jeshoots-com-523925-unsplash“Which test is easier; TOEFL or IELTS?” If you are a teacher, you’ve probably had many students ask you this question, and if you are a student, you have most likely wondered about this. That’s totally valid; after all, you are the one taking the test and need to know which you should complete!

Not many people LOVE doing tests, but sometimes depending on our future goals, we have to. As you read in Mel’s previous blog post, whether it is to get into the university of your choice, to immigrate to an English speaking country, or to get a new dazzling career that has your name on it, it’s important to know which test is the most suitable for you. Depending on why you need to take the test, you will either be informed on which test to take, or will be given options to choose from. So, how do you know which one’s the right one?

I can tell you that neither of these tests is easier than the other; they are just different! Here’s a quick look at their similarities and differences.

TOEFL iBT

IELTS

  • TOEFL iBT is internet based and is completed on the computer at the designated testing centre. The speaking segment is also done on the computer using a headset provided by the centre.
  • duration: approx. 4 hrs 30 minutes
  • costs: Fees vary by country.  But if you register in Ontario, Canada, it will cost about 245$ CAD.
  • reading/listening questions: questions are multiple choice or fill-in-the-table
  • speaking segment: it is completed on the same day as the rest of your test
  • accents used in the test: North American, English (UK), Australian and New Zealand accents
  • scoring systems: The TOEFL iBT test provides scores in 4 skill areas (out of 30) and a total score (out of 120). The total score is the sum of the 4 skill scores. i.e. 110/120.
  • test results: results are posted approx. 10 days after your test date.
  • score expiration: TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years
  • IELTS is paper based and is completed at the designated testing centre. The speaking segment is done one-on-one with an IELTS examiner.
  • duration: approx. 2 hrs 45 minutes (not including the speaking segment which lasts about 15 mins)
  • costs: The Academic and General Training tests are the same cost. Unfortunately, each test centre sets its own fee, so there is no one single answer to how much the IELTS costs (approx. 290$ – 320$ CAD)
  • reading/listening questions: questions include short answer and gap-fill 
  • speaking segment: might be completed on the same day, or several days before or after the rest of your test
  • accents used in the test: North American, English (UK), Australian and New Zealand accents
  • scoring systems: IELTS uses a 9-band scoring system. You receive individual band scores for each section of the test, and an Overall Band Score on a band scale from one to nine. i.e. 7.5/9.
  • test results: results are posted 13 days after your test date.
  • score expiration: IELTS scores are valid for 2 years

To learn more about what is on each test, click here.

To book a lesson with us for a customized study plan, click here.

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