TOEFL and IELTS: Which Test is Easier?

Comparison and Overview

Overall, as tests of language IELTS or TOEFL are equally easy, since both test English language skills at a very basic level. Both also contain four sections – listening, reading, speaking and writing (the essay section). Grammar is not tested in a separate section in either test; rather, it is tested as part of the other sections. But there are some differences.

The main difference between the two is the format of the test. TOEFL is internet-based (iBT), IELTS is paper-based. Further, all sections of TOEFL are tested on the same day, while the speaking portion of IELTS, which needs a scheduled appointment for a one-on-one interview, may fall on another day. There are also a few other variations in terms of testing time and in the type and number of questions asked. For example, the TOEFL, unlike the IELTS, contains integrated questions in which you may be asked to listen to a conversation, read a passage and then speak or write out a response.

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IELTS or TOEFL – Which Exam Should I Take?

Purpose and Importance of the Tests

If you want to study abroad in countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada, and if your first language is NOT English, you will have to take a test to prove that you can speak, read, write in English and understand spoken English. Two major standardized assessment tests allow you to do this: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

These tests allow foreign universities to see whether students have at least the basic language skills required to complete their courses. That is why it is mandatory to take one of these tests if you are applying to graduate or undergraduate study programs abroad. In fact the TOEFL and IELTS have become the gold standard of English proficiency for educational purposes and also for immigration and work. But which of these exams should you take?

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An Easy Way to Learn GRE Words (Through Roots) Part 2

Word RootsIf you found the last post on roots helpful, here are 2 more roots which cover 25 GRE words. For those of you who have come directly to this post, here’s a link that will help you understand why we are talking about roots so much: go to first roots post. (But basically, it helps to make learning the GRE words much easier).

genus generis (14 words)

The Latin word genus (cognate with Greek ‘genos’ and the Sanskrit root ‘jan’) has produced a number of English words. Genus has two basic forms: ‘genus’ and ‘generis’ (the second of which is more important because most derived words in English and other modern European languages have come from it whereas ‘genus’ exists as a single English word).

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Help for Essay Writing in the GRE AW and TOEFL: Hypergrammar from Ottawa University

Prepare to be Sentenced!

One of the most important building-blocks of an essay is the sentence. Writing an essay for an Analytical Writing Task in the GRE or the GMAT – or even the TOEFL Independent Writing Task – means that you will be expressing your thoughts in an academic context. So, you need to use sentences that are acceptable in that kind of context, but also effectively to translate your ideas onto the screen

  • Complex sentences show that you are able to use the language fluently
  • Clear well-formed sentences make your essay easy to understand
  • Variety in sentence construction will make your essay interesting

How can you write like that? Simple, click on the link below and find out:

http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/bldsent.html

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GRE Prep for Oak’s Students – Vocabulary Learning and Revision

Vocabulary Learning and Revision (to be started preferably 3-5 months in advance)

The largest, most time-consuming component of your GRE preparation is vocabulary revision. Achieving a good level of basic preparation involves getting familiar with around 4,000 words commonly used on GRE test. To really understand a word you need to know its range of meanings, some of its important secondary meanings, its usage (illustrated by sample sentences using the word) and it is often useful to know the roots of the word. Dilip Oak’s Academy has provided two very useful aids for learning and revising these various aspects. Described below is how you can use them both at home and outside.

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GRE Prep for Oak’s Students: Reading Comprehension Practice in the Last 2 Months

Practice for Reading Comprehension on the GRE

Once you have completed your preliminary reading, you should have gained several benefits:

  • exposure to fields outside your normal reading
  • knowledge of terms and concepts; personalities, processes, phenomena; and in general ideas and things in those unfamiliar fields
  • an ability to handle complex sentence structure and phrasing
  • an ability to understand the structure of passages and the modes of reasoning used and to understand the author’s main point.

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GRE Prep for Oak’s Students: Plan for Taking Practice Computer-Based Tests

CBT – Practice on the Computer-Based Tests (1 month before GRE test)

The final stage of your GRE prep is taking practice GRE computer-based tests. If you are a student at Dilip Oak’s Academy, here is the plan – if you’re not, you are missing out!

  • Start doing the Computer-based tests 3 weeks-1 month before the GRE.
  • There are 10 Oaks tests (5 to be taken in the lab and 5 online) and two PowerPrep tests from the ETS, making a total of 12.
  • Going through all of them, at the rate of one every 2-3 days will take about a month.

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Write Better Essays with OWL – A Simple Aid to Improving Grammar

Essays

For GRE and GMAT test-takers, the Analytical Writing Section may sometimes seem to be an uphill climb. With only a half an hour to brainstorm ideas, make an outline and finally type in the entire essay, it may not always be possible to transfer your thoughts to the word processor exactly as you want. The result is often essays that fall short of what the examiner expects in order to award a 4.

The links below are a part of the Online Writing Lab, a project started by Purdue University, which helps teachers and students in developing their English Language skills and rectifying the errors that they make in their essays. They provide valuable suggestions on how to structure sentences correctly and avoid minor errors in English that we as non-native speakers of the language tend to make. Visit them and start improving your Analytical Writing essays immediately.

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TOEFL Prep – Nice Resources at toeflgoanywhere.com

For takers of the TOEFL examination, the www.toeflgoanywhere.org website offers a host of preparation materials and tips for cracking the exam. One easy-to-use resource is the Online Study Group that presents a creative and interactive way for students to pick up helpful hints.

The Study Group covers all the four sections – Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing – in four separate videos, each showing a conversation among four friends. The casual style of the videos makes it much easier for students to grasp the strategies than reading study material about the exam.

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Cracking the GRE Test – a Working Student’s Experience – Debanjana Nayak (GRE Score 330/340)

Trophy GRE ScoreThis week’s blog is by another of our high scorers, Debanjana Nayak who got a a really great score of 330/340. What makes this score a special one is that Debanjana is working.

So, this post is especially for all the working folks: if you are in a job and feel it might be difficult for you to prepare, here’s some inspiration! (By the way this post is just the first part. More to follow!)

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