What are the Differences between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training?
The International English Language Testing System is one of the most sought-after English proficiency tests across the globe. If you want to study or work abroad in an English-speaking country, you will definitely face the dilemma of choosing between the IELTS Academic or the General test. So, what is the actual difference between the IELTS academic and IELTS general training the two tests, and which one should you take?
In general, the type of test needed to be undertaken is determined by the organization where one is planning to work or study. By checking this with the organization, the test-taker can be confident about which IELTS exam to sit for. However, to be concise, the IELTS Academic Test is taken by all those candidates who are planning to pursue higher education or general training courses in an English-speaking country like Australia, UK or Canada. The General Test on the other hand, is primarily taken for migration purposes. Let’s have a look at the different sections of the two tests.
- IELTS Academic
This test assesses the test-takers on the four macro skills of “Listening”, “Reading”, “Writing” and “Speaking”. The listening section comprises of 4 audio recordings and the candidates are required to answer 40 questions associated with those recordings. If this sounds stressful, don’t worry, at the end of each audio recording, you are provided with 30 seconds to check and jot down your answers onto the answer sheet. Overall, the listening part will be for a duration of 30 minutes.
Followed by the listening section, you are faced with 3 long texts in the reading section. The three pieces of writing are based on academic subjects like science and history. Similar to the preceding section, the reading part consists of 40 questions as well. These need to be completed within the allotted time of 60 minutes.
The third section of the test is the notorious writing section. Though this part demands answers to two writing parts: description of visual information and an essay, the key is “time management”. The overall time available for completing the writing section is 60 minutes. The first part needs to be written in at least 150 words and within 20 minutes, while the second part needs to be written in minimum 250 words and within the remaining 40 minutes.
Last but not least, the speaking section is a one-one verbal test with a native English speaker. It is divided into 3 parts whereby the first part requires the candidate to answer some general questions about himself/herself for 4-5 minutes. Followed by this, the second part is a topic-based task where the test-taker is required to speak on a topic provided by the examiner for a total of 2 minutes. The final part is a continuation of task two and is characterized by the candidate and examiner engaging in a conversation on the topic covered in the preceding part.
- IELTS General Training
You will be happy to know that the “Listening” and “Speaking” sections of this test are exactly similar to the IELTS Academic test. All you need to know here is what to expect in the “Reading” and “Writing” sections.
There are three parts in the reading section, where the candidates are supposed to answer questions on texts covering topics related to essential conversation and daily conversational requirements within 60 minutes. This could include extracting information from notices or non-fictional book extracts. Finally, the writing section involves letter writing and essay writing to be completed within 60 minutes.
Whichever test you choose to take, always remember, “Practice makes a man perfect!” Know more about IELTS.