Which test should I choose between the IELTS and the TOEIC test?

International students and workers often need to take a standardized test of English to move into higher levels of education and employment. There are a number of popular tests that universities or employers can use to get an indication of a student’s English language proficiency. There are a number of tests to choose from with IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC being popular choices. A student might be left wondering whether they should do the TOEIC test or the IELTS test. Finding out a little about each test – where they’re similar and where they’re different, should help a student decide.

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What is the TOEIC exam?

The Educational Testing Service, ETS, in Princeton, New Jersey, develops and administers the TOEIC exam. They say that the TOEIC test measures the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment. TOEIC has links to Japan in that during the 1970’s, The Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry asked ETS to develop a test for corporations to use. They wanted to know if non-native English speakers could carry out business in English. ETS says that 14,000 organizations in 150 countries use the TOEIC as a way to test candidates proficiency.

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What is the IELTS exam?

The IELTS has two forms – Academic IELTS and General IELTS. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both types of the IELTS test. The reading and writing sections are different depending on which type of IELTS test is chosen. The Academic IELTS uses topics and materials covered in undergraduate, graduate, or university programs. The General IELTS uses topics and material from everyday books, newspapers and magazines. In the listening section of IELTS they often use British or Australian accents so a candidate might need to get used to these accents. There is no pass or fail grade for IELTS and participants are provided with an overall score from 1 to 9.

So, what are some of the main differences?

One of the main differences is the purpose of these exams. IELTS is for people who want to study abroad or emigrate to an English speaking country, whereas TOEIC is more for work and business purposes. IELTS seems to be more popular among students from South America and the Middle East, while Japanese and French students often choose the TOEIC exam.

Which is it the best test to choose?

If you’re heading to the UK to study at a university, the IELTS test should be the first exam you consider. The Academic version of IELTS would be more suitable for prospective university students. IELTS is also popular with students who just want to generally check their English level as it’s a very thorough test and a good reflection of your practical English skills.

TOEIC is the test most suited for the workplace. With more than 3 million test-takers every year, it is widely recognized by corporations worldwide for measuring the English level of potential employees. If you are looking for a job where you can utilize your English skills, the TOEIC test may be the one to choose.

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Students sometimes want to know which of the tests are better but it really depends on a student’s own goals and circumstances. Whichever test is chosen – it is important for students to prepare well in order that they are confident on the day of the test.

How can Global Exam help me with my chosen test?

Global Exam is an online platform dedicated to test preparation in real exam conditions. Our experts regularly write new content to deliver effective training and practice opportunities. The site is very interactive – you can do TOEIC and IELTS exercises and get immediate feedback. You also have the chance to do full mock exams under timed conditions – just like in a real TOEIC test or in the actual IELTS exam. You can review your results in the statistics tab to check your progress. You can then improve any weak areas with the help of vocabulary and grammar study sheets. So, whichever test you choose – Global Exam will help you get the results you need. Sign up for free a free trial version and then the Premium option to get complete access to all the materials.

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