§ Tests for university
In order to enrol in a Msc or a phd, if you are born in a non-English speaking country you need to prove your skills in that language. Even if you are living for several years in the country (:sadface:).
English language requirements: applicants whose first language is not English should have met TOEFL, IELTs, or computer-based TOEFL requirements (600, 6.5, or 250 respectively), or the Cambridge English Test (Certificate in Advanced English at a minimum of Grade B, or Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade C).
§ TOEFL VS IELTS
IELTS test you will talk to a real person and in the TOEFL test you will speak to a computer
TOEFL test you will be asked 6 questions and it lasts around 20 minutes. You will be asked two questions on familiar topics, such as your home town or family. You will also be asked to summarise information from a text or conversation and to give your opinion. Finally, you will be asked to summarise information from a short conversation.
IELTS speaking test consists of 3 sections and lasts around 15 minutes. This test is with a real person and feels more like a real conversation. The first part is on familiar topics such as your home, job or studies. You will then be given a topic and you will have one minute to prepare a monologue of between 1-2 minutes. Finally, you will be asked question linked to the topic you spoke about in part 2.
For TOEFL you will type everything on a keyboard, but for IELTS you will be writing on paper.
In the TOEFL writing test you have to first read a text and then listen to a 2 minute lecture on the same topic. You must then write a short response to a specific question on that topic.
IELTS has two different types of writing paper: Academic and General Training. Academic is suitable for people hoping to attend university and General Training is mostly used for immigration purposes. In the Academic paper you will be required to write a short essay about a graph, chart, map or process.
- The TOEFL test is 60 minutes long and the IELTS listening test is 30 minutes.
- The TOEFL test is all in an academic context whereas the IELTS test is half academic and half social.
- The TOEFL test is multiple choice only, so if you like those questions this might be the test for you. IELTS has a range of different questions including sentence completion, matching headings and True, False or Not Given.
- You will also hear a range of different accents from English speaking countries such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the USA, Canada and Australia on the IELTS test whereas the TOEFL test will always be standard American English.
§ My take:
- Going with TOEFL for now, so I need at least 600.