IELTS or TOEFL – The Choice May Be Yours
The IELTS (“International English Language Testing System”) and TOEFL (“Test of English as a Foreign Language”) or tests designed to measure competency in English.
The TOEFL is:
– a test of American English
– a test of academic English
– used as part of the admissions process for North American Universities
– developed and administered by the Educational Testing Service
– primarily a computer based multiple-choice test
The IELTS is:
– a test of British English
– available in two formats (general and academic)
– the academic version is used as part of the admissions process for English speaking universities
– the general version is used to demonstrate competency in English for the purposes of careers or immigration to Canada and other countries
– developed and administered by Cambridge University, the British Council and IELTS Australia
– not primarily a multiple choice test
The TOEFL and IELTS compete are competitors as tests of academic English. Competition in test design and use improves quality and promotes accountability. A recent example of competition in the world of testing is between GRE and GMAT. Many business school applicants have a choice of whether to take the GMAT or GRE as part of the application process to MBA programs. In fact, the competion has prompted both GMAT and GRE to improve their product. GMAT has just announced a new section called – GMAT Integrated Reasoning – which will debut on June 4, 2012. The GRE has announced a “Revised GRE” which will debut in August 2011.
Assuming you have a choice, should you take the TOEFL or the IELTS?
There is no shortage of advice on this issue. (See the links on this site.) You should familiarize yourself with each test and decide where your competitive advantage lies. You can do this by reviewing the best IELTS prep books and the best TOEFL prep books. You may also want to consider both IELTS prep courses and TOEFL prep courses. Individuals have reported that very different scores and experiences on each test.