Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

In a recent Facebook Live Q and A session, a student was posting a lot of questions about the differences between IELTS and TOEFL.

One of the largest disparities between these two exams is seen in the Speaking portion.

IELTS Speaking is much more straight-forward.

Part 1 asks informal, personal questions. Part 2 requires you to talk for two minutes about a topic. Finally, Part 3 features some more abstract, academic questions.

In contrast, TOEFL has 6 different parts on the Speaking Exam. Plus, it takes 20 minutes, whereas IELTS is 11-14 minutes.

In addition, you must speak to a computer on TOEFL, while staring at a timer.

That which you must discuss is also more difficult. For instance, possible TOEFL situations include contributing to a class discussion and summarizing information which you read or listened to.

TOEFL is attempting to mimic classroom or real-world situations, but it is impossible to create these contexts with just a computer and you on a microphone.


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These contexts are manufactured, by making you listen to a recording of someone else talking and/or read an excerpt from an article. These articles are usually quite academic as well, and it can be tough to understand them in a the short time given.

Due to the fewer part on IELTS Speaking, it is more simple to prepare for. You know the skills that the examiner is listening for. Plus, these are all speaking skills. Compare that to TOEFL, where the Speaking Exam is also depending on your listening and reading skills.

Basically, find out which test you are required to take. If you can choose IELTS, do that!

However, if you have to take the TOEFL test, check out the online course from The English Success Academy.

The situations you must face in each exam are very different, and you must have a more detailed study plan for TOEFL.

No matter what your study goals are, you need a clear and solid plan!

Do you have questions about the IELTS Exam?

Ask us in the comments section below!

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