Difference Between TOEFL and GRE -


If you are desirous of higher studies in US and English is not your native language, there are two internationals tests that you may be required to take and clear them both to be eligible for selection in Universities you have applied. These tests are a prerequisite of sorts for admission to universities in US. While, TOEFL is more of a qualifying exam testing your skills in English language, GRE is Graduate Record Examination that is designed to gauge skills of candidates in verbal, quantitative and analytical reasoning. It is not enough to qualify in one or the other, and a student needs to clear both the exams to hope for admission in US colleges. In this context, it becomes necessary to understand differences between TOEFL and GRE.

What is TOEFL?

TOEFL is Test of English as a Foreign Language, and is designed to test the abilities of foreign students to understand and speak the language. There are sections in reading, writing, and hearing to check your proficiency. This is one test that is given prominence by universities in the country as it guarantees that the student who is applying for admission has accepted levels of proficiency in English language. One can judge the importance of TOEFL by the fact that over 6000 institutions (colleges) in more than 130 countries accept scores obtained by a student in this test.

First section of the test is made up of questions based upon a passage read by a North American speaker ,and candidates are made to answer these questions (50 in all). Second part of TOEFL consists of 40 questions that test candidate’s knowledge of written English. Third part again contains 50 questions that ask candidates to write in English language. There is a time limit to complete all sections. The result of the test is valid for two years or otherwise one needs to take the test again.

What is GRE?

GRE is one test that scores an individual on his reasoning, analytical and quantitative abilities and tells universities about average intelligence of the students. As the name implies, it is for students who wish to apply for graduate level courses, and universities want to ensure they do not get candidates with below average intelligence. It is a computerized, adaptive test. This is unique in the sense that computer adjusts according to previous answer given by the candidate and presents the next question. This system makes completion of the test short, ending quickly.

GRE is an exam that provides a level playing field to the colleges and universities by allowing them to compare the scores obtained by students, and setting a cut off to limit the number of students.

What is the difference between TOEFL and GRE?

Talking of differences between TOEFL and GRE, while most colleges and universities ask scores obtained in both exams, TOEFL scores are deemed as qualifying only, while higher cutoffs are set in GRE. If a university has set 80 as a qualifying score for TOEFL, it will automatically reject applications from all students falling below 80 in TOEFL irrespective of high scores in GRE. TOEFL is considered to be an easier exam by both students and universities.