Ever wonder the difference between these prominent English tests for university admittance? The TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC & the new PTE are the most common English tests administered at this time and prospective test-takers might wonder the differences between them. Here’s a quick 101 on the differences between each.
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): This exam is currently the most common for non-native English speakers. The TOEFL is often a requirement at most colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and other English-speaking countries. In addition, government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses or scholarship programs might also require the TOEFL. At this time, an individual’s TOEFL score is valid for two years and then subject for re-evaluation after the two-year period.
The TOEFL itself was first administered in 1964 and has been taken by more than 23 million students since then. There are two types of TOEFL tests, the iBT (Internet Based Test) and the PBT (Paper Based test). In February of 2012, ETS announced that they will be phasing out the PBT—in many areas the last PBT was administered May 2012.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): The IELTS is administered by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council & IDP Education. There are two primary versions of the IELTS: the academic version & the general training version. Basically, the academic version is meant for students who want to enroll in universities and other higher education institutions, as well as for medical professions, such as doctors or nurses who need to work or study in an English-speaking country. The general training version is meant for those looking to gain work experience or for purely immigration purposes.