IELTS General: General Training Test Format, General Vs Academic and More

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ielts general

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is a popular English proficiency test amongst many. The citizens belonging to countries where English is not an official language have to clear this exam in order to pursue higher education abroad. As one of the most famous competitive exams, it tests the abilities of the students around 4 basic competencies i.e, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.

However, aspirants often get confused between the 2 variants namely, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. For all the applicants going through the same conundrum, here is a blog that aims to elucidate upon the key components of IELTS General Training!

Why Give IELTS?

Students who can not speak English fluently may have difficulty studying or migrating to another nation. However, this does not preclude the possibility of developing one’s English speaking, writing, and reading skills. As a result, students who want to study abroad must perform well in the IELTS exam. Participation in the aforementioned exam might serve as evidence of the candidate’s command of the English language. 

High IELTS scores may assist students in assuring admissions committees/visa authorities of their English language proficiency. Aside from that, high IELTS scores can even indicate that the candidate is capable of expressing himself or herself in front of an international audience. 

IELTS General Training Test Format

Are you wondering about how to prepare for IELTS? Before you begin your preparation, you must get a hold of the intricacies of the IELTS exam pattern. For scoring well, you must aim to excel in each of the 4 sections. Particular time limits are set for each section, other than that, candidates will not be given any extra time for solving the exam. Let us have a detailed look at the format of IELTS General Training. 

Reading Section

This 60 minutes long Reading section includes various comprehension passages. There will be a  total of 40 questions which the aspirants have to solve in the given time limit. Usually, for the General Test, the passages are from magazines, books, newspapers, etc. Have a look at the types of questions in this section of IELTS General:

  • Part 1: 2-3 short texts
  • Part 2: 2 Texts 
  • Part 3: 1 Long Text

Writing Section

It is one of the most essential sections of the IELTS exam. Candidates will be assessed on the basis of their fluency in writing on the given topics. In the duration of 60 minutes, applicants will have to solve 2 questions with different word limits. Both questions will be general in nature. Here are the details of the 2 questions of the Writing section of the IELTS General Test. 

  • Task 1: Letter Writing or Explaining a Situation (150 words) 
  • Task 2: An essay in response to an argument or point of view

Related Read: IELTS Writing Tips

Listening Section

The listening section of the IELTS General Test will gauge your listening skills thoroughly. Various recordings will be played and you will have to answer the given questions based upon your listening abilities. The total time limit for this section will be 30 minutes in which 40 questions have to be solved. Following are the types of questions in the listening test:

  • Section 1: A general conversation between two people
  • Section 2: Monologue based on an everyday situation
  • Section 3: A conversation between 4 people 
  • Section 4: A monologue on a topic

Speaking Section

Out of all the sections, only the Speaking section of the IELTS General can be taken prior to the other three. The test will either be in the form of a personal interview or a face-to-face conversation with the examiner. The maximum time limit of this section will be 15 minutes in which the candidates have to answer the questions asked. Mentioned below are the tasks based on which, different IELTS speaking questions will be asked. 

  • Task 1: General Introduction
  • Task 2: Candidates have to speak on a given topic for a few minutes 
  • Task 3: This will be an interactive question-answer session based on the topic chosen in task 2

IELTS General vs IELTS Academic

The main distinguishing factor between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training is the purpose behind taking the exam. The General Training version is opted by working professionals who want to kickstart their career abroad as well as by individuals who have been recently hired by the organisation overseas and are looking forward to immigrating. The format of the IELTS General Training test includes sections like Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. Furthermore, while Speaking and Listening are common for both, the Reading and Writing sections are different in terms of question format. All the sections of the IELTS are time bound tests and the students are scored on a scale of 0-9. 

IELTS Academics IELTS General 
It’s the candidates who want to pursue higher education. It’s the 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 to a university abroad.Mostly taken by those who want to get a visa and gain entry in an English-speaking country.

Best IELTS Preparation Books

Name of the Book Authored Buy Here
Official Cambridge Guide to IELTSPauline CullenBuy here
Barron’s IELTSLin Lougheed Buy here 
English for ExamsEls van GeyteBuy here
IELTS on trackStephen Slater Buy here
English Vocabulary for IELTSRawdon Wyatt Buy here
Cambridge English IELTSUclesBuy here
Ideas for IELTS essay topicsBen WorthingtonBuy here
IELTS Trainer Louise HashemiBuy here
Target Band 7: IELTS AcademicSimone Braverman Buy here
IELTS Success Formula Academic with CDSimone BravermanBuy here
Ace the IELTS: IELTS General- How to Maximize Your ScoreSimone BravermanBuy here
Official IELTS Practice MaterialsCambridge ESOLBuy here
Essential Words for the IELTSLin LougheedBuy here

So that was all about IETLS General and its nuances. Hope the blog has answered all your queries regarding the topic.

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What are the most common topics in IELTS General Writing Task 2?

Some of the most common topics asked in the IELTS General Writing Task 2 are Education, Art, Technology, Sociology, Crime and so on.

Is IELTS general difficult?

It is important to exercise caution when asserting that the IELTS General Training is categorically easier than the IELTS Academic. While the General Training focuses on everyday situations and may seem more familiar to some test-takers, the specific demands of each module, particularly in Writing and Reading, can vary significantly.

Is 7.0 a good score in IELTS general?

An IELTS band score of 7 and above signifies a strong command of the English language, placing you in a favorable position when applying to international universities. A score of 7 or above generally meets the English language proficiency requirements set by most universities abroad, eliminating a potential hurdle in your application process. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your candidacy with greater confidence.

Visit the Leverage Live page of Leverage edu or contact our study abroad experts at 1800-57-2000 to strengthen your scores and application to secure your spot in your dream college. 

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