TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

College Admissions

Our Counselors Answered:

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Both the TOEFL and IELTS are used by colleges when evaluating international applicants. To decide which exam is better for you, it’s best to check with the schools to which you think you will apply as some have a preference as to which test they would like you to submit. If you’re unsure, it’s not a bad idea to take both exams, just as many students will take both the SAT and ACT.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

I’d say neither is better for college admissions. School should be equipped to interpret and translate both of these tests/scores. I think it’s up to the individual to determine and choose which test they prefer to take based on availability and location. Be sure to check with your schools on the recommended scores so you know what they expect from you. I do highly encourage international students to take the test well in advance so scores can arrive on time at the schools of your choice. It would be shame to miss the application deadline because of a TOEFL or IELS score not reaching the school in time.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

I’d say neither is better for college admissions. School should be equipped to interpret and translate both of these tests/scores. I think it’s up to the individual to determine and choose which test they prefer to take based on availability and location. Be sure to check with your schools on the recommended scores so you know what they expect from you. I do highly encourage international students to take the test well in advance so scores can arrive on time at the schools of your choice. It would be shame to miss the application deadline because of a TOEFL or IELS score not reaching the school in time.

Zulema WascherCounselorRio Rico High School

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

I would recommend student taking the TOEFL, this test is administered in many places, and taken by the majority of schools. Always check with the school you are interested in to make sure that’s the score they will accept.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

TOEFL is much more difficult than IELS

most colleges would accept TOEFL over IELS, although both of them are English proficiency tests that can help colleges to learn more about the student’s qualification. The test score requirements are getting higher each year becuase of other concerns related to unethcial activities among international students from China. if the student can schedule more than one TOEFL exams, normally his or her test scores will be considered in three parts and the highest score of each part should represent the accepted test results.

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

TOEFL versus IELTS: You’re Sure to Have a Preference!

These are two very different tests put together and administered by two very different organizations. We often hear of TOEFL here in the United States because it is the product of the ETS, based in Princeton NJ. The TOEFL is a good test for individuals who like the challenge of multiple-choice questions and essays which are scored holistically (similar to the way the SAT essay is scored). The test has a speaking and writing component, but the student does not have to face anyone live. Most importantly, the test-taker listens to an American speaking English on tape. The IELTS features British English and is administered by an organization associated with British universities. This test would be preferable to a student who has learned or heard English spoken by someone with a British accent. Rather than responding to a listening section by speaking into a microphone, the test-taker speaks with a person on many broad topics. Both tests are accepted by U.S. colleges. Consult the target college’s website for more details and expected score ranges.

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TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

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Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

TOEFL

We suggest that students take the TOEFL as it is very easy to find the minimum required score–either on the college’s website on the international admissions page or at www.toeflgoanywhere.org/asu-advanced-search .

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Check with the college

Unfortunately, this question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Each college admissions office will provide a unique perspective. Many schools accept either test as a demonstration of English proficiency and therefore it is in a student’s best interest to try both. However, English proficiency tests should not be used to project a student’s likelihood of success at an individual institution. And, while a school may have identified a minimum score as demonstrative of English proficiency, colleges and universities will not supply a minimum score for admission, as these are not college entrance examinations.

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TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

toefl

Helese Sandler

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

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Helese Sandler

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Check what each college would prefer. Also see what is required for English proficiency. Some colleges will give provisional acceptances and allow you to prove proficiency within the first year.

Sarah ContomichalosManagerEducational Advisory Services, LLC

TOEFL or IELTS

While the IELS is growing in acceptance by US universities, the TOEFL is still more widely accepted. If you prefer the IELTS, check that it is accepted by the colleges on your list and its availability locally. I recommend either be completed at the end of Junior year or the summer before senior year. Both tests can be taken several time if necessary.

Barry Williams

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

If you are a Canadian student who has had your schooling only in French, the TOEFL is the most convenient. As an example, the TOEFL is administered at two colleges in Montreal, while the IELS is not.

Christina ReynoldsGuidance Counselor

The Best Fit

Both the TOEFL and the IELS are both accepted at many american universities but the TOEFL is definitely more well known within the United States. The student should explore the components of both tests to see which one is better for them.

