English Proficiency Tests (IELTS vs TOEFL) Basic differences

In order to get admission to one of the popular foreign universities, it is a must that you fulfill all the necessary requirements. One such pre-requisite among many others is appearing and passing the qualifying examination. In most universities, qualifying for the IELTS or TOEFL test is a must. Those applicants who fail to qualify for these tests are not eligible to apply for any course. So, if you are confused between English Proficiency Tests (IELTS vs TOEFL) and want to know more about them, then continue to read this article till the end.


In particular, if the University of your Choice has specified which test you need to appear in and qualify, then you should put a full stop to your query here. However, if a particular university has not mentioned separately which test you need to appear in and qualify then this post is just for you.

What is an English proficiency test?

Well, as the term itself suggests, this test is conducted by different universities for the students who wish to study abroad. The test is conducted to know how much proficient a student is in the English language. There are various aspects based on which you are tested. An applicant is tested to check his proficiency in English speaking, reading, writing, as well as listening. This lets the university professionals know that you can understand their language and make them understand your thoughts as well. The test is taken in four different levels one-by-one as mentioned above.

So, without making any delay, let us now discuss the comprehensive difference between English Proficiency Tests (IELTS vs TOEFL).

How would you define IELTS?

Well, EILTS is just an abbreviation that is used for International English Language Testing System that tests your ability to speak, listen, read, and write the English language. This test is conducted every year in two different formats. One is “IELTS Academic” and the “IELTS General Training.” This is necessary for those who wish to get higher studies in an international university. This helps measure social skills an applicant has and the test can be completed in 2-3 hours. Currently, more than 140 countries accept this language proficiency test.

How do you define TOEFL?

Just like IELTS, TOEFL is the abbreviation that stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This is also a proficiency test that is currently accepted in more than 900 universities in the world. This test can be given in two formats i.e. in the paper-based format and Internet-based format.

The basic differences

  1. Cost

  • The cost for appearing in the IELTS test may vary from country to country and may be priced at $215-$245.
  • On the other hand, the cost to appear in TOEFL is ranged $165-$300 and it also varies from country to country.
  1. Test duration

  • The duration to take the IELTS test is 2 hours and 45 minutes.
  • While it is a longer duration to take the TOEFL tests i.e. 4 hours.
  1. Listening accents

  • If you are taking the IELTS test, then you can hear different accents such as Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, British, and American in the listening test.
  • But, in TOEFL the accents you might listen to includes North American, British, New Zealand, and Australian.
  1. Where can you take the test?

  • The IELTS test is available in more than 1,100 locations in 140 countries worldwide.
  • However, the TOEFL test is offered around the world in almost all countries.
  1. Test frequency

  • There are 48 test dates per year to take the IELTS test.
  • While there are more than 50 test dates per year to appear in the TOEFL test.
  1. Scoring scale and qualifying score

  • The maximum score a person can get in EILTS is 9 in which the qualifying score is 6.3.
  • On the other hand, if you are appearing in TOEFL, the maximum you can score is 120 while the qualifying score is 78.


After knowing the differences between English Proficiency Tests (IELTS vs TOEFL), it must be clear to you that without qualifying for one of these tests, you will not be able to apply to any overseas university. No matter how much you have scored in your previous academic examinations, it is a must that you qualify for the English Proficiency test too. Be sure to apply in advance so that you do not miss out on any opportunity to go abroad for higher studies.

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