TOEFL vs. TOEIC (Meaning, Similarities, Differences, Functions)6 min read

Standardized English tests are taken by individuals seeking foreign jobs and students studying abroad. There are several tests, some of which are the TOEFL and TOEIC.

These are two popular English proficiency tests accepted by many institutions and organizations. This is primarily due to their status as standard exams.

Most test-takers do not understand the main differences between these tests and their purpose.

Furthermore, they are unsure which test to use for the many events and conditions that they encounter.

So, in this article, we will compare TOEFL and TOEIC, and also clearly indicate how they differ from each other.

TOEFL vs. TOEIC

TOEFL in Brief 

Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL is an English proficiency test that is mainly intended for students.

They are usually required to take the test as part of student exchange or to study abroad, usually in countries where English is the official language.

A Chinese or Mexican institution may also require the TOEFL test. This is to guarantee a prospective student’s English proficiency for a certain degree program.

The TOEFL exam takes approximately 4 hours. The TOEFL examines its candidates’ ability to write, speak and understand English.

The final grade (between 0 and 120) will determine if a candidate can take their desired English programs.

The TOEFL exercises are unique in that they only deal with topics relating to university life.

They not only focus on the courses taught (science, sociology, history, etc.) but also the students’ daily lives (exchange with classmates or lecturers on subjects such as the organization of lessons, life on campus, etc.).

Technical vocabulary is not required. 

TOEFL vs. TOEIC

TOEIC in Brief

The TOEIC is the abbreviation for Test of English for International Communication.

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It is a test intended for both students and non-students.

It may be sought as part of a student’s academic career (for example, while applying for a master’s degree), or to facilitate employer recruitment or as part of an employee’s future career.

While the TOEFL examines English on an academic level, the TOEIC examines English on a professional level. 

The TOEIC lasts for 2 hours. It tends to examine the reading and listening skills of its candidates.

This is the major reason why TOEIC is said to be easier than the TOEFL.

The final grade (ranges between 5 and 990) examines if a candidate can communicate in English in a work environment.

Unlike the TOEFL, the TOEIC only addresses workplace issues. Technical prerequisites are not required.

There are several ways to apply for the TOEIC and you can also check the prices before applying. Also, note that TOEIC has limited validity.

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TOEFL vs. TOEIC: Why you should consider taking the TOEIC Test

The TOEIC is one of the best-known English language proficiency tests in the world.

It is generally aimed at non-English speakers who wish to work in an English-speaking country. 

Generally, the TOEIC is a two-section test consisting of reading and listening.

However, there are two other versions of the TOEIC: TOEIC Speaking; and the TOEIC Bridge (intended for lower-level students). 

Format of the TOEIC Test

  • Consists of 200 multiple-choice questions.
  • Two sections: Reading and Listening.
  • Duration: 2 hours.
  • Several tests throughout the year.
  • Individual score on a scale of 10 to 990.
  • Scoring return in 35 Days 

Pros and Cons of TOEIC

When it comes to examining the pros and cons of the TOEIC test, it is important to consider it from your view as a candidate of the test.

If you are an economics or commerce student looking for a position in an international company, one of the main advantages of the TOEIC test is that it focuses on business and business English.

It aims to target business vocabulary and prepare students for work-related conversations, meetings, and business communications.

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On the other hand, it can be a downside if you have a different goal, like studying overseas in an art program.

TOEIC may not be as commonly acknowledged as a test of English competence as other tests such as TOEFL and IELTS, which cover a broader variety of skills and do not focus primarily on business English.

If you want to use the TOEIC to apply for a degree program that isn’t in economics or business, ensure the institution accepts the TOEIC as proof of your English proficiency.

TOEFL vs. TOEIC: Why you should choose to take the TOEFL

The TOEFL is another popular test used to determine how much a candidate understands the English Language.

The test is geared toward persons from countries where English is not the primary language but who wish to attend college in an English-speaking country.

Format of the TOEFL

  • Comprises of 140 questions in multiple-choice format.
  • Consist of three sections: Reading, Listening, and Structure & Written Expression.
  • Maximum Time of test: 115 minutes.
  • Several tests throughout the year
  • Individual score on the scale of 310 to 677.
  • Score return in 35 days (or a week in the US). 

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Pros and Cons of TOEFL

With a good knowledge of how the TOEFL and TOEIC questions compare in terms of key characteristics, let’s take a more specific look at the pros and cons of TOEFL. 

Firstly, the TOEFL is tailored to test your knowledge of the English language in an academic setting.

This makes it an ideal test for determining your ability to understand and express yourself in writing during an academic program.

Whether you are applying to an undergraduate English program or wish to study abroad, the TOEFL will provide college admissions teams with an accurate assessment of your level and appropriateness for an English-language study program.

However, if you are applying to an international company and are more concerned with demonstrating your English in the workplace, the TOEFL, while still an excellent test, is less targeted for this goal.

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Another important merit of the TOEFL is the breadth of its skill tests.

In addition to testing your reading and listening skills like in TOEIC, it also incorporates a third section that tests written grammar and structure.

If your future college or employer is interested in this skill, the TOEFL may be the right pick for an English proficiency test.

On the other hand, if you struggle with written expression, you may receive a higher TOEIC score.

TOEFL vs TOEIC: Major Differences

Most often, a test taker needs to take either TOEFL or TOEIC. Here are two major factors to help you decide which to go for: 

Why do you need to sit for a test? If you wish to become more employable, the TOEIC would be a better choice.

However, if you want to open doors academically, then you should take the TOEFL. 

Which do you prefer? Although the two examinations have a lot in common, they are rather distinct. Choose the test that you are most comfortable taking.

Consider also one that will give you the best chance of earning a decent mark.

Conclusion

Now that you have a better grasp of the advantages and cons of the TOEFL and TOEIC, you should be able to determine which of the two tests to take based on your needs.

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