TOEFL VS IELTS: Which one is Easier, Cheaper and Widely Accepted

IELTS VS TOEFL Exam Comparison and Fees

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are the language proficiency tests that are accepted worldwide by different universities and institutions. The decision of which test to take depends entirely on the number of different factors. However, you may be thinking about which is the best suitable test for you. To know this, continue reading this article and you will discover it. 

Length 3 hours long 2 hours and 45 minutes long
  Offered at 500 different places in the United States and 4,500 locations worldwide Offered at 59 places in the United States and at 900 places worldwide
Price The cost is between 160 and 200 USD Cost of the test varies even within a country but usually, it is 200 USD
Scoring The test is scored on a scale of 0 to 120 The test is scored between 0 to 9 “bands,” or levels

Comparison of IELTS and TOEFL 

The exam of IELTS and TOEFL are very different from one another and this is the reason that some people find one exam better for themselves than another. We bet that you want to have an answer to the question that which exam is best for you and for which you should start studying. Before answering this question let us tell you that both exams are well known and are standardized tests. So this means, that you can always start practicing for the exam from the wide range of material available online. This will help you to know more about each exam and you can decide which one you should take. Now let’s have a look below on each type of exam. 

The TOEFL certificate shows your proficiency in the English language. It is a test basically made for the people who do not belong to the English speaking countries. Moreover, this exam is mostly used in taking admission to graduate schools and universities. So, because of this purpose, TOEFL only offers the assessment of academic English. However, in contrast to this, IELTS offers both the general tets and the academic option. Furthermore, the IELTS general training is mostly used for the purpose of immigration into other countries such as the UK, Canada, etc. 

It is to be noted that the TOEFL and IELTS academic is more difficult than the IELTS general test. But note that the TOEFL and IELTS academic is needed when you want to have admission into the degree program higher than the secondary level. Moreover, be aware of the fact that it doesn’t matter which kind of test you opt for, the scores expire after two years.

While noticing the format of two tests i.e TOEFL and IELTS you will come to know a few things. Firstly, both test contains four sections and these sections assess the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. But in contrast, the TOEFL exam only assesses the academic ability of the candidates. Secondly, the IELTS academic module has both writing and reading combined sections with speaking and listing general sections. If you consider, overall, the IELTS test has a feel of the more real-world than the test of TOEFL. Additionally, your English background decides which test you will find hard or easy.

IELTS does not contain a listening constituent on cohesive assignments. Although, you will find a graph or written information into one of the assignments. Additionally, in the writing section both tests i.e TOEFL and IELTS, contains questions in which you have to write an opinion essay on some given topic that assesses your writing skills. 

In the speaking section of the TOEFL, the recorder does an interview. In the speaking section of TOEFL, you have to summarize or interpret the information from different sources and have to explain your opinions. On the other hand, the IELTS speaking test is taken by the interviewer, in which the test taker asks you different questions and you have to respond to those questions. 

It would be helpful if the English teaching programs teach different dialects of the English language so, that the students have an advantage in the long run. Most of the students usually spend 90% of their learning period on only one dialect. For example, if you know American English than you will find some things in the IELTS exam unfamiliar. While if you are good at understanding and using British English than the TOEFL test will be strange for you. However, it is important to know that you will never be penalized for knowing more about one dialect until and unless you respond to the answers very clearly, fluently and correctly. 

Which Exam is Easier and Widely Accepted between IELTS and TOEFL?

It is quite difficult to answer the question that which test is harder. Moreover, it is also difficult to directly compare the two tests. So, a better approach to find out which test is easy, make yourself answer some questions. 

Answer the following questions by just saying yes or no.

  • Am I comfortable with using computers? YES/NO
  • Will I be relaxed talking to a microphone? YES/NO
  • Can I type fast? YES/NO
  • I do favor American English. YES/NO
  • Am I good at solving multiple-choice questions? YES/NO
  • Can I make notes from the recording easily? YES/NO
  • The reliable English sources I listen to/ read/ /watch are there to inform me and not to entertain me. YES/NO

So, if you marked most of the above questions ‘yes ‘then you should definitely go for the TOEFL test based on your set of skills. Start preparing with the vide variety of material present online. 

Now let’s have a look at the questions for the IELTS.

  • I will be relaxed while having an interview with a person. YES/NO
  • I do have good English handwriting. YES/NO
  • I can definitely comprehend a diversity of English dialects. YES/NO
  • I like tests with different types of questions including fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, matching, flowcharts and true/false. YES/NO
  • I am comfortable at debating on topics that are non-academic. YES/NO
  • The English sources are there to make me entertain. YES/NO

So, if you marked the above questions mostly YES than you should take the IELTS exam. Start looking for the material online and prepare for the test. 

Both tests are standardized tests and are accepted widely by different organizations and institutions. Before making a decision about which test to take always look for the requirements of the universities to which you are applying and then register for any of the tests. If the universities are accepting both tests, make sure to register for the one which suits better to your skillset. 

NOTE: IELTS is a paper-based test but note that in some parts of the world it is offered as a computer-based test. So, if in your part of the world the test is computer-based than you should make a comparison between the computer interface of IELTS and TOEFL. And then decide with which you are comfortable. 

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