Intro  |  Similarities  |  which is better  |  IELTS  |  TOEFL  


First of all, here’s a little information regarding TOEFL vs. IELTS:

TOEFL: IELTS VS TOEFL .The TOEFL IBT(INTERNET-BASED TEST) is conducted and administered by the ETS (ENGLISH TESTING SERVICE). The TOEFL exam is an assessment of your capacity to use and interpret English at the university level effectively. Over 130 countries accept TOEFL scores. Universities in the USA and Canada prefer the TOEFL exam scores for higher education and global migration.


IELTS: IELTS VS TOEFL. IELTS, on the other hand, is a famous English language proficiency test administered in over 140 countries, offering Academic and General Training testing for higher education and global migration, respectively. IELTS test scores are most sought after in Australia and the UK as the British Council jointly owns IELTS, IDP(learn more about British Council by clicking above link): IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.


The second thing you need to check is which universities and colleges accept each test IELTS VS TOEFL. If you really want to attend a certain university and it only accepts IELTS, then that is the test you should do.

You should also check if there is a test center in your local area. The test is already stressful without having to do lots of travelling.

You should also think about why you want to do the test. If it is for university entrance, there is no much difference between the two tests, but if you are not attending university and just need it to move to another country, the General Training paper that IELTS offers is probably much more suitable for your needs.


IELTS vs. TOEFL: Similarities

IELTS VS TOEFL Both test the four primary language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. They are both standardized tests, which- in theory- means that the scores are consistent throughout the world.

There is not much difference in price either, with both costings between $150 and 250 dollars depending on where you do it.

That is where the similarities end, and there are many more differences. Below I will look at how each of the four skills are different.

IELTS vs. TOEFL: Which should I choose?

If you can answer yes to most of the following questions, you should do the TOEFL test:

I find American accents easy to listen to.

I like multiple-choice questions.

I prefer reading and listening in an academic context.

I can concentrate for long periods of time.

I prefer talking to a computer.

I am good at typing.

I can easily follow a lecture and take notes.

I am comfortable with computers.

If you can answer yes to most of the following questions, you should do the IELTS test:

I like talking to people one-on-one.

I don’t like multiple-choice questions.

I don’t like reading or listening to academic contexts.

I like to write by hand.

I can understand a variety of English-speaking accents.

I prefer shorter tests.

I prefer a range of questions.

I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. IELTS VS TOEFL

If you are fluent in your conversation in English and have a good command over the grammar, one month is sufficient time for you to prepare for any kind of English proficiency test. It is entirely an individual opinion, whether the IELTS test is easier or the TOEFL test. The basic pattern of both the tests remains the same i.e., and both have four modules Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. 

Even though their basic format is similar, but there are many differences between the IELTS VS TOEFL. Firstly, the time duration of both the tests vary, IELTS is allotted 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the test, whereas TOEFL is a 4-hour long test. So TOEFL is considered to be more lengthy. It is always advisable to explore the exam options with universities. you are applying to, as many universities prefer IELTS to TOEFL. 

And universities of some European countries like Germany, Ireland, France, etc. prefer TOEFL more than IELTS. TOEFL is entirely an academic test of English, whereas the IELTS test has both the options, Academic English test and a General English test, depending on the purpose you are applying for.

 TOEFL is preferred by many candidates who are more comfortable with the computer-based exam, whereas IELTS has both the options i.e., paper-based tests and the computer-based test. So, as per the personal preference, you can choose between the two.

TOEFL is conducted by the US entity, so they accept US-based English, on the other hand, IELTS is conducted by the British Council, London, and the IDP, Australia, so the IELTS test accepts both the US and the UK English. You can say the IELTS pattern is more flexible than the TOEFL.

The next consideration is scoring. In IELTS, all the questions given in all the modules are scored items, and you get points for every correct answer. On the contrary, the TOEFL test has some unscored items in the test, so it becomes a bit challenging task to achieve better scores in TOEFL. 

Which is better

Which is better: IELTS VS TOEFL?

Also, the availability of the test dates is yet another thing to consider before choosing between IELTS and TOEFL. IELTS test slots are more readily and frequently available than the TOEFL test slots. That is why candidates consider IELTS more than the TOEFL, but then again, it is an individual choice and the preference of the university you are applying to. We can not outrightly say which one is easier. Although for a decent to more than average English speaking candidate, 4-weeks will be sufficient time for the preparation of the exam

Here are some points you may want to consider to know to give which exam would be more beneficial for you: IELTS VS TOEFL

  1. It would help if you thought to look at the requirements of the schools you are considering for under graduation or post-graduation studies as many universities prefer the scores of one test over another depending on the country you are applying.
  2. Furthermore, it is speculated that having a significantly higher TOEFL IBT score would increase your chances of securing a Teaching/Research Assistantship in universities across the USA.
  3. TOEFL IBT test score has been widely recognized for a more extended period in the USA, due to the more detailed Assessment scale.
  4. Conversely, the IELTS test score is given more weight in the UK and is considered to have a more palpable context.


IELTS & TOEFL both are English Proficiency test. Almost all universities across the world widely accept both tests. Let’s see the difference between them: IELTS VS TOEFL


  •  First and foremost, IELTS is more comfortable than TOEFL.
  •  It’s a paper-based exam.
  • The test duration is 2 hours, 45 minutes.
  •  There are four sections: Speaking, Listening, Writing, and Reading.

Speaking Section:

The speaking test lasts for 11–14 minutes. It is face to face interview, and there are complete three tasks.

Task 1

 In task 1, first of all, you will give your introduction, and then you will be asked questions on familiar topics such as family, hobbies, hometown, etc. Task 1 lasts around 4–5 minutes.

