What’s That Part 2- TOEFLS VS IELTS

19 Sep 2017

You might be wondering why TOEFL or IELTS would be important to your educational aspirations?

TOEFL and IELTS are important as a certification implying that you have the required English language skills.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language certification given to students whose first language is not English. The English Language Testing Service (ELTS), as IELTS was then known, was launched in 1980 by Cambridge English Language Assessment (then known as UCLES) and the British Council. Test tasks were intended to reflect the use of language in the ‘real world’.

During the 1980s, test taker numbers were low (4,000 in 1981 rising to 10,000 in 1985) and there were practical difficulties administering the test. As a result, the ELTS Revision Project was set up to oversee the redesign of the test. In order to have international participation in the redesign, the International Development Program of Australian Universities and Colleges (IDP), now known as IDP: IELTS Australia, joined Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council to form the international IELTS partnership which delivers the test to this day. This international partnership was reflected in the new name for the test: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The TOEFL test, formerly known as the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” was developed in the early 1960’s to assess the English proficiency of non-native speakers of the language who intend to study in institutions where English is the language of instruction. The TOEFL test was developed under the patronage of the National Council on the Testing of English as a Foreign Language in the United States. In 1965, the College Board and Educational Testing Service (ETS) assumed joint responsibility for the testing program. Today the TOEFL Board advises ETS on policies under which ETS administers the TOEFL Program.

Since its inception in 1963, the TOEFL test has evolved from a paper-based test to a computer-based test and, in 2005, to an internet-based test. But more important than changes in the method of test delivery are the changes in the theories of language proficiency that motivated the redesign of the test’s construct and content.

IELTS was revised again in 1995, with three main changes:

-There were ONE Academic Reading Module and ONE Academic Writing Module (previously there had been a choice of three field-specific Reading and Writing modules)

-The thematic link between the Reading and Writing tasks was removed to avoid confusing the assessment of reading and writing ability

-The General Training Reading and Writing modules were brought into line with the Academic Reading and Writing modules (same timing, length of responses, reporting of scores).

TOEFL is also an exam for English language Requirements:

The TOEFL test is a highly respected English language proficiency test, helping millions of students like you attend English-speaking institutes all over the world.

The first thing you need to check is which universities and colleges accept each test.

Things to care about before enrolling for the course:

-You need to check in advance if the university you are applying to accepts IELTS or TOEFL or both.

-Check if there is a test center in your local area. The test is already stressful without having to do lots of traveling.

-You should also think about why you want to do the test, for which course, which university, etc

For some universities in the UAE, language requirements will be required for admission. Usually, there would an option of TOEFL or IELTS.

The minimum requirement in UAE is usually;

TOEFL: a minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Institutional Paper-based TOEFL, or

IELTS: a minimum score of 6.5 on the Academic version

 

IELTS Vs TOEFL: Similarities-

-Both exams test the four main language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. They are both standardised tests which- in theory- means that the scores are consistent throughout the world.

-There is not much difference in price either, with both costing between $150 and $250 dollars depending on where you do it.

-That is where the similarities end and there are many more differences.

IELTS Vs TOEFL: Differences –

-The main difference between the exams is this- In the IELTS test you will talk to a real person and in the TOEFL test you will speak to a computer. Some people find it comfortable to take an online test as opposed to others who like to take it with an exam administrator.

-In the TOEFL test, you will be asked 6 questions and it lasts around 20 minutes. 2 of the questions will be on familiar topics, such as your hometown or family. You will also be asked to summarise information from a text or conversation and to give your opinion.  Finally, you will be asked to summarise information from a short conversation.

-The IELTS speaking test consists of 3 sections and lasts around 15 minutes. The test will be conducted by an IELTS certified faculty. Like TOEFL, the first part of the test will be on familiar topics such as your home, job or studies. In part 2 of the exam, you will be given a topic and a minute to prepare a monologue of between 1-2 minutes. Finally, you will be asked question linked to the topic you spoke about in part 2.

Some students feel TOEFL test to be more of a challenge because it feels very unnatural talking to a computer. However, lots of others actually prefer talking to a computer and don’t like talking to a stranger.

-Another point to add is that students have remarked that they can clarify information with examiners and ask them occasionally to repeat a question. This is obviously not available for the TOEFL test.

Find your nearest IELTS center by clicking here

Find your nearest TOEFL center by clicking here