TOEFL/IELTS Overview Structure, An Overview of TOEFL/IELTS Subject Tests, TOEFL/IELTS Exam Pattern & Eligibility


In addition to standardized testing required for admissions consideration, international students may also need to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). If you are planning to study in the United States, you should read each college’s application materials carefully to determine its individual requirements. Some schools will accept your English proficiency solely on the basis of having taken the SAT or ACT, while others will want to see the TOEFL in addition to these other tests.

Although the TOEFL is widely known all over the world, most schools in Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States, also accept IELTS (International English Language Testing System) to demonstrate English language proficiency. Schools have different policies regarding minimum scores, and you can visit the websites of the colleges you are applying to in order to determine their individual policies. The IELTS is broken into four sections (listening, reading, writing, and speaking), and takes two hours and forty-five minutes.

In US about 3500 institutions accept IELTS. Available in more than 800 locations throughout the world and offered 48 times per year, specific dates and locations for the IELTS can be found at

International English Language Testing System is an international standardized test to determine the proficiency in English language. It is jointly conducted by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd.

There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version:

Students and professionals such as doctors and nurses who want to enroll in good universities and institutions will opt for The Academic Training.

Those who are planning to undertake non-academic training in order to gain work experience for immigration purposes etc will choose The General Training.

IELTS does not require any minimum score to pass the test. IELTS results will be measured in bandwidths. These range from "band 1" ("non-user") to "band 9" ("expert user"). Those who did not attempt the test will get “band 0”. For IELTS each institute has its own thresholds. Institutes did not consider a report older than two years to be valid, unless the user shows that he has worked.

More than 400 test centers organize IELTS worldwide. Majority of the test centers are run by either the British Council or IELTS Australia.

Coming to the pattern of the exam, there are four sub-tests, or modules: Writing, Reading, Speaking, and Listening. Students must obtain all four sub-tests. While Listening and Speaking tests will be same for all students, Reading and Writing tests may differ, depending on which version of IELTS test they have selected.

On the day of the test, the four subsections will be taken in the following order:

The Speaking test might be delayed a day or two at some centers.

IELTS listening test lasts for about 30 minutes, which consists of four sections. To increase the difficulty levels these will be played on cassette tape. Each section might be a dialogue or a monologue. The questions must be answered while listening and the cassette is played once only. However, time will be given for students to check their answers.

Reading test lasts for 60 minutes. Depends upon the version, students are given either a General Training Reading test or an Academic Reading test. Both tests consist of three sections, and in both tests the sections are intended to increase difficulty.

Writing test also lasts for 60 minutes. Again, students take either an Academic test, or a General Training test. Students must perform two writing tasks, in which they need to present different styles of writing. There is no choice of questions.

Speaking test consist a one-to-one interview with a specially trained examiner. The same examiner will lead the candidate through the three phases of the test:

The interview will last for 11-14 minutes, where the candidate gives the introduction, speaks for one or two minutes on a particular topic, and then a mutual discussion takes place.

Test tactics

Aim for a Target Score and prepare accordingly.

Correct answers for first 5 questions will lead to higher scores.

Cross check every answer and avoid wrong answers using the process of elimination.

You can neither skip any question nor go back after you've answered a question. So fill it carefully.

Don’t spend too much time on any questions. Even the toughest ones should be done in 1-2 minutes and the easiest ones in seconds.

Bring all the necessary belongings (for ex: watch, all the IDs which are having clear pictures, and a confirmation letter from the Educational Testing Service) to the test center. Don’t bring calculator or any other electronic devices since you are not allowed to use them.

The TOEFL test consists of fill-in-the-blanks, multiple choice, and essay-style questions and can be taken online.

The TOEFL iBT® test, is an important part of your journey to study in an English-speaking country. The ETS TOEFL Program help you prepare for the test and improve your English-language skills.

The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. In a way, it assess your reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities and also how well you combine these skills to perform academic tasks.

Not only it assess your reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities, but also how well you combine these skills to perform academic tasks.

To show their English-language skills, more than 27 million people from all over the world have taken the TOEFL test so far. The average English skill level ranges between Intermediate and Advanced.

TOEFL scores will be accepted by more than 8,500 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries.

The TOEFL test has more test dates (more than 50 per year) and locations (4,500 test centers in 165 countries) than any other English-language test in the world. You can take the test as many times as you wish, but there should be a gap of 12 days between two tests.

ETS offers a variety of paid and free preparation materials to help you get ready for the TOEFL test. The cost of the test can range from US$160 to US$250 and varies between countries.

Prosper Overseas will be with you in every step of the way. We will bestow all the required information and support whether you’re still just planning to register for the TOEFL test, or already applying to schools and colleges abroad.

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