Which test to choose?

TOEFL or IELTS is a question that comes to mind for applicants who decide to study abroad. If we talk about English-language education, these tests are the most popular at the moment. And very often students cannot choose which one to take. In this case, you only need to know the basic information about the tests and their differences from each other.

One of the main differences between TOEFL and IELTS, which should be mentioned at once, is the use of different versions of English. The IELTS test is based on British English, and the TOEFL test is based on the American variant. In fact, the differences in these variants are not significant, but in reality they can cause difficulties even to those with excellent knowledge of the language.

Each test comes with 4 parts, designed to assess your skills:

  • Reading tests assess your reading and word processing skills;

  • Listening tests assess listening comprehension

  • Speaking tests assess oral proficiency

  • Writing tests assess written skills.

Grammar is not assessed by IELTS or TOEFL in any particular section. Knowledge of the rules is assessed by the answers given by the test taker in the Writing and Speaking sections.

Now, to decide TOEFL or IELTS, let's look at the difference between each part:

The Reading part   

What makes IELTS different is that the reading part involves not only multiple-choice questions, but also: paragraph order, connecting parts, typing a word, inserting data into a table, etc.

Part Listening

In TOEFL, when listening, you do not see the questions right away, but only after you listen to the test and make notes. In the IELTS version, you can see the questions right away and focus on listening to the parts of the text that contain the answers. There is also a difference in the subject of the text. For example, IELTS presents tests on general topics, whereas TOEFL only includes writing on academic topics.

Part Writing

There is a difference in technology, the TOEFL test is presented on the computer while IELTS provides paper versions. There is also a difference in the composition of the exercises: IELTS not only includes essays but also diagrams and graphs.

Speaking part

In IELTS, you speak in person to the examiner who records your answers on a tape recorder, but this procedure is included for objectivity only. With TOEFL, however, your answers are recorded to be sent to a scoring center, which means there is no human factor at all.

As for the length of the exam, IELTS lasts about 3 hours and TOEFL about 4 hours.

When asked which test is better to take TOEFL or IELTS, no one can give you the unified and exact answer. If the university you plan to enter predominantly inclines you toward one test or another, you should take that one. In the other case, you need to make a decision based on the differences described in this article. Good luck on your exams!


2022-01-14 07:13:39
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