IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General

4 minute read
IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General

IELTS Exam is conducted by the British Council in India to evaluate the English language skills of candidates through Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening sections. It is available in 2 variants, IELTS Academic and General Training. Before you start the IELTS Registration process, here is an insightful blog comparing both the IELTS versions. 

IELTS Academics  IELTS General 
It’s for those candidates who want to pursue higher education.  It’s for those individuals who want to migrate for work, training, or secondary education purpose. 
It includes academic reading and academic writing.  It includes general reading and general writing. 
Mostly taken by candidates who want admission in a university abroad. Mostly taken by those who want to get a visa and gain entry in an English-speaking country.

Why Give IELTS?

We can simply regard both versions as two different sides of the same coin. The IELTS exam is compulsory to clear for entering countries where English is used as the principal language of communication. The motive behind the exam is to check whether the individuals are ready to take up a program that taught in English or work in an organisation wherein the only medium of communication is English.

IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training

IELTS Academic Test is taken by the aspirants willing to attain overseas education in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA, etc. Candidates have to present their IELTS results and scores in order to take admission in the choice of their university. On the contrary, IELTS General Training is opted by those who want to immigrate, gain work experience or enroll in a training program in the aforementioned or likely counties.

IELTS Academic vs IELTS Training Test Format

The table below depicts the IELTS format to make it easy for students to understand:

Task Questions Time
Listening 40 Questions (4 Sections) 30 Minutes + 10 Minutes to transfer answers to sheets
Reading Academic 40 Questions (3 Sections) 60 Minutes
Reading General 40 Questions (3 Sections) 60 Minutes
Writing Academic 2 Tasks (Graphs + Essay) 60 Minutes
Writing General 2 Tasks (Letter + Essay) 60 Minutes
Speaking 3 Sections (Introduction + Cue Card + Discussion) 11-14 Minutes

IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General: Section Wise

After going through the key details of both the papers, let us now understand the difference between IELTS General and the IELTS Academic section-wise.

Reading Section

IELTS Academic 

The reading section of the IELTS Academic will contain 3 long paragraph questions that have to be solved in 60 minutes. The applicants will answer the questions based on their reading of the text. The given passages will be around the lines of the texts or articles that the individual will get to study in the program. 

IELTS General Training

The number of questions and the duration of the reading section in the IELTS General Training test is same as the Academic. But the passages are generally easier and are not centric on a particular theme. The general test-takers will encounter paragraphs about day-to-day situations. 

IELTS Academic Vs IELTS General: Writing

IELTS Academic

The major difference between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training lies in this section. For the writing component, aspirants have to complete 2 tasks in 60 minutes. The 1st question will be an essay as a response to the given question. In the 2nd one, candidates have to present written information of a diagram, chart or picture given. 

IELTS General Training

In the General Training test, the duration and number of questions remain the same but the format differs. For the first question, applicants will have to write a Letter (Formal, Informal, or Semi-Formal) regarding general purposes. The second question will be on essay writing. To increase your chances of scoring well, here are a few IELTS Writing Tips!

Speaking (Common for Both)

The test of the Speaking section will last for a duration of 10-15 minutes. This round will be a face to face interaction with the examiner. Applicants will be asked general questions based on IELTS speaking topics like friends, families, interests, etc. Here is a list of IELTS Speaking Questions which you can practise!

Listening (Common for Both)

Listening skill test is a common point between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training. 4 recordings set in different situations will be played and the candidates have to answer the given questions as per their inference and understanding of the audio. The total time limit for this test will be 30 minutes.

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Similarities: IELTS Academic vs IELTS General

Both the IELTS tests have more similarities than differences such as they have a similar time frame and structure. The 4 sections focus on evaluating the speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills of a candidate in a span of 45 minutes. The registration procedure of both tests is also the same.


Which amongst the two versions of IELTS is easier?

Both the versions of IELTS have individual parameters to evaluate the abilities of candidates. Although, IELTS General Training is considered easier than the other.

Can IELTS General be used to apply for universities? 

No, as IELTS General and Academic have their own distinct purposes, you cannot use one variant to replace the other.

Till how long will the score of the IELTS exam be considered valid?

IELTS exam score is valid only for 2 years.

Concludingly, we hope that this distinction between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training has helped you in making the correct choice. Be it Academic or General Training, it is important to get a high score in the IELTS exam. Get enrolled in Leverage Edu‘s exclusive online classes and get access to numerous practise questions, updated study materials, and one-on-one doubt clearing sessions!

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