Test Preparation

What is the difference between IELTS Academic and General Training tests?

What is the difference between IELTS Academic and General Training tests?

On this Page:

IELTS Academic vs General Training tests differ for many reasons. Learn how IELTS Academic vs General tests are different in test pattern, syllabus, etc., and know your test.

GyanDhan

Ananya Ghai

Updated on: 21 Oct 2023

The IELTS is a widely accepted measure of English proficiency of non-native speakers of English for academic, professional, and migration purposes abroad. Depending on the purpose of one taking the test, it has mainly two varieties - IELTS Academic and General Training. While Indians score 6.2 bands on average for IELTS Academic, the same for IELTS General Training is 6.4 bands, according to the 2022 data released by the IELTS. 

If you are curious to know how the IELTS Academic vs. General Training tests are different, explore the blog for a comprehensive answer.

Sprinkles

IELTS Academic vs. General Training

IELTS Academic: The IELTS Academic is for students who are interested in studying abroad in an English-speaking country and for employment in some professional organizations. The test assesses how far the test-taker is ready and comfortable to use English as the medium of study. 

IELTS General Training: The IELTS General Training is for those who wish to work and live in an English-speaking country abroad and for studying courses below a degree level. The test assesses how far the test-taker can handle everyday situations in English. 

Parameters IELTS Academic test IELTS General Training test

Fees

INR 15,500

INR 15,500

Test duration

2 hours 45 minutes

2 hours 45 minutes

Test validity

2 years

2 years

 

Check Your Education Loan Eligibility

 

Application procedure for IELTS academic and general tests is the same. While applying online, candidates can select the test they want.

Prepare for IELTS. Subscribe to our YouTube series for IELTS preparation

Sprinkles

IELTS tests for different purposes

Your purpose is the key reason why you opt for IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training. Refer to the table below for the IELTS test required for different purposes:

 

Purpose IELTS test required

Undergraduate & Postgraduate study

IELTS Academic

Doctoral & Post-Doctoral study

IELTS Academic

Education below the degree level 

IELTS General Training

Work or Training 

IELTS General Training

To work in a professional oraganization

IELTS Academic

Migrating for temporary period

IELTS General Training

Obtaining a Permanent Residency

IELTS General Training

Sprinkles

IELTS Academic vs. General Training syllabus

As the purpose of the IELTS Academic and General Training differs, the syllabus for the tests varies to cater to the purpose. However, the Listening and Speaking sections remain the same for both tests. 

Here’s how the syllabus for the Reading and Writing sections differ for IELTS Academic and General Training tests.

Sprinkles

Reading

In the reading section, 40 questions based on three texts are asked. These 40 questions include multiple-choice, picking out info for short-answer questions, matching words of two columns, analyzing the writer’s views, and completing a summary.

IELTS Academic IELTS General Training

Three academic essays of different difficulty levels to be read out

Four short passages of different difficulty levels to be read out

Essays with academic content are taken from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Short passages of everyday situations are taken from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Sample topics for reading test in IELTS Academics: Robots at work, Extraction and purification of drinking water, The life and work of Marie Curie, etc.

Sample topics for reading test in IELTS General Training: Emergency procedures, Your Moulex iron, Beneficial work practices for the keyboard operator, etc. 

Sprinkles

Writing

In the IELTS Writing section, test-takers have two tasks: describe a chart, graph, diagram, or table in 100 words, and write a 250-word short essay on the topic given. The topics and questions differ from your purpose for taking the test, as you can see below.

IELTS Academic IELTS General Training

Formal style of writing

Formal or semi-formal style of writing

Topics related to the program of study

Topics of general nature

The first task is based on data, diagram, or graphical representation

The candidate is asked to draft a letter connected to a hypothetical situation

The second task asks you to write an essay as your response to given data

The tone of the letter is flexible according to the situation provided

Sample topic for writing test in IELTS Academic:

In education and employment, some people work harder than others. Why do some people work harder? Is it always a good thing to work hard?

Sample topic for writing test in IELTS General Training:

You recently organized an all-day meeting for your company, which took place in a local hotel. In their feedback, participants at the meeting said that they liked the hotel, but they were unhappy about the food that was served for lunch. 

Write a letter to the manager of the hotel. In your letter,

  • list items Say what the participants liked about the hotel.
  • list items Explain why they were unhappy about the food.
  • list items Suggest what the manager should do to improve the food in the future.

 

As mentioned, the Listening and Speaking sections remain the same for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. 

Sprinkles

Listening 

The IELTS Listening section is divided into four parts and tests adaptability in various situations. The first two situations deal with societal requirements, and the remaining are concerned with an educational or training setting. The average time allotted for each segment falls between 3 - 4 minutes. 

  • list items Number of questions asked: more than 40
  • list items The conversations can be either monologue or dialogue
  • list items Only one-time listening is allowed
  • list items Based on them, more than 40 questions are asked, including multiple-choice, short-answer, diagram labeling, etc.

 

Get Guaranteed Best Loan with GyanDhan
Find a Better Loan Offer Elsewhere & We Will Cover the Difference in Interest

 

Sprinkles

Speaking

The IELTS speaking section examines the test-taker’s skills to converse with a native English speaker. The assessment comprises a personal interview, a short speech, and a discussion and typically lasts for 11-14 minutes. 

  • list items Part 1 - Introducing yourself and Interview: You will be given 4 - 5 minutes to introduce yourself. You can give your details, such as hobbies, interests, etc. 

 

  • list items Part 2 - Short speech on a topic: You have 2 - 3 minutes within which you speak on a topic the examiner gives you. You will get 1 - 2 minutes for preparation, and after your speech, there will be questions based on that. 

 

  • list items Part 3 - Discussions on a topic given: You will get 5 - 6 minutes for talking about a given topic and based on your speech, there will be simpler and more complex discussions.

 

Check here for the IELTS syllabus.

IELTS Academic and General Training tests differ in the purpose of taking the test and the syllabus changes accordingly. While the Academic test is for higher education abroad, the General Training test serves immigrants seeking employment opportunities.

IELTS Academic or General Training, consistent effort is required to get enough scores and move abroad. Kickstart your preparation with our online IELTS preparation course. Check the link right now.

Read also:

Sprinkles

Frequently asked questions

Which is harder - IELTS Academic or General test?

The ease and toughness of IELTS tests depend on the test-taker’s preparation level, personal abilities, and comfort at the time of the test. Generally, the IELTS General Training test is simpler since IELTS Academic involves academic topics. 

What is the minimum age for IELTS Academic and General Training?

16 years is the minimum age to take either IELTS Academic or General Training test. 

Is a 12th-grade pass required for IELTS Academic and General Training tests?

Academic grades are not related to the eligibility to take the IELTS Academic or General Training tests. The test aims to show proof of the English skills of the test-takers despite their academic backgrounds. 

What is the minimum IELTS score required for a PR in Canada?

Generally, an IELTS score of 6.0 bands or above is required for a PR in Canada. The IELTS scores are compared against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which assigns points according to the IELTS scores for each section. 

How to book an IELTS Academic or General Training test? 

  • list items Log in to the IELTS India website
  • list items Select the option ‘Register for IELTS’
  • list items Choose the mode of test - computer-delivered IELTS/ paper-based (IELTS, IELTS for UKVI or Life Skills)
  • list items Select the type of IELTS - IELTS Academic or General Training
  • list items Select your test location
  • list items Choose a date from available choices and select a time slot
  • list items Upload a colored copy of your passport
  • list items Pay the IELTS fee