What are the differences between IELTS & TOEFL?

iBT  vs PBT

Though both IELTS & TOEFL are language proficiency tests there are a lot of differences in terms of the scope and content of both TOEFL & IELTS. One such difference is that TOEFL is an iBT and IELTS is a PBT. iBT stands for internet-Based Test where as PBT stands for Pencil and Paper-Based test. As the names suggest TOEFL is administered on a computer connected to internet whereas IELTS is conducted using pencil and paper.

Format of TOEFL & IELTS


Module No of passages/Tapes No questions /tasks Time
Reading 3-5 Passages 12-14 questions 60-100 min
Listening 4-6 lectures & 2-3 conversations 6 &5 questions respectively 60-90 min
Speaking 6 tasks 20 min
Writing 2  tasks 50 min


Module No of passages/Tapes No questions /tasks Time
Reading 3 Sections 40 questions 60 min
Listening 4 sections 40 questions 30 min+10 min
Speaking 3 sections  varies 11-14 min
Writing varies 2 tasks 60



Each sections of TOEFL iBT is scored separately. The number of points received for each section is converted to a scaled score of 0-30, for a combined total possible score of 120 as shown below. The score is valid for 2 years.

Reading  Listening Speaking Writing Total
0-30 0-30 0-30 0-30 0- 120


Scoring is done on a band of 0 – 9. 7 is considered a safe band to score. The score is valid for 2 years.

Reading  Listening Speaking Writing Total
0-9 0-9 0-9 0-9 0-9



TOEFL is accepted by more than 9,000 colleges, agencies and other institutions in over 130 countries accept TOEFL® scores. Other organizations and immigrations authorities rely on TOEFL scores as well.

IELTS  is accepted by most Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, New Zealand and South African academic institutions, over 3,000 academic institutions in the United States, and various professional organizations. It is also a requirement for immigration to Australia, New Zealand and Canada.


Though both IELTS and TOEFL are used by Academic admission panels as well as Immigrations authorities, we can say TOEFL is predominantly designed for testing language proficiency in an academic setting where as IELTS is widely used to measure the English language proficiency of  potential immigrants to English speaking countries.

What Brooklyn can do?

Brooklyn Review IELTS counselling as well as classroom strategy sessions explains all the above mentioned concepts in details and take you through systematic practice of materials of the previously held IELTS examinations. We will identify your problems, give suggestions and instructions to improve.