At ClickStudies, we are often asked about the differences between the IELTS vs TOEFL test, and which one is better or easier to take. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, the following information will be helpful.
The IELTS test was developed in Britain, while the TOEFL test originated in the USA. Therefore, this influences other factors, such as who accepts the results and the type of English used in each test.
Both tests are designed by experts and supported by rigorous research and trialling to ensure their validity.
Who accepts IELTS and TOEFL?
Both tests are accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by more than 9,000 universities and educational institutions in over 130 countries around the world.
In general, TOEFL is more widely accepted in the USA and Canada, whereas IELTS is more commonly accepted in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
As a consequence, many institutions accept both tests, but some do not. Always check with the school you want to attend before you decide which test to take.
IELTS is accepted for migration, work and study in Australia, Canada, NZ and the UK. The US does not accept it for migration purposes.
TOEFL is accepted by the US and Australia for immigration purposes, but it is not accepted by the UK, Canada or New Zealand.
IELTS tests can be done at 1100 testing centres in 140 countries.
TOEFL tests are more widely available (due to the computerised format of the test) and can be done at 4500 testing centres in 165 countries.
Both tests cost between US $150 and $250, depending on the country in which you take the test.
The IELTS test is generally a bit more expensive than the TOEFL. For example, in Australia, the IELTS test typically costs AUS$330 (2016) whereas the TOEFL ranges from AUS$240-$300.
Validity of results
Both IELTS and TOEFL test results are valid for a period of 2 years. However, some academic institutions may have specific requirements about the validity of the IELTS vs TOEFL test and the timing for course commencement. Again, you need to check carefully with the exact requirements of the college or university you would like to attend.
For skilled migrant visas in Australia, the period of validity has been extended to 3 years.