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TOFEL & IELTS Tests

TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is probably the best-known and most commonly used English proficiency test. Along with the IELTS, it is one of the two tests that are usually accepted by American universities. The TOEFL was designed specifically to test knowledge of English as it is used in a college or university setting.

Length

Four hours

Format

There are currently two formats: the internet-based test (iBT) and a new paper-delivered test that replaces the old paper-based test which is no longer administered. The internet-based test is done entirely on a computer, including the speaking portion of the test. Answers are recorded and evaluated by the graders.

Sections

Reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking, and written expression

Scoring

Each section is worth 30 points for a maximum score of 120. Scores are good for two years.

Commonly required score

Many universities require scores in the range of 90-100, which is equivalent to B2 in the Common European Framework (CEF) proficiency levels. Some universities also require a minimum score in each section in addition to a minimum overall score.

How often

The test is administered on fixed dates more than 50 times a year.


IELTS-Academic Version

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is widely recognized by universities and employers around the world. There are two versions of the test: an academic version and a general training version. While universities require the academic version, the general training version is used by some government bodies for work and immigration permits.

Length

Three hours

Format

Unlike the TOEFL, the speaking portion of the IELTS is done in person with an examiner. The IELTS has more diverse question formats as well, with a mix of multiple choice, diagram labelling, matching, short answer, and sentence completion.

Sections

Listening (40 minutes), reading (60 minutes), writing (60 minutes), and speaking (11-14 minutes)

Scoring

Scores range from 1 to 9 including half scores. The results are delivered within 13 days of taking the test and are valid for two years.

Commonly required score

Many universities require scores in the range of 6-7, which is equivalent to B2/C1 in the CEF proficiency levels.

How often

Testing centres usually offer the IELTS twice a month on the weekends.

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