Home » TOEFL/IELTS » TOEFL or IELTS Which one should I take|better for US universities?


The minimum acceptable scores for most of the universities for graduate students is 79 IBT demonstrates quite well that the TOEFL-iBT is somewhat easier to pass (earn an acceptable score) than the IELTS.

The IELTS minimums are 6.0 out of a possible 9.0 for speaking and 6.0 out of a possible 9.0 overall. Given that a candidate reaches the 6.0 on speaking, a 6.0 average must be maintained on the reading, writing and listening modules to maintain the minimum 6.0 overall score. A 6.0 average works out to a correct answer rate of 67%.

The TOEFL-iBT minimum is 79 out of a possible 120 overall for more than 95% of universities. The 79 overall minimum represents 65.8% correct answer rate, just below the 67% of the IELTS.But if the university that you are applying requires specific scores in each of the sections,then this numbers will vary.

Here’s more comparison between IELTS and TOEFL

Typical usage: Entry to UK/Canadian/Australian/New Zealand universities (accepted by 1350 US universities) Entry to US/Canadian universities (also accepted by many universities in the UK and other English-speaking countries)
Type of English: British English (academic situations) American English (academic situations)
Skills tested: Listening, reading, writing, speaking (face-to-face oral test) Listening, reading, speaking,writing. TSE speaking test at extra cost (not face-to-face)
Cost (Jan/14/ 2011): Exam fee: Rs 7200/ $156 (as of today) in Chennai test center Exam fee: 165 USD for the internet-based test
Test type: Paper-based or computer-based (CB IELTS), depending on the country. Main UK format is currently paper-based Internet-based (TOEFL iBT), computer-based (TOEFL CBT) or paper-based (TOEFL PBT), depending on the country.
Question style: A variety of styles (only a few questions are multiple-choice) Mostly multiple-choice (except writing)
Test centers: Less compared to TOEFL More than IELTS centers
Test date frequency: Couple of times a month Very frequent
No of Universities Close to1350 universities accept IELTS in US More than 3000 universities accept TOEFL in US


Looking at these data’s it looks like TOEFL is better off for applying to US universities. What you all think?

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  1. thank you for presenting such detailed differencials aboet toefl and ielts

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