2018 Volume 64 Issue 2 Pages 101-104
This study compared the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based test (iBT) with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in terms of the contents of the test and scale and history of the test. Although the two tests appear similar as they both have the same four sections (reading, writing, speaking, and listening sections), these two tests do not necessarily measure the same abilities. After the comparison of the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS section by section, we found that the IELTS is better than the TOEFL iBT in the reading, listening, and speaking sections, and that the TOEFL iBT is superior to the IELTS in the writing section. We also found that the TOEFL iBT is much more popular than the IELTS in Japan, although the opposite is true worldwide. We considered why the TOEFL iBT is dominant in Japan and suggested measures to make the IELTS the dominant one in Japan, considering that the IELTS is superior in terms of including tasks that simulate daily life tasks. These measures would increase the number of IELTS test centers, reconsider American-oriented thinking of Japanese people, encourage educational institutions to recommend the IELTS more strongly to students, and decrease the IELTS’s test fee.