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IELTS or TOEFL

IELTS or TOEFL – what to choose?Today there are two recognized exams, which determine the level of English proficiency – it’s IELTS and TOEFL. If you want to select the most suitable test for yourself, you need to learn more about each of them.

For example, the main difference between these tests is that TOEFL evaluates American dialect of English and IELTS – British dialect. And even though the differences between the dialects are not significant, some phonetic and grammatical aspects can be difficult even for those who have good language skills.

Each of the tests consists of four sections: Reading helps to assess reading skills, Listening checks the ability to perceive information, Speaking assesses the ability to speak, and Writing - writing skills.

In the test there’s no rigorous evaluation of the grammatical rules. English grammar is assessed in your responses during Speaking and Writing sections.

Nevertheless, between TOEFL and IELTS there are a lot of differences. For example, you pass TOEFL in electronic version, while IELTS is taken on paper. Speaking section of TOEFL test is recorded on the microphone.

IELTS Speaking involves personal contact with the examiner. But the text for reading in TOEFL may seem more in relation to what is displayed on the computer monitor. Thus, IELTS is more appropriate for conservative candidates who prefer to write with a pen on paper.

In TOEFL Listening you’re offered to listen the texts, to make necessary notes, and only after this you will receive a list of the questions which have to be answered. In a similar section in IELTS you can immediately see a list of the questions. This will allow the applicant to capture the necessary information to record those parts where there are the answers to these questions.

Also the tests have different system of evaluation: in IELTS the arithmetic mean of the total number of points obtained in all four test sections. Thus, the count range is 0 to 9 in steps of 0.5 points. A evaluation in TOEFL is a sum of the points which are scored for all sections of the test; the maximum score that you can get is the 120.

Pascale Laurent, Exam Manager at the British Council in Brussels, Belgium discusses the differences between the IELTS test and the TOEFL test:

Now you have enough information about the difference between the exams and you can choose the most appropriate test for yourself: IELTS or TOEFL.

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