Joseph FreemanDean and College CounselorRandolph School

TOEFL vs. IELTS

Neither test is “better” for college admissions, but each one is different from the other. TOEFL: is the traditional EAL test for applicants to American colleges and universities, whereas IELTS was developed by universities in the UK and Australia. That said, many colleges throughout the English-speaking world will accept both tests. It is best to begin by figuring out what tests are accepted by the colleges to which you are applying. Then, decide which test best suits your testing strengths. IELTS requires a face-to-face oral interview, which some testers find daunting, whereas TOEFL requires recorded answers. IELTS requires memory recall as well, whereas TOEFL resembles many of the other standardized tests one takes for college (SAT, ACT).

Darla Andrews

TOEFL

TOEFL

Jonathan DunnDirectorCreative College Counseling, LLC

TOEFL or IELS, which test is better for college admissions?

I work with many international students, and I personally prefer that they take the TOEFL IBT for the purposes of college admissions.

Kimberly ParsonsCounselorHerbert Hoover High School

TOEFL vs IELS

These two tests are probably the most popular standardized tests for testing the English language. Colleges and Universities all over the world take both the TOEFL or IELS, so you need to research the differences between the two tests and figure out which would be the best fit for you. Researching the structure of how both tests are set up and scored would be a good starting point for you. Try working out practice problems from each test using study guides or websites, to help you in making the correct decision for you.

Jodi Peroutka

TOEFL vs IELS

Both are English language tests for students applying to some universities. The tests determine your comprehension, reading, writing and speaking skills. For IELTS you are required to take this in person. For TOEFL the speaking test consists of six questions which you answer into a microphone and the recorded answers are sent in to be examined. Just like the ACT vs SAT, some students to better on one vs the other. TOEFL like the SAT works better for the more abstract learners as many of the questions are multiple choice whereas IELTS may be more suited to concrete learners as it is more of a curriculum based test involving memory recall.

Daniel Rufner

To take the TOEFL or IELS depends on which school you are applying to.

Historically U.S. schools nearly all used TOEFL, while most of the rest of the world used IELS. Some feel that IELS is a better assessor of spoken language, the TOEFL has recently added interactive components. Somewhat like in the past where some schools used SAT, other ACT, most now take either. Similarly, most schools now take scores from either TOEFL or IELS. So does it matter which you take? Three things to consider. 1. First do your school research. If a school you want to attend accepts one but not the other, make sure to take the correct test! 2. Accessibility. Find out what test, and associated resources (i.e. prep programs) do you have access to your area? That may determine the test you take. 3. Consider taking both – as with other tests you may do better on one, not knowing until you take them both and send both (or the higher of the two) to admissions.

Saroj Jagernauth

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

TOEFL provides a universal measure of proficiency for successful acclimation in a setting where English is a second Language

Frank DonPartnerEast West College Counseling LLP

English Language Proficiency

Until recently, most US college and universities used the TOEFL exam [Test of English as a Foreign Language] to test and measure the English language skills of those students applying from non-English speaking nations. The IETL exam [International English Language Testing System] was used by most other English-speaking nations. Now, both exams are used in the US and the question as to which one is better for college admissions is dependent upon the college to which the international student is applying and which exam they require. If both exams are accepted by the college in question, then the student can choose which one is better based upon cost and the schedule and location of testing.

Barbara Jones

TOEFL or IELS for college admissions.

Most schools in my area uses the TOEFL.

Barbara Jones

TOEFL or IELS for college admissions.

Most schools in my area uses the TOEFL.

Jennifer

TOEFL vs. IELTS

Both the TOEFL and the IELTS are widely accepted by colleges to determine proficiency in English. The TOEFL is a test from the ETS, an American company whereas the IELTS is a test administered from the British Councils. They both contain 4 sections; Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing but the formats of the two tests are very different. For the Reading section on the IELTS you will have some short answers whereas on the TOEFL it is multiple choice. On the Listening section of the IELTS you will have to fill out answers as you go along and the ETS will be multiple choice. On the Speaking section of the IELTS, that will be given on a separate day with a trained interviewer asking questions. On the TOEFL you will speak your answers into a computer. Sometimes students are less nervous speaking into a computer than with an interviewer grading you on what you say. The TOEFL uses American English where the IELTS uses British English. Spelling counts too and there can be differences between the two. If you are more comfortable with the British accent use the IELTS and if you are more comfortable with the American accent use that.

