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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 TestDuolingo English TestIELTS® Academic1Pearson Test of English2
Test Experience
Convenient at home access
Shorter test time (about 1 ½ hours or less)
Affordable cost (US$120 or less)
Can be completed in 1 test session
Speaking responses are recorded at the computer, eliminating the potential biases of an in-person interview.
Test Design
Includes academic communication tasks3
Includes a Personal Video Statement (unscored)4
Measures English proficiency for communication, beyond basic language knowledge5
Items are developed by human assessment experts rather than auto-generated by computers.
Scores and Security
View unofficial listening and reading scores at the end of the test
Scores sent in 6 days or less
Test fee includes unlimited score reports sent to institutions
Reports section scores for the 4 core English proficiency skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking6
Reports foundational skills in addition to section scores7
At home test security includes live, human proctoring for 100% of the test administration, in addition to AI security measuresN/A8N/A9
Writing and speaking responses are scored by anonymous human raters assisted by AI technology, rather than by machine alone10

Test Experience

Convenient at home access
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS® Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Shorter test time (about 1 ½ hours or less)
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Affordable cost (US$120 or less)
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Can be completed in 1 test session
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Speaking responses are recorded at the computer, eliminating the potential biases of an in-person interview.
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2

Test Design

Includes academic communication tasks3
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Includes a Personal Video Statement (unscored)
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test4
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Measures English proficiency for communication, beyond basic language knowledge
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test5
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Items are developed by human assessment experts rather than auto-generated by computers.
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2

Scores and Security

View unofficial listening and reading scores at the end of the test
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Scores sent in 6 days or less
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Test fee includes unlimited score reports sent to institutions
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Reports section scores for the 4 core English proficiency skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test6
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2
Reports foundational skills in addition to section scores
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English27
At home test security includes live, human proctoring for 100% of the test administration, in addition to AI security measures
TOEFL Essentials Test
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1N/A8
Pearson Test of English2N/A9
Writing and Speaking responses are scored by anonymous human raters assisted by AI technology, rather than by machine alone
TOEFL Essentials Test10
Duolingo English Test
IELTS Academic1
Pearson Test of English2

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 At home option not available for this test.
10 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.