IELTS, toefl

To help students find out which exam is best for them, here in this blog, we will discuss what is the difference between IELTS and TOEFL.

Students who want to migrate to an English-speaking nation on a study or work permit must prove they have the required English language level. 

They must take any English language proficiency test to prove their English language proficiency. 

IELTS and TOEFL are two of the major tests that most students take to prove their language proficiency. 

Let’s have a look at the full form of both tests before moving any further:

IELTS:-  International English Language Testing System

TOEFL:- Test of English as a Foreign Language

To apply for the study visa, you must take the IELTS academics or TOEFL iBT. You can take these from any certified center near your location. 

Both tests are widely accepted, but there are differences in the test structure, fee, and question types in exams. We will discuss the TOEFL vs IELTS: differences you must know in the following paragraphs.

So without wasting any more time, let’s move to the difference between IELTS and TOEFL. Keep reading to know everything!

Difference Between IELTS And TOEFL

The only similarity between IELTS and TOEFL is that both tests check the students’ English language proficiency. Otherwise, both tests differ in fee structure, syllabus, pattern, and scoring criteria.

Let’s read the difference between IELTS and TOEFL under different criteria. 



The IELTS test is conducted by IDP (International Development Program). This test measures the students’ reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills in the English language. 

This test is accepted by more than 11,000 institutes in more than 140 English-speaking nations.

This test is used for all visa applications, such as student visas, work visas, and PR purposes. 

Students can take this test in both formats, computer-based and pen-paper-based.


The TOEFL is an American exam conducted by ETS (Educational Testing Service), a private non-profit organization. 

This test was first launched in 1964, and after that, it has gone through many changes. The most recent change that took place in the TOEFL exam was in the year 2005.

This test also checks the students’ English language proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing (same as IELTS).

This test is also available in both formats, computer-based, and pen-paper-based. But there is one condition on pen-paper-based, that is, it is taken only at the places where it is not possible to take the computer-based TOEFL exam. 

Type Of Exam


The IELTS exam is of two types:

  • IELTS Academics
  • IELTS General Training


There are three types of the TOEFL exam:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-based TOEFL)
  • TOEFL CBT (Computer-based TOEFL)
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-based TOEFL)

Exam Pattern

There is a difference between IELTS and TOEFL exam structure, keep reading for more information!


Test ModulesTasksTime duration
Listening (Same for Academic and General Training)40 questions (4 sections and 10 questions in every section)30 minutes and extra 10 minutes to transfer answers to the answer sheet.
Reading (Different for Academic and General Training)For Academics 40 questions (3 passages)For General Training40 questions (4 passages)1 hour for both Academic and General Training test takers
Writing (Different for Academic and General Training)2 Tasks For AcademicTask 1 – visual informationTask 2 – Essay writingFor General TrainingTask 1 – Letter writingTask 2 – Essay writing (same as academics)1 hour for both Academic and General Training test takers
Speaking (Same for Academic and General Training)Three-part one-on-one conversationIntroductive partCue CardFollow-ups (may or may not be related to cue card)10 to 15 minutes 
Duration2 hours 40 minutes (Excluding speaking time)

Note:- The listening, reading, and writing modules take place on the same day without any break. The speaking test in IELTS can take place before or after the listening, reading, and writing modules. It depends upon the availability of slots for the speaking test. 


SectionNumber of QuestionsTasksDuration
Reading30 to 40 questionsRead 3 or 4 passages and answer the given questions54–72 minutes
Listening28 to 38 QuestionsListen to the recording and answer the given questions.41-57 minutes
10 minutes break
SpeakingQuestions: 4 tasksRecord your answer for the given questions.17 minutes
WritingQuestions: 2 tasksTask 1: Students have to read or listen to the short passage given.Task 2: write your opinion based on what you hear in task 1. 50 minutes
DurationAround 3 hours

Types Of Questions


1. Matching information2. Form, note, flow chart, table3. Sentence completion4. Summary completion5. Plan, diagram labeling, map6. Multiple choice Short answer questions1. Identifying the writer’s claims/views2. Matching headings3. Multiple choice4. Identifying information5. Matching sentence endings6. Sentence completion7. Matching features8. Summary, table, note completion, flow-chart9. Diagram labeling completion10. Short answer questionsTask 1 ( Academic )1. Line Chart2. Table Chart3. Bar Graph4. Pie Chart5. ProcessMap6. DiagramTask 1 ( General Training GT )1. Formal letter2. Semi-formal letter3. An informal or personal letter Task 2 (academic and general training )1. Agree or disagree2. Advantages and disadvantages3. Cause and solution4. Discuss both views5. Opinion6. Point of view7. Argumentive8. Double-question essays1. Section 1 – Give an introduction and interview.2. Section 2 – Talk about a particular topic (cue card) the examiner gave.3. Section 3 – Answer some follow-up questions about the cue card.

These are the different types of questions students face in the IELTS exam.


Gist-Content and Gist-PurposeDetailFunctionAttitudeOrganizationConnecting ContentInferenceReading Factual InformationInference and RhetoricalReading VocabularySentence SimplificationInsert Text QuestionQuestion 1: Independent SpeakingQuestion 2: Integrated SpeakingQuestions 3 and 4: Integrated SpeakingQuestion 1: Integrated WritingQuestion 2: Independent Writing

These are the type of questions that come to the TOEFL exam.


There is a slight difference between IELTS and TOEFL fee structure, read about the fee structure for both exams below.


The fees for both IELTS academics and IELTS general training is the same in India, that is ₹15,500.


The exam fee for the TOEFL exam in India is ₹13500.

The IELTS exam is more costly compared to the TOEFL.


There is also a big difference between IELTS and TOEFL result declaration, which is discussed below.


The IELTS exam result is declared on the 13th day of the exam date. For example, if you take the test on 1st march, your result will be declared on 14th march. You can view your score by logging in to the official website for the IELTS exam.


The TOEFL test result will be available on the ETS account after approximately 6 days of taking the test. You can view your score by logging in to the official ETS website for the TOEFL exam.

Scoring Criteria


The IELTS test result is given on a band scale of 0 to 9, where 9 is the highest band score one can get. You will get either half of the full band score, such as 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, or 9.


The TOEFL test is scored in the range of 0 to 120, where 120 is the highest score. You can get any full number as a score in your TOEFL in the range of 0 to 120.

Score Chart IELTS vs TOEFL

118 – 1209Expert user
115 – 1178.5Very good user
110 – 1148
102 – 1097.5Good user
  94 – 1017
  79 – 936.5Competent user
  60 – 786
  46 – 595.5Modest user
  35 – 455
  32 – 344.5Limited user
  0 – 310 – 4

Which is easy IELTS or TOEFL?

It depends from student to student which exam they found more difficult. Both tests are for checking the English language proficiency of the students. 

You must read every detail about the TOEFL vs IELTS before reaching any concrete decision. 


In this blog, we have discussed the difference between IELTS and TOEFL. 

We have described the differences based on different criteria, such as exam pattern, question type, fee, and result, etc.

We also answered the most asked question related to the IELTS and TOEFL, that is, which is easy, IELTS or TOEFL?

We hope we have cleared all your queries about the difference between IELTS and TOEFL. For more content like this, keep visiting CourseMentor™.


Which is better IELTS or TOEFL?

The TOEFL exam is generally used for admission to American universities, while the IELTS score is used for any oversea English-speaking nation. Both tests measure your English language proficiency, so you can choose any of them according to your convenience.

Does the USA accept IELTS?

Yes, the IELTS exam score is accepted by maximum top American universities to fulfill their English language requirement for admission.