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Difference between IELTS and TOEFL

In: IELTS By: Pradipto Chatterjee

IELTS and TOEFL are both English language tests aimed at testing the test taker’s ability to understand English and their ability to communicate in English. Test takers are tested on four sections, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The test can be given number of times in a year and the scores for both are valid for two years.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examination, British Council and IDP Education Australia, IELTS Australia. IELTS scores are given in a band of 1 to 9, where 9 is the best. All questions carry equal marks. Examinees are provided section wise grade and also a overall grade. The scores are released in 13 calendar days.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test is conducted by the US-based "Educational Testing Service" (ETS). ETS sets the questions, conducts the test and sends each examinee the score report. The perfect TOEFL score is 120. 30 marks per section. Scores are posted online 10 days after the exam date.
The major difference between the two exams is that while IELTS is a paper based exam, TOEFL is largely an internet based exam. Moreover IELTS has two types of paper – General and Academic. TOEFL has only one type.
There are also section wise difference. TOEFL’s Speaking and Writing sections are divided into Independent and Integrated sub sections. IELTS has no such variation. Integrated sub section will require one to read a passage, hear an audio and then speak or write as the case maybe; or just hear an audio and speak. In TOEFL test takers speak into a microphone whereas in IELTS one speaks to a person sitting across a table. IELTS needs one to write a letter or interpret a graph, but TOEFL do not have letter writing or graphs. In the Listening section, in IELTS, one need to answer as you are listening. But in TOEFL the questions appear after the audio is over. In both cases the audio is played only once. There is no significant difference in the Reading section. In IELTS the questions appear one at a time next to the passage and the relevant part of the passage is highlighted.

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