Marcia Berenter

English As A Second Language

From my understanding most colleges prefer the TOEFL, at least in the Nortthwest

Maria MontezGuidance CounselorSan Luis High School

TOEFL or IELS

Although both tests are used to determine a students knowledge of the English language the TOEFL is the one that is used mainly by U.S. college and Universities. If you are planning on attending an American or U.S. school or University I recommend you take the TOEFL. If you are planning on attending a college or University other than in the U.S. I would recommend the IELS test.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

most schools accept TOEFL

ESL vs conditional admission for Chinese students In China websites promote ESL and conditional admission for highly selected colleges. Is that true? So that means a student that doesn’t have english proficiency level can gain US college admissions. Misleading. Partially true that a handful of ivy selected college do that conditional admissions for international students who did not meet the min language req. however, that’s not equal to zero english or a student with a toefl of 90 for instance. Some of the schools of the conditional admission policy would require a student with toefl 95 to take additional english classes and use that as condition for college acceptance. On the other hand, students did not need the language prof req and accepted as lang prof req will face tremendous challenges. Will affect curriculum selection, design, grades, and grad school admisson competition. Question is: is it wise to go to highly selective colleges until conditional admission? My answer: depends. If the student is highly motivated, has an academic plan, possess learning skills, time management, all that is needed is more time to catch up to suceed in college. But in reality, the majority of chinese students are not prepared to take on the challenge. The reason that a lot of chinese students fail to take the challenges for example many are dealing with transition issues and learn to cope with different education system, different academic req, different campus setting all at the same time, their focus is not on taking the academic challenges as well as other important participation such as social network. It is true that not only the students but parents both fell proud simply because they are attending brand name university. Question is: students may get in the same diploma from different school but def have different experiences – definitely more importatn behind the diploma – transcript. Directly related to how they’re going to use the diploma, what they’re going to try to accomplish after college. How to use the diploma is more important than getting the diploma itself, in my opinion. For those not so selective colleges, conditional admissions is used to attract int. students with special program.s special programs are designed with different resources from college pov. Students ultimatly limited themselves in many different ways. More like a brand name product exported to china with a same brand name. same situtation applied to (more like a lexus car in china –difference is chinese lexus is different, different components and designs – not the same as lexus in america). Some colleges call conditional adm “pathway”. Whatever name is used, bottom line is students must consider what type of experience they’re expecting from a particular college under conditional admissions. People taking different classes – different experience – all behind same diploma. Pay money for just taking English classes – your transcript isn’t the same because you can’t get as many experiences. When people look for job people, they look at the transcript. ESL is a program typically offered and provided by a third party language organization or the university itself. ESL has different levels and may count for university credits as part of undergrad total credits. It is not a standarized program – varies from school to school. Once the students have satisfyed the esl program and successfully completed the program, then the student is allowed to take undergrad classes working towards undergrad diploma/degree. Some of the esl programs are off campus. And administrated by companies like ETS. Whether conditional admission student or ESL student, as a student you have many options. Most important option is transcript. However if admisions documentation is handled by chinese agencies and you do not have those copies, you may need to submit another set of documentations to qualify for admissions. The challenge of transferring to another school is that the majority of the studnets do not have the original documentations and those doc may not be the same or real, authentic documentations that the students can produce later on for transfer. Most of the chinese students do not understand that an application is a contract between student and school that has to guarantee the authentity of doc. Otherwise it’s a fraud with consequences. The school may dismiss students, financial aid may be taken away, visa status may be in jeopardy. Ivy counselors network believe that the chinese students must consider apply direct (program we offer) to avoid the authentity of the documentation and position themselves and put themselves in the best position for transfer. A lot of students from china end up with esl conditional admissions don’t understand they don’t need to go to the college they were accepted even if they finish esl there. They’re in a position to transfer. Don’t know how to transfer – don’t know they can. A lot of ESL and conditional students actually are academically talented and willing to take up more challenges and end up at the wrong school because the majority of the esl and conditional admissions school are not highly selective – not the right schools for those students. Those students don’t know they don’t have to stay there for undergrad.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

TOEFL or IELTS

The tests are similar and were designed for the same purpose, the TOEFL was originally designed for US and Canada institutions, while the IELTS was designed by British/Australian schools. The two have come to be accepted widely in all areas (both US/Canada and Europe) therefore you may take either test. I would however check with the institution I am applying to and determine it they have a preference. If not make your choice based on the structure you are most comfortable with because they are structured significantly different.

