IELTS, Study Abroad

Every student nowadays has a dream to have good studies to become successful in their lives.

Everyone wants to make their family proud.

They want to join the best colleges or universities to get a good education and achieve their dream.

Do you also have such dreams?

I am sure you also want to make your family proud and want to prove yourself.

To achieve this, you can prepare for exams like TOEFL and IELTS. 

By clearing these exams, you can continue your studies in abroad colleges.

There is a very high chance that you will have some information about those exams.

But do you know which one you should prefer while choosing between TOEFL vs IELTS? 

IELTS OR TOEFL Which one will be the best for you?

Both exams have some good points and bad points, that’s why it is confusing for students to choose one between them.

If you are also confused between these exams and you, do not know which one you should prefer,

Then keep reading this blog till the end. 

Because in this blog, I will tell you in detail about TOEFL vs IELTS and which one you should prefer.

What is TOEFL?

Let’s start from the complete basic; TOEFL full form is the Test of English as a Foreign Language

It is a very popular exam conducted to test the English language knowledge of the candidate.

This exam has a format that tests factors like writing, reading, listening, and speaking of candidates for the English language.

Based on these factors, it gives you a score according to your performance in the exam.

This exam is designed around North American English, testing your knowledge about North American English.

Every year this exam is getting conducted more than 50 times.

Anyone can give this exam any number of times, but there should be a gap of 12 days between their last TOEFL exam.

After about ten days, candidates get their results in the form of scores.

You did not pass or fail in this exam; you can just check if your score is good or not.

This score is eligible for two years.

TOEFL Test Format 

As I already said, the TOEFL test has four sections: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

For every section, you get a score between 0 to 30, which means in TOEFL, you get a score from 0 to 120.

In Reading, you have to solve questions between 30 to 40 in around 54 minutes to 72 minutes.

In the Listening test, you have to solve questions between 28 to 39 in around 41 minutes to 57 minutes.

Then there is a break of 10 minutes. 

After the break, there is a speaking test in which you have to complete four tasks in a time limit of 17 minutes.

And then the last writing test, in this test you have to solve two tasks in a time limit of 50 minutes.

If you are confused, you can check the table below; it will help you understand the format in a better way.

TestQuestionsTime Limit
Reading30–40 questions54–72 minutes
Listening28–39 questions41–57 minutes
Break——————-10 minutes
Speaking4 tasks17 minutes
Writing2 tasks50 minutes

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an international exam that is designed for testing the English language knowledge of the candidate.

Like the TOEFL exam, this exam also tests candidate knowledge based on the candidate’s listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

If English is not your native language and you want to study, work or live in a country where English is native language.

Then, you can give this exam.

The complete form of IELTS is the International English language learning test system; this exam was started in 1989.

No one can fail this exam because candidates did not get results in such a form that they can pass or fail.

They get scores in the form of bands; this exam score also has a validity of 2 years.

IELTS Test Format 

Now let’s talk about the IELTS exam format. 

As I already told you, this exam also has four sections:  Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing.

In the listening section, you have to solve 40 questions in the time limit of approx 30 minutes.

You have to solve 40 questions in the reading section as well, but here you have about 60 minutes to solve these questions.

In the writing section, you have to complete two tasks in a time limit of 60 minutes.

And then, there is the speaking section; in this section, you have to complete three tasks in about 11 minutes to 14 minutes.

If you are confused, you can check the table below; it will help you a lot to understand this.

TestQuestionsTime Limit
Listening40 QuestionsApprox 30 minutes.
Reading40 Questions60 minutes.
Writing2 Tasks60 minutes.
Speaking3 Parts11 to 14 minutes.

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Now, let’s get more detailed information about these exams.

In TOEFL exams, you have to solve MCQ questions. 

On the other hand, in IELTS, you have questions in various forms like fill in the blanks, short answer type etc.

In IELTS, you have two modules: Academic and General Training

The speaking and listening tests are the same in both modules, but writing and reading tests are different in academic and general training modules.

Now, let’s get more deep into this and check the differences between TOEFL and IELTS for each section.


In the TOEFL writing test, candidates have to complete two writing tasks:

  1. Integrated Writing task
  2. Independent Writing task

During an Integrated writing task, candidates have to read a short passage or hear a short lesson.

Then candidates have to write according to what they hear or read; candidates will have about 20 minutes to complete this.

In an independent writing task, candidates have to write an essay on a topic;

Candidates have to write about this topic by their personal opinion or experiences.

Candidates will have about 30 minutes to complete this. 

The main point of the 2nd writing task is to see if candidates can explain their ideas in a clear and well-organized manner.

On the other hand, candidates will have around 60 minutes to complete two writing tasks in the IELTS writing test.

During the 1st writing task, candidates will be given a graph, table or chart or any other type of visual information.

And the candidate has to write around 150 words explaining that visual content.

In the 2nd writing task, the candidate has to write around 250 words on a given topic.

The candidate will have 60 minutes to complete both tasks. 

But as most experts suggest, candidates should divide time by themselves, like 40 minutes for Writing task 2 and 20 minutes for task 1.

Because candidates have to write more in writing task 2 than task 1 in the IELTS Writing test.

TOEFL vs IELTS Speaking Test

In the TOEFL speaking test, you have to complete four tasks.

