Which test should I take, IELTS or TOEFL?

It is really confusing to select and attempt a foreign language proficiency test while seeking admission in an overseas university,

However this overview can help you decide why you must prefer the IELTS or the TOEFL.

Both IELTS and TOEFL are language proficiency exams and are among the most popular and picked tests attempted by millions of students every year applying to foreign universities.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an international language test conducted under the administration of British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English.

In a European or an overseas nation other than America, your IELTS scores will matter a lot in educational and professional fields to judge your language proficiency. This test is also required if you are applying for immigration. The general format and scores of IELTS are accepted by more than 10,000 institutions globally.

So, it’s IELTS for European Universities other than America. The IELTS offers an academic option as well as a general test; this is generally the preferred test for immigration purposes to the UK and Canada.


What is TOEFL?

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is taken under the supervision of Educational Testing Service (ETS) which is a non-profit private organization. TOEFL could be said to be more academically specified testing program as it test your ability to communicate in English in universities and other institutional settings. More than 8000 institutions across 130 countries and world’s top universities accept TOEFL .

To choose between these two tests, you have to ponder upon two factors:

  • The requirement of the specific country or institution you are applying for:
  • Which sort of questions you can proficiently answer


The major difference between IELTS and TOEFL is that TOEFL scores are highly accepted in American Universities.


 The Foreign Requirements:

If the university has signified any specific test then it’s no use to consider the other option. It is clearly mentioned in the admission requirement area which test the university will accept and if you are applying in several universities then you can check which is the maximum accepted and take only one or you could take both, depending on your personal choice.


The Fees:

Both exams approximately cost about $200-$250. If these exams are conducted in your own country check which one is cheaper and for which test you can get prepared in minimum time and cost. You can check the organizations’ websites to find the real cost for each test.


Exam Centers:

If you have both choices in your hand, then check out which exam center is located in your city and is easily accessible.

Distance does matter in many cases therefore go for the facilitated option.


 Your Learning and Writing Skills:

  1. Test format is the key difference between these exams; TOEFL is based completely on a multiple choice format while IELTS has different sections in writing. For example in the Reading and Listening sections, you’ll have to write your own answers in IELTS. The TOEFL questions on these sections are mostly multiple-choice, and for the ones that are not multiple choice, you won’t have to give your own answers.
  2. Another difference is the computer versus pen option; TOEFL is generally attempted on computer while IELTS could be attempted on both computers as well as on paper. It depends on your hand writing and typing speed to select the best option.
  3. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Speaking section of TOEFL is done over the computer. You’ll answer recorded questions into a microphone, while during IELTS; you are speaking in front of a human figure. Likewise the reading text passage and the composition’s word count also matters therefore it’s up to your strength and ability as which test you can complete in the given time.


Conclusively, to decide between TOEFL and IELTS, the following things matter:

  • Which exam is accepted in your preferred country or institution?
  • How proficiently you can answer the type of questions asked
  • The location of exam and the price


If you need more information about the cost of pursuing an MS and how to fund it or need help with your application, do drop us an email at contact@thebigpaneer.in or call us at 9920 331 444.