TOEIC to TOEFL to IELTS: Comparing English Test Scores

I got an interesting question recently from a listener, Mauricio, about how the different English proficiency tests compare to one another. Mauricio took the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), and wants to know what his approximate score would be on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), another popular test of English skills. All these tests can be very confusing, since there is also a test for university students, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is the most popular of them all.

Unfortunately, these tests are different and cannot always be directly compared. In fact, the publisher of the TOEFL and the TOEIC says that you just can’t compare those two tests because they are so different. However, one Canadian language school published this comparison on their website:

Source: Vancouver English Centre

These comparisons are not official or taken from the companies that make these tests. They are what at least one school uses, so they may be helpful to you.


P.S Did you know that has several lessons to prepare you for taking tests such as the TOEFL? You can find them on’s Guide to the TOEFL Test page. This series also available to download for free on iTunes. We are not currently updating this podcast, but the older lessons will still be useful to you if you are studying for the exam.

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10 Responses to TOEIC to TOEFL to IELTS: Comparing English Test Scores

  1. Great Jeff, was a excellent question from Mauricio and a excellent answer.

  2. emiliano says:

    Sorry Jeff, but I don’t understand that scrores at all, not the scale neither the puntuation.
    As we say in spanish to me “es un galimatias”, I think I need adictional explanation.
    Sorry again.
    Last year I have listened ESL TOEFL, it is great.

  3. Rama says:

    hi jef
    so do I . I can`t underestand about scores. may be I `M awful at statistic. sorry
    Rama , CANADA
    ORIGIN from Iran

  4. robert says:

    Hi Guys

    It´s NOT that difficult to do some lookups by your own to understand the different tests and scores.

    Go to Google and search for: TOEFL Equivalency Table

    The first entry is the right one you´re looking for

    BTW, here in Middle Europe we´re more into Cambridge Tests, and there are numerous useful comparisons between US-Tests and European tests available

  5. robert says:

    You can also click on the picture above to get there

  6. Carmen says:

    Here in Europe we have The Portfolio test for languages. It’s an attemp for unifying different test and assesment on several languages, not only English. Try the dialang test on-line and you’ll discover what level on the four skills you have.

  7. Chris says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m glad that the table gives me an overview of the equivalent level of other English tests. Cheers! However, I don’t find this comparison accurate. In IELTS it’s almost impossible to get 8.5 or 9 (even for British University Professors), while I know a lot of people have achieved 650+ band score for TOEFL Paper.

  8. Tomi says:

    Thank you for this table entry. It sure gave me an overview of the scaling.

    I applied to uni abroad and there were a bunch of possible eng. language tests of which I could choose from. I took the one that was available the soonest at my home country and later on started to wonder. The executive officer of the programme I applied for said that I need to pass an english language test with at least 6.5 points. But I took this TOEFL iBT and started to worry a bit. I don’t have results yet but I’m confident about this 6.5.



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  10. enlingeNonA says:

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