IELTS and TOEFL are the two most important tests for an aspirant planning to study abroad. Both these tests evaluate a candidate’s English language proficiency and are accepted not just by universities abroad but also by various organizations including immigration departments. Now, there is always a question of which one is better. Well, both IELTS and TOEFL have their advantages and both the tests are similar in terms of acceptance and broad evaluation. However, as a candidate you may decide to take either of the two tests based on the requirements of the organisation you are applying to. Also, many foreign universities accept both IELTS and TOEFL.
Here, we have listed some points that will help you understand the unique advantages of IELTS and TOEFL and guide you to choose the right test for yourself.
1. Test style:
The most significant difference between IELTS and TOEFL is that the former arranges one-on-one interactions between a test-taker and an examiner to test the conversational capability of the test taker while the latter is a computerized test in which the test-taker’s voice is taped and analysed by more than one examiner. You can thus take either of the two tests depending on your comfort level. If you are confident that a direct interaction with the examiner can earn you more points then you should opt for IELTS.
However, if you think that a computerized testing of your conversational ability will be best and free from any human interference, you can opt for TOEFL.
Although, the pattern and syllabus of both IELTS and TOEFL are similar, their scoring system differs. While TOEFL has a scoring range of 0-120, IELTS uses the 9-band system to evaluate a candidate. While, the yardstick of measurement is same in both the tests, the output differs in terms of acceptance by universities. In that case, it helps to understand the comparative points between the two tests.
3. Place of study:
One of the most important factors which you should consider while taking an IELTS or TOEFL test is the university where you would be applying to. TOEFL, organized by the ETS, is accepted in most American universities and across 165 countries, while IELTS conducted by the British Council is accepted in over 135 countries, including the UK. So, if you plan to study in one of the ivy league colleges in the USA, make sure you sit for TOEFL. However, many institutes and organizations accept scores of both the tests. The difference in acceptance will be the comparative degrees of score and band.
A very significant point of difference between IELTS and TOEFL is that IELTS has been divided in terms of the purpose of the test taker. IELTS Test is conducted in two versions – IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. While those who want to pursue UG or PG degree or join a professional organisation can take the academic test, the general training test is taken by those who want to undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country. These customized versions make it easier for candidates as it is generally observed that the general test version is easier compared to the academic format. In the case of TOEFL, candidates are required to take the same test irrespective of their purpose