Difference Between Academic and General IELTS

There are so many things that you must research before going for the IELTS exam, like, the format of the test, different online as well as offline preparation courses, and whatnot. But the most important thing you need to know is which type of test you need to take- IELTS Academic or General test.


Whether you choose Academic or General IELTS depends upon your qualification or professional goals and the visa requirements. For both the tests, the registration procedure is identical and most test centers offer both General IELTS and Academic IELTS. Candidates appearing for either exam need to achieve band scores as per the requirement of the academic institutions or other organizations. On completing the test, participants receive a test report certificate that is valid for two years.  

To help you decide which IELTS exam to choose, let’s have a look over the main difference between Academic and General IELTS 

IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic evaluates English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning education. In this test, your level of comprehension and your ability to present complex ideas is tested. Most universities ask you for the Academic IELTS test. All the tests and tasks are available for all despite your subject matter. The IELTS Academic format is for those who want to study in a university that teaches in English at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. It is also required for registration in professional streams like medical, nursing, engineering, accounting across several countries.     


IELTS General Test

 In the General IELTS test, they test your working knowledge of English, which is required to converse and understand. It is mostly for migration purposes. It evaluates English proficiency in an everyday context. The tasks and texts indicate both workplace and social situations. The General Test is for those trying to go to English-speaking countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada to do secondary education, work, or settle. 

Moving on, let’s talk about the four main sections of both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General test: 




 The listening section is the same for IELTS general and academic. The total time for both the training exams in listening is 30 minutes. Moreover, there are four recorded monologues and conversations on both exams. The listening test checks the comprehension skills of candidates.  



 The total time for the reading section in both the training exams is 60 minutes. You will get various texts to read for the IELTS Academic exam, like factual, descriptive, and analytical. Not only this, but the reading module also consists of diagrams, graphs, or illustrations. The texts come from journals, newspapers, books, etc. 


On the other hand, for IELTS General Test, there are three sections. In the first section, there are two or three short texts. In the second section, there are two short work-related texts, and in the third section, there is one long text about a general topic. The texts come from books, newspapers, company handbooks. 



IELTS Writing test is also for 60 minutes. In the General Training Writing test, you have to write a letter (150 words) and a Short Essay (250 words). The Academic Writing test is rather formal, wherein you are asked to describe a table, chart, or diagram (150 words) in the first task. For the second task, you should write a Short Essay (250 words). 



In this category, there is a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS-speaking examiner. The duration for speaking for both exams is 11 to 15 minutes. The speaking module contains short questions, and then you have to speak about a familiar topic.