AWEJ Volume.5 Number.1, 2014                                                                     Pp.79-88

 Abstract PDF

 Full Paper PDF

 Different Performance of EFL University Students on TOEFL and IELTS

Saleh Saafin
University of Sharjah, Sharjah
United Arab Emirates


TOEFL and IELTS are increasingly used as university admission requirements all over the world.  This research investigates students’ performance on these tests.  The TOEFL and IELTS results during the academic years 2005-9 and 2010 -13 were analyzed.  The findings showed that about 25% of students passed TOEFL, but when IELTS was used beside TOEFL, the pass rate went up to 31%, and it rose dramatically to about 52% when the IETLS cut off band score was lowered to 5.0.  Furthermore, it was found that the students who earned less than 380/390 TOEFL scores on their entry were the least likely students to pass TOEFL or IELTS after having English training. Some possible reasons for the differing performance of EFL students on TOEFL and IELTS were discussed.
Keywords: TOEFL; IELTS; placement; proficiency criteria; pass rate


Saleh Saafin has a Ph.D. in Education in the field of TEFL from the University of Exeter in
England. He teaches English in the English language Center of the University of Sharjah in the
United Arab Emirates. He has an extensive EFL teaching experience at a university level. His
areas of interest include effective teaching and language testing.