IELTS and TOEFL both are the exams testing your English proficiency. Before choosing your exam be sure about the criteria of universities you want to apply. Any universities will accept any one of the exam but in some universities only one of the either exam is accepted. So it is better be sure that we know which university accepts which exam.
In USA TOEFL and IELTS both are accepted for visa of education and job seeker. But mostly TOEFL exam is valid in universities. Well in UK and other English speaking countries if you need a tier4 visa you must give IELTS and if you don’t want to study and for job sake TOEFL is accepted. Different countries have different policies so better to check with them first and then decide to take test.
IELTS and TOEFL both check your English knowledge. These exams check your proficiency of language on four different sections speaking, listening, reading and writing. Even though the section are same but way of conducting the exam is different.
TOEFL exam has speaking of about 20minutes in front of a computer. This conversation is recorded for further evaluation. IELTS exam is quite shorter about 10-12minutes long. It is in front of real examiner, it also includes recording your speaking test. The test is in three parts and marks are given in each part. The average is then your speaking score.
TOEFL exam is of 40-60mins, the listening part is about university surrounding and happenings. Whereas IELTS is shorter and multifarious. It is 30min test, has everything related to day-to-day life.
TOEFL is a 1hr exam; it’s only multiple choice questions. IELTS is also a 1hr exam having three passages dividing time as 3*20min. IELTS cover everything true/false, multiple choice, fill up.
TOEFL exam is 50min exam, giving you two topics to write one of 450words and other of 600word limit. IELTS is a one hour exam giving you to topics. First section is diagram explanation of 150word limit and other is essay writing of 250word limit.