IELTS or TOEFL?

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DillBill Team
Oct 01, 2021 | 4 min read
IELTS or TOEFL?

If English isn’t your first language, you might find you need to take an English language proficiency exam to study abroad. Knowledge of English, which is recognized as an international language and the official language of many countries, is important for most people, especially for students and those who want to work abroad. Nowadays, everybody wants to study and to work abroad. But wanting isn’t enough, at the same time, you need to go through several stages to achieve this dream. You need to have an English certificate in advance. You’ll need to learn which certificate is required by the university or the place where you want to work. So, what you have to do is first take an English language proficiency certificate as IELTS or TOEFL. Most importantly, 90% of the world's universities can be admitted without problems by taking one of these two exams. What are TOEFL and IELTS? What is the difference between them? To answer the IELTS vs. TOEFL question, we first have to discuss each of the tests.

General information about IELTS

Let’s start with IELTS. IELTS is International English Language Testing System. In other words, it is a type of exam to prove your English language skills. There are two versions of the IELTS: the IELTS Academic and the IELTS General Training.

General / General Certificate

Required for those wishing to immigrate to countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This certificate demonstrates the ability of these people to communicate in English in a social and work environment.

Academic / Academic Certificate

Is for people applying for higher education or a profession. Undergraduate and graduate students studying in English are required to pass this exam. Although the requirements of educational institutions differ, it is about 6.0 and above.

IELTS exam consists of 4 sections.

  • Listening - this 40-question test requires you to solve questions by listening to 4 different audio recordings.

  • Reading – in this section total 40 questions and 3 texts are given. Candidates are required to read and understand texts, and to give answers to relevant questions. The passages are taken from scientific article, books, journals, and newspapers. 

  • Writing – consists of two writing tasks. For Task 1, students must describe a piece of visual information, such as a graph, table, chart, or diagram at least 150 words. For Task 2, students must write an essay with a topic that require often a point of view. They must write an essay at least 250 words on this topic for 40 minutes.

  •  Speaking - consists of three parts. In the first part, candidate responses general information about himself. In the second part, the interviewer will give the student a card and one minute. Candidate thinks about the topic must be spoken in that period and then must speak about it for two minutes. In the third part, interviewer gives different questions. These questions are about part 2. In this case, the interviewer clarifies the subject by asking questions, and at the same time pays attention to how fluently the speaker will express his / her opinion in English. In the IELTS exam, each section is evaluated with a score of 1-9 (0.5 difference). In the end, overall score is an average of those four scores and will also be from 0-9.

IELTS is owned by 3 companies. This exam is available at many universities in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. IELTS tests are organized in more than 121 countries. Initially, the IELTS exam form was founded for international students to be admitted to universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. As for registration process, IELTS is more complicated. To apply for the IELTS exam, you need to fill out a form on paper, then 2 photos and a copy of your passport. Then you need to take things what noting and come to the center where the exam will be held and pay by submitting these documents.

General information about TOEFL

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is the international English language testing exam. It is available in more than 100 countries around the world. According to researches, the number of examinees of TOEFL exam is more than 1 million. This exam is accepted by almost all universities of the world. TOEFL, unlike IELTS, is given in a unique way via the Internet. This form of examination is called as IBT-internet based TOEFL. But you can also be taken this exam in the writing way. It is organized in the places that there is no internet connection. This form of examination is called PBT – paper based TOEFL. TOEFL IBT consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing.

  • Reading - academic texts that students must read and answer questions about.

  • Listening – multiple dialogues and photos are given in this section.

  • Speaking and Writing – in these sections your certain speaking and writing levels are tested. 

The registration form of TOEFL is simpler. For registration all you need is an internet connection and a credit (debit) card. Official test center is ETS (Educational Testing Service). You can take this exam in the test centers such as SSAC, Azerbaijan Universities of Language etc. in Azerbaijan.  You must register on the official website of ETS. The TOEFL exam costs $195.

What is the difference between IELTS and TOEFL?

A key difference between the exams is that, on the TOEFL you’ll hear recorded questions and speak into a microphone to give your answer. You have 15 seconds to think and 45 seconds to answer.

On the TOEFL, there is a task called Integrated in the Speaking and Writing sections. So, at this time, you are given a short text. After reading it, you’ll see a short recording and then you will need to speak/write briefly. 

During exam process of the TOEFL 3 A4 sheets are given you. You are allowed to take notes on scratch paper, and you can answer questions by using your notes.

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DillBill Logo
DillBill Team
Oct 01, 2021 | 4 min read


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