TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

TOEFL vs IELTS Review

Both TOEFL And IELTS testing systems are seriously flawed in design and execution. They both are accused of marking inconsistencies designed to force the test taker to resit the exam.

There are numerous antidotal evidence about students who pass the IELTS or TOEFL tests and can not put a sentence together yet native English speakers who have studied in University constantly fall short a point of two from the required target.

We recently reviewed the TOEFL Test, which in Australia cost US$200 (Plus a $5.00 international conversion fee). The TOEFL Tests is very US centric with reports that the assessors, who are based in the USA, mark down students who have an accent they are not familiar with. As if to speak English you need to have proper tone that is a US or proper British accent, of course when it comes to the Australian Accent the American assessors hear that as a monotone accent. Points lost straight up.

The other aspect of comcern about the TOEFL test is that it is a very computer and time based assessment. Your really scored on your ability to access and understand the idiosyncrasies of the test itself not English.

The speaking test is very artificial. In a general conversation you are speaking to a live audience, with that comes feedback that you receive from the audience itself. It could be in the form of a perons reaction or facial expressions. With the TOEFL test it is like talking into a answering machine and recording a short statement or two about a topic that is once again very American in its content.

Similar concerns have been expressed about TOEFL assessors marking down Australian English as an error. Such as the use of colour as opposed to color or Neigour as opposed to neighbour. In discussion with a number of test takers there was an emphasis on learning the method of the test as opposed to the quality of English comprehension.

The assessors also know if you have purchased any TOEFL exam preparation test kits, which, if you have, will give you a potential heads up in the TOEFL scoring system.

The examiners collect a lot of statistical information before test, information that could compromise the integrity of the test results itself.

If you find yourself in the inevitable position of falling just below your target mark, and they know what that is, you have to pay an additional US$60.00 (Plus the $5.00 international transfer fee) per module. The published results are noted for their inconsistencies and lack of detail. Unlike the online sample test where you can get a report on exactly what you passed and where you fail, this information is not provided by for the actual TOEFL test. Which all makes the exam assessment that much more subjective.

English testing systems such as TOEFL and IELTS are big business, with government regulators using them as a means of approving or rejecting applications for further study or employment.

So which test is best? In our view both are just as flawed as each other.



They certainly do not provide a consistent test assessment and the management of both systems appear to be designed more around failing students in order to extract the greatest income and profit. TOEFL in Australia is cheaper then IELTS ($205 compared to $339) But TOEFL is way to time based and computer centric. Your writing skills assessment is a test of your typing skills. Mine, I know are bad, mainly because of poor eyesight to hand co-ordination.

What Australia needs to do is develop its own English language testing system. One that is designed for Australia and uses Australian context and Australian examples.

Why are we paying royalties to overseas companies when we could be keeping the profits in Australia?

The government has a long way to go in address this situation. Much more independent monitoring and review need to also made to ensure that the integrity of the testing regimes is maintains and not tainted.

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia

Questions raised as to the integrity of CPA English Skills Assessment Regime

In what is if ongoing concern to overseas students and foreign professionals studying and practicing in Australia, the CPA (Certified Professional Accountants) has recognised IELTS as its preferred and accepted English Language Test.

In recent correspondence to the CPA we received a reply that indicated that whilst the CPA is considering accepting TOEFL as an alternative skills assessment they are only prepared to do so where IELTS testing is not available. This would appear to be discrimination and anti competitive giving IELTS an unfair advantage in the market place .

On what basis the CPA can argue that TOEFL is acceptable under some circumstances and not all is difficult to understand to support. Maybe the CPA has a sponsorship arrangement with IELTS and Seek Australia who owns IETLS in Australia, maybe there is some unknown or undisclosed reason why they seek to lock TOEFL out of the market?

The Federal Government has rightly acted to ensure that there is competition in the English Language Testing market. Both IELTS and TOELF are recognised by the Federal Government as acceptable tests for English competence in immigration why not skill assessment?

If it’s good enough for one its good enough for all.

Clearly, in the absence of the CPA’s ability to self regulate, the Government will have to act to ensure that all registered skills assessing authorities recognise and accept of all accredited English testing systems.

There could even be a case for class action in the various Appeals Tribunals or even the High Court to try and force the CPA into accepting TOEFL accreditation.

Anyone concerned about this should contact us to discuss further action.


Dear Anthony

Currently, the IELTS test is considered as one of the standard English tests recognised in Australia. CPA Australia together with the other two assessing authorities made the decision to require the IELTS Test Report from applicants to prove their English proficiency. However, we may in future consider other English tests, e.g. TOEFL for applicants who reside in areas the IELTS test is not available.

Kind regards,

Tracey Huynh | Qualifications Advisor | Qualifications Assessment Unit

Member Advisory & Information Services | CPA Australia

IELTS already overinflated set to increase by 5%

The Australian IELTS fee charged to foreign students and alike in Australia is set to increase by 5% to $330.00 come August 2011. the same test costs $180 in the UK, USA, Ireland and Ukraine.

