academic or general

Which IELTS test to choose – Academic or General Training?

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The IELTS test you should choose will depend on both the requirements of your visa and of the organisation where you plan to study or work.

IELTS Academic is designed for people planning to study in higher education or those seeking professional registration. It assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English is the language used.

You may take IELTS Academic if you want to:

  • Study or train at a university or college as an undergraduate.
  • Study or train at a university or college as a postgraduate.
  • Join a professional association.
  • Gain registration in a professional organisation (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering).

How are the two tests different?

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.

You may take IELTS General Training if you want to:

  • Study or train in secondary education.
  • Study or train at a college or training centre below degree level.
  • Migrate to an English speaking country.

How are the two tests different?

All test takers take the same Listening and Speaking tests, regardless of which version they take. The Reading and Writing tests differ in content, depending on whether you are taking IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training.

The IELTS test comprises four components: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. You will take the Listening, Reading and Writing tests all on the same day, one after the other, with no breaks in between. Depending on your test centre, your Speaking test may be on the same day as the other three tests, or up to seven days before or after that. The total test time is under three hours.

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