IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are two of the most prominent language tests for students wanting to study abroad, especially in countries where the mode of communication is English. Thousands of candidates appear for both exams every year.
IELTS is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and Cambridge Assessment English, while Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the conducting body of the TOEFL exam.
What are these exams and why should one appear for them?
IELTS has been the go-to option for considering education in a country where English is the main language of communication. IELTS 2022 exam is required for migration and academic purposes in countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other European countries. It stands out as the only English Language Test approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for visa applicants applying both outside and inside the UK. Though IELTS is not compulsory in many of the universities abroad, because the foreign institutions and visa granting authorities need to be sure about your command over the English language, it is important. Without IELTS results, your prospects of securing a student visa may be harmed since visa officers may be sceptical of your English proficiency. As a result, it is safer to take IELTS and strive for a score of at least 6 bands overall.
TOEFL, on the other hand, is one of the most popular English proficiency exams accepted at education institutions abroad. The ETS TOEFL exam is mostly taken by students who intend to pursue higher education in another country. Students who take the TOEFL test may be eligible for a variety of scholarships, as well as assistance with the visa application process for students and individuals seeking employment overseas. TOEFL is one of the most widely accepted English-language examinations for students wishing to study abroad, with over 11,000 universities and institutions worldwide accepting it, including universities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and across Europe and Asia. When taking the TOEFL test, there are no good or negative scores. Candidates would be needed to meet the individual universities' TOEFL score requirements.
Types of IELTS and TOEFL exams
There are two types of IELTS exams: Academic and General Training. While the Academic section is taken by those who apply for higher education or professional registration abroad, those who want to enrol in training programs or secondary education, or get work experience in a country where English is the primary language of communication, take the General Training test.
The TOEFL test is available in three formats: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test), TOEFL paper-delivered Test, and TOEFL at Home Test. The TOEFL iBT is a more popular exam option, accounting for more than 98 percent of TOEFL examinations taken globally. Due to the pandemic, the TOEFL Paper-delivered test has been re-launched. The third, TOEFL at Home, is a TOEFL test that is taken from the comfort of one's own home, with a proctor present to supervise the test throughout.
Patterns of the exams
IELTS: - The Listening test is divided into four sections, each of which contains ten questions. The first section is about social demands, the second is about circumstances in educational and training contexts, and the third and fourth sections are about dialogue and monologue, respectively. Multiple-choice questions, determining if the information is true or untrue, sentence completion, flow-chart completion, and other tasks are included in the Reading test.
Candidates are taught to organize and present facts, describe the stages of a process, analyze an object or an event, or explain how something works in Writing. They are also taught to critically examine an issue and provide answers to it. In the Speaking section, there are three parts. As part 1 lets the candidates introduce themselves and answer a wide range of topic areas, in part two candidates talk about a particular topic while being given a prompt. The examiner then proceeds to ask questions about the same. In part three, the candidate engages in a discussion with the examiner about more abstract issues which are linked to the topic in part two, the discussion lasts for two to three minutes. The Speaking section aims to assess the candidates’ fluency, lexical resource, grammatical range, pronunciation, etc.
TOEFL: - In the Reading section one has to read three to four passages and answer ten questions about each one. The number of correct reading comprehension responses determines the section's grade. You will hear lectures and conversations based on campus lingo in the Listening test part. This component assesses the test taker's ability to interpret English conversations and lectures. Listening to fundamental comprehension and understanding, linking, and synthesizing information are all part of this process. In the Speaking Section, your responses must meet the requirements of the work with only minor errors or lapses. The examiners are seeking a discourse that is both understandable and long-lasting. The section's scoring is determined on three primary factors: delivery, language use, and topic development. Each of the two essays should be able to successfully handle a different topic. The response should be well-organized and well-developed, with appropriate explanations and extensive supporting information. It should also demonstrate cohesion, growth, and unification. If you want to get a good grade on your writing, make sure you show syntactic variation and acceptable word choice while avoiding minor grammatical faults.
Dates and Fees
IELTS and TOEFL are conducted all year around. The IELTS test is conducted multiple times throughout the year. Students looking to appear for the IELTS test are advised to choose an exam date 3-4 months before the deadline of their application, to avoid any last-minute error. The IELTS test is available across various major cities in India. In the case of TOEFL, experts recommend that if your application deadline is November, you should take the exam by October. If you need to repeat the TOEFL, you can do so in the second half of October. While IELTS can cost candidates anywhere between Rs. 14,000-15,000, TOEFL costs more than Rs. 14,500 for a single attempt.