IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic vs General
IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic vs General

Which test should I take?

The IELTS Academic or the IELTS general test. The International English Language Testing System, commonly known as the IELTS test, is written to assess one’s language abilities.  It is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations all over the world. An estimated 3 million individuals take the exam each year for various reasons. The IELTS test scores are accurate and are valid for two years from the date of the test.

There are two modules of testing in the IELTS exam.  These are

1. The IELTS academic test 

2. The IELTS general training test 

What is the academic IELTS test? 

The academic module is primarily taken by students and for the professional registrations. If you are planning to go to a nation where English is the prime mode of communication for your graduation or post graduation, the academic IELTS test is the right choice for you. The term academic it means that it is oriented towards education.

What is the main aim of the academic IELTS test? 

The answer to this question can be explained very easily.  When you go to another country for your education, you should be able to fulfill the requirements of the course you have opted for. In addition to this, if the university or the college where you wish to go is asking for the IELTS score, then it means that all the lectures and courses would be taught in English.  

Hence, the IELTS test results would confirm your level of English language proficiency accurately. This is the main reason behind taking the IELTS test.  In the recent years, most of the universities in various countries are considered the IELTS test scores while the academic course intakes are happening. 

How much should you score? 

The band score required to be scored for the academic test would depend on several factors. The university which you prefer may be a factor for getting the required score. For most of the universities in several countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc, the general notion is that an overall score of 6.5 is required. This is the minimum band score.  Furthermore, there is a condition that in each of the four parts of the test, listening, reading, writing and speaking, you should not get less than a band six. 

For example, let us say that a candidate has achieved an overall score of 6.5, but his scores in the individual tests are – listening – 6.5 , reading – 6.5, writing  -6.0 and speaking – 6.0, then he has met the minimum score requirement set by the university and hence, he can proceed with his application process. However, if the overall result is 6.5 but if the candidate scores less in one of the four parts, then they may have to check whether the university accepts that score or not.  

What is the IELTS general training test? 

As said earlier, the IELTS test comprises of two modules.  The second module, that is, the IELTS general training test is one of the two variants.  It is taken for the purpose of emigration. If you are planning to migrate to an English speaking country, then you need to take the IELTS test and in that, you should choose the general training module. Also, if you have a plan to work abroad in English speaking countries, then taking the IELTS general training test is mandatory. 

What is the score required for immigration?

 For countries like Canada, there is an official IELTS score requirement that is decided by the government, which is 8,7,7,7 in the listening, reading, writing and the speaking tests respectively. 

What is the aim of the IELTS general training test?

 As an immigrant, when you land in a foreign country, you have to speak, listen, read and write in English, which is the language which is spoken by the natives of that country.  This is what is tested in the IELTS test.  You can know whether you are meeting the set standard requirements or not,  and if the case is that your score is less, it means that you need to improve your language skills and then take the IELTS test again to achieve a better score. 

What is the difference between IELTS academic test and the IELTS general training test? 

There are four specific tests in the IELTS test.

1. Listening

 2. Reading

3. Writing 

4. Speaking. 

The listening test is the same for both the academic and the general training test takers.  You will hear a number of recordings in English and you should answer a total of forty questions from what you listen various English accents will be heard, and you should be able to identify what the correct answer is with the help of the keywords. The audio will be played only once.  You have to answer the questions as you listen. You will be given ten minutes of time to transfer the answers on to the listening answer sheet. 

The academic reading test consists of texts which are taken from magazines, text books, and other sources.  There will be three passages which are lengthy and the vocabulary is more complex as compared with the general training reading test. There will be 40 questions and you will get 60 minutes to complete this test. 

In the general training reading test, there will be five passages of which four are shorter and the last passage is lengthier.  You should answer 40 questions. In comparison with the academic reading, the general reading test is simpler and easy. 

In the academic writing test, the candidates have to write a report based on visual data in the form of charts and tables. The second task is an essay.   In the general writing test, the test takers have to write a letter and an essay.  You will get 60 minutes to finish both the tasks.  For task 1, write a minimum of 150 words and for task 2, write a minimum of 250 words.

 The speaking test is similar for both the modules. The test time is 11-14 minutes and there are three parts in the test – an introduction and interview, the individual long turn and an extended discussion.  The topics are general ones and no specialist knowledge is required.


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