IELTS is the most taken exam by Indians who want to migrate to an English-speaking nation to work or study. 

You must select the type of IELTS exam depending on the purpose of your visit to an English-speaking country. 

Most students get confused about which IELTS exam they must take out of IELTS General and IELTS Academic. 

So in this blog, I will explain everything about IELTS Academic vs General, to solve your confusion. 

Read the complete blog without missing anything to get the proper and complete detail about IELTS Academic and General exam. 

But before understanding the types, you must know about the IELTS exam.

What is IELTS?

IDP conducts IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This test measures the student’s reading, writing, speaking, and listening skill in the English language. 

Students can take the IELTS exam in both formats, computer-based and pen-paper-based. The test takers get a score on a scale of 0 to 9. 

In this test, there are 4 modules through which the candidate’s language proficiency is measured. 

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing 
  • Speaking

The IELTS exam’s listening, reading, and writing modules took place on the same day without any break, whereas the speaking can be scheduled before or after these three modules.

Let’s discuss the IELTS academic vs general without wasting any more time.

IELTS Academic vs General 

IELTS Academic

The Academic IELTS test determines your English proficiency in a university setting. This test may require people who desire to pursue post-secondary school or other types of higher education in English. Non-native English speakers must earn a certain score on the Academic IELTS test before enrolling at several universities across all English-speaking countries. Each school and country has its own set of regulations, so double-check with yours.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is meant to evaluate your English abilities in a professional/everyday setting. People may need this test to earn job experience or apply for an immigration/citizenship program. Non-native speakers may be required to take the General Training IELTS test before hiring some employers to ensure that their English ability meets their communication standards. Some governments may require you to take the test before granting citizenship or certain immigration statuses.

Purpose: IELTS Academic vs General

IELTS Academic

It measures the English language proficiency of test takers who want to study in an English-speaking nation. The test measures the test taker’s ability to understand and use complex academic language, including reading and listening comprehension. It also measures students’ skills to express themselves or their English language level using spoken and written English. 

Students who fulfill the university language proficiency requirements verify that they can manage their study in English in an English-speaking nation.

IELTS General Training 

IELTS general training test is taken by candidates who want to migrate to an English-speaking nation on a work permit or to apply for PR in countries like Canada or Australia. 

The IELTS General Training exam is designed to measure the ability of candidates to communicate properly in everyday situations.

This test is used not only for immigration; corporations sometimes use scores from General Training IELTS to assess the English language proficiency of their employees. Some job candidates may use their score reports to get a job.

IELTS Academic Vs General: Exam Pattern 

The IELTS academic and general training exams have four parts: listening, speaking, reading and writing.


  1. Academic and general training both have the same listening portion of 30 minutes.
  2. There are four recorded listening excerpts on both exams, each with ten questions.
  3. Sections 1 and 2 deal with everyday social contexts.
  4. Sections 3 and 4 cover education and training.


  1. There is no difference in the IELTS speaking test for academics and general, and the duration is 11-14 minutes.
  2. In both versions, the certified IELTS examiner will conduct a face-to-face interview.
  3. This module includes short and long questions where students need to discuss the topic
  4. Additionally, there is a discussion round on the related topic.


  1. For the IELTS academic and general sections, the reading section would take 60 minutes.
  2. There are three sections in both academics and general training.


  1. If you’re taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General, you need 60 minutes to complete the writing sections.
  2. In each, there are two tasks. A minimum of 150 words is required for task 1, and a minimum of 250 words is required for task 2. 

The main difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS general training lies in reading and writing.

Difference Between IELTS Academic Vs General

In the IELTS Academic and IELTS General exam, there is only 2 module that is different Writing and Reading. And the Listening and Speaking modules are the same for both.

I will explain the Writing and Reading below:

IELTS Reading

There is only a difference in topics and numbers in IELTS academic and general. And has also a little bit of difference in question types. 

