IELTS Academic vs General Test Format

IELTS -International English Language Testing System is offered in 2 formats.

  • IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

Before deciding to take IELTs, you have to figure out which IELTS  Academic vs General are you planning to take.

Typically, for admission to Universities, students would take IELTS Academic test.

If you are applying for immigration to Canada, Australia, etc IELTS General test is required.

IELTS Academic vs General

Following figure (from IETLS site) shows the differences between IELTS General test and Academic Test.

IELTS General Academic
IELTS – General vs Academic


So, the difference between IELTS Academic and General modules is that Reading and Writing tests are different.

Listening and the Speaking sections are the same for both Academic and General format.

IELTS Reading

  • Academic – Read 3 longer and complex passages. One per section
  • General –  4 or 5 Short passage and 1 long passage.

IELTS Writing

  • IELTS Academic  Writing
    • Task 1 – Describe a graph or chart or diagram.
    • Task 2 – write an essay in response to a point of  view, argument or problem
  • IELTS General  Writing
    • Task 1 – Write a  letter requesting information or explaining a situation.
    • Task 2 – Write an essay in response to a point of view, argument or problem.

Checkout 30 Universities in USA accepting IELTS.

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