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TOEFL or IELTS – Which would suit you best?

Posted on October 19, 2018
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TOEFL and IELTS are the two major tests for universities to evaluate your English Language skills. While IELTS traditionally was used by British, New Zealand and Australian universities, TOEFL was widely used by American and Canadian universities.

However, these days, making it easy for international students, universities all over the world accept either test score. This leads to one question – which would suit you best?

TOEFL Structure:

It’s an Internet Based test, containing four sections. The Speaking and Writing tests comprise two tasks – one opinion piece and another based on texts and small conversations. The Listening and Reading tests would require you to answer some multiple-choice questions based on conversations, passages, and lectures regarding university life.

IELTS Structure: 

It contains all four sections but the format is very different. Here the Speaking test would be held in presence of an interviewer. During the Listening and Reading tests, you’d be asked to fill in a table, answer multiple-choice questions, or match words and ideas. In the Writing test, you’ll be asked to summarize a table or chart and present your personal opinion on a given topic.

TOEFL VS IELTS:

  • Holistic VS Criteria – In TOEFL, you’re graded on the overall quality of your performance. Whereas in IELTS, each and every criteria is given utmost importance.
  • Predictable or Different – TOEFL is more predictable than IELTS, which comes up with different questions every time.
  • Multiple Choice VS Noting Down – For Reading and Listening, TOEFL gives you multiple-choice questions. IELTS, on the contrary, requires you to note down words from texts and conversations. While TOEFL is best suited for abstract thinkers, IELTS is the one for concrete thinkers.
  • British VS American English – TOEFL tends to use American English whereas IELTS uses exclusively British English, as per The Times of India. Hence quite inevitably, your choice should depend on which you are more comfortable with.

It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the above points before you reach a decision.

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