Exams Know-how

GRE vs TOEFL: Know About Difference Between GRE and TOEFL

Yocket Editorial Team
GRE vs TOEFL: Know About Difference Between GRE and TOEFL  Image

If you are looking to pursue your graduate studies in top destinations like the US or Canada and are from a non-English speaking nation, you must have come across the two tests GRE vs TOEFL. These two are the prerequisites of sorts for admission to study abroad universities. Since both of these tests are recognised and globally accepted, students are still confused between GRE or TOEFL. The GRE is a graduate-level exam that checks your graduation coursework whereas TOEFL is an English Language Test.

While the TOEFL is more of a testing exam that can check your language skills, the GRE exam is designed for checking the gauging skills of a student in quantitative, verbal, and analytical reasoning. Qualifying in one of the exams is not enough, you have to qualify in both of them in order to be eligible for admission in the universities. However, if you are still confused, this blog will cover the difference between TOEFL and GRE exams in detail, highlighting their key differences, scoring patterns, and costs.

Table of Contents

Overview of GRE and TOEFL Exams

The key factor of GRE and TOEFL tests is to seek admission to graduate programs in the best universities in study abroad destinations such as the US, UK or Canada etc. These test scores help the officials in evaluating your profile and the learning you get during your previous academic studies. The examining body also considers GRE and TOEFL scores while offering financial aid or merit-based scholarships in the top universities across the world. The difference between GRE and TOEFL is vast, however, both of them are mandatory to appear and have their own benefits and advantages in the admission process.

Yocket GRE Prep

Before we go into more in-depth of the two tests, let's take a quick glance between TOEFL vs GRE:

TOEFL vs GRE: Quick Glance

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a graduate-level entrance test whereas TOEFL is required for international students that can show their English language skills. Universities look for your GRE score to make sure that you are able to do graduate coursework and the TOEFL test scores to make sure that your English language skills are strong enough to do well in university academic instructions.

The following TOEFL and GRE difference chart will give you a quick look of some crucial aspects related to both the exam along with highlighting the key differences between GRE and TOEFL:




Total Students Appeared in 2021

Around 2 lakhs

Around 23 lakhs


5 times

  • TOEFL iBT: 50 times
  • TOEFL PBT: 4 times

Scoring Range


  • TOEFL iBT: 0-120
  • TOEFL PBT: 310 - 677




Total Time

3 hours & 45 minutes

  • TOEFL iBT: 3 hours
  • TOEFL PBT: 2.5 hours

Total no. of questions

  • MCQs: 80; 
  • Unscored research section: 20
  • Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking

Exam Fee

205 USD



GRE scores valid upto 5 years

2 years

Suggested:What is GRE Exam Eligibility?

What is the Difference between GRE and TOEFL?

Although the GRE vs TOEFL are two different types of exams, their differences are never-ending. Both of the exams almost serve the same purpose, but they vary in some aspects. So if you are confused by the question TOEFL or GRE which is better, here we have listed all the important differences between both the 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:

1. Eligibility Criteria

  • For GRE, you don't need to meet some specific eligibility criteria. Anyone interested in studying abroad can apply for the exam irrespective of age or qualifications. However, students looking to get a master's degree generally appear in this examination.
  • For TOEFL, there are no eligibility criteria and an age limit for the test. Generally, if you have completed your 12th level of education you can apply for the exam. This exam is mostly chosen by students who are from a non-English speaking country and want to continue their further education in study abroad institutions.

Suggested:GRE to GMAT Score Conversion

2. Exam Pattern

If you are finding the answer to a question, Is TOEFL easier than GRE? you get an answer by looking at the exam pattern of both tests. Here we have discussed the exam pattern of GRE and TOEFL.

The GRE exam consists of three sections that are Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning 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:




Analytical Writing

1 section: two tasks (60 minutes)

2 section: two tasks (60 minutes)

Verbal Reasoning

2 section: 40 questions (60 minutes)

2 section: 50 questions (70 minutes)

Quantitative Reasoning

2 section: 40 questions (70 minutes)

2 section: 50 questions (80 minutes)







On the other hand, the TOEFL test will check your English listening, writing, reading and speaking abilities. This test is for the evaluation of diverse skills and language proficiency of a student. 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:What is the Best Time to take the GRE Exam?

3. Exam Duration

The exam duration of a GRE general test is of 3 hours and 45 minutes, while the subject test of GRE may take up to 2 hours and 50 minutes to complete.

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

4. Exam Fees

The examination fee for the GRE General test is 228 USD for international aspirants, which is roughly around 18,769 INR for Indian students. However, the GRE application costs may vary from country to country.

