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Common Difference between TOEFL, IBT, and TOEFL PBT

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Common Difference between TOEFL, IBT, and TOEFL PBT.

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TOEFL is one of the recognized English language ability tests in the world, but you have to know the difference between the two main types of exams TOEFL IBT and TOEFL ITP? International students have to make many a unique decision when planning to study in the USA.

Difference between TOEFL, IBT, and TOEFL PBT

Common Difference between TOEFL, IBT, and TOEFL PBT

Some have to decide if they need to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam depending on the program to which they are applying. Overall, most international students will take the TOEFL exam, once they have decided to study in the USA. Many international students do not know there are two versions of the TOEFL exam.

In this article, we will give you some tips below that will help you clarify the differences and decide which test suits your interests.


Forget the TOEFL PBT: this “Printed Based Test” no longer takes place in most countries. In the year 2012, it gave way to TOEFL IBT, the “Interne- Based Test”.

This change does not need your application for a program abroad in any way since IBT is yet the most requested test by international institutions and is currently chosen by 96% of those submitting to a TOEFL assessment.

TOEFL IBT testing format is divided by four assessment parameters: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each one of these sections has a score of 0-30, which, all added together, can reach a maximum score of 120 points.

ETS is TOEFL’s international representative organization, which profits from agreements with test application centers across many countries worldwide. This means that, even if you’re living far away from your country’s capital, you can avoid traveling thousands of miles carrying the pressure on your shoulders. By accessing TOEFL’s official website, you can check the dates and cities where the TOEFL examinations are conducted, as well as their costs.

If in the past, this exam was mainly sought out by students wanting to study in the US or Australia, today’s reality is quite different: TOEFL IBT is widely accepted in over 30 countries, including the UK. All you need to do is to check the necessities of the programs of your interest before enrolling any test.

If you’re applying for a student visa, this exam can also ease the whole process. Usually, showing evidence of English proficiency is one of the requirements following a visa request.


This exam is only suitable for those who want to measure their English level for personal reasons or within an academic context to boost a job application or even to assess the effectiveness of an English language course.

Of course, there are exceptions: some national exchange programs may accept both TOEFL IBT and ITP for certain cases. Also, some institutions based in countries where English is not the official language actually welcome all kinds of TOEFL. However, note that accepting TOEFL ITP during the admission process is not a very common practice among international institutions, especially in English speaking countries.

ITP’s questions and content are very similar to what you would find in a college exam. Assessments are made in oral and reading comprehension, plus structure and written expression. Therefore, this is a good option for those who struggle with their speaking skills, since that part is not analyzed.

Still on the Differences

TOEFL IBT is 4 hours test; the score scale is from 0-120. In this even you get performance feedback skill for each skill in the test report.

Whereas TOEFL PBT is 3 hours test, the score scale is 310-677but in TOEFL PBT you don’t get any performance feedback regarding each skill in the test report.


The cost of TOEFL IBT differs from country to country which lies between $140- $185

Whereas the cost of TOEFL PBT is fixed that is $140.


The TOEFL IBT exam is given online through the Internet at testing sites. It is recommended that you have basic typing skills in order to complete this exam in a timely manner. This exam measures writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills.

The test is administered very frequently throughout the year at various locations. The test takes about 3-4 hours to complete. This format of the exam is generally the only option students will have at most locations where they will be taking the TOEFL exam.


TOEFL PBT exam is administered via a paper and pencil format. This exam measures listening, reading, writing and grammar skills. This exam is only offered in areas where the Internet is not available. The test takes about 2.5 hours to complete. This exam is being phased out and the TOEFL IBT will be the primary TOEFL exam given to international students.

In conclusion, we have been able to provide the difference between the two tests, but the last string always depends on the person taking the test which is you.

Ask yourself which of them makes you more comfortable and according to your strengths, you should choose the one.

NG Team.

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