL score for admission of foreign students. Two methods of taking this test exists. One method is the paper-based test of TOEFL exam and another is that of the internet-based test of TOEFL exam (Johnson and Tweedie, 2017). In contrast to the paper-based examination it is evident that recently the internet-based test has become more popular. There are designated centers for taking paper-based test of TOEFL exam in almost all countries of the world. The time taken for completion of the test is 4 hours. The outcome of this test is accepted your popularity in Australia and in UK as well. It is most likely that all American institutions will favour the outcome of this exam.

Comparison Of IELTS And TOEFL

In case of UK based universities, the specific exam of IELTS UK VI used for supporting the UK visa and immigration application is highly acceptable. On the contrary in countries like Canada and USA, the exhibition of only the TOEFL test for the IELTS test outcome will only do. Students who are excited to appear for this exam should find out local centres where the tests are organised. The website of IELTS provides students with all necessary information regarding them nearest the centre for appearance in the test. The TOEFL exam is organised more than 50 times every year and it is possible to search for large number of test locations in a country. The students need to make a statutory payment respective to the currency valuation of every country where this test is organised. However, the price for both these tests are almost similar ranging between 200 and 300 US dollars. However, both set of tests are examination of the proficiency in four parameters of English language which are speaking for it by listening and reading and writing (Daneshvaret al., 2020). The TOEFL exam is generally comprised of multiple-choice questions. On the contrary the IELTS exam comprises of not only multiple-choice questions but also short questions along with essay type questions. The TOEFL exam is available over the paper-based format. However, the internet which format of this exam is rather more popular in majority of the countries. Before the year 2016, the IELTS was only available as an exam on the paper-based format. However, after 2016 the computer-based provision for giving the exam has been available. The internet based TOEFL exam take up to 4 hours of time to be completed. On the contrary there is huge difference in the time taken for completing the IELTS exam which is 2 hours 45 minutes. The IELTS exam however might stick more than 24 hours we completed since speaking test to be conducted with an instructor is completely separated from the other sections which are accomplished within the 2 hour and 45 minutes of time period.

Considering the different parameters of similarity and differences between the two types of exam it can be highlighted that cost is one of the eminent criteria. Cost of 2 exams vary on the basis of country from where the student will be charged and from where the student is participating.In case, if the host country of the IELTS exam in USA the test will cost between 250 and 245 US Dollar. On the contrary in case of the TOEFL exam the examination price will be between 165 and $300. The statutory and the most viable median price of the exam is under $200 in majority of the countries. As evident, in the previous discussions it can be observed that there is a difference of 1 hour and 15 minutes of time period between the length of both exams (Staples, S., Biber and Reppen, 2018). Length of IELTS exam is shorter where is the length of TOEFL exam is much larger. Although there is significant difference in the test sections of both exams, there is also harmony between the two exams. Academic writing help England professional assumed, In case of the IELTS exam the listening test takes 30 minutes to be completed. On the contrary both reading and writing will requires 60 minutes to be completed which adds up to a total time period of 120 minutes. The last stage is that of the speaking test where the time period is actual that of 11 to 14 minutes. However, it is a flexible part which does not required to be undertaken immediately with the other three exams. In case of TOEFL exam the time period for the reading exam is between 60 and 80 minutes. In case of the listening exam, it is between 60 and 90 minutes. The speaking and writing examinations are organised for about 20 minutes and 50 minutes respectively.

On the basis of difference in approach between the two tests in respective of similar kind of content it can be highlighted that in case of a IELTS examination there are high scope of the examinee to be listening some audio document from either Australia or Canada or New Zealand or UK or USA. In contrast in case of the TOEFL exam the accent will be either North American, the people from New Zealand followed by Australia and the British. Although there is a large number of controversies regarding conducting.   In this regard, it can be however articulated that the test is offered with best precautions in a controlled environment. In about 140 Nations for the world there are more than 1000 centres for accepting education of this category. On the country in case of TOEFL exam the offering is throughout the whole world. There is also another major similarity in terms of frequency offer in this test. In case of the IELTS exam 48 tests are allowed every year (Manoj and Hijazi, 2018). On the contrary it is possible to organise and participate in more than 50 test dates every year. In spite of similarity in the frequency of test organisation the scoring scale is much different in case of both exams. In case of the IELTS exam the range of score is between 0 and 9. On the contrary in case of TOEFL exam scores can be achieved from 0 up to 120. The average minimum cut-off score required by universities from USA is 6.3 for candidates appearing in the IELTS exam and 78 in the TOEFL exam.


