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You must have heard of the two exams GRE vs TOEFL if you want to pursue higher education in prestigious countries like the US or Canada and are from a non-English speaking country. These two are the requirements for enrollment at universities offering study abroad programmes. To be eligible for admission to the universities, you must pass both of the tests; passing one of them is not sufficient. If you are still unsure, this blog will go through the key distinctions of GRE vs TOEFL.  

Particulars GRE TOEFL
Frequency 5 times TOEFL iBT: 50 times
TOEFL PBT: 4 times
Scoring Range 260-340 TOEFL iBT: 0-120
TOEFL PBT: 310 – 677
Computer-adaptive No Yes
Total Time 3 hours & 45 minutes TOEFL iBT: 3 hours
TOEFL PBT: 2.5 hours
Total no. of questions MCQs: 80; Unscored research section: 20 Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
Exam Fee 205 USD TOEFL iBT: 185 USD
Validity GRE scores are valid for up to 5 years 2 years

GRE vs TOEFL: Overview

The main purpose of taking the GRE and TOEFL is to apply for graduate programmes at the top universities in popular study-abroad countries like the US, UK, or Canada. These test results assist the officials in assessing your profile and the knowledge you have acquired from prior academic pursuits. When deciding whether to grant financial help or merit-based scholarships at the best colleges in the world, the evaluating committee also takes GRE and TOEFL scores into account. Although there are significant differences between the GRE and the TOEFL, both are required and have their own advantages in the admissions process. 

GRE vs TOEFL: Key Differences

Even though the GRE and TOEFL are two separate kinds of exams, there are countless distinctions between the two. Although they differ in various ways, the two tests essentially have the same objective. Therefore, if you’re uncertain about which test is better TOEFL or GRE here are all the key distinctions between the two.

Eligibility Requirements

  • There are no set requirements for eligibility for the GRE. Regardless of age or educational background, anyone interested in studying abroad may apply for the exam. But most of the time, candidates for a master’s degree show up for this exam.
  • There is no minimum age requirement and no qualifying requirements for TOEFL. Generally speaking, you are eligible to apply for the exam if you have completed your 12th level of school. Students who want to continue their education in study abroad institutions and are from non-English speaking countries typically choose this exam.

Must Read: How to Deal with GRE Anxiety?

Exam Pattern

Is TOEFL easier than the GRE, if that’s the query you’re looking for an answer to? By comparing the examination formats for the two exams, you can find the solution. The GRE and TOEFL exam formats have been covered in this article.

The Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing components make up the GRE exam. Since the tests are administered in both computer-based and paper-based formats. Let’s examine their exam format:

Sections Computer-Based Paper-Based
Analytical Writing 1 section: two tasks (60 minutes) 2 section: two tasks (60 minutes)
Verbal Reasoning 2 section: 40 questions (60 minutes) 2 section: 50 questions (70 minutes)
Quantitative Reasoning 2 section: 40 questions (70 minutes) 2 section: 50 questions (80 minutes)
Unscored Varies NA
Reasoning Varies NA

The TOEFL test, on the other hand, will evaluate your proficiency in speaking, writing, listening, and reading English. A student’s varied talents and language abilities are evaluated by this test. Below is a list of the test’s exam format:

Sections Total Questions
Reading 36-56 questions (60-80 minutes)
Listening 34-51 questions (60-90 minutes)
Speaking 6 Tasks (20 minutes)
Writing 2 Tasks (50 minutes)

Exam Duration

  • A GRE general examination can be completed in 3 hours and 45 minutes, whereas a GRE topic test can take up to 2 hours and 50 minutes.
  • While the TOEFL test has a total time limit of 3 hours and 30 minutes, it also includes a 10-minute break in the middle of the examination and a progress check.

Exam Fee

  • For international applicants, the GRE General test costs 228 USD, which is approximately 18,769 INR for Indian students. The cost of the GRE application, however, may differ from one nation to another.
  • On the other hand, regional variations in TOEFL application fees also exist. You must pay 190 USD or 14,785 INR for registration to take this test. In addition, there is a chance that you will incur additional costs for things like late fees, exam centre changes, cancellations, etc.

Exam Marking

Based on their scoring systems, the GRE and TOEFL can be compared in terms of difficulty. The range of scores for the GRE and TOEFL tests has been covered in this article.

  • The GRE exam scores are broken down into three categories: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. The exam’s Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning component is scored between 130 and 170. While the mean score for quantitative reasoning is 153, it is 151 for verbal reasoning. The average result for the final Analytical Writing is 4.0, with scores ranging from 0 to 6 in half-point increments.
  • The TOEFL exam has four sections: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. The scores for each section range from 0 to 30. For entry into prestigious universities, a TOEFL score of 90 to 100 or more is considered good.

Exam Difficulty Level

  • The GRE test is regarded as being significantly more difficult than the TOEFL test because it has more challenging vocabulary and reading comprehension problems. Similar to other tests, the GRE has simpler mathematics questions.
  • On the other side, if you are proficient in English, the TOEFL is typically simpler than the GRE. Instead of testing your understanding of written or mathematical topics, this test primarily assesses your proficiency in English.

Must Read: GMAT vs TOEFL

Number of Attempts

  • You have the option to take the GRE General Test up to five times in a continuous period of 12 months, or once every 21 days. If you have cancelled your prior GRE attempts, you must still meet this requirement.
  • Contrastingly, there are no restrictions on the number of TOEFL exam tries. The maximum number of times you can take the TOEFL test in a 12-day period is one.


  • The GRE is a test that graduates and postgraduate students from all over the world can take. Nearly all study-abroad countries, including the US, UK, and Canada, recognise these scores for their graduate programmes.
  • However, every study abroad institution requires the TOEFL, an English proficiency test. With more than 11,000 universities participating in more than 150 countries, this test is internationally recognised.

How Can You Choose the Correct Test for Yourself?

You must begin by providing practice exams if you want to choose between the GRE and the TOEFL for studying abroad. One of the two could very well fit you better than the other.

However, it has been found that students opting for graduate programmes typically take the GRE exam, while students who excel at using the English language can choose to take the TOEFL exam. Analyzing your practice exams and selecting the one in which you feel most at ease becomes crucial as a result.

Ace your TOEFL with Leverage Live!


Is TOEFL necessary for GRE?

Yes, in order to demonstrate their English language proficiency, candidates for the GRE and GMAT must also take the TOEFL and IELTS tests.

Is GRE preparation enough for TOEFL?

Yes, the GRE can help you significantly in your TOEFL preparation, but only for the reading and writing components. Since the GRE doesn’t include any speaking or listening exercises, you will still need to get ready for those by focusing only on TOEFL preparation from a reliable source.

Is GRE harder than TOEFL?

The GRE test is regarded as being significantly more difficult than the TOEFL test because it has more challenging vocabulary and reading comprehension problems. Similar to other tests, the GRE has simpler mathematics questions.

Can I get a visa without GRE?

The decision to grant a visa is not based on a single factor. A decision is made after carefully reviewing your entire profile. As a result, Visa has no impact at all on your GRE score.

We hope that this blog has completed the GRE vs TOEFL puzzle for you. The application process for studying abroad must be carefully planned out, not just in terms of preparation but also during and after. It goes without saying that it is only normal to feel intimidated and uneasy due to how difficult this process is. At this point, the knowledgeable mentors at Leverage Edu can be more than just a helpful hand. They can help you land a job at the university of your choosing and motivate you to take the first important step toward a rewarding career.

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