Which one is easier, IELTS or TOEFL?

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are two of the most widely-accepted tests to certify your English proficiency. The decision to take the TOEFL vs IELTS will ultimately depend on a number of factors. At this point, you may even be asking, “What is the TOEFL test?” or “What is the IELTS?” Read on to discover which test is best for you.
what is the toefl test
LengthAbout 4 hours long2 hours and 45 minutes long
LocationsAvailable at over 500 locations in the US, over 4,500 worldwideAvailable at 59 locations in the US, about 900 worldwide
PriceCost is usually between 160 and 200 USDCost varies widely even within the same country; usually is around 200 USD
ScoringScore on a sliding scale from 0 to 120Score in any of 9 "bands," or levels

TOEFL vs IELTS at a glance

The TOEFL and IELTS exams are fairly different, and therefore some people will find that they are naturally better suited for one than they are for the other. You probably want to know which test you should study for. But before we discuss their similarities and differences, remember that both IELTS and TOEFL are standardized tests. This means that, with some coaching and practice, you can learn to do well on whichever exam you decide to take. Let’s talk more specifically about each exam…
The TOEFL is a language test for non-native English speakers, and is commonly used as an entrance exam at universities and graduate schools. Because of this, the TOEFL offers only academic English. On the other hand, the IELTS offers an academic option as well as a general test; this is generally the preferred test for immigration purposes to the UK and Canada.
The IELTS academic test and the TOEFL compared to the IELTS general test are both more difficult, but they are usually the only options if you want to study at any level higher than secondary school. No matter which test you take, be aware that the scores all expire 2 years after your test date. (And if you’re curious, you can see how the scores on the two exams compare here).
When you compare the format of the IELTS with the TOEFL format, you will notice a couple of things. First of all, both of them have four basic sections, each of which tests a basic skill (reading, listening, speaking, writing). But while the TOEFL only tests academic subjects, the IELTS academic option will have academic reading and writing sections combined with general listening and speaking sections. Overall, the IELTS has more of a real-world feel than the TOEFL. Deciding how hard the TOEFL is versus the IELTS truly depends on your English background.
The IELTS also doesn’t have a listening component on the integrated assignments, although on one of the two assignments you will have to incorporate a graphic or other written information source into your argument. The second essay on both tests is an independent question that simply asks your opinion about some issue.
The TOEFL speaking section is done by recorder and mostly involves explaining your opinions and summarizing/interpreting information from other sources. On the IELTS, your speaking test will take place in person and will include a short speech (you’ll have a small period in which to prepare it) and a conversation component.
Although it would be great if every English program gave equal time to each major dialect of English, the vast majority of students spend 90% of their time with only one dialect. If you’re most experienced with American English, you may find some parts of the IELTS unfamiliar; if you’ve learned British English or another dialect, the TOEFL will feel a little strange. It’s important to note that neither test will penalize you for using one or the other dialect, as long as your answers are fluent, clear, and, of course, correct.

TOEFL vs IELTS: Which is harder?

This is probably the question you’re most concerned with, but it’s pretty difficult to compare the TOEFL and the IELTS directly. A better way to find the answer to this question is to ask yourself a few questions. Answer the following questions with a simple “yes” or “no.”
  • I am comfortable with computers. YES/NO
  • I am comfortable speaking extemporaneously into a microphone. YES/NO
  • I can type quickly. YES/NO
  • I prefer standard American English. YES/NO
  • I am good at answering multiple-choice questions. YES/NO
  • It is easy for me to take notes from a recording. YES/NO
  • The authentic English sources I read/listen to/watch are usually intended to inform rather than entertain. YES/NO
If you answered YES to most of these questions, the TOEFL is probably the best fit for your skill set. In this case, you should definitely take a look at our TOEFL lessons to help you prepare. 🙂
  • I am comfortable having a detailed interview in-person. YES/NO
  • I have legible English handwriting. YES/NO
  • I can understand a variety of dialects of English. YES/NO
  • I prefer tests with many question types, including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, and flowcharts. YES/NO
  • I feel most comfortable discussing non-academic topics in English. YES/NO
  • The authentic English sources that I read/listen to/watch are usually made to entertain. YES/NO
If you answered YES to most of these questions, then you might find the IELTS to be more up your alley.
Both the TOEFL and the IELTS are rigorous, widely-accepted tests that are available at a variety of locations. When trying to decide between the TOEFL and the IELTS, first consult the programs you want to apply to and make sure that they accept both; after that, the most important factors are convenience and your particular skill set. 
Taken from : https://magoosh.com/toefl/2013/toefl-vs-ielts/

