TOEFL or IELTS: Which Exam to Take?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are both standardized tests that measures the test taker’s proficiency in English. They are globally recognised and are taken by students wishing to pursue overseas education, as well as by job seekers looking for employment abroad.

IELTS exams are divided into two categories: IELTS Academic and IELTS General, with the former meant for students and the latter for all other test takers.

IELTS exams measure the candidate’s listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. Overall and section specific scores are provided on bands ranging from 0-9. Different universities have different minimum requirements with a number of universities also laying down minimum score criteria in each of the sections as well. A band score of 7.5 or above would be enough in most cases to meet the qualifying criterion of most universities.

TOEFL measures the candidate’s reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills. It is touted as the most widely respected language exam in the world.

A TOEFL score is considered more reliable than IELTS because the speaking activity is evaluated by six different raters as opposed to just the  one in IELTS. This is one of the main reasons behind TOEFL burgeoning reputation in the academic community. It has helped increase TOEFL’s acceptance all over the globe as now more and more countries list TOEFL as a prerequisite for admission.

As you can see, both exams are largely the same. While IELTS also offers a general test, which is a requirement if you are looking to emigrate to a foreign country; for higher education purposes, only the IELTS Academic and the TOEFL will do. Some countries accept either of these exams but some the require the student to submit the score from a specific exam only. While the TOEFL is more popular in the USA, and the IELTS in Europe, the divide between them is thinning as countries are becoming more open in accepting either exam. However, it is still recommended that the student does their research in seeing which exam their university of choice prefers.

Our core training team provides the best possible quality and guidance for both IELTS preparation and TOEFL preparation. The experienced trainers at XL Pathfinders have helped test takers clear the exams with flying colours at the very first time of asking.

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