Major Differences between IELTS and TOEFL :Which is better


This is one of the most common question that come in mind of students who want to study abroad .The common questions related to Ielts and TOEFL include which one is easier and what is the difference in the pattern of both exams .Also what should be the minimum score in order to apply for college and universities .Today we are going to discuss about the major differences between ielts and toefl exams . After reading all the points it would be easier for you to decided which exam you should take .

Difference Between IELTS and TOEFL

We will not only discuss the differences but also the similarities between the two tests .Let us have look at the different views related to ielts and toefl .



IELTS vs TOEFL: Similarities

Before giving the list of differences between these two exams , let us discuss about the basic similarities between ielts and toefl .

  • Ielts as well as toefl has 4 modules .These are



listening and


  • Apart from this both test are standardized .It means scores are consistent throughout the world.
  • Cost for taking test is almost same .It varies between $150 and $250 dollars depending on where you do it.

Ielts vs Toefl : Speaking difference

This is one of the major difference between 2 tests . In case of IELTS , you have to talk In front of a real person whereas in TOEFL ,  you will speak to a computer!

If you feel comfortable in front of person , opt for ielts Otherwise take Toefl .

In  TOEFL exam , 6 questions would be asked and it takes a time of about 20 minutes in total . Two questions would be on familiar topics for example family , siblings or  home town . Then you will be asked to summaries information from a text or conversation and give your opinion.  After that , you have to summarize information from a short conversation.

IELTS speaking module has 3 sections and it hardly takes 15 minutes. In Section one  , candidate speak on familiar topics like job or studies. In Section 2 , you are given a topic and you have one minute to prepare a monologue of between 1-2 minutes. At last , questions are asked related to the topic you in Section 2 .

Ielts vs Toefl : Difference in Writing Module

In case of TOEFL , candidate has to type everything on a keyboard while in IELTS , one writes on paper. One uses digital method while other one uses traditional method .

Students who have great typing speed and bad handwriting prefer Toefl . While other feel more comfortable with their handwriting .

In both ielts and toefl , there are 2 questions but the formats are a little different.

In TOEFL , one has to first read a text and then listen short lecture on the same topic.  After that , write a short response to a specific question .

In second question, student has to write  longer discursive essay on a particular issue .

In IELTS : there are 2 different types of writing paper: One is Academic and the other is General Training. Academic is for those who want to apply for study visa and  General Training is used for immigration purposes.

In Academic paper, one has to  write an essay and describe a pictorial representation such as graph, chart or map or process. In  General Training , candidate have to write a letter for task and  a short essay on a particular topic.

Ielts v Toefl : Listening module

Ielts is different from Toefl in all aspects such as length of the test, context, question type and accent.

Duration of listening module in TOEFL test is 60 minutes while for IELTS it is just  30 minutes.

The TOEFL test is all in an academic context but IELTS test is half academic and half social.

Ielts vs Toefl : Reading Module

I you are giving a TOEFL , you will get multiple choice only but in other one , there would be a wide range of question types. If you feel more comfortable with  multiple choice then TOEFL is best for you .

According to some TOEFL is quite long as compare to IELTS due to which some are not able to give their best as they can’t 100% concentration for that long. So it is better to opt for  IELTS test in case you can’t concentrate for so long .