With the increasing popularity among test takers and mounting acceptance from academic institutions, TOEFL iBT and IELTS are regarded and treated as equals due to similar purposes and goals. In depth, they distinguish each other in various aspects. By integrating Bachman’s framework of test method facet and Alderson’s variables of reading nature, this article formulates a comparison framework in an attempt to compare the reading parts of these two tests. The results show they share more similarities in test rubrics and input format and slightly differ from each other in score method and specification of procedures and tasks. However, substantial differences are identified in such areas as the nature of language and characteristics of tasks, which has a significant impact on test takers’ performance because TOEFL iBT reading test is more difficult in terms of readability, text types, topical features and question types, while IELTS more complex in text length and grammatical intricacy.
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