IELTS vs TOEFL ibt The Right Test

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL ibt (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are English proficiency tests accepted by universities worldwide. 

Universities worldwide require students from non-English speaking countries to demonstrate their English language proficiency with IELTS and TOEFL ibt scores.

Given that most universities accept both of these scores, it’s easy to need clarification about which test to take.

While each of these tests has the same goal, they differ in significant ways. Get ready as our experts at Chhundu Training Institute (CTI) break down the differences between IELTS and TOEFL ibt so you can make an informed choice about your future.

What is IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The IELTS test is taken by non-native English speakers who want to work and study in an English-speaking country.The IELTS test is divided into two types: general and academic.

The IELTS General test is suitable for applicant who want to relocate to countries where English is the primary language.

On the other hand the IELTS Academic test is intended for students who want to study and work in an English-speaking country. 

The IELTS exam evaluates English proficiency in four areas: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The band score runs from 1 (non-user) to 9 (frequent user) (advanced user).

What is TOEFL ibt?


TOEFL ibt is an internet-based test that assesses your English language proficiency and is accepted in over 150 countries worldwide. TOEFL ibt is also recognized for employment and education in Asia and Europe.

Over the years, this test has been taken by over 27 million people, including students, workers, and people wanting to migrate to other countries.

TheTOEFL ibt fundamental test has also been introduced by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and used for both academic and non-academic English examinations. 

This test examines students’ English communication skills, and the test scores remain valid for two years.

IELTS Or TOEFL ibt: Which Test Is The Right Test For You?

Which Test Is The Right Test For You

Difference 1: Multiple-Choice vs. Short Answer

IELTS requires you to come up with your answers for many questions in the Reading and Listening sections, whereas most TOEFL iBT questions have multiple-choice answers.

For example, both tests feature questions requiring you to generate a properly ordered list of events or actions. On the TOEFL ibt, the steps are already laid out for you; all you have to do is follow them.

Difference 2: Computer-Based vs. Paper-Based

For TOEFL ibt, you can take notes on scratch paper, but all official responses must be delivered electronically.

On the other hand, many test centers offer the IELTS on a computer or with pen and paper.

If you’re fast at typing than writing, have messy handwriting, or prefer computers over paper tests, you may prefer the TOEFL ibt. 

If you like writing out your answers, feel more uncomfortable with computer-based tests, or need to become more familiar with English language keyboards, you may find the IELTS easier.

Difference 3: Texts Used in the Reading Section 

Each passage in the reading section of the TOEFL ibt and IELTS is followed by a set of questions. The two exams, however, uses the different genre of literature. 

The IELTS uses both educational materials and pieces from newspapers and magazines. The TOEFL ibt primarily uses academic books; therefore, its reading sections are frequently denser and have harder-to-understand language and topics. 

If you need more clarification about your English reading abilities, the IELTS Reading section may be easier for you.

Both IELTS and TOEFL ibt tests check candidates’ communication skills and proficiency. You can choose any test by keeping the mentioned differences in mind.

TOEFL ibt vs. IELTS: Which is More Accepted?

University Preferences

Both IELTS and TOEFL ibt are accepted by universities and organizations worldwide. While The IELTS exam is the most widely accepted, American institutions frequently accept the TOEFL ibt.

List of TOEFL ibt Countries

The TOEFL ibt score is widely accepted in almost every English-speaking country. TOEFL ibt scores are accepted by over 150 countries and 11,000 universities worldwide. 

Here is a list of popular TOEFL ibt countries:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Germany

List of IELTS Countries

IELTS is accepted by almost 10,000 universities, organizations, and colleges in 140 countries. However, most students select IELTS to study and work in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Here is a list of popular IELTS countries:

  • Canada
  • USA
  • New Zealand
  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Australia

The TOEFL ibt and IELTS are the two most common English language competency tests. Both assess the same four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing, but the formats and methods of assessment differ.

In the TOEFL ibt vs. IELTS debate, ask yourself the four questions below to determine which exam is best for you:

  • Which exam do the schools you’re considering accept?
  • Which test best suits your skills?
  • Is one easier to reach?
  • Is one less expensive?

The university’s preference for which exam you take is worth considering, however CTI offers classes for both TOEFL and IELTS classes along with the test dates. Contact CTI to book your classes now!


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