Task 2

Task 2 lasts for 3–4 minutes. You have to talk on a manageable topic such as ‘Describe a place you have visited recently.’ or ‘what you did in your recent free time?’ Etc. You will be given 1 minute for preparation; you can make notes too. Then you have to speak 2 minutes continuously about a given topic.

Task 3

In task 3, you will be asked questions that are related to task 2 topic. Again this task is for around 4–5 minutes.

The speaking test can be taken either before, after, or on the same day as the other sections.

Listening Section:

There is a total of 4 sections in the IELTS listening test. The best part is this listening test is similar for both the Academic and General modules. So this test is easy and scoring section as well.

 1st and 2nd section is based on the social situation, while the 3rd and 4th sections are academic. 

There is a total of 40 questions, and the test lasts for 40 minutes. You listen to the recording and answer the questions for 30 minutes. After that, you have 10 minutes to transfer your answer to the answer sheet. While listening you have question paper in front of you, so you know what answer you have to find and when you get your answer you can write it over there.

Writing Section:

There are two tasks in this section. In task 1, you have to describe a pie chart/ bar graph/ line graph/ table or diagram. Task 2 is an essay. You have a total of 60 minutes for the overall writing task. In task 1, you have to write at least 150 words, and in task 2, at least 250 words. If you write less than these, you will lose band 1. There are real sample answer sheets available, and you can download it, print it, and practice it. As it’s a paper-based test, you can write it either by using a pencil or pen. While in TOEFL, you have to type your essay.

Reading Section:

The reading test also lasts for 1 hour. It comes directly after your test. There is no extra time for you to transfer your answers on an answer sheet; you have to write your answers while reading only. There are three reading passages in the academic module. These passages are usually taken from books, magazines, and newspapers, so they are easier than the TOEFL reading section.

I didn’t appear for TOEFL, so I don’t know much about it. I heard about it from my friends. So many of my friends gave TOEFL 2–3 times and scored low. Some people might not be comfortable with the computerized test. Even I heard during a speaking section in TOEFL; Other candidates are also speaking, so one may not give that much concentration to one’s speaking. Sometimes there were some technical problems. Some topics are unfamiliar or not relevant, ambiguous.

In the listening section, you first have to listen to a recording, and then questions will appear, so that time, it may difficult to answer some questions.

Well, recently, I have appeared for IELTS, and my experience with it was excellent. IELTS test conducts at hotels, so the environment was great. I was made comfortable by the examiner before my speaking test, so I didn’t even feel like I am here for any test and all, and I scored well in my IELTS test.

In IELTS for the same exam, you have a separate date for Listening Reading Writing sections, and the Speaking part Will be 5 to 10 days later. More time to prepare.



TOEFL: All sections on the same day. 4 hours of sickness. IELTS VS TOEFL

IELTS: Its paper-based. For the reading section, you can flip pages ASAP and get back to the questions for answering or re-correcting them. Essays are a mix of short and long ones; time gets covered up if you have good reading practice.

Reading Tip: Inculcate a habit of reading novels and newspaper editorial sections for better speed.

TOEFL: System or PC based like in a cyber cafe. You cannot mark anything as its a screen and have to click back so many times to refer for answers, you’ll get sick of it. Basically, a waste of time. Also, very, very long three essays!

IELTS Listening section: You Will be guided step by step; you could be looking for questions and will be at the same time listening to that specific scenario and marking your answers on the question paper. (you’ll get 5 or 10 mins later for filling these answers on an OMR answer sheet).

Tip: Practice different accent conversations from YouTube, etc., as the exam will have such dialects.

TOEFL Listening: This is the sickest Listening method for a test. You’ll first be listening to an entire conversation/story and have to make a note of essential points on a paper, and then once the audio finishes You’ll answer questions from 3 or 4 sections based on what you heard. Again, different types of 5 audios follow by question sections. Trust me none of this is relevant to academics and also many candidates will be next to us.

 By the time we complete our listening as per standard duration. Some people already would’ve started their speaking section earlier. They’ll be speaking louder on their headsets as there is a machine that needs to capture this data. This is a complete disturbance to others doing the listening section etc.

IELTS Writing: Casual and also a bit good. You can write with a pencil as well. Yes, Pencil and erase if any mistakes. Just try to make it look neat and write relevant info. It should be a good score if your content is good.

Tip: For the actual exam, please prepare some Band 8,9 answers so that you grasp the expected stuff and make interesting sentences.

TOEFL: Writing is okay.. Typing Stuff on a PC. Some people can be slow at typing as well.

IELTS Speaking: This is the icing on the cake for already good confidence from the earlier 3 sections’ exam. You’ll have a separate room of a hotel in your city with an examiner inside. Just sit inside, and they’ll start asking you questions face to face and also record the entire conversation for checking purposes.

Tip: Be spontaneous and frame appropriate sentences with the right pronunciations as the content you speak will be recorded by the examiner.

To sum things up: IELTS VS TOEFL

TOEFL makes things very tough and time consuming.

IELTS will show you your true potential!

I would suggest IELTS if you ask me.

Words to be noted

  • Interpret – to give or provide the meaning
  • Sought – Past participle of SEEK (wanted)
  • Speculated – figure out, think about deeply
  • Significantly – importantly
  • Conversely – something opposite
  • Palpable – clear, obvious
  • Manageable – controllable, that can be managed
  • Ambiguous – having more than one meaning, having several possibilities


Hurray!!!!, that’s all. Thank you for reading my article.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

    1. Abhishek Arjun

      Thank you for your comment!!! Please go through a few more articles if you would like to!! Patience appreciated

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