TOEFL vs. IELTS: Exam Structures



A couple of blog posts ago, we identified the basic differences between TOEFL and IELTS – two English proficiency exams which are essential for students who want to advance in the academic or professional sphere. Today, we’re going to take our discussion one step further by looking at the difference in exam structures:



6 questions answered into a microphone and recorded, reviewed by 6 examiners Face to face with a single examiner
20 minutes Approximately 11 – 14 minutes
Same day as the rest of the test May be on a different day to that of the written portion of the test
American accents Range of different accents



Typed using a keyboard Paper-based
2 tasks; One task involves a 5-paragraph essay of 300-350 words while the other
task involved taking notes from a section of text as well as a lecture excerpt
on the same topic
2 tasks; Summary or explanation of information presented in a
graph/chart/table/diagram and a 200-250 word response to a prompt offering a
specific point of view



3-5 reading sections; academic content 3 sections, academic content
Multiple choice Range of question types (e.g. Gap-fills, short answers)
20 minutes per section 20 minutes per section



60 – 90 minutes 30 minutes
Multiple choice questions Range of different question types
2-3 conversational passage; 4-6 lectures and student takes notes while listening in
order to answer questions afterwards
4 recordings;
a conversation, a monologue, a conversation set in an educational or training
context; a monologue on an academic subject


EC offers IELTS Exam Preparation Course and TOEFL Exam Preparation Course across different destinations, so you can make sure you will be ready to sit for your exam.These classes are especially designed for those taking these exams and our teaches are well prepared to provide you with all information and support necessary for you to sit for your exam with confidence!

Which test are you going to sit for? Contact us for further information. If you have any questions about our courses and locations, one of our amazing students advisors will be happy to help you out.

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