IELTS vs TOEFL
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We all know the world of teaching English as a foreign language is full of abbreviations. Sometimes it can get downright confusing. IELTS. CAE. CPE. FCE. KET. PET. TOEFL. The list goes on. If, however, you have been involved in teaching Academic English or preparing students to study in an English-speaking university, you’ll recognise these particular abbreviations as exams. Two particular abbreviations come up quite a lot. This is IELTS vs TOEFL.
One thing is worth pointing out before we get into it. There are two IELTS exams: IELTS General and IELTS Academic. They differ slightly in format. In this post we are referring only to the IELTS Academic exam. This is the exam which has a similar purpose to the TOEFL exam i.e. studying in an English-speaking institution.
IELTS vs TOEFL
If you find yourself teaching an exam class, make sure you spend some time beforehand getting to know the particular exam you are teaching. These exams are very important for your students and can mean the difference between being accepted to study or not, so it is our responsibility to prepare them as best we can. Teaching exam classes are not the same as teaching General English and there are a few considerations to keep in mind, but that doesn’t mean your exam classes need to be boring!
Here we will look at two of possibly the most popular exams: IELTS vs TOEFL. They are similar in some ways and different in others, but since your students will likely have to make a decision about which one to take, here is a brief summary of both so you can know more about them.
Similarities between IELTS vs TOEFL
Both exams are used to assess whether a student is capable of studying at an English-speaking university. These scores will be part of the admissions criteria. For example, to gain admission into an undergraduate degree at the University of Queensland, Australia, a student needs to achieve an overall score of 6.5 in IELTS or an overall score of 87 in TOEFL. (If you don’t understand the scores, don’t worry, we’ll explain that later).
Both exams test the same skills by measuring your proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The format of the exams are quite similar, in that both exams are divided into four papers correlating to the four skills, though the TOEFL exam is longer. These papers don’t test grammatical knowledge directly but rather assess language through the implementation of the other skills.
Differences between IELTS vs TOEFL
Though the format may be similar, the content of the two exams are different, in particular, the questions asked are different. In the TOEFL reading paper, there are three or four university-level texts, while the IELTS reading test consists of three passages from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
The TOEFL Listening has four to six recordings on academic life or lectures; in the IELTS Listening there are four listening texts, two from a general context, and two from an academic context. For both exams there are a range of different question types for each text and the type of question asked will vary from exam to exam.
In terms of Speaking, the TOEFL exam is different in that the questions are integrated tasks. There are six tasks and four of these will require some reading or listening. Bear in mind, also, that the TOEFL is usually done online so the Speaking is done to a computer. In contrast, the IELTS Speaking consists of three parts, all done with an examiner and none of which require additional reading or listening.
Finally, the TOEFL Writing is two parts, one of which is an integrated task, again meaning that the student needs to write or listen to a text before responding in writing. The IELTS Writing also has two parts, but they are independent writing tasks, both academic in nature.
As you noticed earlier, the scoring system is quite different in the two exams. In IELTS, you are scored in bands up to a band 9. You receive a score for reading, writing, listening and speaking and an overall score. In the TOEFL, students are scored for reading, writing, listening and speaking on a scale of 0 – 30 to give a total score out of 120.
IELTS vs TOEFL class
Neither of these exams is better than the other and if your students ask you for advice on which to choose, advise them to have a look at samples of the exams and decide which suits the better. Budget and the availability of exam classes are other considerations which can affect their decision. If you are required to teach either an IELTS or TOEFL class, be sure to spend some time making yourself familiar with the exam so as to be able to best teach your students.
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LAST UPDATED: 27th August 2021
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Everything TEFL Ltd
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.