What are TOEFL and IELTS?

TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT, LSAT, MCAT … the admission tests to American Universities are an indispensable requirement, and many times, the MOST important factor in the decision of the admission committee.

We are not going to detail the structure of each of these tests here, but I am going to list them, point out their difficulty in each case, and specify the grade that is needed in each of them to access one of the First-Class Universities. Range of the United States.

Details about the tests are provided in the detailed links in each section. All these tests are administered by the ETS (Educational Testing Service), in Princeton, NJ. Everything related to the test can be found there.

What is TOEFL


The TOEFL (or Test Of English as a Foreign Language as abbreviated by AbbreviationFinder.org) is the test that measures knowledge of the English language (only written, not oral), and is required for almost all studies to be carried out in the USA, especially university ones. It consists of three parts:

  • Comprehension (Listening)
  • Grammar (Grammar)
  • Vocabulary

Although the result is a certain number of points, and a percentage (which is your position with respect to the other examinees, by the way), the common “bargaining chip” is points. The points required by each institution are quite predictable, and there are no large deviations from the general behavior.

  • Low-level exchanges – 500 points
  • Government / private entities in the country of origin – 550 points
  • Second rank universities – 570/580 points
  • First rank universities – 600 points

How do these points translate to English proficiency? Well, in my personal opinion, I think 500 points represents a very vague knowledge of the English language, and it is very easy to achieve. At the other extreme, 600 points represent a fairly robust command of English, and having been to the USA or UK is almost a prerequisite – unless you have a natural gift. The “starting” grade for the average student abroad (that is, who has taken courses at school, has received a private class or academy, and has serious problems communicating orally) ranges between 500 and 530. Based on You can reach 580 in study time. Going from here is difficult and involves many hours and a lot of interest. Once in the United States, the TSE may be required in certain cases (Test of Spoken English).


The TOEFL iBT measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. Also, evaluate how you combine your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to develop academic tasks.

It is the most respected English language test in the world, recognized by more than 9,000 study centers, universities and organizations in more than 130 countries. For registration, payment and administration dates, please go to: www.ets.org/toefl


The TOEFL ITP test is a paper-based test based on 100% academic content to assess the level of communicative competence in English as a foreign language.

The TOEFL ITP test provides institutions with a reliable and valid way to measure candidates’ reading, listening and grammar comprehension. It is administered in centers authorized by ETS and is applied through paper with optical brand recognition technology.


The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the English test recognized by more than 10,000 institutions in more than 140 countries around the world. The major difference between TOEFL and IELTS is that TOEFL is for U.S. schools while IELTS is for U.K. schools.

What is IELTS

With a maximum of 2 hours 55 minutes, IELTS is the only exam that guarantees a reliable evaluation of skills in a reasonable time, it also includes a face-to-face interview to evaluate oral production skills, making it more real and fair for the candidate.

Purposes of the IELTS Academic test

  • Certify the level of English at the University.
  • Carry out international exchanges, participation in scholarships and calls.
  • Study at universities or institutions of higher education at the undergraduate and / or graduate level.
  • Work in a multinational company or in an English-speaking country.

Purposes of the IELTS General Training test

  • Carry out training at a non-university level: technical, technological or vocational education.
  • Work in a multinational company or in an English-speaking country.