How Is GRE Different from TOEFL Examination?


Aiming to secure admission to top universities in the United States or Canada brings confusion for young aspirants. Mostly, they often get stuck on two popular entrance examinations: Graduate Record Examinations & Test of English as a Foreign Language. Both of these examinations are essential to get admission into top universities & build an established career ahead.

Despite similarities, these two examinations, GRE & TOEFL, have a lot of differences in terms of paper pattern or theme. The TOEFL examination is conducted to test the candidate’s knowledge & language skills, whereas GRE examines verbal, analytical & quantitative skills.

Overview of GRE & TOEFL

In this blog, we will discuss the overview of exams in detail before comparing this exam. Take important note that whether you are applying to a university in the USA or Canada, the GRE as well as TOEFL both play a major role in securing your admission.

GRE Exam: It is a standardized examination held as computer-based and comprises multiple choice questions. The GRE test is acceptable under the top graduate, law & business schools for higher education. Students can also get scholarships based on their GRE scores. The exam assesses the applicant’s capability for mathematical & language skills. Currently, the GRE is held following two modes: paper-based & computer-based pattern. The test consists of three sections: Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment. GRE preparation requires more effort.

TOEFL Exam: It is administered as a standardized English language test under Educational testing services or ETS. The test is conducted to examine the proficiency level of applicants, especially international students. The knowledge is tested on the parameters of speaking ability, writing & reading skills. Most popular English-speaking countries, such as New Zealand, Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada, prefer international students by looking at their TOEFL scores.

Comparison: GRE Vs. TOEFL Examination

Both tests play an important role in seeking admission to undergraduate programs at top universities in the US, UK & Canada. The score of both these exams adds more weight to your profile and fetches merit-based scholarships & other financial aids.

Furthermore, both GRE & TOEFL exams have significant roles & have equal importance as they test the knowledge capabilities on different subjects.

Basis of Difference:

  • Test Theme: The GRE examination is considered a graduation-level entrance examination, whereas the TOEFL test is termed an English language test.
  • Knowledge Testing: GRE supports your academic knowledge base while TOEFL exhibits your proficiency level in the English language.
  • Frequency: The GRE is held 5 times a year. On the other hand, the TOEFL exam – iBT part is held 50 times a year & TOEFL PBT 4 times.
  • Score Range: GRE score lies between 260 to 340, and TOEFL iBT has 0-120 & TOEFL PBT has a score range of 310 to 677.
  • Time allocation: The GRE paper-based exam is held for 3 hours & 45 minutes. Under the TOEFL exam – iBT is held for 3 hours while the PBT pattern is for 2.5 hours.
  • Number of Questions: GRE paper consists of 80 multiple-choice questions & 20 unscored research questions. TOEFL has different patterns as it examines reading, writing, listening & speaking skills on different levels.
  • Validity: GRE score has a total validity of 5 years while the TOEFL score lasts for 2 years only.
  • Difficulty Level: GRE examination is considered a more tough exam than the TOEFL due to difficult questions of vocabulary and complex reading passages. Also, GRE has a wider syllabus than TOEFL due to different sections.

Paper Pattern of GRE & TOEFL

Computer-Based GRE:

  • Quantitative Reasoning: Two sections consisting of 40 questions to solve within 70 minutes.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Two sections with 40 questions & time duration of 60 minutes.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: Two task attempts under one section under 60 minutes.

Paper-Based GRE Examination:

  • Quantitative Reasoning: Two sections with 50 questions, which you have to solve within the stipulated time duration of 80 minutes.
  • Verbal Reasoning: Two sections with 50 questions & time duration of 70 minutes.
  • Analytical Writing Assessment: Two task attempts under two sections under 60 minutes.

TOEFL Exam Pattern:

  • Reading Section: It consists of 36 to 56 questions with a time limit of 60-80 minutes.
  • Listening Section: It consists of 34 to 51 questions with a time limit of 60-90 minutes.
  • Speaking Section: Candidates have to complete 6 tasks in under 20 minutes.
  • Writing Section: Candidates are required to write two tasks in under 50 minutes.

Final Words!

Although GRE & TOEFL exams consider the top international entrance test still hold important weightage. Both examinations help increase the chances of admission into top universities in the USA & Canada. Joining the best institution like Jamboree helps to shape the preparation for leading examinations like the GRE, TOEFL, GMAT, & others. They provide the best mentorship, study materials, and offline & online resources to score high in examinations.

Join the right institution & ace every examination, whether GRE or TOEFL. Practice for international-level examinations requires putting in the extra effort that results in scoring high. GRE Prepare & TOEFL preparation with an experienced institute like Jamboree to join the best university for graduation.

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