How do I improve my English everyday when no one speaks English around me?

Of course, the best thing to help your spoken English would be to live in a country where English is the main spoken language. Such high exposure to a language will have you chatting away in no time. However this is obviously not an option for everyone.
If you’re not able to move to an English speaking country, look around your own city for English speaking opportunities. Most places have a Meetup group (or several) dedicated to English speaking, business English, meeting English expats etc. You could also check out your local community centers / Universities / community colleges etc. to see if they offer meetup opportunities or cheap/free English classes.
So how can you get more speaking practice if you’re not able to meet with English speakers? Thanks to the internet, there are hundreds of places to get some practice in:
  • Some language learning apps give you the opportunity to speak with native speakers who are also learning your language (so you can be tandem partners). I believe Duolingo has this feature.
  • There are loads of YouTube channels dedicated to teaching English:BBC Learning EnglishmmmEnglishEnglish AnyoneCrown Academy, etc..
  • If you watch movies to improve your language skills, watch in English with subtitles in your native language (animated films and series are great for this).
  • If you have a budget to spend on learning, tools like FluentU are helpful beacuse they collect all those amazing resources for you.
Lastly, my best tip is don’t be afraid. Don’t let worrying about your accent or grammar hold you back. Even if what you’re saying sounds silly to you, most people will appreciate your willingness to communicate in a second language, and will usually help you out. The more you speak, the more confident you’ll feel.
Hope this helps!

Answered by Siobhan O'Rorke on quora

Understand Real English Speakers (Americans, Canadians,...)

I know you have studied English for many years.  Yet, you still have problems understanding real (native) English speakers.

Why?  After so many years of study, why is it still so difficult for you to understand Americans, Canadians, British people, etc.?

In my book I discuss many reason for this, but today let's focus on just one: the textbooks you used.

Here's the simple truth:  English textbooks and audio tapes are horrible.  They do not prepare you to speak English confidently in 6 months or less.  

Textbooks are for children!

How To Understand Native Speakers

Megdelio studied English for 5 years in Venezuela.  Teachers said he was an advanced student.

When he came to the USA he felt good. He was excited to meet Americans. He was ready.  He wrote:

"One day I tried to talk to an American woman and everything changed.  The woman started talking-- and I couldn't understand her.  Not at all!

Her pronunciation was totally different than the textbook tapes and CDs I listened to.  She used idioms, slang, and many casual phrases.  I  was totally confused.  That's when I realized I needed to learn real English!"

You Must Learn Real English

I taught Megdelio to learn with real English materials-- learning the English we use everyday in conversations, books, movies, TV shows, comic books, audio books, articles, newspapers, magazines, and podcasts.

Stop Learning Textbook English

When you want to understand native speakers, you must stop learning English from textbook tapes and CDs.

To learn real English, you must listen to English that native speakers listen to.  You must watch what they watch.  You must read what they read.

     Listen only to real English
     Listen only to real English
     Listen only to real English

How do you learn Real English? It's easy.  Stop using textbooks.

Instead, listen only to real English movies, TV shows, audio books, audio articles, stories, and talk radio shows.  Use real English materials.

After 6 months of real English, Megdelio could speak easily.  He could understand real English from real native speakers.   You will too.

A.J. Hoge
"The World's #1 English Teacher"