Should you take the TOEIC or the TOEFL IBT?

TOEIC and TOEFL IBT are both English tests that measure your language ability. They are both popular exams and are taken by millions of learners every year. One of the main differences if why people take the tests. The TOEIC exam is aimed at people in the workplace who need English for their job. It is a test of your communications skills. The TOEFL IBT is aimed at students wanting to study at university and need an English language score or for a visa.

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Comparison between the two tests

The TOEIC exam has three options of test for you to take depending on what you need. They are listening and reading, speaking and writing, and a bridge exam.

The TOEFL IBT tests all four skills – reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Note that there is a TOEFL Junior version, check out our article to learn more.

Let’s compare.

LocationsThere are many test centres around the world, and you can contact ETS for other locations.This is offered in many different countries around the world, from Belgium, to China, to Mexico. Check ETS website for your location - it will list the cities in that country and give you the test cost.
Total exam time is 4.5 hours.
CostsThe cost of the exams vary depending on your test location.The cost of the exams vary depending on your test location.
ListeningIt is 45 minutes long and you have to answer 100 multiple choice questions. There are 4 parts in the test. The question/audio types are - 1.photograph, 2. Question-response, 3. Conversations, 4. Short talks.This part is 60-90 minutes long and you have to answer between 34-51 questions. The types of audio you will listen to are lectures, classroom discussions, and conversations.
ReadingIt is 75 minutes long and you have to answer 100 multiple choice questions. There are 3 sections to the test. They are incomplete sentences, error correction or text completion, and reading comprehension. The reading paper is completed after the listening.You will answer between 36-56 questions in 60-80 minutes. You have to read 3-4 academic passages and answer questions on them.
SpeakingThis exam uses common everyday vocabulary and phrases that you find in the workplace. You have 20 minutes to answer 11 questions. Each question has specific instructions for you to follow and includes time for you to prepare what you are going to say. Score is out of 200.This part is 20 minutes long and you have 6 tasks to complete. You will be asked to give your opinions on common topics, and speak about topics based on your reading and listening tasks.
WritingThis is 60 minutes long and has 8 questions in it for you to answer. You are given specific instructions to follow to answer the question. The question types include writing a sentence about a picture, respond to a question, and write an essay (minimum 300 words).This is 50 minutes long and you have 2 parts to answer. They are writing an essay response on a topic connected to your listening and reading topics, and support an opinion in writing.
OtherIn the Listening and Reading test you also have 30 minutes to answer biographical questions. Total test time is 2.5 hours.Tasks during the test will make you use a variety of communication skills e.g. read, listen, and respond to a question.

Which test you take depends on what you want it for and the stage of life you are in!

Check the validity of the test, and the TOEFL changes for 2019 if you want to deepen the subject.

Study material

Whichever test you take, studying for them and making sure you get the most practice as possible is really important. Preparation is key to success in any exam. Studying with an online company would be a good choice for busy people. GlobalExam is a company that can help you. We offer exam support and practice available for both of these exams, and many others. Visit our website and give it a try! You can register for free.

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