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TOEFL and IELTS Score Comparison

We’ve already written a post about the differences between the content of the two exams, TOEFL and IELTS. We’ve also covered which exam is harder (answer: it depends on your skills!). But, you might still be curious about how scores on the two exams compare. Maybe your TOEFL score doesn’t meet the minimum requirement for your target university, and you’re wondering if you’d be more successful taking IELTS instead to meet the requirement, or if you should forget the IELTS and study to take the TOEFL one more time.

In any case, here’s how scores on the two tests compare.

 

TOEFL and IELTS: Score Comparison

ETS has published data that helps you correlate your TOEFL score to IELTS bands. You can see that information here, and below:

TOEFL Score IELTS Band
0–31 0–4
32–34 4.5
35–45 5
46–59 5.5
60–78 6
79–93 6.5
94–101 7
102–109 7.5
110–114 8
115–117 8.5
118–120 9

So, if you score a 112 on the TOEFL, that means you should score about an 8 on IELTS (that is, if your performance remains steady!).

 

Have you taken both exams? Is this data from ETS accurate? Let us know in the comments below! 🙂

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12 Responses to TOEFL and IELTS Score Comparison

  1. pratik November 14, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    I haved scored 62 on my toefl.
    11,12,17 and 22
    What will be my score band ? Please help me to find my range in ielts.thank you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      Your TOEFL of 62 would be about a 6 on the IELTS, according to the official TOEFL-to-IELTS conversion page on the TOEFL website. If you visit that page and scroll down below the whole-test score comparison tool, you’ll also see conversion charts that show the IELTS equivalents of your individual TOEFL section scores.

  2. Chandra November 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    I think it’d be inappropriate to compare these two tests head to head. First, the sections vary a lot, especially the speaking section. Also, writing section can be difficult for IELTS takers as compared to TOEFL takers, the former being pen-and-paper based. One of my friends scored an 8.5 on IELTS speaking but few weeks before, she could only achieve a 22 on TOEFL. Besides, her overall IELTS band was 8 as compared to her 102 on TOEFL. She did not practice a single day between these two exams. I think the skills these two tests test are significantly different in several aspects, only similar in broader sense. And perhaps, ETS knows it as it explicitly states that the comparison of the TOEFL and IELTS scores should not be made to set a cut-off score for institutions.

  3. Ajay April 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm #

    Hi how much score do we need in tofel writing to equals to 8 in ielts

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert April 12, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

      Good question, Ajay!

      ETS designed an interactive resource to help students compare TOEFL and IELTS scores, which you can find here. As you’ll see using that tool, an 8 on the IELTS is comparable to a 30 on the TOEFL writing section.

      Hope this helps, and happy studying!

  4. vimal May 7, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    how much score/band is consider as a good score in toefl and IELTS

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert May 8, 2017 at 3:32 am #

      Hi Vimal,

      That is a highly subjective question that depends on the places you want to enter and their visa/admissions requirements! As a blanket base, I would say 6.5+ in IELTS bands or a 20+ in TOEFL is a good starting point, but the more competitive programs will expect more of you.

  5. Sana June 4, 2017 at 2:18 am #

    Hello I get 5.5 in ielts and I need to compare it with toefl.please how I can do that
    My organization need 550 toefl

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

      Hi Sana,

      The TOEFL score is on a scale from 0-120, so there is no such thing as a 550 TOEFL score! A 5.5 in IELTS corresponds to around a 46-59 score in the TOEFL, which is around the 6-8th percentile. I think you may need to ask about the TOEFL requirement again, and you can use this tool on the ETS website to determine your TOEFL score based on your IELTS. Good luck!

  6. Shabab July 19, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    I scored 8 overall in my IELTS exam. Does that mean it is equivalent to 110-114 range of TOEFL? That’s awesome!

  7. sai August 21, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

    Hi,
    I have scored 313 in GRE test( Q167 and V146). Hence to compensate my poor verbal score i want to give another English proficiency test. I want to apply for universities in USA and I’m not sure to write which of these tests, IELTS or TOEFL. Do Universities have any preference?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert August 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm #

      Hi Sai,

      More universities in the US recognize the TOEFL than the IELTS, but you should make sure that taking an English proficiency test will be a substitute for the verbal score. This is not a guaranteed outcome. If you find out for sure, then go for it! 🙂


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