If you are an aspiring student who wants to make a career abroad, then you should know that moving abroad is a lengthy process. One of the most important parts of the moving abroad process is giving an English language proficiency test. 

Several English language testing exams are very popular. The most popular English testing exams are the IELTS and the TOEFL. The top universities accept these exams, and these are also the most competitive ones. 

Students are often confused between these exams that which exam they should take to secure admission to their chosen university.

You may have a specific question about TOEFL VS IELTS which is easier? In this blog, I will try to solve this query in detail. The IELTS and the TOEFL are both the topmost exams that are the most trusted by students and universities. 

Both tests evaluate the same skills but in a different format and have slightly different preparation strategies. 

If you want to know HOW TO SEND TOEFL SCORE TO UNIVERSITIES, read our other blog.

TOEFL VS IELTS Which is easier?


The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is probably the most popular English proficiency testing exam. It is the most popular in India. 

The IELTS is accepted across 140 countries. IELTS also has two types the General Training IELTS and the academic IELTS. 

The general IELTS is given by working professionals or for immigration purposes, and the academic IELTS is for educational purposes. 


The TOEFL which is the acronym for Test of English Language as a Foreign Language, is also very popular in India and other countries. 

The TOEFL also evaluates a student based on Reading, writing, listening, and speaking. However, it is accepted across 130 countries. 

Thus as we have now known that both of these tests are accepted across the world, the main question is what should a student opt for. TOEFL VS IELTS which is easier? 

I will answer this question in various parts, we will first compare the test format of these two exams then we will look at the differences and similarities in the scoring system. 

Read our other blog to learn WHICH COUNTRIES ACCEPT TOEFL.

TOEFL VS IELTS Test format

The main difference between these two exams is in the format and the duration of these tests. Now, look at the format of both tests in tabular form to get an answer for the question TOEFL vs IELTS which is easier.

Criteria of difference IELTSTOEFL
Question typeThe questions in the IELTS reading and reading exam are of various types, such as the MCQ types, fill-in-the-blanks, short answers, etc. In speaking, you have to give a face-to-face interview, and in the writing module, you will have two types of questions to answer.The format of the TOEFL exam requires you to answer only the MCQ-type questions for the Listening and reading sections, while you have to speak in the speaking section and write your answers in the writing section. 
Time duration2 hours and 45 minutes4 hours
Variants of ExamThe IELTS exam is of two variants, general training and Academic type. The applicant has to first choose which type of exam has to be given. The applicant looking to prove their proficiency in a job or for immigration purposes chooses the general training whereas the academic type is opted by students seeking admission abroad to universities. The TOEFL has only one type of version, and it is mostly opted for only by students who are seeking admission to abroad universities.
What does the exam test?The IELTS exam test format is designed to test your creative abilities and comprehension skills by making you write several answers.The TOEFL is mainly MCQ type, so it tries to test your analytical skills and how better you can choose from the given options. However, the writing section of the TOEFL is short-answer and essay-type. 

So, now that you have a brief overview of the test format of both exams, you can analyze which exam tests the skills which you have better honed. You will now be able to identify that out of IELTS vs TOEFL which is easier. 


The first comparison in TOEFL VS IELTS Which is easier is In the writing section of the IELTS exam, you will be asked two questions. The two writing questions will be of different tie limits. In the first question, you will be asked to explain the information which is in the form of a diagram, table, chart, pie chart, or some type of visual representation of data. The second question of the writing section will require oy to write down a short essay or your point of view on a given argument. The short essay can be 200-250 words. 

On the other hand, the TOEFL exam will require you to write a five-paragraph essay which is 300-350 words in the first question. In the second question of the wring in the TOEFL exam, you will be required to summarise a long given comprehension such that it explains the whole text in short. 

To know How To Improve IELTS Writing Task 1, read our other blog.


The speaking test of the TOEFL is recorded in a microphone and then sent to the examiner for evaluation. The speaking of IELTS, on the other hand, is a face-to-face test that is done by the examiners themselves. 

The duration of the TOEFL speaking test is 20 mins, whereas the IELTS speaking test lasts for 10-15 mins. The main difference between the speaking section of TOEFL and IELTS is that you have the option to take the IELTS speaking test before the other 3 modules, but the TOEFL doesn’t give you any such option.

TOEFL vs IELTS Reading Section

The next step towards answering the question “TOEFL VS IELTS Which is easier” is comparing the reading section. This section of both the IELTS and the TOEFL  exams is more or less the same.

In the TOEFL reading section, you will just be required to read the 3-5 questions asked. But in the IELTS reading section, you will be required to read and then fill in the gaps and blanks in the questions by reading out the answer loud.

Read our other blog to know How To Do Reading In IELTS.

TOEFL vs IELTS Listening Section

The next step towards answering the question “TOEFL VS IELTS which is easier” is comparing the Listening section. The listening section of both tests is completely different. 

The listening test of the IELTS requires you to listen to the audio and answer the questions related to it at the same time. 

The TOEFL offers a different kind of Listening section where the format is of a classroom lecture; you will first listen to the lecture, and then you will be required to solve questions based on the lectures.  

To know GRE vs TOEFL, which exam you should take, read our other blog.

TOEFL VS IELTS Score Comparison 

The next important comparison is the score comparison. All the sections of the IELTS and the TOEFL exams are analyzed and evaluated differently. 

The speaking and the writing sections of the TOEFL exam are evaluated on how the answers look, that is, how the answer is written, what are the vocabularies used, grammar usage, etc. 

The IELTS, however, follows a different rule where distinct marks have been set up for different evaluation criteria like logic, coherence, fluency, vocabulary, and grammar. 

This means that if your answer is a logical one, but it lacks good vocabulary, then it may be scored higher in the IELTS as the TOEFL would only see the lack of vocabulary and may ignore the good use of logic. 

TOEFL Score (0–120)IELTS Band Score (0–9)

Learn How To Improve Vocabulary For IELTS by reading another blog.

Major factors to consider

There are several factors that you should consider to answer the question of TOEFL VS IELTS which is easier.

These factors are as follows:

University reference: The most important factor is the choice of your university. You should first look at what exam scores are accepted in the university and the course of your choice.

Time duration: The time required for the IELTS is much lesser than the TOEFL, and you also have the option to break up the sections of the IELTS exam and attend them on different dates; however, if you opt for the TOEFL, you will have to complete the whole 4 hours exam in one go.

Test format: The IELTS is a computer-based as well as a pen-paper-based test. If you have difficulty in typing your answers and if you have low speed, then a pen-paper test would be more suitable for you. However, the TOEFL test is only a computer-based test.

Preparation: It is seen that the TOEFL exam requires more time for preparation, and thus if you have less time left before the exam date, then you might want to opt for IELTS. 


In this blog, we compared the test format and the scoring system of the IELTS and the TOEFL exam. There is no perfect answer to TOEFL VS IELTS which is easier, but the answer depends on the individual, if you are good in the skills that are required for TOEFL then go for it otherwise choose IELTS. 

Both exams are topmost and are accepted by multiple universities around the world. The IELTS exam is much more flexible as it provides you with various options at many stages, so you can opt for it. However, both exams have their unique formats. I hope this blog has cleared all your doubts.

Read our other blog to know How To Prepare For TOEFL.


Does USA accept IELTS?

Yes, the IELTS scores are valid for the USA. Students can take the IELTS exam to prove their language proficiency for the application for the USA.

Is 1 month enough for TOEFL?

The answer to this question may vary from person to person. If your English understanding is good you can prepare for the TOEFL exam within a month. Otherwise you will need more time to prepare.

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