IELTS or TOEFL: Which is easier?


The very infamous question, ‘which is easier; IELTS or TOEFL’ is a wonder we marvel at. This article here is written in attempt to help make the exam decision easier. Maybe IELTS is easier, maybe TOEFL is easier, maybe. Let’s break down further what the exams are about, so we can view it under a better light.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is an English proficiency exam taken to evaluate an individual’s ability to use and understand English language. It is accepted almost all over the world. IELTS (International English Language Testing System), on the other hand, is accepted majorly in the Common Wealth Countries, United Kingdom, and Australia.

When it comes to comparing the two, both exams have a meeting point and diverting point.
The meeting points are:

• Syllabus section: Both TOEFL and IELTS consist of four sections. They are reading, listening, speaking and writing.
• Grammar pattern: The measurement of grammar in these two exams is taken as a whole. There are no separated sections to test the grammar.

The diverging points are:

• Accent: With TOEFL exam, one will find four different regional accents. Although you may find more accents, with IELTS, most of the time it’s one accent, i.e., British accent.
• Exam mode: Some countries have made it online, but IELTS continues to be a paper-based test in most countries.

Paper/Test Pattern

IELTS paper pattern
The exam is paper-based, and runs for 2 hours 45 minutes. It covers MCQs and other ranges of patterns to test the overall English rhythm. IELTS accepts US and UK spelling. Because there are intervals between sections, one can take break in-between sections. The speaking interview is done face-to-face with the examiner. During the listening section, one can give instant replies in an interaction manner.

TOEFL paper pattern
TOEFL allows US spelling alone, and gives only MCQS (excluding writing section). It runs for 4 hours. In the listening section, one can answer only in the end. Given its computer based mode, during the speaking section, the answers are recorded. The recorded answers are then examined by an examiner afterwards.

TOELF/IELTS Acceptance
While IELTS and TOELF are both accepted by thousands of institutions all over the globe, there are some renowned universities that do not accept IELTS. These universities are:
• Stanford University
• Princeton University
• California Institute of Technology
• Harvard University
• Georgia Institute of Technology

Now that you’re aware about the mechanism of the exams, the answer to the question of whether IELTS or TOEFL is an easier exam rests on you. Decide based on the factors that most suits your comfort zone. Take into the consideration, the spellings, the exam hours, the questions patterns, etc. Once you have clarity of which exam will work in your best interest, it will become easier to choose. Nonetheless, both exams are mediums to test your English language proficiency. Whichever you pick, we wish you the best of luck and love!