What is the difference between IELTS, TOEFL, and IET?

If you are from a non-English speaking country, it is very likely that you will have to take an English certification test to qualify for admission to a Chinese university.

The most common tests are IELTS and TOEFL. But just this year, China Admissions, in partnership with other experts, has launched the International English Test (IET). This exam is accepted at the majority of Chinese universities and tests your English language ability as thoroughly as the IELTS or TOEFL does.

Let’s examine the difference between IELTS, TOEFL, IET, and even the Duolingo English Exam.

difference between IELTS TOEFL and IET

More convenient to take online

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the testing centers for IELTS and TOEFL exams may be closed temporarily, shut down, and otherwise difficult to access. For students who have difficulty finding a test center, or have underlying health issues that put them at high risk for Covid, the IET is a safer option since it can be completed from the convenience of your home or another location with good internet access.

Easier to book tests and get scores quickly

Though longer than Duolingo’s English Test, the IET can be booked, completed, and scores released in a much shorter amount of time than IELTS or TOEFL. If you need an English test quickly but do not have the months needed to sign up for IETLS and TOEFL, the IET stands out as the best option.


What is the cost difference between IELTS TOEFL and IET? Compared to the IETLS and TOEFL, the IET is almost $100 USD cheaper. Our top priority is making the IET the most accessible and equitable option for students, without being a financial burden, so we are working to keep this test affordable for you.

Chinese university English test acceptance rate

The IELTS and TOEFL have a 100% acceptance rate at Chinese universities. But the IET is catching up quickly, and more universities are accepting it every intake cycle. The IET acceptance rate currently stands at 96%. The Duolingo English Test has an extremely low acceptance rate among Chinese universities.

Here are some of the top Chinese universities that accept the IET:

And more!

Take the International English Test (IET)

The IET is an affordable, convenient, and fast option for future Chinese university students. Learn more about taking the IET here on China Admissions!

How to prepare for the IET Test?
Introducing the Updated IET: International English Test

If you are affiliated with a university and wondering how you can offer the IET to your potential students, check here for more resources to help bring greater accessibility to English testing requirements.

IET Test: Information for Universities

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman

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