IELTS Academic VS General Tests. What Is the Difference

IELTS Academic VS General Tests. What Is the Difference?

One of the most important and well accepted examinations for non-native English speakers’ English language ability is the International English Language Testing System, or IELTS.

Academic institutions and several professional organizations all around the world accept it. So, if you are planning to appear for IELTS, you can begin preparing by opting for an IELTS preparation course which is offered by many online and offline organizations.

But before choosing such a course, you need to be clear about which type of IELTS exam you are going to appear for. The IELTS exam comes in two distinctive styles, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

If you intend to pursue professional registration or tertiary studies in an English-speaking nation, the Academic version of the IELTS is what you should appear for.

But if you intend to work, train, enroll in secondary school, or immigrate to an English-speaking nation, you should opt for the General Training version of the exam.

Academic Test vs. IELTS General Training

The formats of the tests vary significantly from one another. IELTS has two versions and is not just one exam. What each of them contains is as follows:

  1. The IELTS Academic Test uses academic English to cover subjects that are typically taught in classrooms and other academic settings. This is ideal for college students and can be utilized for some registration requirements.
  2. The IELTS General Training is ideal for working professionals and immigrants, and it includes conversational English tailored primarily for social and professional settings, as well as knowledge on general topics.

The four components of IELTS Academic and General Training are Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.

Writing and reading assessments change between the Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS exam.


Topics appropriate for anyone wanting to pursue further education and enroll in a university or another professional institution will be covered in the Academic IELTS exam.

The General Training IELTS exam will cover themes of general interest and test applicants’ ability to utilize English in daily contexts.

The format of marking in both the exams is another distinction between the Academic and General IELTS exam editions.

Apart from these significant differences, there are a few similarities between these two tests.

IELTS General Training and Academic examinations both have identical Listening and Speaking test components. Additionally, both exams can be taken on a computer or on paper. The IELTS Academic and General Training exams each last about three hours.

IELTS Academic or General: How to Pass?

IELTS Academic is used to determine a student’s readiness for academic English study or training. It is typically harder than IELTS General Training.

Here are some suggestions you can follow to pass IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training exams:

  1. Utilize online tools for English practice and the free practice tests provided by the British Council.
  2. By watching or listening to movies, TV shows, podcasts, songs, and other media, you can hone your listening, reading, writing, speaking, and other skills. Increase the variety of your sources to discover what suits you the best.
  3. Speak with someone who speak English more fluently than you to help you correct your blunders.

So, now that you know the difference between both the tests, you can begin preparing for it based on the purpose of appearing for the exam.

Start learning right away!

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