IELTS vs TOEFL: Which English Proficiency Test is Right for You?

When pursuing education abroad or permanent residency, demonstrating English competency through exams like IELTS or TOEFL is typically required. But which test is a better fit? Let’s consider the key factors about both TOEFL and IELTS training in Dubai so you can make an informed choice.


  • Format

IELTS involves tasks assessing reading, writing, listening, and speaking over two hours and forty minutes total. TOEFL iBT covers reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections completed altogether in four hours. Both formats comprehensively evaluate the four language skill areas.


  • Scoring

IELTS scores each section from 1-9 while TOEFL iBT scores are reported individually on a scale from 0-30 per section and 0-120 composite. Certain institutions specify minimum scores per section or overall. Be aware of the requirements for your applications. 


  • Validity

IELTS scores last two years while TOEFL iBT scores expire after two years, requiring re-tests if deadlines are missed. However, TOEFL essential scores are valid indefinitely for assessing workplace language skills or immigration purposes.


  • Frequency

IELTS exams occur regularly at global test centers making scheduling easier for students, work, or visa timelines. However, TOEFL iBT has more frequent available dates though fewer locations. Consider timing when choosing.


  • Prep Options

Both exams offer official practice materials but training through authorized centers with personalized instruction is prevalent. Self-study prep resources from TOEFL suffice for most. Enrolling in classes may be advantageous for learners needing structured support.


  • Bias Factors

TOEFL assesses basic English applicable internationally while IELTS places moderate emphasis on British variants. Non-native speakers accustomed to American culture could find TOEFL terminology more familiar. Those exposed to British English may prefer IELTS.  

Factors like destination institutions’ policies, schedules, budgets, learning styles, and language exposures determine whether IELTS or TOEFL preparation and testing achieve one’s goals most smoothly. Overall both established exams reliably demonstrate English mastery for academic and immigration purposes worldwide. With careful research and guidance from experts at the best TOEFL and IELTS training center in Dubai, either could prove the right choice.