A lot of English proficiency tests, and you are confused which one should you take? Well, I have summarized some of the most common tests conducted in Indonesia.

Firstly, let yourself acknowledge three types of common TOEFL Tests: ITP, PBT, and iBT.

TOEFL ITP is what most of Indonesians think as the usual TOEFL. This test, however, is not official from the ETS (the TOEFL company). The test is offered by particular institutions, and most of the reliable institutions are universities like UI, ITB, etc. It is fairly cheap, ranging from Rp300,000 to Rp500,000 per test, ITB offers this test for Rp350,000. This test is comprised of three sections: Listening, Structure, and Reading. The maximum score is 677. 

TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based Test) is the same as TOEFL ITP, yet it is officially conducted by ETS. However, there is an additional section which is TWE (Test of Written English), and I think this part is scored separately. Only few countries that do not support iBT test have this test, e.g. New Papua Guinea. Note that you cannot take this test again in Indonesia. Currently in Indonesia, ETS only offers TOEFL iBT.

Finally TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test) is the test that is officially offered by ETS. You will not do the test by writing in paper; you will do the test in a computer. This is the TOEFL test that you can use to apply abroad. The test's sections are similar to those of IELTS: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The test is very expensive as it costs $180 for Indonesians..

So which one should you take? If you do not have much money and you want to use the scores to only apply for companies in the country, you might want to choose ITP test as some companies in Indonesia accept the TOEFL ITP results by certain institutions. However, if you want to apply to companies/universities abroad, I can assure you that the results cannot be used. You need to take TOEFL IBT.

If you ask me which one is easier, I pick the iBT test. The reason is that the listening section in ITP test is hard and boring, whereas the iBT's listening section is quite interesting. Most importantly, you are allowed to take notes. I think test takers are mostly troubled with the iBT's speaking section, but with good preparations, it will not be horrendous as what most test takers assume.

A lot of explanations in the internet about this one. It should be you to determine which test you favor most. These are some differences:

- All reading and listening questions in TOEFL are multiple-choice questions, whereas IELTS' questions are mostly "fill in the blank" questions.
- The speaking section is very different. In TOEFL, you talk to a computer, while in IELTS, you talk to a human,
- IELTS is more expensive. It costs $~15 more than TOEFL.
- Most US universities only accept TOEFL, while most UK universities only accept IELTS. You can choose either test if you want to apply for Asian or other universities.

If you ask me which one I prefer, I definitely choose TOEFL iBT. First, I'm very comfortable with iBT's listening section. Second, I would rather to do multiple choice questions. And third - this is perhaps only my assumption - IELTS's grading for writing and speaking seems to be harsh.

But still, my brother, for example, prefers IELTS for the speaking and the listening sections. He does not have the guts to record his voice to a computer lol. He also said the listening section is not boring.

If you are still undecided, just try to at least do each of the tests. Study carefully each test's pattern. Then, decide which one is fit for you!


  1. This is important to remember while you are browsing IELTS or TOEFL preparation course, if you are planning on applying for citizenship or collage and intend to use your results as an entry requirement.

    skill to better English vocabulary

  2. Ada yang punya informasi dimana TOEFL PBT yang juga termasuk ada TWE nya? Mohon dibantu ya. Contact please Thank you. In Indonesia so rare.

    1. Maaf baru bales. FYI bukan rare lagi mas, memang TOEFL PBT sudah ga ada di Indo, itu info dari official ETS sendiri.


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