If you aspire to study abroad, in an English-speaking country you will have to prove that you can understand and deal in English before you begin your studies, as a prerequisite for your acceptance whatever specialization you want to study. In this article we will highlight the difference between TOEFL and IELTS.

What is IELTS?

IELTS is an abbreviation for International English language Testing System, a test to measure your ability to communicate in English, which proves that you have a certain level of acceptable English, whether for work, study or other purposes. The IELTS English language test evaluates all four language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Who recognizes the IELTS certificate?

Educational institutions in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, and a large number of professional bodies around the world, including the Immigration Service of New Zealand, and the United Kingdom General Medical Council. They all recognize the IELTS English language test. Besides, this certificate is recognized by more than 6000 other institutions, from various institutions around the world.

What's a TOEFL?

TOEFL is an abbreviation for (test of English as Foreign language), a test in English  "as a second language ". It is a measured, calibrated, first-time, and tuned test by the ETS Educational Testing service at Princeton, United States, to assess how well international students want to enroll in English, and thus interact with Courses, and the collection of various sciences taught at the university.

The TOEFL test includes four linguistic aspects as well: speaking – Listening – reading – writing.

Who recognizes the TOEFL certificate?

Educational institutions in the United States of America in particular, as well as some institutions in Britain, New Zealand, Canada and others. But the TOEFL certificate is the basis for admission to all American universities specifically.

What are the main differences between the IELTS exam and the TOEFL exam?

At the beginning, the TOEFL score is different from the IELTS test, and IELTS is graded from 1 to 9 (see a full article on IELTS), while TOEFL gives more numbers to the four sections of the exam.

Another fundamental difference is that the IELTS speaking test is through a truly oral face-to-face conversation between you and the examiner, while in the TOEFL test the conversation is recorded through the microphone and evaluated later. Also for TOEFL, you can perform the full test over the Internet (Computer based test), which is of course the most popular option for international students.

The IELTS test is most popular in the UK and Europe compared to the TOEFL, which is more acceptable in America, Canada and Australia. However, many international universities accept both certificates... The purpose of both tests is to prove the student's language proficiency and ability to adapt to the English study and the university community. It depends on the student's choice of course. The TOEFL gives the choice to take the test online, and therefore it is more convenient and easier for some students living in different regions around the world. 

Which one is the easiest TOEFL or IELTS? This question cannot be answered. Each student has his or her own abilities, strengths and weaknesses, so the difference between IELTS and TOEFL lies in the methodology of the exam and not its ease or difficulty.