Scores of English proficiency tests are an essential part of university applications to English speaking countries. All the non-native speakers of the English language have to take these exams in order to complete their applications. Out of all, the popular ones are IELTS and TOEFL. Both of them assess the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills of the candidates but with different formats. Are you wondering Why should I opt ILETS over TOEFL or vice-versa? If yes, then here is an insightful blog on IELTS Vs TOEFL! 

Conducting BodyBritish Council and IDP Education Ltd.Educational Testing Services 
Medium Online and Offline Online and Offline 
Variants IELTS Academic
and IELTS General Training 
Duration 2 hours 45 minutes4 hours 
Sections Reading, Writing,
Listening and Speaking*
Reading, Writing,
Listening and Speaking
Score Range 0-90-120
Exam Frequency 48 times in a year More than 50 times a year 
Cost INR 14,000/-INR 14,000/  (TOEFL iBT)

* Candidates are free to attempt the speaking section of the IELTS exam prior to other sections.

What is IELTS?

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an esteemed language proficiency test which is taken by candidates either willing to attain overseas education or for occupational purposes. It is accepted across 140 countries. IELTS has two variants, IELTS General Training (For working professional/ Immigration purposes) and IELTS Academic (Education purposes). 

What is TOEFL?  

TOEFL is an acronym used for Test of English Language as a Foreign Language which is a famous language proficiency test frequently opted by students aspiring to study abroad. The exam lays emphasis on testing the abilities of applicants to communicate in classroom-based English and hence is accepted in around 130 countries.  


The major difference lies in the format of the questions as TOEFL comprises of MCQs whereas IELTS would ask you to answer the questions in varied forms like fill in the blanks, short answer etc. Along with this, one prominent distinction is the duration of both the exams. IELTS has to be completed in 2 hours 45 minutes, on the other hand, it will take you 4 hours to complete TOEFL.

IELTS is available in two variants i.e., General Training and Academic, the applicants can choose their version test as per their purpose of visit. TOEFL offers only one type of exam and is mostly opted by the students enrolled in a program abroad. IELTS demands applicants to showcase their creative thinking abilities and comprehension skills, on the contrary, TOEFL would analyse your analytical thinking and how well you can weigh their different options. Thus, this becomes one of the main features of TOEFL vs IELTS.

IELTS Vs TOEFL: Writing Section 

While attempting the ILETS paper, you would be asked to solve 2 writing questions. In the first one, you will have to explain the information given in the form of a diagram, table chart etc. While in the second one, you will have to pen down 200-250 words upon the argument or a given viewpoint. If you take up the TOEFL exam,  you will have to draft a five-paragraph essay within 300-350. For the second question, you will have to fetch some notes from a given text and have to frame a response in 150-225 words.  

IELTS Vs TOEFL: Speaking Section

Speaking assessment in TOEFL will be recorded through a microphone and will be sent to the examiners while the IELTS speaking test will be face to face test for all the candidates. The duration of TOEFL would be 20 minutes IELTS would range a maximum 10-15 minutes. An important distinguishing factor in TOEFL vs IELTS will be the option to attempt speaking test before the other tests in IELTS whereas there is no such option in TOEFL. 

TOEFL vs IELTS: Reading Section

The reading test of both the exams will include the texts around the lines of the ones they will encounter in their programs. TOEFL will offer 3-5 reading questions to be completed in 20 minutes. IELTS test will include 3 questions in this section and the applicants would be asked to answer questions in various formats like gap filings, short answers etc.  

TOEFL vs IELTS: Listening Section

The Listening skill test of both the exams is very different from each other. In the ILETS test, students can answer the questions while they are listening to the recording. Varied sort of long and short questions will be there. Whereas the TOEFL test will be based on classroom lecture and applicants take note of while listening to the audio. Students have to solve MCQs in a given duration of 40-60 minutes in the TOEFL listening component. 

IELTS vs TOEFL Score Comparison 



Is TOEFL easier than IELTS?

IELTS and TOEFL both test basic English proficiency tests. IELTS is considered to be easier than TOEFL by most of the test takers. Many students believe that IELTS reading section is easier than TOEFL’s reading section.

Is TOEFL better than IELTS?

Both TOEFL and IELTS are accepted by most of the universities abroad.

Is TOEFL accepted in UK?

Yes, TOEFL is accepted in all the universities in UK. You can confirm the details with Leverage Edu experts!

What is TOEFL exam used for?

Yes TOEFL exam is accepted as the primary English proficiency test by all the top universities. It is accepted by over 8,500 institutions across 130 countries, including the UK, USA and Australia.

These were all the differentiating factors of IELTS vs TOEFL. We at Leverage Edu provide excellent guidance for both of these standardized English tests. If you are planning to take any of these tests in the near future, get in touch with our well-versed faculties and get started with your preparation!

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