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IELTS vs TOEFL: Which English Proficiency Exam is Easier?

Preparing yourself
Study Abroad
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So, you've set your sights on studying abroad, but there's a little hurdle in your way: which language proficiency exam should you take? What even are the accepted English tests for studying abroad? Fear not! Today, we're going to dive into the delightful debate of IELTS or TOEFL —two of the most popular exams that can help pave your way to international educational adventures. Let’s explore which one might be a better fit for you as well as decide which is easier: IELTS or TOEFL?



First up, we have IELTS, which stands for the International English Language Testing System. It's like stepping into a language wonderland where you'll be assessed on your English skills in four areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. IELTS is widely accepted in countries like the UK, Australia, and Canada, and mostly all over the world, making it an excellent choice for students dreaming of studying in these destinations.



Next on our language adventure is TOEFL, also known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language. This exam focuses on evaluating your English proficiency for academic purposes. It tests your skills in four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing, and it’s easy to prepare for the TOEFL.  If you're aiming for universities in the United States, TOEFL might be your golden ticket, as it's widely recognized there.


Now, the burning question: Which one is easier? IELTS or TOEFL?


Let's break it down, shall we?


Structure and Format

Both IELTS and TOEFL have their unique structures and formats. IELTS has separate listening and speaking modules, while TOEFL combines these skills into one integrated section. If you're comfortable with independent modules, IELTS might be your cup of tea. On the other hand, if you prefer a holistic approach, TOEFL could be your go-to exam.


Speaking and Writing

When it comes to speaking, IELTS offers a face-to-face interview with a certified examiner, which can feel more conversational and personal. TOEFL, on the other hand, uses recorded prompts that require you to speak into a microphone. As for writing, IELTS requires you to complete two tasks, while TOEFL has one integrated task. The key is to identify your strengths and preferences when it comes to speaking and writing styles.


Accents and Vocabulary

In the listening section, IELTS tests a variety of accents from around the English-speaking world. It's like a global music festival for your ears! TOEFL, on the other hand, primarily uses North American accents. Additionally, IELTS tends to focus more on vocabulary, whereas TOEFL emphasizes academic language skills. Consider which accent and vocabulary style you find more comfortable and suitable for your goals.


So, dear aspiring international scholars, the choice between IELTS and TOEFL ultimately depends on your preferences, target universities, and your strengths in various English language skills. While both exams have their quirks, remember that they're stepping stones to realizing your dreams of studying abroad.


However, while it's subjective, some people find IELTS easier than TOEFL, and it’s not that hard to study for the IELTS exam. One reason could be that IELTS has a test format where you do all the sections in one day, which some people find more convenient. But remember, it's all about personal preference and what works best for you.


As you embark on your language adventure, don't forget to consider the specific requirements of your chosen universities. Research their preferences and ensure you choose the exam that aligns best with their criteria. Remember not to stress too much about it, just give it your best shot and embrace the journey!


Studying abroad is not just about language exams; it's about immersing yourself in new cultures, making lifelong friends, and expanding your horizons. So, go forth with confidence, put your linguistic skills to the test, and get ready to embrace an amazing adventure that awaits you.


If you’re getting ready to study abroad, you better sign up to Educatly and update your profile, so you’d get a personalized browsing experience on the website to find the perfect program match for you.


Don’t forget to follow the Educatly blog for more on education and studying abroad.

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