Exams Know-how

GMAT vs TOEFL: Know About the Difference Between TOEFL and GMAT

Kashyap Matani

If you are a business professional aspiring to study in countries like the US or Canada and come from a non-English speaking nation, you must have come across the terms TOEFL and GMAT. The exams are important requirements for pursuing higher studies at universities abroad. Since both tests are recognised and accepted globally, students are still confused between TOEFL and GMAT.

The GMAT is a graduate-level management exam that checks your coursework, whereas the TOEFL is a language proficiency test. Qualifying in one of them is not enough for you to be considered for admission. Confused about how to start preparing for the exam? Subscribe to Yocket Premium today. Get complete, personalized guidance on the admissions process! By becoming a Premium Yocketer, you get expert guidance and counseling in GMAT preparation, SOP, LOR, and everything else that comes between you and your dream university.

Table of Content

Overview of TOEFL and GMAT Exams

Before we head toward the difference between the GMAT and TOEFL, let us have a quick overview of the two tests.

What is the GMAT?

The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT is an entrance test that is held for students seeking admission to graduate management programs at top schools. The exam is structured in a way that can assess your reasoning and quantitative skills, along with your verbal skills.

This global management test is held by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The test is conducted in two ways the GMAT in person and the GMAT online.

What is TOEFL?

The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL is a globally recognized language test that can measure your language ability. It helps to prove your command over the English skills that are required to pursue higher education abroad.

The Educational Testing Agency (ETS), a non-profit US-based private organization, administers the TOEFL test. You can submit the scores from more than 11,000 universities in over 150 different countries across the world.

Colleges Accepting GMAT

TOEFL vs GMAT: Key Differences

The Graduate Management Admission Test is a management entrance test, whereas TOEFL is needed for international students to show their language ability. Most universities can look at your GMAT score to make sure you can get into B-schools. On the other hand, TOEFL scores make sure that your language skills are good enough to do well in university academic studies.

The following GMAT TOEFL difference chart will give you a glance at various crucial aspects related to the exam, along with its key differences:




Total Students Appeared in 2021

Around 2 lakhs

Around 23 lakh


Five times

TOEFL iBT: 50 times

TOEFL PBT: 4 times

Scoring Range


TOEFL iBT: 0-120

TOEFL PBT: 310 - 677




Total Time

3 hours, 7 minutes

TOEFL iBT: 3 hours

TOEFL PBT: 2.5 hours

Total number of questions

80 questions

Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking

Exam Fee

275 USD



5 years

2 years

GMAT Accepting Countries

What is the Difference between TOEFL and GMAT?

Although the GMAT and TOEFL are two different types of exams, their differences are never-ending. Both of the exams vary in various aspects. So if you are confused by the question of whether TOEFL or GMAT is better, here we have listed all the important differences between both tests:

  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Exam Pattern
  • Exam Duration
  • Exam Fees
  • Marking Scheme
  • Difficulty Level
  • Number of Attempts
  • Acceptance

Let's elaborate on each of them in detail:

Eligibility Criteria

  • For the GMAT, no specific eligibility criteria are required. Anyone interested in a management degree who has completed their bachelor's degree is eligible for it. The age limit criteria for the GMAT test is 18+ for most of the applicants.
  • For TOEFL, if you have completed your 12th level of education, you can apply for the exam. This exam is mostly chosen by applicants who are from a non-English speaking country and want to pursue higher studies in foreign institutions.


Exam Pattern

If you are finding the answer to a question, is TOEFL easier than GMAT? You get an answer by looking at the exam patterns of both tests. Here we have discussed the exam patterns of the GMAT and TOEFL. To understand the scope of each exam better, schedule a call with a Yocket’s expert right away!

The GMAT exam consists of four sections: Analytical Writing, Integrated, Verbal, and Quantitative Reasoning. Since the tests are conducted in two modes, i.e., Computer Based and Paper based. Let's look at their exam pattern:


Total Questions

Integrated Reasoning

12 questions (30 minutes)

Quantitative Reasoning

31 questions (62 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

36 questions (65 minutes)

Analytical Writing

1 question (30 minutes)


On the other hand, the TOEFL test will check your language listening, writing, reading and speaking abilities. This test is for the evaluation of your diverse skills and language proficiency. The exam pattern for the test is given below:


Total Questions


36-56 questions (60-80 minutes)


34-51 questions (60-90 minutes)



6 Tasks (20 minutes)


2 Tasks (50 minutes)

Exam Duration

The exam duration of a GMAT general test is 3 hours and 30 minutes, including two optional 8-minute breaks.

