IELTS – Difference between Academic and General Training Test

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If you are an IELTS aspirant, it is obvious that you should decide to choose the suitable IELTS version.

For your information, there are 2 versions of IELTS examinations namely;

IELTS Academic Training test:

Academic Training version of the IELTS is probably preferred by the one who is planning for overseas studies. Or, he/she might have a plan for professional training in a particular field of their choice. Candidates taking the IELTS Academic version are generally students.

IELTS General Training test:

IELTS General Training version is for the candidates who choose to train or migrate to the English speaking countries such as New Zealand, US, Canada, Australia, Ireland and the UK.

The test assesses the candidate’s language proficiency to see whether he can match the requirements of social and workplace survival and terminology.

One among the 2 versions is suits according to the test taker’s educational, professional and personal interest.

Assessment is based on Purpose:

It is to know, the test format is the same for both the versions. But, based on the purpose of the applicants, the choice of topics in the 2 versions are different.

In brief, the IELTS test applicants are indeed candidates who seek academic future, might apply for a job or wish to migrate to English speaking country.

The test category is implies the academic purpose or job/migration purpose.

Similar IELTS Test Parts – Listening and Speaking Modules:

The listening and speaking parts are the same for both the categories. Listening part consists of 4 recordings and you should answer different questions in the duration of 30 minutes.

Additionally, speaking module too is the same for both the IELTS test versions. It is a face-to-face interview with the examiner and has 3 rounds. They are personal interview, 2 minute speech on the topic given, and discussion on the same topic.

Differences in IELTS Reading Part:

The test pattern for Academic and General training and the time limit is the same. But, the choice of topics varies.

Reading module primarily contains 3 readings.

As already said, the topics in the IELTS Academic version given in general are from educational references. In general, preferred sources are descriptions, synthesis, old and new facts, magazines, journals, newspapers and books etc. Sometimes, you might find some representations like bar graphs, tables and pie charts etc.

Coming to the General Training version, similarly it has 3 sections but their format varies ascending in the difficulty level. Section 1 has 3 short paragraphs. Whereas, section 2 has only 2 paragraphs to read and the final section has 1 lengthy paragraph.

The topics chosen are often from the sources of general interest such as newspapers, magazines, company handbooks etc.

Differences in IELTS Writing Part:

Just like Reading part, the writing part also varies for each category. As we know, the pattern is the same with 2 writing tasks in a duration of 60 minutes.

IELTS academic writing version task 1 is to analyze and articulate a diagrammatic representation. Usually, you find a graph, chart or a table with minimum 150 words in the time span of 20 minutes.

Task 2 is a response to a point of view, argument and or a problem with a word length of minimum 250 words and the time allotted is 40 minutes.

The IELTS General training task 1 is a letter writing task which might be formal/semi-formal or completely informal. It is a personal response either requesting information or explaining the situation. The prescribed word limit is 150 words in 20 minutes.

Task 2 in General training is to respond to a problem, argument or a point of view with a minimum 250 words in a time limit of 40 minutes.

Read more : Learn Important Fundamentals of IELTS

Major Differences among IELTS Academic & General Training Versions:

In fact, there are no significant variations between the 2 IELTS test versions. Apart from the similar listening and speaking modules, there are some reasons for the differences we find between the reading and writing modules.

However, as we have 2 major types of applicants, the intention of the 2 test versions is different. Observe, the Academic reading and writing would assess the candidates who plan for their higher education overseas. But, General Training reading and writing tests the survival abilities and other parameters required in the workplace environment.

One more thing; Academies accept academic tests and they are often concept and subject oriented. But, the general test is commonly accepted by the employers from private sectors and immigration agencies. Note, the IELTS General Training Version is non-academic.

Whatever the version you accept, you can easily crack it with correct guidance and constant practice.

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