I have completed by masters with good grades from University of Calcutta, India. I wish to pursue doctoral research in USA in the subject of Geography. But, I am in a state of uncertainty as to which exam will be more suitable for me to give, IELTS or TOEFL. Which test do most of US universities gives weightage to while going through CV of shortlisted and/or interested candidates. And also, if I do give IELTS, will it give me an edge if I do wish to apply for universities in Europe, Canada and/or Australia?

1 Answer 1


Please read the requirements for the programs you are interested in applying. I know a few universities used to strictly require applicants to take TOEFL IBT in the past. However, nowadays, IELTS, TOEFL IBT or other popular English proficiency tests are accepted at almost any university in the world. As long as you pass a certain threshold that they require for the English test you choose, you meet the English requirement. For some universities, this threshold will be high (e.g. 7.5 with no skill below 7.0). Furthermore, the test you take will not give you any advantage/disadvantage.

I personally chose the easiest one to take just because I was confident with my English skills, and I did not want to spend any minute on preparing for the test. Furthermore, your ability to communicate in English matters much more than the score you get in a proficiency test as it will be shown during PhD interview (if there is any).

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