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19 September 2023

5 minutes read

83 TOEFL to IELTS: Score Comparison and Conversion

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When it comes to English language proficiency tests, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and IELTS (International English Language Testing System) are two of the most popular choices for international students.

If you’ve achieved a TOEFL score of 83 and are considering IELTS, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights into the conversion process and what to expect when making the transition.

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TOEFL vs. IELTS: Understanding the Basics

Before delving into score conversion, it’s essential to understand the fundamental differences between TOEFL and IELTS.

Test FormatInternet-Based Test (iBT)Paper-Based Test (PBT) and Computer-Based Test (CBT), or Computer-Delivered (iBT)
Scoring Range0-1200-9 (with half-band scores)
SectionsReading, Listening, Speaking, WritingListening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
Scoring MethodEach section scored 0-30Each section scored 0-9
Speaking AssessmentRecorded responses evaluated by human ratersFace-to-face speaking assessment with trained examiners
Writing AssessmentTyping responses on a computerHandwriting responses on paper (PBT) or typing on a computer (CBT/iBT)
Test LengthApproximately 3 hoursApproximately 2 hours and 45 minutes
Test DeliveryComputer-Based (iBT) or Paper-Based (PBT/CBT)Computer-Delivered or Paper-Based
Score ValidityTypically 2 yearsTypically 2 years
Test AvailabilityFrequent test dates throughout the yearMultiple test dates throughout the year
Score ReportingOnline within 6-10 daysOnline within 13 days
Regional PopularityCommonly used in North AmericaWidely accepted globally
Speaking AccentIncludes American, British, and Australian accentsMay include various English accents
Test CostVaries by location and test centerVaries by location and test center
Test PreparationOfficial ETS materials, third-party prep courses, and practice tests availableOfficial Cambridge materials, third-party prep courses, and practice tests available
Test Preference by InstitutionsSome institutions prefer TOEFLSome institutions prefer IELTS
Overall ImpressionMore computer-based, with a focus on academic EnglishIncorporates real-life language skills, with a focus on practical communication

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Score Comparison: TOEFL 83 to IELTS

To convert your TOEFL score of 83 to its IELTS equivalent, you’ll need to refer to a conversion table. Keep in mind that institutions may have varying score requirements, so it’s crucial to check their specific criteria.

TOEFL Score Conversion Table

Here’s a detailed conversion table to help you understand how your TOEFL score of 83 compares to IELTS:

TOEFL iBT ScoreIELTS Equivalent

Please note that this conversion table provides an approximate equivalent and that the actual IELTS score requirement may vary from institution to institution. It’s advisable to contact the educational institution you plan to apply to and inquire about their specific requirements.

Understanding the Conversion

It’s crucial to understand that the TOEFL and IELTS scoring systems are not directly comparable due to their distinct structures. While TOEFL provides a single total score, IELTS evaluates your proficiency in four separate skills.

For example, a TOEFL score of 83 could mean different things for each section of the test. You might excel in reading and listening but struggle with speaking and writing. In contrast, IELTS provides a more nuanced assessment, with individual scores for each skill.

When converting your TOEFL score to IELTS, institutions often consider the total TOEFL score and apply a conversion formula to estimate the equivalent IELTS band score. However, keep in mind that this is an approximate conversion, and individual institutions may have their own methods and criteria.


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The Importance of Score Conversion

Understanding score conversion is crucial for international students for several reasons:

Admission Requirements

Many universities and colleges worldwide require English language proficiency as a prerequisite for admission. By knowing the equivalent IELTS score of your TOEFL score, you can determine whether you meet the institution’s requirements.

Scholarship Eligibility

Some institutions offer scholarships based on English proficiency test scores. By converting your TOEFL score to IELTS, you can determine your eligibility for these financial opportunities.

Program Placement

In addition to general admission, specific academic programs or departments within institutions may have their own English language proficiency requirements. Understanding the conversion allows you to choose programs aligned with your language skills.

Visa Applications

When applying for a student visa in certain countries, English language proficiency may be a requirement. Accurate score conversion ensures that you meet the visa application criteria.

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Factors Affecting Score Conversion

Several factors can influence the conversion of TOEFL scores to IELTS scores. It’s essential to consider these variables when interpreting your converted score:

  • Institution’s Criteria
    • Different universities and colleges may have their own conversion methods or requirements. Some institutions may use conversion tables, while others may rely on their assessment of the two tests.
  • Test Version
    • TOEFL has evolved over the years, with different versions like PBT (Paper-Based Test) and CBT (Computer-Based Test) preceding the current iBT format. The version of TOEFL you took may impact the conversion process.
  • Sectional Strengths and Weaknesses
    • Your performance in specific TOEFL sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing) can vary. Institutions may consider this when converting scores to assess your language proficiency accurately.

Preparing for the IELTS

If you’ve decided to take the IELTS after achieving a TOEFL score of 83, it’s essential to prepare adequately. Here are some tips to help you succeed in the IELTS:

  • Understand the IELTS Format
    • Familiarize yourself with the IELTS test format, including the types of questions and tasks in each module. Knowing what to expect will boost your confidence.
  • Take Practice Tests
    • Practice makes perfect. Take official IELTS practice tests to gauge your current proficiency level and identify areas that need improvement.
  • Focus on Weaker Areas
    • If certain skills (e.g., speaking or writing) were your weaker points in the TOEFL, dedicate extra time to improving them for the IELTS.
  • Enroll in Preparation Courses
    • Consider enrolling in IELTS preparation courses. These courses provide structured guidance and practice materials to help you excel in the test.
  • Time Management
    • IELTS requires you to manage your time effectively, especially in the Writing and Reading sections. Practice time management to complete tasks within the allocated time limits.


Converting a TOEFL score of 83 to its IELTS equivalent is a critical step for international students pursuing education in English-speaking countries. Remember that while conversion tables provide estimates, specific institution requirements may vary. It’s advisable to research your target institutions thoroughly and prepare accordingly to meet their standards.

By understanding the conversion process and diligently preparing, you can confidently pursue your academic goals in English-speaking institutions around the world.

Whether you choose TOEFL or IELTS, your English language proficiency is a valuable asset that opens doors to educational and career opportunities.


Q1: Can IELTS and TOEFL scores be directly compared?

While there is no one-to-one correlation between TOEFL and IELTS scores, conversion tables can help provide an approximate equivalence. However, institutions may have their own preferences, so always check their requirements.

Q2: Are there any differences in test format between TOEFL and IELTS?

Yes, there are differences in test format and structure. TOEFL iBT is entirely computer-based, while IELTS includes face-to-face speaking assessments. Understanding these distinctions is essential when choosing a test.

Q3: Can I improve my TOEFL or IELTS score if it’s below the required level?

Yes, you can improve your score by preparing thoroughly. Consider taking preparation courses, practicing regularly, and seeking guidance from experts in English language proficiency.

Q4: How long does it take to prepare for the IELTS if I’ve already taken the TOEFL?

The duration of preparation depends on your current proficiency level and the score you aim to achieve in the IELTS. On average, a few months of dedicated preparation should suffice.

Q5: Are there any advantages to taking both TOEFL and IELTS?

Taking both tests can provide you with flexibility in your university applications. Some institutions accept either TOEFL or IELTS scores, allowing you to choose the test in which you perform better.

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