IELTS or TOEFL: Which one is better for gaining a job, differences, similarities and which one to choose

There are a large number of exams to certify knowledge in English, but one of the most outstanding for academic or working life are the IELTS and TOEFL exams.

Both stand out for being the first choice for those non-native applicants who need to gain English speaking skills, although similar in some respects, they aim at largely different goals.

IELTS or TOEFL: Which is better for the job?

That will depend on the location where you want to work. In the case of IELTS, it is accepted by companies in countries such as Australia, New Zealand or England, and its focus is oriented towards everyday speech, or issues related to office work.

On the other hand, TOEFL, although it is accepted in the aforementioned places, an academic focus predominates over the work one, and its certification is commonly used for students who wish to study in other English-speaking countries, but predominantly in the United States.

Difference between TOEFL and IELTS

While TOEFL is designed for American English and IELTS for British, the latter also includes other accents. Depending on the accent to which the applicant is accustomed, it may also influence the decision to take one or the other exam.

Regarding the type of institutions, the TOEFL is mainly requested by American institutions and the IELTS by institutions in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

It should be noted that the formats of both exams are also different, since TOEFL consists of only one exam, done on a computer, while IELTS has two different types, which are done on paper or remotely: Academic IELTS and General IELTS.

Typology of assessed English

There are also differences in how both tests are carried out at a structural level: While TOEFL is mainly based on multiple choice questions, IELTS has a different format, with some scope to develop answers.

This includes short answer questions, fill in the gaps, and short essays. IELTS therefore builds on broader comprehension skills as students are confronted with different styles of both questions and texts.

Regarding the oral test, while in the TOEFL certain questions are answered through a microphone (since it is done remotely), in IELTS an interview is also carried out directly with a person for its variant on paper.

Structure and duration of the IELTS and TOEFL exams

It must be taken into account that one of the tests is longer than the other: IELTS is limited to 2 hours and 40 minutes, while TOEFL lasts 4 hours.

That said, one of the most important criteria when choosing is to know in which country you want to study. If the choice is a United States institution, TOEFL is the most suitable.

If the choice is a nation belonging to the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, take an IELTS exam above any other.

Similarities between TOEFL and IELTS and which one to choose

Although both certificates are useful for non-native speakers, the choice between one or the other will depend on several factors related to the applicant's profile:

  • What goals do you have?
  • Do you want to emigrate or study abroad?
  • Are there authorized test centers in areas close to where you live?
  • When do you need your test results?

These are the kinds of questions that the applicant should ask himself to consider one or another exam.

It is necessary to consider that, in both tests, the score can be consulted online after 3-5 days for the computerized version. For other variants of the exam, the delivery times of results range between 13-15 days.

In the same way that both share the fact of managing scoring systems, so that the exam is not passed or failed, but is evaluated based on a certain score.

Another of its similarities to highlight lies in the way it is structured, since it is also supported by the 4 fundamental foundations of the language: Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing.

In the same way that the price to take the exam also manages similar ranges, which oscillate between approximately 150 and 250 dollars, depending from country to country. And if you want to go well prepared for that IELTS exam Speakingathome can help you