Main Differences Between IELTS And TOEFL

To pursue higher education in an English-speaking nation, one must first submit an IELTS or TOEFL score. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening abilities are also assessed on both examinations. The scoring structure, the format, and other factors distinguish IELTS from TOEFL. This article aims to explain the distinctions and assist you in deciding which exam is appropriate for you.

When comparing TOEFL and IELTS, one must first grasp the distinctions between the two examinations before making a selection.


IELTS and TOEFL both have four sections:

  • These parts are used to evaluate the exam-skills takers to talk, listen, write, and read.
  • Unlike IELTS, which has a mix of short answers and essay questions, TOEFL exclusively has MCQs (multiple choice questions).
  • IELTS is administered at test locations listed on the official website, whereas TOEFL is administered more than 50 times a year in both online and offline formats.
  • The costs of both tests range from USD 200 to USD 300, depending on the region.
  • The TOEFL exam may be taken on paper or online; the IELTS exam is only available on paper.
  • The TOEFL exam lasts 4 hours and 45 minutes, whereas the IELTS exam lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Both examinations are focused on reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills and they are graded on a scale of one to 10 in all countries.

Both are in the $150-$250 range.

Both are used to determine the minimal English proficiency necessary to be a member of the institution or a national resident.

Differences between the IELTS and the TOEFL:

Speaking Distinction

The main difference between the TOEFL and the IELTS speaking sessions is that one appears in front of a computer in the TOEFL exam, and the entire speaking portion is conducted by automated software.

  • In IELTS, on the other hand, one converses with a real person rather than a machine.
  • Those who find it unusual talking to a computer prefer the latter. Still, some individuals are timid and believe that talking to a machine is better to avoid dealing with strangers. Therefore, they favour TOEFL.
  • However, if someone wants to explain a topic that they don’t understand, they won’t be able to ask a computer, so they’ll need to pay more attention during this test.

Distinction in Writing

The most significant distinction between the two in terms of writing is that in IELTS, all tasks must be written on paper, but in TOEFL, all work must be typed using a keyboard. As a result, it differs greatly from person to person. Some people aren’t very skilled typists, so they prefer writing, while others are self-conscious about their handwriting and don’t want to frighten the checkers, so they type the answers instead.

Listening Differences

Both IELTS and TOEFL have distinct listening session lengths. TOEFL takes twice as long as IELTS, with a 60-minute hearing period compared to 30 minutes for TOEFL.

Then there’s the variance in accents between the speakers. There might be a variety of accents on the IELTS test, including those from the United States, Australia, Canada, Wales, and Ireland, among others. Only typical American accents would be included in the TOEFL hearing.

Reading Differences

Again, the TOEFL reading period is significantly longer and consists only of multiple-choice questions that need a lot of reading, which can be exhausting and lead to attention loss.

Most significantly, one must consider what is most convenient for them in terms of test centre proximity. Overall, IELTS is considered as being simpler and more interesting than TOEFL, owing to the fact that it takes less time and involves more human contact.

Now that you’ve learned the key distinctions between the two examinations, it’s up to you to choose your choice. Choose the exam that best fits your needs and comfort zone is always the best option. If you need any guidance with your college essays, do not hesitate to seek a professional assistance from essay help service in Australia.Best of luck on the TOEFL/IELTS!

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