Dr. Stabile

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

The TOEFL is the better test for admission to American Colleges and Universities. The main intent of the TOEFL is to determine whether you can read, write, speak and understand English to attend an English speaking American college program. The IELS is designed for individuals who are looking for employment or immigration to English Speaking countries. However, there is one module that is designed for college applicants. American colleges and universities prefer the TOEFL.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

Bi-lingual students should take this test

The TOEFL!

Rick ThompsonHigh School CounselorGarland ISD

two different style test and based on your preference

Both tests have four sections Reading, Listening, speaking and writing.For the reading and listening sections, TOEFL gives you multiple-choice questions, whereas IELTS generally expects you to copy down words from the text or the conversation word-for-word. For the reading and listening sections, TOEFL gives you multiple-choice questions, whereas IELTS generally expects you to copy down words from the text or the conversation word-for-word. Of course, the TOEFL is also more predictable than the IELTS. The IELTS throws lots of different question types at you, and the instructions are often slightly different every time. That makes it harder to prepare for. The TOEFL, on the other hand, is pretty much the same test every time–pick A, B, C, D, or E. On the other hand, the IELTS certainly keeps you on your toes and that can keep you more alert. I would suggest researching both tests and choosing what is best for you. Here is a website you can go to: http://ezinearticles.com/?TOEFL-or-IELTS—Which-is-Better?&id=925195 Good luck 🙂

Woodrow DunnAcademic CounselorFreedom High School

TOEFL or IELS

TOEFL is usually the requirement for US universities, however Canadian and/or European universities tend to prefer the IELS exam.

Dr. SkarlisOwner/PresidentThe College Advisor of New York

TOEFL or IELS

The Toefl is preferable for college admissions

Brad JacksonDirector of College CounselingSan Domenico School

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

TOEFL is the most accepted test but most colleges will also take IELS. Some students will find the speaking section of the TOEFL very challenging. Know that not all test centers are created equal. Look for one with dedicated booths so that students are not trying to talk while having to hear others speaking as well.

Allen HillSchool CounselorAntelope Union High School

Which is best for you?

Because Universities want to make sure you have the English language skills necessary to study at their school you need decide which test to take. Which test depends on what kind of tests your excell at, as well as where you plan to apply. You need to consider British versus American English. Since most think english is english it is not the case. If you are more comfortable with US english, the TOELF is a good bet for you, Are you better at multiple choice or copying down, IELTS favors people who have good memories and think more concretely. So do your research and pick the test that fits you.

Kristin

TOEFL or IELS?

TOEFL

John Smith

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

test

Aaron Kind

TOEFL vs. IELS

The better test is the one you as a student will perform better on. To hedge your chances of performing better, I would suggest taking both tests when possible.

Connie Boger

TOEFL or IELS?

I have seen the TOEFL listed more on applications than IELS.

Mark MontgomeryFounderMontgomery Educational Counseling

TOEFL is more common

Some colleges and universities have no problem accepting the IELTS exam, and either one is an adequate test of your ability to handle course work in English. However, check with the schools that interest you to learn their policies for accepting the IELTS.

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

Mostly TOEFL

TOEFL is still the reigning king for those students needing to take these exams but the IELS is becoming more popular and we will probably see students taking both.

David AllenManaging DirectorGlobal College Counselors Ltd

Both

I’d say any college will accept both so what I’d advise is to look online and see which one you think you can score better on, it might also be the case that only one of them is offered in your area – best to check. Colleges will have published scores they accept for either of these tests.

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

Where are you applying?

Students who are international students and who studied English as a second language will be required to sit for the TOEFL for admissions to an American college or university.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Which is better for you?

If you applying to American universities, either test for English proficiency is acceptable. The TOEFL is definitely more well known in the US. and the IELTS is more well known in countries related to the British commonwealth. The more relevant question is — which test is better for you? Check out both exams and see which one feels more suitable to you. Both exams are very similar in their content, but the IELTS has a face-to-face interview component which students either love or hate!

