To study any postgraduate course in Australia, whether it is a Master’s or a Diploma. Or a Certificate, educational entities require proof of the level of English through official tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge.

Depending on your objective, you must choose the exam that best suits your needs. And obtain a minimum score that varies according to the visa you are going to apply for or the program you want to study in Australia. Here we are going to explain the main differences between IELTS and TOEFL.

English level

Even with a Skilled Visa up to a Temporary Graduate Visa, the Australian Immigration Department requires certifying the level of English of each candidate as well as Universities. And Colleges require the results of the chosen exam to be admitted to programs that are not English courses.

The IELTS and TOEFL are the most common official English tests, accepted by universities to meet the English requirement for graduation, and are valid for two years.

Main differentiating factors between IELTS and TOEFL

Currently, the two exams are very similar. Both evaluate four areas: Reading Writing, Listening and finally Speaking (verbal communication/conversation).

The differences between the two tests lie in the methodology each uses to assess students. Here we present them:

  • The IELTS is British English while the TOEFL is American English.
  • The TOEFL is offered online and is done on a computer while the IELTS is on paper and pencil.
  • The IELTS offers general and academic exams depending on the student’s needs.
  • The TOEFL and the IELTS vary in price depending on the type of test and the place where they are carried out between AU$150 and AU$200.
  • IELTS is evaluated on a 9-point scale, with 9 being the highest score. The TOEFL, for its part, is scored based on 120 points.

Also, in both tests, each section (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking) has different details that can become the main differentiating factor.


  • Writing: In the IELTS, an exam offered by the British Council, both British and US English spellings are accepted, while in the TOEFL, the latter predominates.
  • Listening: In the IELTS, it is possible that in this section, the recordings are made by people with British, Australian, and Canadian. Or American accents while the TOEFL uses only the standard American accent.
  • Speaking: In the IELTS test, this section is basically a face-to-face interview in which the candidate will be asked questions about specific topics or about daily life, such as: What is your favorite sport and why? What do you like the most about your city and why? For its part, in the TOEFL this section involves speaking directly into a microphone and answering academic or mundane questions as well as expressing opinions on fragments of lectures or discussions.
  • Reading: In both tests, this section is very similar and is based on reading fragments of various topics. And answering the questions regarding the readings. In the IELTS depending on whether the test is general or academic, the difficulty level increases or decreases.


Finally, both the IELTS and the TOEFL are globally recognized exams that are valid in educational institutions in Australia. And that is a valid certificate that adds value to the academic and professional profile of any person. Check here If you need to know how to send IELTS Scores to universities.

A good level of English as a second language can be essential for the progress of a young person. And brings countless advantages when looking for a job, or traveling. And having an active social life that allows people to meet individuals of different nationalities and cultures.

In addition, learning a new language opens your mind and the doors to a world of opportunities to discover and explore. It is a personal satisfaction that we recommend 100%. You dare