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?

Helese Sandler
Savannah Educational Consultants

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.

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic 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.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery 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.

Shannon Brady
Academic & College Counselor Brady College Counseling


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.

Heather McCowen
Post Secondary Counselor The Chicago HS for the Arts


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.

Woodrow Dunn
Academic Counselor Freedom High School


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

Robin Farris


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

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.




Allen Hill
School Counselor Antelope 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.