Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My fourth TOEFL

Today, the result of TOEFL I took one week ago was returned.
My score has not reached 100 in total, although slightly improved from previous challenges.

TOEFL and IELTS are popular examinations to assess your English skills. However, they considerably differ each other. I have taken IELTS four times, to reach 7.0 at band score, as I mentioned.

Generally, I feel that IELTS is easier than TOEFL. The most obvious difference is seen in the listening section. In IELTS, you are required to dictate several words in the speeches. Comprehensive understanding is not needed. In addition, the questions are displayed in advance before starting listening. On the other hand, in TOEFL you have to recognize the themes and identify some important elements in the speeches. TOEFL questions are not clarified until the end of each speech. You have to summarize and memorize the content of the speeches during the listening part. They are quite tough tasks. At last, I have not improved my score of the listening section in TOEFL, despite of IELTS.

Interestingly, I got a higher score in the writing section in TOEFL than IELTS. To be honest, comparing each score is not so simple. I think that 23 points in TOEFL writing is higher than 6.5 in IELTS writing. A blogger write that you are required to create strong statements in TOEFL, instead balanced opinion is preferable in IELTS. Not knowing the fact, it may be true. In the writing sections, I emphasized some reasons supporting my statement, because I thought the complex flow of the essay might make readers confused. Perhaps, IELTS examiners do not like simple statements.

In the reading section, there are few differences between TOEFL and IELTS. In TOEFL, some questions asking the meaning of specific word are offered. It may be a burden for examinees to get a high score, as this kind of questions is difficult to solve with estimating the contexts. Getting full marks in the reading section in IELTS is easier than in TOEFL. Even I could complete full marks once in a practice using a previous test.

By the way, TOEFL is no more available for immigration to the UK, due to the fraud cases occurred a few months ago, as I wrote. It is not avoidable for such candidates to take IELTS for a while.

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