There is no justification for the rip-off with substantial profits being paid to off shore entities and Seek Learning who in partnership with Australian Universities own the IELTS testing regime in Australia.

The high costs is used to buy support and extra income for Australian Universities. Students visiting Australia deserve a better deal. They have to pay high rents, get no concession in travel or any benefits other than an Australian education and the limited possibility of securing Australian residency after they graduate.

Those students who need English testing should look into TOEFL which is now accepted as an alternative English language test assessment. But do not expect parity, TOEFL costs $200 but is still $40 more expensive to do in Australia and other counties.

IELTS already overinflated set to increase by 5%

The Australian IELTS fee charged to foreign students and alike in Australia is set to increase by 5% to $330.00 come August 2011. the same test costs $180 in the UK, USA, Ireland and Ukraine.

There is no justification for the rip-off with substantial profits being paid to off shore entities and Seek Learning who in partnership with Australian Universities own the IELTS testing regime in Australia.

The high costs is used to buy support and extra income for Australian Universities. Students visiting Australia deserve a better deal. They have to pay high rents, get no concession in travel or any benefits other than an Australian education and the limited possibility of securing Australian residency after they graduate.

Those students who need English testing should look into TOEFL which is now accepted as an alternative English language test assessment. But do not expect parity, TOEFL costs $200 but is still $40 more expensive to do in Australia and other counties.

IELTS already overinflated set to increase by 5%

The Australian IELTS fee charged to foreign students and alike in Australia is set to increase by 5% to $330.00 come August 2011. the same test costs $180 in the UK, USA, Ireland and Ukraine.

There is no justification for the rip-off with substantial profits being paid to off shore entities and Seek Learning who in partnership with Australian Universities own the IELTS testing regime in Australia.

The high costs is used to buy support and extra income for Australian Universities. Students visiting Australia deserve a better deal. They have to pay high rents, get no concession in travel or any benefits other than an Australian education and the limited possibility of securing Australian residency after they graduate.

Those students who need English testing should look into TOEFL which is now accepted as an alternative English language test assessment. But do not expect parity, TOEFL costs $200 but is still $40 more expensive to do in Australia and other counties.

TOEFL not much better: Charging Australia 25% more than other nations

Following on from our IELTS Ripp-Off testing espose (It has produced nearly as many hits than the Snedden 15 year old bikini model issue). We are pleased to announce that the Australian Labor Government has acted to recognise TEOFL (The American based English language testing system) as an alternative test in terms of foreign students visiting Australia or immigration. Although some assessing authorities such as CPA are slow to adopt competition.

The TOEFL test costs Australia $200 per test and is some $117 dollars cheaper the the IELTS, which currently ripps off Australia by charging $317. (The cost of the same IELTS test in other nations such as the US, UK or Thailand is much cheaper costing around $180).

TOEFL is not better in the comparison stakes.

Whilst overall cheaper then IELTS, TOEFL charges Australia 25% more than does in other countries. For example in the UK, Ireland, Thailand and the US the TOEFL test is around $160-$165.

Why is the cost of both tests so much more expensive in Australia than in other Countries?

The Answer is because there is no real competition and Australia has not questioned the costs charged overall. It costs more to leave Australia then it does to pay the overpriced and inflated test fees.

Why is it important you may ask?

Well Australia, Melbourne in particular, has become dependent to the Overseas student market.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported, back in February 2011, that “Student visa applications from outside Australia fell 32 per cent in the last six months of last year compared with those of the same period in 2009, which in turn had fallen 22 per cent compared with the same period in 2008. The drop is frightening for universities because they have become dependent on fee income from foreign students to subsidise domestic students as the real value of government funding has declined.”

We have been milking the student migration system for a decade ripping off students. Its not small bikies either. With hundreds of thousands of people sitting English languate testing in Australia each year it is big business a 100 million a dollars a year industry. It not just the test ot is the support, pre-testing and training that adds to the profit margin. It is surprising the media have not picked up on the excessive dispartity charges, but then they also have a stake in the pie though sponsorships, endorsements and advertsing as do politicans, political parties and the like., Foreign students do not have a vote but they do vote with their feet and their wallets.

The English threshold level has been set much higher, making it that much harder for migrant applications to succeed.

With the slowdown in Immigration and the tightening up of the skill assessment, English testing has become a means of discriminating against foreign students wishing to migrate to Australia.

Students are very much aware of the price comparisons between Australia and overseas. They are foriegn students after all. The fact that it is more expensive to sit the same test in Australia then else where sends the wrong message about Australia. It leaves a sour taste and ever lasting impression on the foriegn student experiance of living in Australia a message that is being projected beyond our shores.