Comparing IELTS and TOEFL

All non-native speakers of the English language have to take these exams in order to complete their applications. Out of all, the popular ones are IELTS and TOEFL.  Both of them assess the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills of the candidates but in different formats.

Conducting BodyBritish Council and IDP Education Ltd.Educational Testing Services 
Medium Online and Offline Online and Offline 
Variants IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training IELTS IndicatorTOEFL iBT
Duration 2 hours 45 minutes1 hour 56 minutes (latest revised duration)
BreaksNo breaks during the listening, reading and writing sections, but the speaking portion can be taken up to a week before or after the rest of the testA 10-minute break between listening and speaking sections
Sections Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking*Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
Test Delivery Format Paper-basedComputer-based 
Score Range 0-90-120
Average Minimum Score Required by Top Universities6.378
Exam Frequency 48 times in a year More than 50 times a year 
Results TimelineResults are issued 13 days after the testResults are issued approximately 10 days after the test
Where All are the Scores AcceptedWhere All Are the Scores AcceptedAccepted by more than 10,000
organizations globally
Cost INR 16,250INR 16,900  (TOEFL iBT)

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an esteemed language proficiency test that is taken by candidates either willing to attain overseas education or for occupational purposes. Although It is accepted across 140 countries. IELTS has two variants, IELTS General Training (for working professional/ immigration purposes) and IELTS Academic (for education purposes).


The major difference lies in the format of the questions as TOEFL comprises MCQs whereas IELTS would ask you to answer the questions in varied forms like fill in the blanks, short answers, etc. Along with this, one prominent distinction is the duration of both exams.

IELTS vs TOEFL Writing Section 

While attempting the IELTS paper, you would be asked to solve 2 writing questions. In the first one, you will have to explain the information given in the form of a diagram, table chart, etc. Also While in the second one, you will have to pen down 200-250 words on the argument or a given viewpoint. If you take up the TOEFL exam,  you will have to draft a five-paragraph essay within 300-350.


IELTS vs TOEFL Speaking Section

Speaking assessment all in that TOEFL will be recorded through a microphone and will be sent to the examiners while the IELTS speaking test will be face to face test for all the candidates. The duration of TOEFL would be 16 minutes while IELTS would range a maximum of 10-15 minutes.

TOEFL vs IELTS Reading Section

The reading test on both exams includes texts similar to those they will encounter in their programs. The TOEFL has 3-5 reading questions to be answered in 35 minutes.

TOEFL vs IELTS Listening Section

The listening comprehension test of the two exams currently differs greatly. In the IELTS test, students can answer the questions while listening to the recording. Different types of long and short questions are asked.

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