IELTS Or TOEFL : Which One Is Easy?

IELTS Or TOEFL : Which One Is Easy?

IELTS and TOEFL both are the major English language proficiency tests taken by the vast majority of students and accepted by the universities worldwide.

Moreover, if you are aspiring to study or migrate abroad, one thing you cannot escape is proving your efficiency in the English language.

Hence, it is essential to prepare your best to prove your English proficiency. This can land you in your dream university as your English language test score can be one of the eligibility criteria you need to pass.

As this is a crucial factor, the obvious questions here are :

  • In which test will I score higher, IELTS or TOEFL?
  • Which exam should I prepare for?
  • Is IELTS easy than TOEFL?

Generally, IELTS is considered less intimidating and easier than TOEFL, but, again, every person is unique, and it depends upon the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate.

However, the real question here is not, which test is easier? It is, which test between IELTS and TOEFL is easier for you?

Which One Is Correct For You, TOEFL VS IELTS

Therefore, you need to know what each test is about and is it suitable for you? Let us further discuss step by step.

IELTS VS TOEFL: Basic Comparison

The International English Language Testing SystemTest of English as a Foreign Language
2 hours 45 minutes to complete4 hours to complete
Four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, WritingFour sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing
Each section score ranges from 0 to 9Each section score ranges from 0 to 30
Complete IELTS score : 0 to 9Complete TOEFL score : 0 to 120
Band of 7 and higher is considered a good score.A score of 75 and higher is considered a good score.
About 9,000+ institutions all over the world accept IELTS score.About 10,000+ institutions all over the world accept the TOEFL score.
Conducted over 48 times a year (4 times a month)Conducted over 50 times a year
Fee ranges from $140 to $310 ( India : Rs 14,000)Fee ranges from $160 to $300 ( India : Rs 13, 249 )
You can use American or British English.Advised only to use American English
Official website: website:

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IELTS VS TOEFL: Reading Section

IELTS Reading Section

  • The reading section of this exam consists of 3 sections.
  • All the topics are of general interest to students.
  • There are various question types: multiple-choice, short answer questions, identifying information, labelling diagrams, completing a summary etc.
  • It consists of 40 questions designed to test a wide range of reading skills.
  • The time duration is 60 minutes.

TOEFL Reading Section

  • The reading section consists of 3 to 4 passages.
  • Each passage consists of 700 words and ten questions each.
  • The topics are all of the academic interest.
  • The format is multiple choice.
  • The time duration is 54 to 72 minutes.

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IELTS VS TOEFL: Listening Section

IELTS Listening Section

  • The listening section consists of 4 sections.
  • Each section containing ten questions and can be heard only once
    • The sections 1, 2, 3 and 4 consists of conversations or a person speaking about everyday situations and academic topics
  • The time duration is 40 minutes.
  • The questions are aligned accordingly to the conversation you will be listening to.

TOEFL Listening Section

  • The listening section has 2 to 3 conversations and 5 to 7 lectures.
  • The conversation has five questions each to be answered.
  • The lecture has six questions each to be answered.
  • The time duration is 41 to 57 minutes.
  • After the listening section, there is a mandatory break of 10 minutes during the examination.

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IELTS VS TOEFL: Speaking Section

IELTS Speaking Section

  • In IELTS, the speaking section is conducted face to face with the examiner.
  • This can be conducted before or after the examination.
  • This generally involves speaking about yourself and topics given by the examiner.
  • The whole session is recorded if ever there is a request to review

TOEFL Speaking Section

  • Unlike IELTS, TOEFL has its speaking section done on the computer itself. You have to speak through the microphone, which is recorded and sent to review
  • The speaking section has four tasks.
  • Task 1 is independent and asks the candidate to provide opinion on certain topics.
  • Whereas task 2, 3 and 4 are integrated, which involves reading a short passage and listening to an academic course lecture/conversation and then, answer the questions
  • You can take notes while listening to the lecture to use further.

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IELTS VS TOEFL: Writing Section

IELTS Writing Section

  • The writing section consists of two tasks.
  • In task 1, you are required to describe a graph/table/chart/map/pie chart or any diagram in your own words.
  • The word count is 150 words.
  • The time duration to spend on the first task is 20 minutes.
  • In task 2, you are expected to write a complete essay on a given topic concisely.
  • The word count is 250 words.
  • The time duration to spend on a second task is 40 minutes.

TOEFL Writing Section

  • The writing section consists of 2 tasks, one is integrated, and another is independent.
  • In the first task, you have to read a passage on an academic topic and listen to a speaker discuss it and then write a summary.
  • In the second task, you are further required to write an essay in which you need to state your opinion/choice/argument, which must be compelling and coherent.
  • The time duration is 50 minutes.

Generally, IELTS and TOEFL, both are reputed examinations whose scores are accepted by many institutes worldwide.

You also need to check in with your desired university and find out which test scores they accept.

  • preparing for toefl


We know that both the proficiency tests are designed to test the English skills of a candidate. Thus, it entirely depends on you regarding what you might find easier.

For example, if you are comfortable having a speaking session face to face with the examiner rather than on the computer, IELTS is for you. Or else, TOEFL.

Hence, you need to know what both the exams demand and what you are capable of.

Thus, talk to our experts who have cleared these exams, and they will provide you with step-by-step guidance and support throughout the process. Talk to them now at foreignadmits.