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Difference Between IELTS Academic Test and IELTS General Training Test

In IELTS there are 2 types of test: Academic and General Training. Listening and speaking is same in both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.

When you take decision about which test to take, there are number of things you should think about, including your short term and long term goals. Some important things you should consider are your goals and aspirations related to your education, your personal situation, and your work-related and professional plans

This blog will let you know about the differences and similarities between 2 types of test and will also help you in deciding which test you should consider.


IELTS Academicis best for you if you want to pursue a Bachelor’s or a postgraduate degree programme

IELTS General training is perfect if you want to study below degree level, or you want to work and/or emigrate to a English-speaking country.

Format of Examination

Both the tests include 4 sections – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The length of each section is same in both the tests:

  • Listening: 30 minutes
  • Speaking: 11-14 minutes
  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes

Let’s look on this sections individually:

  • Listening: In Listening section there is no difference between both the tests. There are four recorded listening excerpts on both the IELTS Academic and General Training.
  • Speaking: In Speaking each test includes a face to face recorded interview with a certified IELTS speaking examiner.
    There are also short and long questions on each test where the candidate talks about a familiar topic. And also there is a structured discussion on each test.
  • Reading: There are 3 Readings with questions for both test.In the IELTS Academy Test there are variety of texts such as descriptive, factual and analytical. The reading test also includes diagrams, graphs or illustrations.There are 3 sections in General Training test. There are two or three short texts in the first section. When we talk about second section,  there are two short texts related to the workplace and finally in the third section there is a general interest topic, which is longer than the previous sections.Both General and Academic tests are authentic, they are from books, newspapers, journals etc..
  • Writing: There are 2 writing tasks on each test: Task 1 is a minor of 150 words, while there is minimum of 250 words for task 2.In IELTS Academic test, task 1 is writing about a table, graph, chart or diagram and there is easy for task 2.For the General test, the writing for task 1 is a letter, and task 2 is for essay.You should decide which test you should take on the basis of your need, your reason to go abroad and in which country you are going.