Difference between General IELTS and Academic IELTS

Difference between General IELTS and Academic IELTS

General IELTS and Academic IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is being developed to assess a student’s proficiency in English based on four exam factors – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Applicants must achieve a minimum band score in IELTS as prescribed by universities and colleges. IELTS offers two types of English proficiency test options: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Don’t know which one to take? This blog post will make you understand the main differences between General IELTS and Academic IELTS. Check it out below!

IELTS test format

The General IELTS and Academic IELTS tests have four parts in this order:

  • Listen
  • While reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  1. Listen
    1. Total number of questions: 40
    2. Completion time: 40
  2. While reading
    1. Total number of questions: 40
    2. Completion time: 60
  3. Writing
    1. Total writing tasks: 2 (one shorter and one longer)
    2. Completion time: 60 minutes
  4. Speaking
    1. Total Sections: 3
    2. Total time: 10-15 minutes

General IELTS and Academic IELTS have absolutely no difference in listening and speaking. It’s a great relief. Both tests can be taken on paper or on a computer.

Difference between General IELTS and Academic IELTS

  1. What is Academic IELTS?

International students who wish to study in an English-speaking environment must take the IELTS Academic test. You can also take this test for professional registration purposes. Academic IELTS checks your ability to study in English. It also measures your strength in English vocabulary. A student can take this test either offline (paper) or online (computer). The subjects are more based on academic studies or professional institutions.

  1. What is General IELTS?

The IELTS General Training test is suitable for students who wish to apply for courses below diploma level. This may include studying at an English-speaking school or college. General IELTS can also be taken for the purposes of work experience or other job-related training. Topics are based on more general interests such as newspapers, reviews and advertisements.

Note – The differences can only be found in the read and write sections.

Differences between General IELTS and Academic IELTS in the Reading Sections

Reading tests differ primarily in the number of passages and reading topics. There is also a very nominal experience in the type of questions asked.

  • Differences in the number of reading passes

In the Academic IELTS test, the number of reading passes in each section remains the same.

  • Division 1: A short article
  • Division 2: A long article (longer than section 1)
  • Division 3: A longer article (about the same length as section 2)

In the general IELTS reading tests, the number of reading passages is different in each section.

  • Division 1: up to 3 shorter text articles
  • Division 2: 2 shorter text articles
  • Division 3: A longer text article

Differences in the topics of the reading passages

In the Academic IELTS test, all subjects in Reading Passages are related to general interests only. These topics are closely related to areas of academic interest and subjects only. Such as:

  • Chemical Physics
  • Space & Astronomy
  • Computer science and mathematics
  • Human/animal and plant biology
  • scientific inventions
  • Education
  • Arts: Painting & Sculpture
  • Architecture
  • Music
  • Arts and crafts
  • Linguistics & Languages
  • Right
  • Environment
  • Anthropology & History
  • Business, management, marketing and economics
  • Medicine

In the general topics of IELTS

  • Division 1: Up to 3 reading passages related to everyday life (travel, classifieds, accommodation listings, college notice boards etc.)
  • Division 2: Up to 2 topics related to work or other aspects of vocational training (job descriptions, manuals, guidelines and work policies)
  • Division 3: A long topic of general interest (newspaper/magazine article, or passage on business, culture, history, transportation, or civilization)

Differences in Reading Question Types

General IELTS and Academic IELTS have the same 15 question types. However, only one additional type has been added to IELTS Academic – Global Multiple Choice. See the lists below:

Types of questions in the Reading section

  • sentence completion
  • Sentence completion (with a box)
  • Short questions/answers
  • Completion of flowchart
  • Match the following
  • Classification of things
  • Diagram labeling
  • Paragraph headings
  • Find information in the paragraph
  • Complete the summary
  • Complete the summary with a box
  • True/False/Not given
  • Yes/No/Not given
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Choose the correct one from a list

And the last different,

  • Global Multiple Choice (only for Academic IELTS)

Differences between General IELTS and Academic IELTS in Writing Sections

In the writing sections of General IELTS and Academic IELTS, two tasks are given and both must be completed. The conditions for passing remain the same for both exams.

  • Completion time: 60 minutes
  • Tasks: Total 2
  • Marking system:Spot 1: 33% of the total mark in writing; Task 2: 66% of the total mark in writing

In these two types of IELTS General and Academic IELTS writing tests, you must write the test with appropriate complete tests and cannot use incomplete tests or bulleted lists. You will receive answer sheets in which you must write the answer using a pen or pencil. You are not allowed to use a blank sheet of paper.

IELTS Academic Writing

In Spot 1, a visual will be provided to you. You must describe the visual in your own words. The visual provided can be a chart, map, line graph, pie chart, or table. The word limit is between 150 and 250 words and the duration is around 20 minutes.

In Task 2, you must write a subject-related essay on an academic matter. You must present your point of view, or an argument or a solution to a problem that you will bring. The word limit is between 250 words and 350 words. The estimated duration is approximately 40 minutes.

IELTS General Writing

In Spot 1, you will be asked to write formatted or informal letters. Examples like explaining a situation or asking for information. The word limit is between 150 and 250 words and the estimated time to complete is approximately 20 minutes.

In Task 2, you will be asked to write an essay on a topic of general interest. You should present your point of view or argument on any subject and discuss it as well. The word limit is between 250 and 350 words. Estimated completion time: 40 minutes.

Which type of IELTS test is best for me?

A candidate who wishes to study in an English-speaking country must take the IELTS academic test. For work or immigration reasons, General IELTS is recommended. Many IELTS students find General IELTS easier than Academic IELTS because the questions are more of a generic type than a specific type and the scoring format is also slightly different.

Final thoughts!

With the right amount of preparation and understanding, you can overcome any difficulties encountered while preparing for the IELTS exam. Getting a good group score in the IELTS exam is very important to secure admissions into your dream universities. I hope this article has answered all the doubts that come to your mind regarding What is General IELTS, What is Academic IELTS and the difference between General IELTS and academic IELTS. If you found this blog post helpful, leave a comment. Please share this post too!

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