The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are two tests of English proficiency that are recognized internationally. The TOEFL, which is administered by the Educational Testing Service in the United States, is used primarily for admission to universities in North America, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.
The IELTS test is administered by a number of bodies worldwide including the British Council around the world including Bangladesh works at International Educational Services. To prepare for these tests students who want to study in North America or Europe should take about three months for preparation using our tutorial resources on this site to learn how to get ready for both tests.
Introduction To TOEFL And IELTS :
The TOEFL is a English proficiency test which is designed to measure the English language proficiency of non-native speakers who want to study at a university in a country where English is the first language. The test assesses:
- Reading – Understanding passages of academic prose in areas such as history, geography and social science
- Listening – Understanding lectures, discussions and conversations on academic topics
- Speaking – Expressing ideas in short responses and extended talks on academic topics. The speaking test includes an integrated speaking element where candidates are asked to speak spontaneously for 1-2 minutes on a focused topic related to what they have just read or seen. This is recorded by the computer, with no other students present.
The test is offered in two formats: a computer-based format and a paper-based format. The computer-based test is an interactive exam with questions designed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). In the paper-based version of the test, candidates are required to answer 200 questions. This test cannot be taken on computers.
The IELTS offers four scores: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking tests. A scale of 6.0 to 9.0 is used to calculate each score which represents a certain level of English proficiency. This supports the fact that the test is conducted in a way that only higher-level proficiency is measured.
The Reading and Writing tests are conducted on computers. The Speaking test takes place in a face-to-face interview. The Listening test takes place on a computer or on an audio CD, MP3 or cassette tape.
A discussion of pros and cons of each format follows below. We hope that this article will help you make your choice about how to prepare for one of these tests depending upon your needs and the resources available to you.
Sections Of TOEFL Test :
The TOEFL is a computer-based test. It consists of three sections: reading, listening and writing. The Reading and Listening test takes place in a computer-based test, while the Writing part takes place on paper. The Speaking section is conducted face-to-face. Students are allowed to print out the results of this portion of the exam if they wish to do so.
The TOEFL has been designed by ETS as a “test for individuals who speak English as a second language”, taking into consideration that not all second-language speakers have attained native fluency in English. The language proficiency of the TOEFL is based on the assumption that all test-takers, regardless of native or non-native status, have had previous exposure to English.
The TOEFL has four main sections. Each section comprises several sub-sections such as multiple choice, true-false questions, fill-in-the form questions and Formula questions. The length of each sub-section depends on the level of proficiency required for that section. The total number of questions in each section is 100.
Section Of IELTS Test :
The IELTS has four sections, but each section can be taken separately and at an institute of the student’s choice. The paper-based test consists of three parts whereas the computer-based test has four parts. In theory, they can be taken independently; however, this might not help much in terms of preparation as there are no detailed explanations on how to structure your answers for each part (See IELTS Preparation).
The IELTS is based on a four-point scale: the higher your score the better you are at English. The IELTS assesses how well you can deal with actual communicative situations and not just your grammatical knowledge. The IELTS is designed to measure the English language proficiency of non-native speakers who want to study at a university in a country where English is the first language. It measures:
The paper-based test has four sections and the online English proficiency test has three secti
- Reading – Reading passages of academic prose in areas such as History, Geography, Social Science, Business and Tourism etc. This section consists of five or six sub-sections each consisting of about 20 questions (one or two questions for each sub-section). From this section comes one composite score which is an overall score for Reading .
- Listening – Listening to lectures, discussions and conversations on academic topics. This section consists of five or six subsections each consisting of about 30 questions (one or two questions for each sub-section). From this section comes one composite score which is an overall score for Listening .
- Writing – Answering a question on a topic provided by the candidate. This section consists of two subsections with about 8 questions each (one question for each sub-section). From this section comes one composite score which is an overall score for Writing .
- Speaking – Spoken responses in different situations and a role-play test. This section consists of two sub-sections, each consisting of about 8 questions (one question for each sub-section). From this section comes one composite score which is an overall score for Speaking .
The IELTS has four sections: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. The purpose of each section is as follows:
- Reading : To measure your ability to read academic prose in areas such as history, geography and social science. This part of the test is testing your ability to read a text containing factual information and dealing with issues such as economics and politics etc. This section has four sub-sections, each one containing approximately 20 questions.
- Listening : To test your ability to understand spoken English in different contexts. There are six different types of lectures, discussions and conversations on academic topics. This section has six sub-sections, each one containing approximately 30 questions to be answered.
- Writing : To evaluate your command of the language (grammar, spelling, vocabulary) and to assess your ability to express yourself in written English under time pressure. There are two subsections with approximately eight questions in each.
- Speaking : To evaluate your spoken command of the English language in a realistic situation. There are two subsections to this part of the test, each one containing approximately eight questions to be answered.
Both TOEFL and IELTS have an IRP (Institutional Report) service and your results can be sent directly to universities or colleges and some professional bodies i.e. for medical students entering a medical residency or for teachers applying for teacher training.
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