IELTS General vs Academic: Comparison Guide & Test Format
The IELTS exam measures the English language proficiency level for various life choices, like moving abroad, getting a job or even improving your English language skills. The difference between IELTS general vs academic is based on a candidate’s purpose of moving abroad – immigration, education, or for work. Different countries have their requirements for these test types and band scores. Need help deciding which test to take? Let’s break down the IELTS types to see which suits you most! IELTS General vs Academic- Overview The IELTS Academic test is for candidates who want to pursue higher education in English-speaking countries. Since the language of instruction is primarily English in these countries, IELTS Academic ascertains the feasibility during studies. On the other hand, IELTS General Training is taken by those who want to pursue schooling or require employment and work experience certification from abroad countries. It is generally asked as a requirement for the migration of non-English natives to English-speaking countries. The format of IELTS general vs academic is almost the same. The first step is understanding the similarities and differences to decide which test best suits your needs. Similarities between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training The IELTS general vs academic tests has a lot more similarities than differences. The timing and structure for both tests are the same (four sections evaluating speaking, reading, writing, and listening for two hours and 45 minutes). IELTS Academic and IELTS General have common Listening and Speaking test with different Reading and Writing tests. In both cases, students must take the IELTS writing, reading, and listening assessments on the same day, while the speaking paper can be taken up to seven days before or afterwards. The registration procedure for both tests is the same. Differences between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training As mentioned above, the main aim of IELTS general vs academic is to assess a candidate’s ability to read, write, listen, and speak English. The test format of the writing and speaking sections differs for both tests. Along with this, there are some critical differences between IELTS general vs academic. Let’s look at the differences carefully: 1. Modules IELTS Reading The IELTS academic reading test has three long passages to assess a candidate’s logical and analytical knowledge. Questions on this paper range from matching headings and sentence formation to short questions. The passages in this section are generic and invoke interest. They are chosen from journals and magazines. Each correct answer is awarded one mark. In contrast, the IELTS general training test has multiple short texts spread across three sections and one long text. In the second section, questions are framed related to the workplace. The question types include job descriptions, workplace ethics, staff training material, etc. The long text will be slightly complicated compared to the Academic Test, which mainly tests the candidate’s critical and constructive skills. Correct answers are rewarded with one mark. IELTS Writing The IELTS academic writing test has the first task that includes an explanation of data presented in a table/chart/diagram/graph in 150 words. The time allotted for the first task is 20 minutes. The next task is to provide a written response to an argument within 250 words within 40 minutes. One crucial thing to remember is that the answer shouldn’t be written in bullets but thoughtfully in paragraphs. In the first task of the IELTS general training test, the candidates must compose a formal or an informal email requesting any information or explaining in 150 words. In the second task, the candidates must write an essay responding to an argument or statement in 250 words. Relevant examples should back the viewpoints. 2. Score Comparison The test scoring pattern is the most significant difference between IELTS general vs academic. The Listening, Speaking, and Writing sections are evaluated similarly for both tests. However, IELTS Reading, which accounts for 25% of your overall score, is considered differently in IELTS general vs academic. The average band score for the test-takers is about 5.9 for the IELTS academic assessment and 6.2 for the general training exam. There is a difference between one band in both tests. Assume you obtain 30 out of 40 correct answers in IELTS Reading; then your final score is regarded as an absolute score of 30. That corresponds to an IELTS Band of 5.0 in general training reading. However, 30 out of 40 is considered 6.0 in academic reading. Whether you are taking the IELTS academic or general test, your results will have a wholly different significance. 3. Difficulty Level Comparing the difficulty level of the IELTS general vs academic, the General Training IELTS test is likely to be less complicated than the Academic IELTS Test. Summarising a complicated graph or table in the writing section is more challenging than writing a brief letter! Even the students find IELTS general easier because the questions are more generic than specific. The primary reason for this is that the Academic test requires expert comprehension skills and the ability to summarise complex ideas briefly and concisely. The General Training Test is only based on the candidate’s ability to communicate and understand English. 4. Passage Content The texts taken for the writing and reading section differ for IELTS general vs academic. The IELTS academic tests comprehension abilities using texts from different sources like scholarly journals, textbooks, relevant periodicals, and media in English. The main objective of the IELTS academic exam is to determine the capability of composing college-level essays in academic and professional settings. On the other hand, those enrolled in General Training IELTS will get content similar to that found in ads, guidebooks, periodicals, notifications, or employee manuals. The written English of the candidates will be assessed through their letter writing and basic essay writing. Which IELTS exam is most suited for you? To choose between the IELTS General vs Academic test, it is essential to understand the student goals clearly. The candidate should analyse the exact entry requirements before choosing. Let’s compare some of the student goals and test types. GoalTest TypeUndergraduate levelIELTS AcademicPostgraduate levelIELTS AcademicDoctorate levelIELTS AcademicPost-DoctoralIELTS AcademicBelow degree levelIELTS GeneralWork or trainingIELTS GeneralMigrationIELTS GeneralFor professional organisationIELTS AcademicPermanent ResidencyIELTS General IELTS General vs Academic 2023: Application Process IELTS general vs academic 2023 will be conducted around four times a month, on 48 occasions throughout the year. The IELTS 2023 first quarter dates are already out; you can refer to this blog for further information on the dates. To register for the IELTS exam 2023, the candidate should complete the IELTS registration and schedule an exam. Check out the step-by-step process: Step 1: Check out the IELTS registration link in the official portal of the British Council. Step 2: The candidate must select the IELTS test format, i.e. IELTS general vs academic. Step 3: Finish the registration process by filling in the required details. Step 4: The candidate can then choose the available test dates at the required test location as per convenience. Step 5: The final step in the IELTS registration process is the payment of the exam fee, which can be paid via credit card, debit card, or demand draft. The whole point behind the IELTS general vs academic exam is to test if the person can understand and converse in the language of the country they are applying to. All the candidates need is a basic understanding to live, study, work and do simple things like – following maps, writing emails, reports, and so on. The choice between IELTS general vs academic is subjective since it varies from candidate to candidate. Still, trying to decide which to choose? LeapScholar has launched an IELTS Masterclass program. The Masterclass is designed to support students in preparation for IELTS, Academic Writing, module-wise analysis, module-specific tips & tricks, grammar & vocabulary sessions and critical takeaways for all four modules. 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