Academic IELTS vs General Training IELTS: What’s the difference?
You are all set to embark on your journey to that foreign country you have been dreaming about for years. But before going to your dreamland, you need to prove your worth to the country, and one of the most important factors taken into consideration is the IELTS examination. If you are moving to an English-speaking country, you need to give this test to prove your English proficiency. IELTS has slowly gained popularity and is now the world’s most popular English proficiency test. It is widely accepted by universities and employers globally.
Now that you have found out that you need to give this exam, you must start your preparations as soon as possible to give a boost to your score.
But wait a moment! Before you begin with the preparations, did you know that there are different types of IELTS exams offered? Some of us are not aware that this proficiency exam is not just for academic purposes. IELTS is needed for transfer due to work or migration too.
There are TWO types of IELTS tests available: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Your purpose for going abroad should decide which exam you need to take. Both of these exams serve different purposes, and we are here to help you find the right one for you! There is not a huge difference between these two, but they still have different applications. Read ahead, and by the end, you will have an idea about which exam will suit your needs.
Through this blog you will learn:
- Who is IELTS Academic for?
- Who is IELTS General Training for?
- What are the similarities between the two tests
- What are the differences then?
- Is the scoring different for the two tests?
- Which test is the toughest of the two?
- Is there any difference in the fees?
What is IELTS Academic?
The IELTS Academic is an examination used to assess whether your level of English is appropriate for an academic environment. If you are planning to move to an English-speaking country for purposes that include, but are not limited to:
- Undergraduate degree/ Postgraduate degree/ Diploma/ PG Diploma/ Doctoral programs
- Apply for a Tier 4 student visa at a university that is a Tier 4 sponsor in the UK.
- Apply for professions (medical, nursing, engineering, accounting) that require an IELTS academic test result in an English speaking country
Then IELTS Academic is the exam you should opt for.
Your vocabulary and proficiency are tested to check whether you can handle the study load and begin your education or training.
What is IELTS General Training?
The IELTS General Training, as the name suggests, is an exam that assesses your English proficiency in an everyday, general context. If you plan to move to an English-speaking country for the following reasons:
- Migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK
- professional or work training
- Obtaining Permanent Residency in countries like Canada
- Apply to study below degree level.
Then IELTS General Training is the test designed just for you!
The test evaluates your ability to communicate efficiently in the workplace or in a social situation.
What are the similarities between IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic?
- Both the tests have four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
- Both tests have a total duration of about 3 hours in total.
- The listening and speaking sections of both the tests are absolutely similar. What a relief, isn’t it?
- Both the tests can be taken either in computer format or in paper-based format.
What are the differences between IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic?
Since the speaking and listening sections of both the tests are similar, it is obvious that the differences lie in the reading and writing sections, right?
Differences in the reading section:
|IELTS Academics||IELTS General Training|
|Number of passages in each section is the same||The number of passages in each section vary|
|The texts and passages are on topics of general interest but also related to academic topics such as:||The texts in different sections are related to work, professional training, everyday life, and also of general interest, such as:|
|One additional type of question apart from the 15 types used in both tests:|
1. Global multiple choice
|The common 15 types for both sections|
1. Sentence completion
2. Sentence completion with a box
3. Short answer questions
4. Notes / table / flow chart completion
7. Labelling a diagram
8. Paragraph headings
9. Finding information in paragraphs
10. Summary completion
11. Summary completion with a box
12. True / False / Not Given
13. Yes / No / Not Given
14. Multiple choice
15. Pick from a list+
To read in depth about the what the academic and general training reading section comprises you can visit: https://www.ielts.org/for-test-takers/test-format
Differences in the writing section:
Some of the major differences that set the two tests apart are seen in the writing section.
- Both the tests have two writing tasks that you are supposed to complete within a time limit of 60 minutes.
Reminder: In the writing section of either exam, do not write your answers in bullet points or in incomplete sentences.Your answer should be a complete sentence.
|IELTS Academics||IELTS General Training|
To read in depth about what the academic and general training writing section comprises you can visit https://www.ielts.org/for-test-takers/test-format.
Is the scoring different for the two tests?
The three sections: listening, speaking and writing are scored in the same manner for both the exams. The difference lies in the reading section of the test.
To help you understand the difference a little better let us look at an example. Say if you scored 33/40 in reading in your IELTS academic, your band score would be 7.5. However, if you scored a 33/40 in reading in your IELTS General training test, your band score would be 6.5.
It does seem a bit confusing, however for a little help you can check out this official chart of raw scores and their respective band https://www.ielts.org/en-us/for-organisations/ielts-scoring-in-detail
This will give you a fairly clear idea of the conversions and difference of scoring in both the tests.
The three sections: listening, speaking, and writing, are scored in the same manner for both the exams. The difference lies in the reading section of the test.
To help you understand the difference a little better, let us look at an example. If you scored 33/40 in reading in your IELTS academic, your band score would be 7.5. However, if you scored a 33/40 in reading in your IELTS General Training test, your band score would be 6.5.
It does seem a bit confusing, but for a little help, you can check out this official chart of raw scores and their respective bands. https://www.ielts.org/en-us/for-organisations/ielts-scoring-in-detail.
This will give you a clear idea of the conversions and difference in scoring in both the tests.
Which test is the toughest of the two?
There is no escape from preparation, irrespective of which test you opt for. However, if you are an IELTS academic test giver, you will need to put in a little extra effort to prepare for your exams compared to the IELTS General Training test givers. This is because the academic test is quite tougher than the general training one.
But don’t worry, we’re here to assist you. Statistics say that students have seen a boost in their scores after joining an IELTS coaching institute. Our institute, New Cambridge College, will provide you with a personalised learning experience. Our proficient teachers will provide you with tailored solutions for the areas that you lack. We are one of the best IELTS coaching institutes in Chandigarh that provides coaching for both IELTS academic and IELTS General Training.
Is there any difference in the fees?
Not at all. There is no difference in the fees for both the exams.
I hope this article clears up most of your confusion regarding which test suits you and your requirements the best. We advise you to check with your university, employer, etc. to see if there are any specifications mentioned regarding this test.
How NCC Global can help you?
We at NCC Global help students prepare for their IELTS by offering them the best IELTS coaching in Chandigarh. Our IELTS preparation helps students achieve the desired band score they require to study abroad in their preferred country. We hire staff who have already scored high on their IELTS and have rich experience in teaching students.
For a free consultation, call us or email us at –
Call – +919878222772 or +911724014454
Email – email@example.com