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ELC Santa Barbara
ELC - English Language Center Santa Barbara
TOEFL vs. IELTS July 2nd, 2015

Many international students who are studying English may be interested in taking the TOEFL or IELTS exam.  TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language.  IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System.  Both tests are English language proficiency tests aimed for pre-university students who are continuing on to higher education.  Both evaluate listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Yet there are several differences between the two tests that make each one unique.  The TOEFL speaking part is six questions you answer into a microphone while the IELTS speaking part is face-to-face with an examiner.  TOEFL is based on English that is spoken in the United States while IELTS is based on English that is spoken in the United Kingdom.  The TOEFL grading system gives you a score of 0 – 30, while the IELTS grading system rates from 0 – 9.

TOEFL may tend to favor more abstract learners as many of the questions are multiple choice whereas IELTS may be more suited to concrete learners as it involves memory recall.  The face-to-face speaking section of the IELTS may be daunting to some candidates who would be more comfortable speaking into a microphone. Check if the university you want to go to accepts the test you wish to take!

You can register to take both the TOEFL and the IELTS exams online and there are test centers located in Santa Barbara.  In Santa Barbara, the TOEFL exam fee is $190, while the IELTS exam fee is $225.  If you are planning on taking the exam, consider enrolling in a TOEFL or IELTS Preparation Course at ELC!