study abroad

Popular English Proficiency Tests (IELTS vs TOEFL)

Study abroad has become a common pathway for students who want to receive well-rounded education accessing new avenues in education that will boost their career prospects and guide them as they aim to reach their goals. To study at famous destinations like Canada, USA, UK etc. there are a few requirements that need to be met. One such requirement is an English Proficiency Test, the two most accepted tests worldwide, are the International English Language Test System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Students whose native language isn’t English are almost always required to take an English language proficiency test as part of the application to study at an English-speaking university and are so one of the documents required for student visas. Whilst both accurately test the level of English, they differ in their approach, structure and teaching criteria.


  • IELTS, or the International English Language Testing System, is a standardized English Language Proficiency Test. The registration fee is INR 11,100. Top ranking universities in UK maintain IELTS as a requirement for admission.

  • TOEFL, or Test of English Language as a Foreign Language, measures the examinees’ ability to use and understand English at the university level. It scales how well one can combine Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills to perform academic tasks. In India, the registration fee is $170 i.e. INR 12,410. Top best colleges in the US also sometimes offer scholarships to students with good TOEFL scores.


  • While the TOEFL exam questions are majorly in a multiple choice format, the IELTS requires you to respond in short answer, fill in the blanks and short essay tasks.

  • The IELTS takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete, while TOEFL takes roughly 4 hours to complete.

  • There is only one type of TOEFL exam which is undertaken digitally. There are two types of IELTS, is attempted on paper or digitally. The types of IELTS include Academics and General Training IELTS.


  • The IELTS is graded on a band system of 1-9. Institutions considering applications look at both, the overall band score and the bands for each component.

  • TOEFL is a single test graded out of 120, with each of the four sections scored out of 30.

COVID 19 update:

  • Though the pandemic of COVID-19 has created a new normal for students and universities alike, there aren’t any major updates altering these tests of proficiency.

  • The administration of the TOEFL has given students the option of giving the test at home as it is an online test.

  • The IELTS however, is paper-based and has to be given at the test center, in person. Students are advised to take necessary precautions to curb the spread of the virus and be safe during this time.

Studyshine offers IELTS Coaching and TOEFL Coaching. Get in touch with us to prepare for these exams from the comfort of your homes.