TOEFL and IELTS language exams: features and differences
To enter a foreign university or work in international companies, foreigners must confirm their level of knowledge of the English language by passing the TOEFL and IELTS language tests. Learn more about the main features or differences between them
Foreigners who have decided to enroll in foreign universities or employees looking for work in international companies quite often face the need to confirm their level of knowledge of the English language.
TOEFL and IELTS are the most common and globally recognized English language tests. Today we will talk about the features and differences between them.
The main differences between TOEFL and IELTS
Country of Origin
The first difference is in the country of origin of the test:
- TOEFL (Test of English, Foreign Language) is made at the Center for Applied Linguistics of Stanford University, USA.
- IELTS (The International English Language Test System) development belongs to three organizations: the British Council, the examination board of the University of Cambridge and the Australian Education Organization.
Therefore, when choosing a testing system, it is necessary to take into account that for universities in the USA and Canada it is recommended to take the TOEFL, but if you are planning to move to Great Britain, New Zealand or Australia, you need IELTS results.
Most international universities often accept the results of both tests, but still, before applying, find out the requirements of each specific university.
Features of grammar
Both exam tests are designed specifically for applicants for whom English is not their native language. Due to the country of origin, IELTS is focused on testing British English, while TOEFL is focused on the American version.
Also, experts do not advise experimenting with pronunciation and grammar, if you studied classic British English, then it is better to take IELTS and choose TOEFL if your education was based on American pronunciation.
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Form of testing
In the TOEFL system, you can take only one version of the test - the academic test, which is suitable for admission to higher education institutions. The exam consists of several blocks that test the ability to speak, write, read and listen to the English language. Each task is evaluated in points. Their maximum number is 120.
There are 2 types of IELTS:
- General is a simpler version of the test that is suitable for employment.
- Academic – an academic option, the level of difficulty is identical to TOEFL. For admission to a foreign university, it is necessary to complete this option.
Testing also consists of separate modules for which points are awarded. The maximum result is 9 points, indicating mastery of the English language at the expert level.
Method of passing the exam
IELTS is written in the classic form with the personal presence of the student.
TOEFL can be taken both on paper and online. However, most modern universities prefer the virtual version of the exam.
Speaking during face-to-face exams is evaluated by a real person. However, when you take the TOEFL test, the student communicates with the computer, the conversation is recorded and then evaluated by experts at a specialized testing point.
Choosing the correct answer
The tasks in the TOEFL test are composed in such a way that they are asked to choose the correct answer from several proposed options. In IELTS, it is provided that the student himself indicates the correct answer.
TOEFL and IELTS take the same time - 4 hours. However, there is a slight difference in the organization of the exam. TOEFL takes one day, while IELTS takes two days. Oral speech is usually postponed to the second day and given 15 minutes.
Therefore, a student can only choose the most suitable test independently. However, knowing the differences will make it much easier.
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