Whereas to solve the TOEFL test, you have up to 3 hours and 30 minutes, along with a 10-minute break halfway through the exam and the check-in progress of the test.

Exam Fees

The examination fee for the GMAT General Test is 275 USD for international aspirants, which is roughly around 22,800 INR for Indian students. However, the GMAT application costs may vary from country to country.

On the other hand, the TOEFL application fees also differ based on the region. To apply for this test, you have to spend 190 USD ~ 15,800 INR for registration.

Apart from the registration fees, an extra cost is required for changing, rescheduling, or the late fees of a student.

Suggested: GMAT Scholarships

Marking Scheme

The TOEFL vs. GMAT difficulty can be calculated based on their marking scheme. Here we have discussed the scoring range of both the GMAT and TOEFL tests.

The GMAT exam scores are divided into four different sections, which are Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Quantitative Reasoning. The integrated reasoning section can be calculated with a score range of 1 to 8, and the analytical writing assessment score lies between 0-6. Moreover, the scores in the other two sections, i.e., verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, range between 6 and 51 with a one-point increment.

Whereas, the TOEFL test contains four sections, i.e., listening, writing, reading, and speaking. Each one of the sections scores between 0 and 30. A good TOEFL score for admission to top business schools is around 100 or above.

Difficulty Level

Based on the GMAT vs. TOEFL difficulty level, the GMAT test is considered as much harder than the TOEFL as it has more difficult questions about vocabulary and reading passages. The mathematics questions of the GMAT are also of lower level compared to other exams.

On the other hand, the TOEFL is generally easier than the GMAT if you have strong English skills. This test is mostly focused on testing your language skills rather than your math knowledge or others in writing.

Number of Attempts

You have the option to appear in the GMAT test once every 16 calendar days, which is up to five times within a continuous rolling of 12 months period and no more than eight times. This criterion is also applicable if you have canceled your previously attempted GMAT scores.

Whereas in TOEFL, there are no limits to the number of attempts in the exam. You can take the TOEFL test as many times as you can, but you cannot do it more than once every 12 days.


The GMAT is an internationally accepted exam for management courses across the world. Almost every study destination, like the US, UK, and Canada, accepts these scores for their MBA and EMBA programs.

However, the TOEFL, being an English proficiency test, is mandatory at every study abroad institution. It is widely accepted by over 11,000 universities in more than 150 countries.

Now that we know about the difference between TOEFL and GMAT in every aspect,. Let's have a look at how you can pick the right one among the two:

How to Pick Up the Right Test Between GMAT or TOEFL?

Moving ahead, let's answer the question - which one is the right test between TOEFL vs GMAT:

  • Choosing the GMAT test will enable you to get admitted to any management program in business schools that will ensure you have a great future. A GMAT score also gives you exposure to various top business schools and cutthroat competition worldwide.
  • TOEFL, on the other hand, is used as a language test if you are from a non-English speaking country. This is also cost-efficient compared to GMAT. A good TOEFL score also offers you the opportunity to apply for several international scholarships.
  • Coming to the GMAT and TOEFL syllabus parts, the quantitative part of the GMAT exam is highly difficult for students from a non-native country. Whereas the overall TOEFL test is somewhat on the easier side.

From the Desk of Yocket

Overall, to choose the best between TOEFL and GMAT, this will surely be up to you. If you are looking to study an MBA or EMBA program at top B-schools abroad, then submitting the GMAT score is preferred. And if you are from a non-English background, you are required to submit your TOEFL scores to the university.

TOEFL and GMAT both require you to have an ample amount of time for preparation and can be cracked with dedicated preparation. Both of them allow you to get into the top business schools across the world.

If you are ambitious to start your study abroad journey, you are in the right place! With Yocket Premium, you not only get your profile built by our top-of-the-field counselors, but you also get guidance for making a strong application along with GMAT preparation guidance that will get you the admission you are looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions about TOEFL vs GMAT

Is GMAT harder than TOEFL?

Is GMAT or TOEFL better?

Is TOEFL necessary for an MBA?

Can I do an MBA without a GMAT?

Is GMAT only for the USA?

What is the validity of GMAT and TOEFL scores?

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