Don Tamminga

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Again it depends which test the university you are applying to prefers. Both test English proficiency although the TOEFL has a test version you can do over the internet where the IELS you have to go to a test center to take the test. So, check with the school(s) you are applying to to see their preference.

Robin Farris

TOEFL or IELS

The TOEFL exam seems to be more user friendly for my students, and it’s offered in so many different states at many different times. However, international students should check and see if the college they are applying to will waive TOEFL requirements if they have graduated from a high school in the United States or if they will accept SAT/ACT scores in lieu of TOEFL scores

Ruth Fraser

TOEFL or IELS

These are tests of the English language. Be sure to check with each university what test they request or prefer be taken. Many institutions will accept either test. In Canada, both the TOEFL and the LPI are more commonly used for determining your ability to read and write in English. Universities want to ensure that if they admit you, you are going to be capable of completing their courses with an adequate level of reading and writing in English.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

TOEFL Tells All

A recent article in the NYT suggests that tougher restrictions will soon be implemented regarding the TOEFL administration to attempt to attenuate the instances of cheating that seem rampant especially, the article states, amongst Chinese students.

Steven CrispOwner Crisp College Advising

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

As a former admission advisor, I would have to say that TOEFL is the better choice. It is a more popular choice by students and therefore better known and understood by college admission offices. However, the best way to know is to contact the schools you are applying to and ask them what they prefer. Most people will tell you that you can take either the SAT or the ACT, but there are some schools that prefer the ACT for example. So in this case I would suggest contacting the school.

Jennifer CounselorMilpitas High School

If the student is international

the TOEFL is better for college admissions

Heather McCowenPost Secondary CounselorThe Chicago HS for the Arts

TOEFL vs. IELS

TOEFL is more widely accepted at more schools. Some schools take both, but more schools accept TOEFL scores to determine the level of English Proficiency.

Nicholas Umphrey

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

TOEFL

Helen Cella

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Toefl

Shannon BradyAcademic & College CounselorBrady College Counseling

Testing

TOEFL will be the test of choice for college admissions for students living in the US. IELS testing is preferred for students in the UK.

Claire Law

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

either tests are accepted by most US colleges.

Inna BeilinaStudent

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

It absolutely does not any difference. Take either the TOEFL or IELTS. My advice: if you have trouble making a choice, open practice books, web sites of both of those tests and find out what test would be easier for you to pass and JUST DO IT! The higher your scores are, the better. That is what really matters. Good luck!

Martin Wilson

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

You must prepare for both TOEFL and IELTS if you want a good score. I strongly recommend taking a class or finding a private instructor. In the end, the availability of this type of instruction may be what determines which test you should take, not the type of material offered in each one. For example, I live in Madrid, where there are very few IELTS offered and very few instructors are available. Because of this, I always recommend that people take the TOEFL, if possible. However, your area may be different. I recommend you call a few English language academies and ask about classes for both tests. If an academy offers regular classes for one of the tests, the instructors are probably very familiar with the test and can help you with all the complicated details. However, if the academy does NOT offer classes for the test regularly, they might not be as familiar with the format of the test, which means they may not be able to identify all the strategies you want to use and all the specific skills you must improve to get a high score. Make sure you prepare for the tests and make sure the person who is helping you knows what they are doing.

Martin Wilson

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

You must prepare for both TOEFL and IELTS if you want a good score. I strongly recommend taking a class or finding a private instructor. In the end, the availability of this type of instruction may be what determines which test you should take, not the type of material offered in each one. For example, I live in Madrid, where there are very few IELTS offered and very few instructors are available. Because of this, I always recommend that people take the TOEFL, if possible. However, your area may be different. I recommend you call a few English language academies and ask about classes for both tests. If an academy offers regular classes for one of the tests, the instructors are probably very familiar with the test and can help you with all the complicated details. However, if the academy does NOT offer classes for the test regularly, they might not be as familiar with the format of the test, which means they may not be able to identify all the strategies you want to use and all the specific skills you must improve to get a high score. Make sure you prepare for the tests and make sure the person who is helping you knows what they are doing.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

Bi-lingual students should take this test

The TOEFL.