DifferencesIELTS Academic IELTS General Training
Numbers The number of reading passages in the IELTS academic reading test is the same in each section.
Section 1: one shorter article (may seem easier than the other two)
Section 2: one longer article
Section 3: one longer article
The number of reading passages in the IELTS GT differs in each section.
Section 1: up to 3 short texts
Section 2: 2 texts
Section 3: one long text
TOPICSIn the IELTS Academic Reading, all the texts are on general interest topics but closely related to many academic topics or subjects such as: 
1. Plant/animal/human biology
2. Chemistry, Physics
3. Astronomy, space exploration
4. Mathematics and computer science
5. Medicine
6. Inventors and inventions
7. History, anthropology
8. Psychology, sociology
9. Culture and civilization
10. Education 
11. Environment conservation
12. Law
In IELTS GT Reading,
Section 1: in section 1, you will get 3 texts all are related to everyday life, such as college brochures, travel leaflets, classified ads, noticeboards, newsletters, advertisements, etc.
Section 2: you will get 2 texts in section 2. All are related to work or professional training, such as guidelines, work policies, and job descriptions, manuals, etc.
Section 3: in section 3, you will get one long text that is related to general interest, such as book extracts or internet text on the environment, Newspaper/magazine articles, civilization, culture, history, business, transport, people, etc.
Question typesTypes of questions in both IELTS Academic and General
1. Sentence completion
2. Short answer questions
3. Notes/table/flow chart completion
4. Matching
5. Classification
6. Labeling a diagram
7. Sentence completion with a box
8. Paragraph headings
9. Finding information in paragraphs

IELTS Writing

Now I will explain to you the difference between in IELTS Academic and General writing. There are only two tasks in both types of IELTS exams. And you have to complete both tasks.

IELTS writing task 2 is the same for both IELTS Academic and General. But IELTS writing task 1 is different from each other.   

Below is the difference between both:

DifferenceIELTS AcademicIELTS General
in IELTS Writing Task 1 academic You must use your own words to describe an image. A line graph, pie chart, table, diagram, or map are just a few examples of this image. You must write at least 150 words in 20 minutes.
In Task 2, you will have to write an essay on a topic related to an academic issue that will include opinions, problems, advantages/disadvantages, and arguments, which you will have to discuss. In this, you have to write at least 250 words in 40 minutes.
In task 1, you have to write a formal or informal letter. Asking for information or explaining a situation are examples of this task. In this task, You have to write at least 150 words in 20 minutes.  
In task 2, you have to write an essay topic related to general interest that will include, opinions, arguments, advantages/disadvantages, and problems that you have to discuss. In this task, you have to write at least 250 words in 40 minutes.

IELTS Academic Vs General: Writing Questions

Here, you will get the sample questions for IELTS task 1 for IELTS academic vs general as the question in the writing task is the same for both tests.

IELTS Academic

The below-given tables give information about the production and consumption of potatoes in the world’s five parts in 2006. Summarize the data by highlighting and describing the major components and comparing where appropriate.

IELTS academic sample question
IELTS academic sample question

The below-given graph illustrates the annual visitor spending for visitors to New Zealand from five different countries from 1996 to 2014. Summarize the data by highlighting and describing the major components and comparing where appropriate.

IELTS academic sample question
IELTS academic sample question

The below-given plans show a building for student accommodation in 2010 and now. Summarize the data by highlighting and describing the major components and comparing where appropriate.

IELTS academic sample question
IELTS academic sample question

Below given diagram or process chart gives information about smoked fish’s small-scale production. Summarize the data by highlighting and describing the major components and comparing where appropriate.

IELTS academic sample question
IELTS academic sample question

IELTS General Training

  1. Write a letter to the lost and found department manager of the railway about the luggage you mistakenly left on the train. In your letter,
    • Give your train trip’s details.
    • Describe your luggage you left on the train.
    • Say what you want him/her to do.
  2. You just find out there are new airport building plans in your area, and you are unhappy with it. Write a letter to the local authority of your area. In your letter,
    • Say how you know about the plans
    • Explain what trouble your neighborhood will face
    • Suggest possible solutions.
  3. A friend who speaks English has written to you to find out how your studies are going. Write a letter to the friend:
    • Tell him or her how you prepare for the exam.
    • Also, say how you feel about it.
    • Describe your expectations.
  4. You have sent some documents through the post recently, but they did not arrive. Write a letter to the post manager. In your letter
    • Give the situation’s details.
    • Describe the documents
    • Say what you want the post office authority to do.

