IELTS Academic vs IELTS General


Did you know that the IELTS exam is of two types?

IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training are the two versions of the exam. Academic IELTS vs. General Training IELTS is mostly determined based on the student’s or purpose. The Academic and General Training versions of the IELTS test have a similar format but differ in content in the Writing and Reading portions. Continue reading for a discussion of the primary distinctions between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.

Who has to take the IELTS Academic? 

The Academic IELTS is designed for (potential) university students applying for admission to universities and programmes where English is used as the medium of instruction.

However, that is not all: many professionals and job applicants may be asked to submit results for this version of the exam as well. Medical work is one example. If you wish to work as a doctor in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, or Canada, you will need to take the Academic IELTS. This version of the exam is required for a wide range of medical vocations, including doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and even hospital lab worker.

The academic version, unlike the general training version, permits test takers to exhibit some reading, writing skills that are not always part of English speakers’ ordinary communicative experience. These are distinguished from general-purpose reading, and writing abilities (see the section on content below).

Who has to take the IELTS General:

If you want to enter Canada, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, or any other country for general immigration, you must utilise the IELTS general training version.

Individuals who are taking the IELTS to apply for permission to live in Australia near their grandchildren, for example, will find that the General Training IELTS is appropriate for their needs. 

However, the test is not solely for immigration purposes. IELTS General Training scores are sometimes used by multinational organisations to measure the English skills of its employees. In some circumstances, test takers can use their score report to get work.


What is format difference between IELTS Academic vs General.

Format IELTS Academic vs General:

 There are two versions of this test, each with four different skills.The general format of both versions of the test is the same .Regardless of whatever version you take, your English writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills will be assessed separately. There are no significant distinctions between the listening and speaking sections. On the IELTS academic or general test, you can expect the same topics and question patterns.


Writing Module IELTS Academic vs IELTS General:

In the IELTS writing, there is a difference in part 1 wherein the candidates taking the IELTS Academic exam are supposed to write a description for a diagram using at least 150 words where as the IELTS general test-takers get a letter to write. The essay task is common for both IELTS academic and general test-takers.

Reading Module IELTS Academic vs General:

While the number of questions (total 40 questions) for both IELTS academic and general candidates are same, the passages of academic test are longer one passage is around 700 words while in the general passages are much shorter than the academic test.

IELTS Academic Passages are taken directly from:

Academic journals, textbooks, and relevant magazines and newspapers.

IELTS General Passages are taken from:  

Advertisements, guidebooks, magazines, notices, or what working people might encounter in employee manuals etc.,

Here is the chart that explains the content of both IELTS Academic and General.


IELTS Academic Content

IELTS General Content


No difference.

No difference.


Academic journals, textbooks, and relevant magazines and newspapers.

Advertisements, guidebooks, magazines, notices, or what working people might encounter in employee manuals


Writing Part 1 is describe a diagram; part 2 is essay writing 

Writing Part 1 is letter writing; part 2 is essay writing


No difference.

No difference.

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