IELTS vs TOEFL: Which is better?

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OK, but which one is more widely accepted?

University Admissions

Before you decide on which course you will take for your English as a foreign language qualification, if you are applying to study in the UK or in an English-speaking country, you must check which qualifications they will accept, as some universities will only accept one or the other. If you are unsure, you can search for the admissions department within the university’s website and email them to find out. The information should be listed on the site as well under the course requirements so if you have an idea about which course you would like to take, search for this and it should tell you what you need to know.

Visa Application

If you require a Tier 4 visa for study in the UK, it is recommended that you take IELTS or Pearson’s Test as TOEFL is no longer recognised by the UK Home Office as a Secure English Language Test. If you do not require a visa for your studies, a TOEFL test will be sufficient for your application, as long as your scores meet the entry requirements, which are usually at fixed levels for the University, although some exceptions may apply.

If you're still not sure which to choose, you can find out about Cambridge Advanced English (CAE), an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS, which is accepted by 99% of UK universities as a benchmark for the English Language.

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The final verdict

CHOOSE IELTS IF: CHOOSE TOEFL IF:
you are comfortable being interviewed; you are comfortable working with computers;
you have easy-to-read English handwriting; you feel confident speaking into a microphone;
you prefer multiple question test types (true/false; fill-in-the-blank etc); you are good at answering multiple-choice questions;
you understand various English dialects; you prefer standard American English;
you like talking about non-academic topics. you enjoy reading topics meant to inform;
  you manage to take notes from audio recordings.

IELTS vs TOEFL: Online resources for you

IELTS Resources:

  1. General IELTS information
  2. Free IELTS practice tests
  3. IELTS test formats

TOEFL Resources:

  1. General TOEFL information
  2. TOEFL practice tests
  3. TOEFL test formats

We'd love to hear how you find either of the tests. Let us know on [email protected] with the subject line IELTS vs TOEFL. Good luck with whichever choice you opt for.

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