IELTS - General & Academic

The first question to ask when you find out you have to take the IELTS exam is:

“Which version of the IELTS should I take? The Academic or the General Version?”

This is important because the scores are not interchangeable so there’s no point in studying for or appearing for the wrong exam! We strongly encourage you to find out specifically, in your case, which version of the exam you need to do, based on the requirements of your receiving institution.

The Academic IELTS exam is the more advanced test. This version is generally used to determine whether candidates are qualified to enroll in undergraduate and graduate academic programs where English is the medium of instruction.

The General IELTS exam is the simpler test. It focuses on basic survival skills in social and educational contexts. It is generally requested for candidates applying for immigration, working in certain professions, or studying at a non-degree level.

The simple chart below shows the main similarities and differences in the General and Academic IELTS.:


Same
Different


Listening Module


Reading Module


Speaking Module


Writing Module

 

The detailed chart below shows the requirements of each version of the IELTS exam.

Listening

(Same test for Academic and General Versions)


Types of Questions:

  • multiple choice

  • short answer

  • sentence completion

  • notes / diagrams / flow chart completion


Details:

  • 4 Sections

  • 40 Items

  • 30 minutes



General Reading

Types of Exercises:

  • Texts from advertisements, newspapers, instruction manuals, notices, leaflets, timetables, books & magazine

  • Texts become progressively harder

Details:

    • 3 Sections
    • 40 Items
    • 60 minutes




Academic Reading

Types of Exercises:

  • General, non-specialist & academic tex

  • Texts become progressively harder

Details:

    • 3 Sections
    • 40 Items
    • 60 minutes


General Writing

Types of Exercises:

  • 2 Tasks

  • - 1 letter (150 words)

    - 1 essay (250 words)


Details:

  • 60 minutes


Academic Writing

Types of Exercises:

  • 2 Tasks

  • -1 descriptive report, based on a graphic (150 words)

    -1 essay (250 words)

Details:

  • 60 minutes


Speaking

(Same test for Academic and General Versions)

Live, oral interview of about 11-14 minutes with an examiner.

Details:

3 sections

Section 1 – Candidate asked personal information, like at first meeting

Section 2 – Candidate delivers monologue of 1-2 minutes on given subject

Section 3 – Candidate answers more advanced questions to expand on Section 2


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