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Choosing between the IELTS and the TOEFL: A serious crossroad

Writing your IELTS and TOEFL exam

When a huge decision in life is taken, what normally happens is that many smaller ones follow the first one, and yet they are still of a great importance. That is the case with both the IELTS and the TOEFL, 2 internationally known English proficiency tests that, once a student decides to take his learning or mastering journey abroad, they are placed in front of him as a major part of the admission process in any school of an English-speaking country.

Although each of them can demonstrate your level of knowledge regarding the English language, it is also true that their way of doing it displays several differences, and these are aspects that you should consider attentively before applying any of them, as some universities give value to one or the other depending of the subject you would like to study and where.

For that reason, iSchoolConnect brings to you in this post a helpful introduction to both of them, so you get to know what approach, teaching and structure criteria each of them manage and then you consciously decide which of these two tests is most fitting for you to take. We invite you to look at each of their descriptions with us!

IELTS: Diverse, in paper and in person

The International English Language Test System (IELTS) severs to several purposes, such as occupational, educational and immigration matters. In 140 countries around the world, you will be able to find 10.000 institutions that accept it whether if your spelling is from US or the UK. In any of its 2 versions, you will see different forms of questions, even short essays to write down. This tests can be done is less than 3 hours and is entirely done on paper.

The speaking part is taken in person with only one examiner in front of you, who will be in charge of evaluating you. This part may take place on a different date than the rest of the test, and it displays a variety of accents in the English language. The listening part imply answering questions of diverse lengths whilst simultaneously you’re listening to some recordings of lectures or carefully planned conversations for that purpose.

The IELTS is graded from 1-9 and the overall score is taken from the result of the four-part test, being the written parts of most importance because of the consideration given to Grammar.


The TOEFL: Specific, analytical and American.

Yes, the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as an examination process is managed by the Education Testing Service which is located in the US, reason for which is completely conducted in American English and American institutions might prefer it the most as an evaluation system.

This test as whole has multiple-choice items to be answered, so applicants have to be very analytical of each choice in order to pick the right one for each question. It focuses on evaluating your skills when communicating in English in detailed settings like academic, classroom-located and university environments. 8500 institutions worldwide (including some in Australia, the UK and 128 more countries) accept it as a valid prove of your ability.

The TOEFL is done typing all the answers in a computer. During the speaking part, six reviewers are in charge to check the recorded answers you sent to them regarding 6questions corresponding to that part. This takes 20 minutes and it’s performed the same day than the rest of the evaluation.

In the writing part, you have to write up to a 350-word essay containing five paragraphs for the first task. For the second one (lasting 20 minutes), you’ll be assigned to create up to 225-word response to the excerpt of a lecture from which you previously took notes while listening to it. This is also applicable in the 40-60-minute long listening part of the test. Comprehension is what the TOEFL evaluates the most, with a scoring system from 1-120.

iSchoolConnect connects you to the right school… Anywhere!

iSchoolConnect helps you browse the school that offers the career or course you need in any part of the world, besides letting you know which application test you will have to apply to! Now that you know what are both the IELTS and TOEFL all about, you will be aware of what to expect when your desired school request any of them from you, and so there won’t be any crossroads anymore.

You can read our blogs and find out more details about the TOEFL and IELTS exam syllabus, fees, dates, etc.


About the author

Bright, bold, and bubbly, Akanksha Vora is a writer at iSchoolConnect. She writes creative and curious blogs that help students with their life and studies abroad.


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