Hoa Nguyen

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The study compares the content of two internationally popular EFL tests: the IELTS and TOEFLiBT. It focuses on one component which Vietnamese students often find most challenging: the listening one. Framework for comparison is generalized  from Bachman (1990), Bachman and Palmer (1996),  Bejar et al (2000)  and Buck (2001). Findings reveal that the two listening tests share some similarities but many differences in the facet of test rubric and facets of test input.

Several similarities can be seen in test rubric such as salience of parts, sequence of parts, relative importance of parts and time allocation. As regard to test input, the two tests also have several same features in format, nature of language input (lexical density, mode of presentation, genre and text types).

Many differences between the two tests can be seen and the most prominent ones are specification of procedure and task, situation inputs in the form of situation prompts, listening text length, number of fillers in the listening texts. These differences might imply that the two tests measure different underlying constructs. Analytical evidence of these differences can be beneficial for both test takers and test trainers while preparing for a test as well as making a choice of which test is more suitable for them.