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See for yourself how the TOEFL® Essentials test compares to other English-language tests. With its innovative test design, it combines the convenience and affordability you want without compromising the quality institutions trust. As a reliable and accurate TOEFL® test from ETS, it shows universities that you hold yourself to high quality standards.

TOEFL
Essentials Test
Duolingo® English TestIELTS® Academic1Pearson® Test of English2
Test Experience
Convenient at home accessyesyesnoyes
Shorter test time (about 1 ½ hours or less)yesyesnono
Affordable cost (US$120 or less)yesyesnono
Can be completed in 1 test sessionyesyesnoyes
Speaking responses are recorded at the computer, eliminating the potential biases of an in-person interview.yesyesnoyes
Test Design
Includes academic communication tasks3yesnoyesyes
Includes a Personal Video Statement (unscored)yesyes4nono
Measures English proficiency for communication, beyond basic language knowledgeyesno5yesyes
Items are developed by human assessment experts rather than auto-generated by computers.yesnoyesyes
Scores and Security
View unofficial listening and reading scores at the end of the testyesnonono
Scores sent in 6 days or lessyesyesyesyes
Test fee includes unlimited score reports sent to institutionsyesyesnoyes
Reports section scores for the 4 core English proficiency skills: listening, reading, writing and speakingyesno6yesyes
Reports foundational skills in addition to section scoresyesnonoyes7
At home test security includes live, human proctoring for 100% of the test administration, in addition to AI security measuresyesnoN/A8no
Writing and speaking responses are scored by anonymous human raters assisted by AI technology, rather than by machine aloneyes9nonono

Test Experience

Convenient at home access
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS® Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes
Shorter test time (about 1 ½ hours or less)
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2no
Affordable cost (US$120 or less)
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2no
Can be completed in 1 test session
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes
Speaking responses are recorded at the computer, eliminating the potential biases of an in-person interview.
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes

Test Design

Includes academic communication tasks3
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1yes
Pearson Test of English2yes
Includes a Personal Video Statement (unscored)
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes4
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes
Measures English proficiency for communication, beyond basic language knowledge
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno5
IELTS Academic1yes
Pearson Test of English2yes
Items are developed by human assessment experts rather than auto-generated by computers.
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1yes
Pearson Test of English2yes

Scores and Security

View unofficial listening and reading scores at the end of the test
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2no
Scores sent in 6 days or less
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1yes
Pearson Test of English2yes
Test fee includes unlimited score reports sent to institutions
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testyes
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes
Reports section scores for the 4 core English proficiency skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno6
IELTS Academic1yes
Pearson Test of English2yes
Reports foundational skills in addition to section scores
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2yes7
At home test security includes live, human proctoring for 100% of the test administration, in addition to AI security measures
TOEFL Essentials Testyes
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1N/A8
Pearson Test of English2no
Writing and Speaking responses are scored by anonymous human raters assisted by AI technology, rather than by machine alone
TOEFL Essentials Testyes9
Duolingo English Testno
IELTS Academic1no
Pearson Test of English2no

1 These descriptions do not apply to IELTS Indicator or the IELTS General Training test.

2 These descriptions do not apply to the Versant test from Pearson.

3 For a review of the tasks in the Duolingo English Test, see Wagner (2019).

4 Called the "video interview" in the Duolingo English Test.

5 The Duolingo English Test does not contain extended reading or listening comprehension tasks.

6 Duolingo English Test subscores are called Literacy, Comprehension, Conversation and Production, which do not correspond to the skills most institutions use when setting skill requirements: listening, reading, writing and speaking. (Source: https://englishtest.duolingo.com/scores)

7 Called "enabling skills" in the Pearson Test of English.

8 At home option not available for this test.

9 Responses to the Writing and Speaking tasks of the TOEFL Essentials test will initially be evaluated by certified human raters. Use of artificial intelligence (AI) scoring engines will be added in the near future, further assisting human raters to increase the accuracy and consistency of scores.