IELTS VS TOEFL: Which one should I take? 2022-2023

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: Which one should I take, TOEFL and IELTS are two of the most popular international English language placement tests, usually those who wish to study basic and higher, who wish to take non-academic courses or who wish to obtain immigration, take the exam.

In this article, we will discuss with you everything related to the TOEFL test and IELTS test and how you should differentiate and choose between them.

IELTS VS TOEFL |  Information about the IELTS test:

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most common English language proficiency test in the world for higher education and global migration, and it stands for International English Language Testing System

Since 1989, the IELTS test has proven to be a tool capable of determining a person’s ability and mastery of the English language.  The exam is approved by most universities, government departments, and institutes in America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.  Also, there are a large number of universities and educational institutions in the United States that adopt IELTS.  Globally, more than 3800 universities, government departments and centers around the world adopt the IELTS in more than 120 countries, and more than half a million people take the exam annually.


There are two types of IELTS tests available – IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.  The test you choose should depend on what you want to do.

IELTS Academic:

IELTS Academic measures whether your English language proficiency level is appropriate for the academic environment.  It reflects aspects of the academic language and assesses whether you are ready to start training or studying.

Take this test if you want to:

Study at undergraduate or postgraduate level anywhere in the world
Apply for a Student Track (Level 4) visa at a university that sponsors the Student Track (Level 4) in the UK
Work in an English-speaking country for a professional organization.
General IELTS training

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.  Tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.

Take this test if you want to:

Study or training below degree level
Work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country
Immigration to an English-speaking country
Get another job in your country or another country.
If you are taking an IELTS test to support your UK visa application to work, live or study in the UK, you may need to take an IELTS for UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) academic, general training or IELTS Life Skills test.

IELTS VS TOEFL |  IELTS test sections:

The exam is divided into 4 sections and its duration is 2:45:00, two hours and forty-five minutes. The examinee takes these sections sequentially on the same day.

reading :
The duration of the reading test is an hour, and it includes three different topics, each topic consisting of approximately one page containing a total of about 2500 words, for the examinee to answer 40 questions related to the three topics.

The duration of the writing exam is one hour and it consists of two parts. The first part consists of writing 150 words that describe a specific shape shown to the examinee (the drawing is usually a graph, a drawing of certain proportions, or an explanation of a particular process).  The second part of the exam is writing an essay topic of 250 words on a topic identified in the exam paper.
The duration of the listening exam is half an hour and consists of 40 questions.  The examinee listens to a tape recording, and the difficulty of recording increases with the progression of the exam time, so that the length of the conversation and the participants in it increases.  The examinee listens to the recording once and is given time to read and answer the questions.  At the end of the listening exam, the examinee is given time not exceeding ten minutes to transfer his answers from the question paper to a special answer sheet.
It is a personal interview between the applicant and the examinee.  The test taker must answer the examinee’s questions and give his opinions on a particular subject.  The interview is usually recorded.
The exam is graded out of 9, meaning the highest possible mark is 9 out of 9. The final grade is the average of the four exams, as each exam is graded from 9 and the exam result is given definitively in addition to the grade for each part of the exam.

IELTS VS TOEFL |  Information about the TOEFL test

It is a test in English for non-native speakers or those who use it as a second language to measure the degree of their mastery of it.

It is the abbreviation of Test Of English As a Foreign Language, and it is accredited and accepted in more than 3000 universities in 130 universities around the world and more than 500 accredited centers in America and nearly 4500 accredited centers around the world

Approximately 2.3 million people take the TOEFL test every year


The TOEFL test is divided into 3 types: TOEFL iBT, PBT and TOEFL ITP

TOEFL iBT test
It is a modern test issued in 2005 affiliated to ETS, the American Testing Services Center, that measures the four basic skills in the English language.  For different applicants for study, master’s, doctorate, scholarships, work and immigration abroad for various types of visas, the total score of 120 degrees, and most of the degrees currently required are 90/120 degrees

It is a paper-based test affiliated to ETS, the American Testing Services Center, and is important and required for various applicants for study, master’s, doctorate, scholarships, work and immigration abroad for various types of visas. It measures English language skills, which are specified in the following sections:
1- auditory comprehension
2- Creating and writing expressions
3- Reading comprehension

It is a paper-based test, and different organizations and countries require this test as a measure of efficiency for obtaining study, work and immigration visas in foreign countries

IELTS VS TOEFL |  TOEFL test sections:

auditory perception:
In the first section, which is “Listening Comprehension”, the student listens to a recorded sound between two or more people in an academic setting for 30 to 40 minutes. The questions are often “Who said…?”  And what kind of speech?  It answers 50 questions divided into three parts:

Long dialogues: (7-8 questions): In this section, the student chooses the correct answers to sequential questions about a long, audible dialogue between two people.
Short speech (12-13 questions): Here the student chooses the correct answers to sequential questions about an audible speech or a speech given by one person.

Linguistic structure and written expressions:
The next section, which is Structure and Written Expression, is an exam in the linguistic structure and written expressions of the English language, and it is to test the student in English grammar.  In this section, the student answers forty questions in twenty-five minutes. This section, in turn, is divided into two subsections:

Structure: This section consists of 15 questions, and the examinee chooses the correct grammatical complement for sentences with incomplete parts.
Written Expressions: This section consists of 25 questions, and the examinee selects the incorrect parts from complete sentences.

Reading comprehension and vocabulary words:
The third section, Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary, examines the student’s linguistic strength in the field of reading and knowledge of the meanings of vocabulary words.  In this section the examinee answers 50 questions about five or six written paragraphs containing about 300 words in a maximum period of 55 minutes.  Usually the questions are about the content of the paragraphs, the meaning intended by the writer or about the ideas presented, and there are also some questions about vocabulary words contained in the paragraphs…

write an article:
The fourth section is Essay Writing or Test of Written English, which is to test the student’s writing skill and ability to use English language words.  The examinee in this section is asked to write an essay on any general topic and then the writer’s opinion on it, supported by specific reasons, in a period of only 30 minutes.

IELTS VS TOEFL |  Steps to choose the right test for you:

There are some steps that you must consider before choosing the right test for you, and they are as follows:

If the application is for the purpose of studying, you must check the university system, whether it is based on IELTS or TOEFL, and choose on this basis
In the event that you want to test with an official examiner, you must choose the IELTS test. As for the TOEFL test, it is done directly with the computer, and this is for the speaking section.
As for writing, it is in the IELTS test on official paper, and in the TOEFL test it is done on the computer
As for listening, the paragraph in the IELTS test is half an hour long and in British or Australian dialect. As for the TOEFL test, it is an hour long and in American dialect (when answering, you can use any dialect)
In the reading section of the TOEFL test, the questions are multiple-choice only, but in the IELTS test, the questions are varied

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