On the other hand, the TOEFL application fees also vary based on region. To apply for this test, you have to spend 190 USD ~ 14,785 INR for registration. 

Apart from that, you may also have to spend some extra charges in terms of late fees, exam centre change, cancellation etc.

Suggested:What After GRE?

5. Marking Scheme

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

The GRE exam scores are divided into three different sections which are Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. The Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning section of the exam is calculated on a scale of 130 to 170. The mean score of Verbal Reasoning is 151 whereas for Quantitative it is 153. The last Analytical Writing ranges between 0 to 6 in half-point increments with the mean score of 4.0.

Whereas, the TOEFL test contains four sections i.e. listening, writing, reading and speaking. Each one of the sections has a score range of 0 to 30. A good TOEFL score for admission to top universities is between 90 to 100 or above.

6. Difficulty Level

Based on GRE vs TOEFL difficulty level, the GRE test is considered as much harder than TOEFL as it has more difficult questions of vocabulary and reading passages. The mathematics questions of GRE are also of lower level compared to other exams. Practice mock tests by using Yocket's GRE Prep to boost your preparation.

On the other hand, the TOEFL is generally easier than GRE if you have strong English skills. This test is mostly focused on testing your english skills rather than your knowledge of mathematical questions or others in writing.

Suggested:How to Send GRE Scores to Universities?

7. Number of Attempts

You have the option to appear in GRE General test once in every 21 days, which is upto five times within a continuous rolling of 12 months duration. This criteria is also applicable if you have cancelled your previously attempted GRE scores.

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

Suggested:What are GRE Preparation Books?

8. Acceptance

The GRE is an internationally accepted exam for graduates and postgraduate courses across the world. Almost every study destination like US, UK, Canada accepts these scores for their graduate programs.

However, the TOEFL is an English Proficiency Test which is mandatory in every study abroad institution. This is a widely accepted test with more than 11,000 universities in more than 150 countries.

Now that we know about the difference between TOEFL and GRE in every aspect. Let's take a quick look at how you can pick up the right test:

How to Pick Up the Right Test for Yourself? 

To pick up the right choice between the GRE or TOEFL for study abroad, it is necessary for you to start with giving practice tests. There is a high possibility that one out of the two may suit you the best.

However, it has been usually observed that a student who is looking for graduate courses goes for the GRE exam and the students who do exceptionally well in the English language skills can opt for the TOEFL exam. Therefore this becomes an essential part to analyse your practice tests and go for the one in which you feel more comfortable.

Suggested:How to Send GRE Scores to Universities?

The TOEFL and GRE are two important tests that you must have to appear if you are looking to apply for graduate courses, however, both of them serve different purposes. The GRE is for graduate-level coursework whereas TOEFL can measure your English speaking skills. To ace the exams you must have to prepare a proper work on your language skills, observation skills, writing skills, joining the dots, learning and applying. However, if you are searching for the best resources for practising your exams, you can get our Yocket Premium which can surely boost your score.

Frequently Asked Questions about TOEFL vs GRE

Ques. Is TOEFL easier than GRE?

Ans. Yes, the TOEFL is easier than the GRE test in terms of its reading and writing sections. Both tests can check your reading and writing skills, however, GRE questions are more challenging and need more skills in critical reading, analysing your arguments and developing them.

Ques. Is GRE more important than TOEFL?

Ans. The TOEFL test is more important if you are from a non-English speaking country. If you haven't done well in the exams, it is bad for your applications. And the GRE is more of a test of your basic skills and committees.

Ques. Is TOEFL accepted in the USA?

Ans. Yes, the TOEFL scores are accepted by over 11,000 study abroad institutions in 150 countries like Canada, US, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand and many more.

Ques. Can I prepare for GRE and TOEFL together?

Ans. The TOEFL and GRE may check a lot of the same skills, but in different ways. You can actually prepare for both the tests at the same time together. The TOEFL vs GRE Verbal Reasoning are almost similar and the verbal reasoning section of GRE is like the TOEFL reading section.

Ques. What is difference between GRE and TOEFL in terms of score validity?

Ans. The TOEFL test scores are valid for a two-year duration whereas the GRE test scores of an international student may be valid upto 5 years. 

Ques. What is the difference between the syllabus of TOEFL vs GRE exam?

Ans. The TOEFL exams are an English Proficiency Test consisting of speaking, listening, writing, and reading abilities. Whereas the GRE exam is categorised into three sections i.e. Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning. 

Related Hashtags

Related Discussion

Articles you might like