There is a significant difference between the speaking part in both tests. People might perceive that they are comfortable in speaking English with another person on a face-to-face basis rather than over microphone. Nevertheless, in case of people who have this kind of mind sight, it is highlighted that the IELTS test will be more suitable. For study help The speaking section of this artist provides our time period of about 15 minutes and it is conducted in the formation of normal conversation in the native English accent. There is a test instructor participating in the program and the accident and the way of answering in context to those questions will be recorded over a microphone. It is important to state that some general questions are generally made for examination of English proficiency (Nakatsuhara, Inoue and Taylor, 2020). The questions regarding home as well as family and individual study. This is the reason why recently in order to avoid complications during the speaking section many friends take their preparation for the exam by reversing the accident and then trying to signify and disassociate what alphabet from other. In case of IELTS exam, the mode of education highlights that the other four sections of the TOEFL exam which comprises of about six sections organised in approximately 20 minutes, one of the phenomenal English-speakingtests. Dadar 4 sections are comparatively easier as those tests synthesis on integrated speaking only (Ducasse and Brown, 2021). The other four sections of the examination are not more complex and emphasize on integrated speaking only. This implies that the requirement of listening or reading any content creates response towards recording of the passage as well. In case of measure, it of sections some time will be given for preparation before provision of the answer over microphone.


In case of IELTS exam listening is a very significant part of the test. During this part is important to answer about 10 questions with the audio being played also. These questions come for IELTS, accomplishing coverage on everyday topics like the current affairs of dealing with situations in education and the training context. The format of questions is the feeling of the blanks followed by completing sentences and also answering true or false. The speaking test of the TOEFL exam goes on for 1 hour whereas the same in case of IELTS goes on about only 30 minutes. In the listening test part of TOEFL examination the new candidates should listen 246 of the recording and then answer the important questions on the basis of their innovative minds and what they heard over the microphone (Souri and Merç, 2020). These questions are needed for exhibition of the ability of understanding content which is being shared with the respective candidate along with the examining the ability of the candidate in understanding the emotion and motivation of the speaker. It is to be highlighted in this case that the expression of emotion and motivation of speakers in native English countries are going to be different while they are speaking English with the non-native citizens. Assignment Help Melbourne said the difference is in the fact that non-native citizens while speaking English will express emotion and motivation in a different way in comparison to their counterpart in English speaking countries.


Writing section for both tests is consisted of two main parts. Both tests required individual candidates to develop short essay. In case of the IELTS exam the students are provided with a graph or chart in the initial part followed by which there are 20 minutes for development of a short essay of about 150 words on the basis of the information provided in the chat. In the other part of the writing section of IELTS, the individuals are provided with a popular argument or a perception. The individuals we need to write about 200 to 250 words response in a time of 40 minutes in regard to that argument. In case of the TOEFL exam, the initial part requires individuals to read short text segment about a specific topic and then again listen to a 2-minute lecture decision regarding the same topic. Then it is important to write about 300 to 350 words of response regarding the questions in the topic (Chen, 2019). Therefore, it is pertinent to state in this regard that there is a grave similarity between the writing approach to the two kind of exams. On the contrary the formation and structure of exams are different yet a similar that both requires a se type and explanatory answer against one or more than one topic context. in the next part of the TOEFL exam it is important for students to write another short essay. Therefore, another important point of similarities that in both cases the writing segment is divided into two parts. The kind of construct in both fragments of the writing section of the both exams have facility in them also.


In this segment, both IELTS and TOEFL, provide a switch text to which are academic in nature followed by questions, denominating how well we understood the text. Coursework help experts said, In case of IELTS exam the reading section is comprised of about 40 question which are broken down into three important parts. There is difference in style of question in the three segments which incorporate short answer along with fill in-the-gaps questions covering various range of topics (Llosa and Malone, 2019). It required understanding the main theme of discussion and extensive reading for my new to detail knowledge. It also includes scheming and testing for logical argument along with recognising operation and purpose of the writer. It helps in understanding the credibility of the individual candidate in undergoing the course in foreign university as well. In case of TOEFL exam along with other kind of questions in various segments of this reading section there are multiple choice questions which are divided in approximately three or four or five words. the candidates have to read the passages provided to them in these parts before answering approximately 14 questions (Homayounfar, Pourghasem and Gerami, 2020). The questions might ask the individual the meaning of specific word or identify the idea behind a phrase or statement or find any false statement. To the kind of timing provided to students to solve the test are similar in both cases. Both tests provide 20 minutes to the students to complete every individual part of this reading test.

