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How to Select between IELTS and TOEFL


Choosing between IELTS and TOEFL depends on numerous factors, including personal preferences, the requirements of the educational institution or organization one is applying for, and familiarity with the test formats. Given below are some key points to help one decide between the two:

How to Select between IELTS and TOEFL
Source: basic-concept

1. Check Institution Requirements: One of the most crucial steps is to check the English language proficiency requirements of the universities, colleges, or organizations that one plans to apply for. Some institutions may prefer one test over the other, so knowing which test they accept is important.

2. Test Format: TOEFL and IELTS have different formats. TOEFL is entirely computer-based, while IELTS has an option between computer-based(in some locations) and primarily paper-based. Students may have a preference for one format over the other. So, Consider the format you're more comfortable with.

3. Test Content: The course content of the two tests also differs. TOEFL mainly focuses on academic English and includes integrated tasks such as listening to a lecture and reading a passage. IELTS has a more general approach with separate listening, reading, writing, and speaking sections. Again, consider the one you are more comfortable with.

4. Scoring System: Both tests have different scoring systems.TOEFL constitutes a score range from 0 to 120, with each section scored out of 30. IELTS, however, uses a band score from 1 to 9 for each section. Some institutions are particular with their scoring criteria in each section; therefore, one has to be very mindful to go through these requirements before choosing between the two.

5. Speaking Component: The speaking section of the IELTS test involves a face-to-face interview with an examiner, which many students are comfortable with. TOEFL, on the other hand, uses recorded speech responses. If one prefers human interaction, then IELTS would be the best choice.

6. Test Dates and Locations: Check the availability of test dates and test centers in your area. Some areas might offer more options for one test than the other. Thus, test dates and locations also play a vital role in choosing between the two.

7. Practice Materials: Research the availability of study materials and resources for both tests. Some students may find more study material for one test over the other, which could also influence the choices made.

8. Personal Comfort: One's comfort and familiarity with a test format can also be eminent in the choices. If one is comfortable with one test, there are chances of better scores. So don’t forget to keep your own comfort in mind.

9. Language Variation: If one is more used to and comfortable with American English, then they should opt for TOEFL; however, if they are more comfortable with British English, then IELTS would be a good choice.

10. Retake Policies: Always check the Retake Policies of both tests so that in case you don't achieve your desired score on the first attempt, you know what to do next and how to deal with it.


It is essential to research and comprehensively understand the specific requirements of the institutions or organizations one is applying to and then choose the test that lines up with those requirements and your personal preferences. Moreover, one can always practice tests for both TOEFL and IELTS to have a better understanding of which one you are more comfortable with and thus decide in which you can perform better.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming, so we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From preparing for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

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