Skip to main content


The Vanderbilt University English Language Center (ELC) does not offer test-preparation courses or testing services for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Review the information below for TOEFL and IELTS.


The TOEFL evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. Sometimes it is an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-language colleges and universities. Additionally, institutions such as government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, or scholarship programs may require this test. A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then is no longer officially reported since a candidate’s language proficiency could have significantly changed since the date of the test.


The IELTS is an international standardized test of English language proficiency developed in England. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989. There are two versions of the IELTS: the Academic Version and the General Training Version. The Academic Version is intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education and for professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country. The General Training Version is intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience, or for immigration purposes.