So you want to apply to study abroad? That’s great! However, to get accepted into a University program, you will need proof of your English language abilities.
This means you will need a passing score on an English exam. The two most popular ones are the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System). But which one should you take?
Both exams will test you in four areas: Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening. That said, the process of preparing for and taking these exams are really different. You should also know that after taking the tests, the scores will only be valid for two years so you may have to retake them if you move on to higher studies.
Got that? Great!
Now, let’s move on to the details.
The TOEFL is usually taken through the Internet-based (iBT) version. These have sessions available over 50 times a year.
You can also take the IELTS paper-based (PBT) version, where the iBT is not available. They are not the same – the PBT version does not have a speaking task. It is instead replaced with a Structure task.
There are two versions of IELTS that you can choose from. The most common is Academic, but there is also General Training which is usually required for secondary education and work experience in English-speaking countries.
Phew – that was a lot of information. We hope that helps!
Are you still on the fence? Here’s a quick way to check which test you should take.