If you’re an international student looking to study in the United States, you may be wondering which English language exam – IELTS or TOEFL – is better for your needs. Both exams are widely accepted by US colleges and universities, but there are some key differences between the two that may make one a better choice than the other depending on your individual circumstances.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding between IELTS and TOEFL for studying in the US:
IELTS is available in both paper-based and computer-based formats, while TOEFL is only available in a computer-based format. IELTS paper-based format is offered in areas where computer-based testing is not possible. IELTS listening, reading, and writing sections are all completed on the same day, with the speaking section conducted on a different day. TOEFL listening, reading, speaking, and writing sections are all taken on the same day, and they are computer adaptive. Some students may prefer the paper-based format of IELTS, while others may feel more comfortable with the computer-based format of TOEFL.
IELTS has four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The speaking section is a face-to-face interview with an examiner. In the IELTS speaking section, the test taker interacts with an examiner, who assesses the candidate’s spoken English abilities. The TOEFL test, on the other hand, has four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The speaking section of TOEFL is a recorded interview, and the test taker is evaluated based on their speaking abilities demonstrated in the recording. Some students may feel more comfortable with the face-to-face interaction of IELTS, while others may prefer the flexibility of recording their answers on TOEFL.
IELTS uses a 0-9 band score system, while TOEFL uses a 0-120 score system. The scoring systems are not directly comparable, so it’s important to research which scores are required by your chosen institution before selecting an exam. The IELTS score is given on a nine-band scale, with one being the lowest score and nine being the highest. Each band corresponds to a specific level of English proficiency. The TOEFL score is based on the number of correct answers in each section, which are then converted into a scaled score.
Both IELTS and TOEFL are widely accepted by US colleges and universities, but some institutions may have a preference for one exam over the other. It’s important to research which exam is preferred by your chosen institutions before registering for a test. Some universities may accept both exams, while others may only accept one. Some universities may have different minimum score requirements for each exam.
IELTS is offered in more than 140 countries, while TOEFL is offered in more than 160 countries. However, the availability of test centers and testing dates may vary depending on your location.
The cost of taking IELTS or TOEFL may vary depending on your location and the test center. In general, IELTS is slightly more expensive than TOEFL.
In summary, both IELTS and TOEFL are widely accepted English language exams for studying in the US, and the choice between the two will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. If you prefer a paper-based format, a face-to-face speaking section, and are comfortable with the 0-9 band score system, IELTS may be the better choice for you. If you prefer a computer-based format, a recorded speaking section, and are comfortable with the 0-120 score system, TOEFL may be the better choice for you. It’s important to research the requirements of your chosen institutions before making a decision.
In conclusion, the best way to determine which exam is better for you is to do your research and consider your personal preferences and circumstances. Both IELTS and TOEFL are valid and widely accepted English language exams that can help you achieve your goals of studying in the US.