Difference between IELTS & TOEFL​​

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are two widely recognized English language proficiency tests used for academic and immigration purposes. While both tests assess an individual’s English language skills, they have some key differences:

Test Administrators:

IELTS: IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. It is widely accepted in countries like the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

TOEFL: TOEFL is administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is primarily accepted in the United States and some other countries.

Test Format:

IELTS: IELTS offers two versions: Academic and General Training. The Academic version is intended for individuals seeking admission to universities and other higher education institutions. The General Training version is often required for immigration purposes and vocational training.

TOEFL: TOEFL is primarily an academic English test. It is used for university admissions and scholarship applications.

Test Sections:

IELTS: IELTS consists of four sections – Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. The Speaking test is conducted as a face-to-face interview with an examiner.

TOEFL: TOEFL has four sections as well – Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The Speaking section involves speaking into a microphone and is recorded for evaluation.

Scoring System:

IELTS: IELTS uses a band score system, with scores ranging from 0 to 9 for each section. The overall score is the average of the four section scores.

TOEFL: TOEFL uses a scoring system of 0 to 30 for each section, with a total score of 120 being the highest possible.

Test Delivery:

IELTS: IELTS is a paper-based test for the Listening, Reading, and Writing sections. The Speaking section is conducted face-to-face with an examiner.

TOEFL: TOEFL is primarily administered as an Internet-based test (iBT), although a paper-based version is available in some locations. iBT TOEFL can be taken at designated test centers with a computer-based format.

Accent and Dialect:

IELTS: IELTS accommodates a variety of English accents and dialects, including British, American, Australian, and Canadian English.

TOEFL: TOEFL primarily focuses on North American English accents and dialects.


IELTS: IELTS scores are typically valid for two years from the test date.

TOEFL: TOEFL scores are also generally valid for two years from the test date.

When choosing between IELTS and TOEFL, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements of the institution or organization you are applying to. Some institutions accept both tests, while others may have a preference for one over the other. Additionally, you may want to consider your personal preferences regarding test format and delivery.