Similarities Between IELTS academic vs general

  • Both examinations evaluate candidates’ English language abilities in different situations when they want to migrate to English-speaking countries.
  • IELTS Academic and General listening and speaking tests are the same.
  • Candidates must take the listening, reading, and writing tests on the same day, with no breaks between them, whether they are taking the IELTS Academic or the IELTS General.
  • It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete both IELTS General and IELTS Academic.
  • Each test is internationally valid.

Which IELTS test is suitable for me?

IELTS can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on why you are taking it. The IELTS Academic is required if you plan to study abroad (at colleges like Oxford) or if you intend to get a professional license. For migration purposes, you should take the IELTS general.

Before booking the test, make sure you know which is best for you – IELTS Academic or General Training. The IELTS indicator has been introduced if you cannot take an exam due to Covid-19.

1.Undergraduate levelIELTS Academic
2.Postgraduate levelIELTS Academic
3.DoctorateILETS Academic
4.Post DoctoralIELTS Academic
5.For Professional organizationIELTS Academic
6.Below degree levelIELTS General
7.MigrationIELTS General
8.Work or trainingIELTS General
9.Another job in own countryIELTS General
10.Permanent ResidencyIELTS General

How is IELTS Score Calculated For IELTS Academic vs General?

Below is the table that will explain how to calculate IELTS score for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training:

Listening Band Score Chart

As i told you above, the IELTS Listening module are the same for both IELTS academic and IELTS General. So, the score is calculated the same:

Correct Answer Band Score

Reading Band Score Chart

Academic Reading TestGeneral Training Reading Test
Correct AnswerBand ScoreCorrect AnswerBand Score

Band Score Based On Writing Skills

Task response (Task 1)Present accurate information
Give an overview
Must highlight key features or stages
Give proper detail of data.
Task response (Task 2)Answer the question properly
Give relevant points and supporting ideas
When asked for an opinion, give a clear opinion
Give a conclusion
Coherence and cohesionOrganize your ideas or details properly into paragraphs
Have at least one main idea in each paragraph ( Task 2 )
Use linking words.
Lexical resourceDo proper paraphrasing and use a range of vocabulary for IELTS.
Avoiding spelling errors
Use collocations
Grammatical range and accuracyUse different sentence structures for a range of grammatical sentences
Avoid errors.
Use proper punctuation.

Band Score Based On Speaking Skills

Fluency and coherenceTalk without unnecessary pauses and hesitation.
Talk at a proper lengthAvoid self-correction.
Use a variety of linking words.
Speak in a way that the examiner can understand.
Lexical resourcesUse vocabulary for IELTS speaking and do proper paraphrasing.
Use collocationsDon’t use common vocabulary.
PronunciationAccurate words and their proper pronunciation
Accent should not affect understanding.
Should have knowledge of intonation.
Grammatical range and accuracyUse a variety of sentence structures.
There should be a variety of accurate grammar sentences in your speaking
Avoid grammatical errors

IELTS Academic vs General: Exam Fees? 

The exam fees for IELTS Academic vs IELTS General are the same. To complete your IELTS test registration, you need to pay ₹15,500.

The IELTS test fee in India differs as per the test type. And the payment can be made by credit card/Debit card or through demand draft or direct cash deposit at an authorized bank.


In this blog, we have discussed IELTS academic vs general. The main difference between the IELTS academic and general training is that the IELTS academic exam is taken by students who want to migrate to an English-speaking nation for study purposes and general training is taken by those who want to work or take PR in English-speaking nations.

The listening and speaking module for both types of tests is the same; the difference is only in reading and writing task 1. 

If you still have any questions or queries related to IELTS academic vs general, you may contact our experts or let us know through comments.

You can also use our online exam preparation service. For more content like this, keep visiting CourseMentor™. 


Which IELTS is required for Canada PR?

To file an application for the Canada PR, you must take the IELTS general training exam. The requirements for the band may vary from person to person, depending on their points.

Can I get Canada PR without IELTS?

You only have to prove language proficiency to get the PR and fulfill the requirements, which you can do by taking any other language test. So, the answer is yes.