The first task is known as an independent speaking task, and 2 – 4 tasks are known as integrated speaking tasks.

In each task, candidates will have 15 to 30 seconds to prepare their answers, and then they will have 45 seconds to speak.

Candidates will have a microphone there, and Test organizers will record candidate answers. 

AI and humans will check candidates’ recordings and give candidates scores.

The candidates will have about 17 minutes to complete the whole speaking test.

One the other hand, there are three parts in the IELTS speaking test.

In the first part, the examiner will introduce themself, and then candidates will also have to introduce themselves.

Then the examiner will ask you some general questions about family, studies, and interests.

After this, there will be the 2nd part of the speaking test.

In the second part, candidates will be given a topic and some points that candidates have to include in the topic.

Candidates will have about 1 minute to prepare their answer, and then they have to speak for about 2 minutes on that topic.

It is crucial to keep talking in these 2 minutes. 

After this, the examiner will ask one or two questions about the topic.

Then, there is the 3rd and last part, in which the examiner will ask you some more questions about the topic which candidates have explained in the 2nd part.

Candidates will have around 11 to 14 minutes to complete this.

TOEFL vs IELTS Reading Test

In the TOEFL reading test, candidates will have to answer 40 questions.

The questions will be based on four passages given in the test.

Candidates have to read all these passages and then have to answer the questions.

It does not matter if candidates have knowledge about the questions or not.

Passages will provide all the information required to answer the question.

Candidates will have around 54 to 72 minutes to complete this test.

Now, if I talk about the IELTS reading test, candidates will have to read passages in this exam also and have to answer relevant questions of the passages.

Reading test in the IELTS exam is different for the Academic module and general training module.

In both exams, candidates have to solve 40 questions in 60 minutes, but the difference is the passages that candidates will get in those exams.

TOEFL vs IELTS Listening Test

In TOEFL listening test, it tests your listening skill for these two:

  1. Basic comprehension.
  2. Practical understanding and connecting.

There are two types of listening items in this test:

  1. Lectures
  2. Conversation

In this test, there will be 3 to 4 lectures which will be around 3 to 5 minutes long.

And then there will be 2 to 3 conversations between 2 English native speakers which will be around 3 minutes long.

Candidates will have to answer six questions for each lesson and five questions for each conversation.

In the IELTS listening test, candidates will listen to 4 recordings of native English speakers.

The first recording will be a conversation between two people about any everyday social context.

Then in the second recording, there will be a monologue about other everyday social contexts.

The third recording will be a conversation between four people, set in training or educational contexts.

Then the last and fourth recording will be a monologue again, but this time it will be about an academic subject.

Candidates have to answer 40 questions based on these recordings; there will be a time limit of approx 30 minutes.

TOEFL vs IELTS Score Comparison 

I hope you have understood well about the format of TOEFL vs IELTS.

Now, let’s compare the scores which candidates get in these exams.

In TOEFL, the result of the candidates in all the tests is represented by scores.

Whereas in the IELTS exam, it is characterised by bands.

The IELTS exam indicates the results of the candidates on a scale of 1 to 9 bands. 

On the other hand, the TOEFL exam indicates it on a scale of 0 to 120 points.

0-310 – 4

Main Differences between TOEFL VS IELTS

TOEFL and IELTS both are very good exams but there are some differences between these both exams.

Below table will help you to know about those differences, this will definitely help you to decide any one of these exams.

The TOEFL exam is longer; it is about 4 hours long.The IELTS exam is about 2 hours 45 minutes long.
Educational Testing Services conduct this exam.It is conducted by IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training IELTS Indicator.
This generally requires that candidates use either UK English or USA English.This is more flexible.
The TOEFL exam mainly consists of multiple-choice questions.The IELTS exam consists of a variety of questions.
It is a computer-based exam.The IELTS exam is paper-based.
The average minimum score top universities require is 78.The average minimum band top universities required is 6.4.
Candidates can give this exam more than 50 times in a year.Candidates can give this exam 48 times a year.
The TOEFL speaking test does not happen face to face with the examiner.The IELTS speaking test is done face to face with the examiner.

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Conclusion about TOEFL vs IELTS

So, this is the end of this ”TOEFL vs IELTS”.

I hope you understand this completely; If you still have any doubts between TOEFL and IELTS, you can ask me in the comment section.

Below, you will see some FAQs, don’t forget to read them, they will also help you to choose between TOEFL and IELTS.

I hope you liked this blog, stay connected to the  course mentor for more such blogs.


Is TOEFL easier than IELTS?

IELTS and TOEFL both are very basic and easy exams, but since we are comparing them both, I want to say IELTS are easier than TOEFL.

Do universities prefer TOEFL or IELTS?

More than 10000 universities prefer TOFEL, it is more preferred in the US, on the other hand, IELTS is preferred by more than 9,000 universities.

TOEFL vs IELTS fees in india

Cost of TOFEL exam in India is around Rs. 13,800 and cost of IELTS exam in India is around Rs. 14900.

TOEFL vs IELTS for canada

TOEFL and IELTS both are very good tests, but for Canada IELTS is a better choice. There are a lot of universities in Canada that accept the IELTS test.

TOEFL vs IELTS, which is more accepted in europe?

Both the exams are accepted in most of the Europe countries, but IELTS is more popular in European countries in comparison to TOEFL.