Mr C CoakleyPresidentAcademic Coaching Services

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Better? I don’t know. Most universities request that students take the TOEFL. If you’re not sure, or if there is an issue with test availability for your location, emailing your intended college/university is not hard to do and would get you a direct answer to your question. Admissions staff/counselors are happy to answer your questions, especially with regards to their application requirements.

Renee Boone

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Either is accepted by all colleges. The IELTS is based on British English and is used by British and Australian universities. The TOEFL uses American English. They are structured differently in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Review each at their respective websites to determine which is better for you.

Kathleen HarringtonOwnerNew Jersey College Consulting

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Colleges view the IELS as a more competitive test due to its personalized-speech format. Although the TOEFL now requires a recorded speech to be submitted through the internet. Be sure to review each school website to have a better understanding of what test is preferred and/or accepted.

Inna BeilinaStudent

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

It absolutely does not make any difference. Take either the TOEFL or IELTS. My advice: if you have trouble making a choice, open practice books, web sites of both of those tests and find out what test would be easier for you to pass and JUST DO IT! The higher your scores are, the better. That is what really matters. Good luck!

adam baerWriter and Editor for Top National Magazines, Websites, and Newspapers

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

TOEFL.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Similar to the ACT vs the SAT question, it really depends on which test you as a student feel more comfortable taking. However, you need to keep in mind that certain colleges only take the TOEFL or the IELS and may not take the other. You need to figure this part out first before deciding on one and possibly not the other. Some students also take both to see if they can score better on the other if the one seems to be more difficult than the other to them personally.

Ryan JohnSchool CounselorBethlehem High School

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Because TOEFL offers you the ability to take the exam via computer from remote locations, this can be a more convenient test than IELS, which requires the tester to take the exam in person. There are also some nuance differences in the structure of the tests so you’ll want to investigate that also. You’ll want to check the college admissions policy on these exams, some schools will only take the TOEFL.

Megan DorseySAT Prep & College AdvisorCollege Prep LLC

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Most of my international students have graduated from American high schools and are exempt from the TOEFL / IELTS requirement, so my experience with this is limited to a few cases over the years. The TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) both evaluate listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The TOEFL is designed to assess an applicant’s ability to understand and use the English language at a college level and the IELTS measures how the level of English skill from non-user to expert. Many universities will accept either test, so use the free practice materials available for each test and consider taking both tests to see which one is best for you.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Short Answer: The best test for college admissions is the rest requested by the specific college(s) to which you are applying. Detailed Answer: TOEFL is the most common; however, IELTS is gaining in popularity because it tests the ability to communicate via speaking as opposed to writing. One of the most common issues in higher education in working with international students whose native language is not English is that the student may be able to write well, but their ability to communicate verbally is weak. This can cause difficulties in the classroom and socially. As a result, many institutions are accepting the IELTS as an alternative to the TOEFL. Students also are interested in knowing if one test is easier than the other. It isn’t necessarily that one test is “easier” than the other, it’s that one test may reveal your skills in one are or another area. If your speaking skills are excellent, and the institution accepts those scores, then you would be at an advantage to take the IELTS. If your speaking skills are not very strong, but your writing and reading skills are great, then the TOEFL may reveal those strengths. But the bottom line is this: Take the test that the college you are applying to wants you to take. If your verbal communications skills are excellent, take both tests. Most institutions will accept the strongest of the scores.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

TOEFL or IELTS, which test is better for college admissions?

Short Answer: The best test for college admissions is the rest requested by the specific college(s) to which you are applying. Detailed Answer: TOEFL is the most common; however, IELS is gaining in popularity because it tests the ability to communicate via speaking as opposed to writing. One of the most common issues in higher education in working with international students whose native language is not English is that the student may be able to write well, but their ability to communicate verbally is weak. This can cause difficulties in the classroom and socially. As a result, many institutions are accepting the IELS as an alternative to the TOEFL. Students also are interested in knowing if one test is easier than the other. It isn’t necessarily that one test is “easier” than the other, it’s that one test may reveal your skills in one are or another area. If your speaking skills are excellent, and the institution accepts those scores, then you would be at an advantage to take the IELS. If your speaking skills are not very strong, but your writing and reading skills are great, then the TOEFL may reveal those strengths. But the bottom line is this: Take the test that the college you are applying to wants you to take. If your verbal communications skills are excellent, take both tests. Most institutions will accept the strongest of the scores.

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