Test Scores

The IELTS tests Are physically checked. There is a location of separate scores for every individual section of this test on the basis of a parameter where score is provided between 1 and 9. Again in addition to the individual sections code there is an overall score provided to all separate sections unanimously. this implies that if the individual has not scored well in a particular segment it will bring down the average score. The IELTS scoring method is easy method of clear identification of the proficiency level of English. in this case the evident calculation is that the score of unknown users will be one and that of expert will be around 9. However, in case of scoring in TOEFL exam both human as well as automatic software is used for checking. however, the approach and the method of checking in case of human and automated scoring systems are the same (Lee, 2019). There is a structural difference station in the school provided. The point provided against every question is one and the final maximum score in this case is 120. Are score between 0 and 30 for every section is achieved. Along with the TOEFL score of the individual it is also important to get the performance feedback report. This report provided by the end of the TOEFL exam provide the candidates with the ordinary test takers’ intonation of scoring and the range of score. This gives a better identification of how the individual has scored in the individual Tests. In this regard it is important for us to keep in mind that it is mandatory to wait for about 10 days before receiving the score and the printed report output (Papageorgiouet al., 2019). In majority of the cases the reports are received through email after 10 or 12 days of the test being undertaken. To know more, buy assignment online from SourceEssay experts.


In conclusion it can be highlighted that the level of acceptance of both TOEFL exam and IELTS exams are almost similar. The context of consideration is different with IELTS exam against UK English and the TOEFL exam doing the parameter for English in USA. There is major similarity in organisation and structuring of both exams. Nevertheless, there are some part 3 and differences which are clearly executed in this research study. Difference like the time taken for the exam accomplishment and their kind of question on many instances can never be ignored. Nevertheless, both the exams are equally acceptable and students should emphasize on individual exam on the basis of their merit level and still competency.

Reference List

Baghaei, S., Bagheri, M.S. and Yamini, M., 2020. Analysis of IELTS and TOEFL reading and listening tests in terms of revised bloom’s taxonomy. Cogent Education7(1), p.1720939.

Chen, Y., 2019. Comparative Study of English Proficiency Tests.

Daneshvar, A., Bagheri, M.S., Sadighi, F., Yarmohammadi, L. and Yamini, M., 2020. Iranian TOEFL iBT and the IELTS Teachers’ Views on the Structure of the TOEFL iBT and IELTS Receptive and Productive Sections in terms of Dynamic and Static Assessment. Journal of Language and Translation10(4), pp.1-16.

Ducasse, A.M. and Brown, A., 2021. Contextualised judgements: A comparison of the rating criteria used to judge oral presentations in higher education and speaking performances in the TOEFL iBTTM.  


Homayounfar, S., Pourghasem, A. and Gerami, E., 2020. IELTS vs. Cambridge exams: A review on different exam types.

Johnson, R.C. and Tweedie, M.G., 2017. A comparison of IELTS, TOEFL, and EAP course results as predictors of English language learning success in an undergraduate nursing program.

Lee, J., 2019. A comparison of writing tasks in ESL writing and first-year composition courses: A case study of one US university. Language Teaching Research, p.1362168819859866.

Li, Y., 2018. A comparison of TOEFL iBT and IELTS reading tests. Open Journal of Social Sciences6(08), p.283.

Llosa, L. and Malone, M.E., 2019. Comparability of students’ writing performance on TOEFL iBT and in required university writing courses. Language Testing36(2), pp.235-263.

Manoj, S.U.N.A.Y.A.N.A. and Hijazi, S.H.A.D.I., 2018. Test Preparation Strategies for the TOEFL Can Be Diverse and Effective. International Journal of ELT, Linguistics and Comparative Literature6(1), pp.5-9.

Mushtaq, M., Shakir, A. and Ahmad, S., 2020. Specifying the Criteria for the Testing of Reading Comprehension.

Nakatsuhara, F., Inoue, C. and Taylor, L., 2020. Comparing rating modes: Analysing live, audio, and video ratings of IELTS Speaking Test performances. Language Assessment Quarterly, pp.1-24.

Papageorgiou, S., Wu, S., Hsieh, C.N., Tannenbaum, R.J. and Cheng, M., 2019. Mapping the TOEFL iBT® Test Scores to China’s Standards of English Language Ability: Implications for Score Interpretation and Use. ETS Research Report Series2019(1), pp.1-49.

Souri, D. and Merç, A., 2020.  Facilitating and Improving Speaking Accuracy through Self-correction and Self-awareness in TOEFL Independent Speaking Tasks. The value of pedagogical knowledge: an international perspective, p.21.

Staples, S., Biber, D. and Reppen, R., 2018. Using Corpus‐Based Register Analysis to Explore the Authenticity of High‐Stakes Language Exams: A Register Comparison of TOEFL iBT and Disciplinary Writing Tasks. The Modern Language Journal102(2), pp.310-332.

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