Are you attempting to determine which standardised tests you must take? Are you unsure if you should take the GRE or TOEFL? Is it necessary to take both? What exactly are these exams for?
The GRE and TOEFL are both required exams for many persons seeking to graduate school, but their responsibilities in the admission process differ. This article will provide you an overview of both examinations, explain how they differ, and assist you in determining which exam (or exams) you need to take.
WHAT ARE THE GRE AND TOEFL TESTS FOR?
Before delving deeper into the two exams, let’s first discuss the main distinction between the GRE and TOEFL: why you should take them. The GRE is a graduate school entry exam, whereas the TOEFL is an English language proficiency examination. Schools want to see GRE results to ensure you can manage graduate-level material, and TOEFL scores to ensure you have good enough English abilities to succeed at an English-speaking school. The numerous distinctions between the two exams are a direct outcome of their respective aims.
TOEFL VS. GRE COMPARISON
In this part, we’ll provide a quick introduction of both the GRE and the TOEFL, explain their formats, and conclude with a TOEFL vs. GRE comparison.
GRE EXAM OVERVIEW
The GRE is a standardised test used to determine a test-taker’s preparation for graduate education.Analytical Writing, Quantitative Reasoning, and Verbal Reasoning are the three components of the GRE.
Analytical Writing is made up of two essays, each of which has a time limit of 30 minutes. Analytical Writing scores range from 0 to 6, with increments of half a point.
Each section of Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning has two 20-question sections, for a total of 80 multiple-choice questions. Both Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning use the same grade scheme.The range of their scores is 130-170, with one-point increments in between. The three parts of the GRE are often reported separately rather than as a single composite score.
THE TOEFL EXAM OVERVIEW
The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a test of English language competency developed by ETS, the same corporation that developed the GRE.
The TOEFL is used to assess non-native speakers’ English skills in order for them to attend an English-language school (either undergraduate or graduate).
The TOEFL exam lasts 3.5 hours and is divided into four sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. You will be given a score ranging from 0 to 30 for each section. These results are then summed together, yielding a total TOEFL score ranging from 0 to 120.
THREE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE GRE AND THE TOEFL
Once you’ve mastered the styles of the GRE and TOEFL, it’s time to study about the content of each exam. Because these tests assess two distinct skill sets, there are some substantial distinctions in their content that must be understood.
DIFFERENCE 1: THE TOEFL HAS EASIER SECTIONS FOR READING AND WRITING THAN THE GRE.
Both the GRE and the TOEFL require you to produce two essays for each test’s writing component, as well as read passages and answer questions about those texts in the reading sections of both exams. The TOEFL, on the other hand, contains easier Reading and Writing questions than the GRE.
The GRE and TOEFL both assess reading and writing skills, but the GRE questions are more difficult and demand more skills in critical reading, analysing an argument, and formulating your own argument.
In comparison, the TOEFL tests these skills to some level, but its primary focus is on testing your English comprehension skills for reading and writing. Furthermore, the TOEFL reading passages are from undergraduate-level materials and are often easier to understand than those on the GRE, which are from graduate-level texts. If you can crush the GRE Analytical Writing and Verbal Reasoning portions, the TOEFL Reading and Writing sections should be a piece of cake.
DIFFERENCE 2: ONLY THE TOEFL HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT SPEAKING AND LISTENING.
Because the TOEFL is designed to assess your English language skills, it includes a Speaking and Listening component to assess how well you respond to questions in English when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare. The GRE, on the other hand, does not include any questions about speaking or listening.
If you take the TOEFL, you must answer six speaking questions (known as “tasks”). The first two activities are independent speaking assignments in which the student responds using his or her thoughts, opinions, and experiences. The four remaining tasks are integrated tasks. When replying, students must apply more than one skill. Students must read, listen, and then talk in two activities.
Students must listen first and then talk in the other two activities. Each recording in the Listening portion is followed by a series of questions. The recordings are similar to talks students have in class, such as a lecture or a discussion between a student and a teacher. Multiple-choice questions will be asked, as will questions requiring you to order steps in an event or process or to match items or text to categories in a chart.
DIFFERENCE 3: MATH QUESTIONS ARE ONLY FOUND ON THE GRE.
Fortunately, 2+2=4 regardless of the language you speak, so there are no maths problems on the TOEFL. However, the GRE’s quantitative reasoning component measures your math skills and accounts for half of your overall score, so you must have strong arithmetic skills to perform well on the GRE.
THE QUANTITATIVE REASONING SECTION OF THE GRE ASSESSES YOUR ABILITIES IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
- Geometry and Arithmetic Data Analysis
- The majority of the questions in this part are multiple-choice; however, there may be a few numeric entry questions where you must enter the proper answer rather than simply selecting from offered options.
DO YOU NEED TO TAKE THE GRE? DO YOU NEED TO TAKE THE TOEFL?
You are probably aware that the TOEFL and GRE have significant distinctions and are intended to assess various talents. So, when should you start taking them? It’s critical to know which tests to take so you don’t miss a critical component of your application and don’t waste time taking tests you don’t require. You should always check whether test scores are required by the colleges you’re applying to, but here are some general suggestions.
If you’re applying to graduate school, you’ll need to take the GRE. Most graduate programmes, particularly those based on research, require or strongly recommend GRE scores.
If you’re applying to graduate school, you’ll need to take the GRE. Most graduate programmes, particularly those based on research, require or strongly recommend GRE scores. Some specialised graduate programmes, such as business school and law school, may not require the GRE.
If English is not your first language and you did not graduate from a high school or undergraduate programme where English was the sole language of instruction, you should take the TOEFL. Check the specific prerequisites for the colleges you’re interested in.