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Home ยป IELTS vs. TOEFL: Which One Should You Take for Australian University Admissions?

IELTS vs. TOEFL: Which One Should You Take for Australian University Admissions?

If you’re an international student seeking admission to an Australian university, demonstrating your English language proficiency is a must. And that means taking one of the standardized language proficiency tests – IELTS or TOEFL. But how do you decide which one to take? While both tests evaluate your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in English, there are some key differences between them. This article is here to help you make an informed decision by providing a detailed comparison of IELTS and TOEFL. So, let’s dive in and find out which test is the right fit for you.


If you’re a non-native English speaker looking to study abroad, immigrate or work in an English-speaking country, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam is an essential step in demonstrating your language proficiency. The exam measures your English language skills across four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, evaluating your ability to communicate effectively in English. With its wide acceptance by over 10,000 organizations globally, including universities in Australia, the UK, and the US, IELTS is a trusted choice for non-native speakers seeking to demonstrate their English language proficiency.


If you’re an international student looking to study in Australia, you’ll likely need to take an English language proficiency exam, and TOEFL is one such option. Short for Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL is accepted by Australian universities and measures a candidate’s ability to use and understand English in an academic context. The exam is administered online by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and comprises four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Students are typically required to achieve a minimum score of 90, and the scoring system ranges from 0-120.

Key Differences Between IELTS and TOEFL

When it comes to choosing between IELTS and TOEFL for Australian university admissions, students should keep in mind several key differences between the two exams.

Firstly, the IELTS test evaluates the four language skills separately, whereas the TOEFL test integrates them all into one exam. Secondly, IELTS is scored on a band scale of 0-9, while TOEFL is scored on a scale of 0-120. Additionally, the IELTS exam uses British English and features a broader range of accents, while the TOEFL exam primarily focuses on North American accents and uses American English.

Another important factor to consider is the duration of the exams, with IELTS taking 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete and TOEFL taking 3 hours and 30 minutes. Availability and fees may also differ between the two exams, with IELTS being offered in more countries and having more test dates available, and exam fees varying based on the region.

By understanding these key differences, students can make a well-informed decision about which exam to take for Australian university admissions.

Which Exam Should You Take?

When it comes to deciding which exam to take for Australian university admissions, it’s important to consider various factors such as your preferred format, scoring, and content. Of course, the requirements of the university you are applying to are also a crucial consideration, as they may have specific minimum score requirements for admission.

If you have the option to choose between the IELTS and TOEFL exams, take note of your personal preferences and level of English proficiency. For instance, if you are comfortable with a conversational style, you might lean towards the IELTS. On the other hand, if you prefer multiple-choice questions and academic texts, TOEFL might be a better choice.

Keep in mind that some universities may favor one exam over the other, so it’s best to check with them directly before making a decision. Doing so will help ensure that you take the exam that best meets the requirements of your chosen university.


Making the choice between the IELTS and TOEFL exams for Australian university admissions can be a daunting task, but it’s crucial to understand the differences and requirements of both exams to make an informed decision. Ultimately, the exam you choose should be based on the admission requirements of the Australian universities you’re applying to, as well as your personal preferences.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for your chosen exam, take the time to research and practice using study materials, time management strategies, and test-taking tips. This will increase your chances of achieving your desired score and ultimately, success in your academic pursuits in Australia.

Remember, the right preparation and mindset can make all the difference in achieving your goals, so stay focused, determined, and committed to your success.