GMAT vs TOEFL: Know About Difference Between TOEFL and GMAT Image
Exams Know-how

GMAT vs TOEFL: Know About Difference Between TOEFL and GMAT

Yocket Editorial Team
7 mins read

If you are a business professional and 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. They are important requirements for pursuing higher studies at universities abroad. Since both the tests are recognised and accepted globally, students are still confused between TOEFL vs GMAT.

The GMAT is a graduate level management exam that checks your coursework whereas TOEFL is a language proficiency test. Qualifying in one of them is not enough for you to be considered for admission. However, if you are still confused, this blog will give you all the information about TOEFL and GMAT in various aspects such as key differences, score patterns and much more.

  Table of Contents:

  1. Overview of TOEFL and GMAT Exams
  2. TOEFL vs GMAT : Key Differences
  3. What is the Difference between TOEFL and GMAT?
  4. How to Pick Up the Right Test Between GMAT or TOEFL?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions about TOEFL vs GMAT

Overview of TOEFL and GMAT Exams

Before we head towards the difference between GMAT vs TOEFL let us have a quick overview on the two tests.

What is 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 B-Schools. The exam is structured in a way that can assess your reasoning and quantitative skills along with verbal skills too.

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

What is TOEFL?

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

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

Suggested: Colleges Accepting GMAT

Now that you know about the two tests, let's have a quick glance over the two:

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 of the universities can look at your GMAT score to make sure you are able to get into B-schools. On the other hand, TOEFL scores make sure that your language skills are good enough to do well in the university academic studies.

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




Total Students Appeared in 2021

Around 2 lakhs

Around 23 lakhs


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 no. of questions

80 questions

Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking

Exam Fee

275 USD



5 years

2 years

Suggested: GMAT Accepting Countries

What is the Difference between TOEFL and GMAT?

Although the GMAT vs 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 TOEFL or GMAT which is better, here we have listed all the important differences for both the tests:

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

Let's elaborate each of them in detail:

Eligibility Criteria

  • For GMAT, no specific eligibility criteria is required. Anyone who is interested in a management degree and has done their bachelor 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 abroad institutions.

Suggested: GMAT vs IELTS

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 pattern of both tests. Here we have discussed the exam pattern of GMAT and TOEFL.

The GMAT exam consists of four sections : Analytical Writing, Integrated, Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning. Since the tests are conducted on 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 evaluation of your diverse skills and language proficiency. The exam pattern of 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)

Suggested: Online Coaching for GMAT

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 upto 3 hours and 30 minutes time along with a 10 minutes break halfway during the exam and the check in progress of the test.

Exam Fees

The examination fees of the GMAT General test is 275 USD for international aspirants which is roughly around 21,360 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 ~ 14,785 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 GMAT and TOEFL tests.

The GMAT exams 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 other two section i.e. Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning score ranges between 6 to 51 with one point increment.

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

Difficulty Level

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

On the other hand, the TOEFL is generally easier than 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.

Suggested: GMAT Test Day Tips

Number of Attempts

You have the option to appear in GMAT test once in every 16 calendar days, which is upto five times within a continuous rolling of 12 months period and no more than 8 times. This criteria is also applicable if you have canceled your previously attempted GMAT scores.

Whereas in TOEFL, there are no limits for the number of attempts in the exam. You can take the TOEFL test as many times as you can, but 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 destinations like US, UK, Canada accepts this scores for their MBA, EMBA programs.

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

Suggested: GMAT Accepting Colleges in USA

Now that we know about the difference between TOEFL and GMAT in every aspect. Let's have a look at how you can pick up 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 in any management program in business schools that would ensure you to have a great future. A GMAT score also gives you exposure in various top business schools and a cut throat 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 an opportunity to apply for a number of international scholarships.
  • Coming to the GMAT and TOEFL syllabus part, the quantitative part of the GMAT exam is highly difficult for the students from a non native country. Whereas the overall TOEFL test is somewhat on an easier side.

Overall to choose the best between TOEFL vs 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 the TOEFL scores at the university.

Suggested: How to Reschedule or Cancel GMAT?

TOEFL and GMAT, they both require you to have an ample amount of time for preparation and can be cracked with dedicated preparation. Both of them give you an opportunity to get into the Top Business Schools across the world. Adding both scores in the application will help to give you an edge in the evaluation process. For further assistance, get in touch with our Yocket Professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions about TOEFL vs GMAT

Ques. Is GMAT harder than TOEFL?

Ans. Students with good verbal and low quantitative skills will find the GMAT exam tough. Those with the food quant and the low verbal can find the TOEFL easier. Though the verbal abilities required for GMAT are harder than the TOEFL test.

Ques. Is GMAT or TOEFL better?

Ans. The TOEFL tests your capability, judge you on the basis of reading, writing, speaking and listening whereas the GMAT tests on the basis of quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, verbal reasoning and an integrated reasoning.

Ques. Is TOEFL necessary for MBA?

Ans. Most of the Top Business schools students need to take an English test as a part of the business school admission process.

Ques. Can I do an MBA without GMAT?

Ans. Yes. You can get into an MBA program without a GMAT score. Some MBA programs are willing to waive off the GMAT requirement for especially experienced or accomplished students, while a few of the schools don't require it at all.

Ques. Is GMAT only for the USA?

Ans. According to the GMAC or the Graduate Management Admission Council. The GMAT score is fully recognised and accepted by over 600 business schools in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Ques. What is the validity of GMAT and TOEFL scores?

Ans. The GMAT test scores are valid for 5 years and the TOEFL test scores are available for 3 years.

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