26 June, 2022

article1Blessy Babu

IELTS Academic VS General Tests. What Is The Difference?


You may know that IELTS is an English language exam to validate a candidate’s language proficiency to work or study abroad. Whether you plan to study or work in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, or the USA, you will have to qualify for a language assessment test like IELTS or OET. These exams measure the ability of test-takers to communicate in the four basic English language skills – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

The IELTS exam is administered by IDP Education Australia, British Council, and Cambridge English Language Assessment. It is accepted in more than 3,400 institutions in the US and thousands of institutions in English-speaking countries. However, getting a 7+ band score in IELTS is often not easy. Aspirants require proper guidance and training to achieve the language skillset. 

The IELTS is a score on a nine-band scale, with each band corresponding to the competence and level of the candidate in the English language. The duration of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. There are also two kinds of IELTS available. Here in this blog, we will discuss the two types of IELTS exams. 

IELTS Academic V/S General Tests

The two types of IELTS tests include IELTS Academic and IELTS General. These tests have similarities and differences. Therefore, if you plan to take up an IELTS test in 2021, you must be aware of the test pattern, format and requirements of the different tests. 

IELTS Academic Test 

The IELTS Academic test is designed for candidates who want to study in an English-speaking country. However, both the students who wish to pursue their higher education and professional registration purposes can also attend this exam. Apart from students, some professionals are also required to provide scores of IELTS Academic tests to pursue medical professions in Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada. 

There are several reasons why you should pursue the IELTS test in 2021 to study at an undergraduate level or postgraduate level. You can also pursue the test if you wish to apply for a Student Route visa at a University or work in a professional organization. 

  • The Speaking section and Listening section are the same for both the tests. The speaking test assesses the use of spoken English. 
  • The IELTS Academic Writing test assesses the candidate’s ability to understand and write based on academic concepts. 
  • The IELTS Academic test Reading section focuses on reading ability to detail, summarise, skim and recognize the writer’s opinion. The Reading Test of the IELTS Academic test contains questions from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.   

IELTS General Test

The IELTS General Training test is designed for candidates who want to study below degree level in an English-speaking school or college. This test can also be attempted by candidates who wish to gain work experience or other employment training. IELTS General Training is required for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. 

Unlike the academic test based on academic concepts, this test features everyday English language skills used in social and workplace environments. Although this test aims for general immigration, some organizations use General Training IELTS scores to assess the English ability of their workers to check their potential to stay in their workforce.

  • The Speaking section and Listening section are the same for both the tests. The speaking test assesses the use of spoken English. 
  • The IELTS General Writing test assesses the candidate’s skills by evaluating topics that are of general interest.
  • The Reading Test of the IELTS General test contains extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. The materials that you encounter daily are used for reading tests here. 

With efficient IELTS training classes and practice, students will not only learn to excel in the exam but also, understand the mistakes to avoid in an IELTS Test. The IELTS General Test is comparatively more straightforward than the IELTS Academic test. The scoring format is different in both the tests regarding one band.  You can opt for IELTS General Training if you wish to work in an organization or undertake any training in an English-speaking country. You can also attend this course if you wish to emigrate to an English-speaking country for residence. 

 Let’s Conclude

As we read, the two tests are designed for specific people, and the tests have differences. However, we know that the IELTS is accepted in more than 3000 institutions in the US and thousands of English-speaking countries. So start your IELTS journey today to explore vast career opportunities with enhanced communication skills. 

See also : Planning to take your IELTS test in Dubai?.Book your test at an official IELTS test centre. For more details check out our IELTS Exam Booking Page. 

article1Blessy Babu


Blessy Babu is an English Language Associate with over seven years of experience teaching various language courses such as IELTS, OET, TOEFL, PTE, SAT, GRE & GMAT. She attained her Master’s Degree in English Literature along with a second Masters's in Counseling and Psychology. Besides, these master's degrees she gained an advanced diploma in creative writing, which perfectly enhances her writing skills. She has authored a book that contains multiple essay writing models to help learners boost their essay writing skills and styles.

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