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Difference Between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General

Many people doing IELTS are confused about which one to take i.e the endless IELTS Academic vs General - What is the difference between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General confusion. Which exam to take? IELTS Academic Vs General for Canada PR? One can see lots of such questions in sites like Quora, but answers are either promotional or too generic.

So we decided to create this comprehensive resource to answer all the questions in your mind regarding which exam to take. 

IELTS academic test format is designed to examine your level of english language whether that suits for an academic environment. Students and professionals must be trained with english reading skills which would be strong for text in professional and academic journals, textbooks, magazines and newspapers. 

IELTS academics use texts from these kinds of sources to test their skills. Writing task consists of simple topics that would be relevant in academic and professional. Writing tests are conducted to make sure they are strong enough to write college level essays.

IELTS general training examines english language in a practical and everyday context.Those taking the General Training IELTS, will have the taste of language that would appear in advertisements, guidebooks, magazines, notices etc. Written tests will be tested on general tasks such as letter writing or basic essay writing. 

You can read IELTS General and IELTS Academic syllabus here. ( Update for 2020).

Which IELTS test is suitable for me?

It depends on why you are doing the IELTS. If you’re planning to do higher studies abroad (in colleges like Oxford) or professional registration, then you need to take IELTS Academic. If you’re desired-focused on migration purposes, then you need to do IELTS general.

So before booking the test, be sure to check which suits you i.e IELTS Academic or general training. The IELTS indicator has been introduced for those who’re unable to attend the exam due to Covid-19.

S.NO

GOAL

TEST TYPE

1.

Undergraduate level

IELTS Academic

2.

Postgraduate level

IELTS Academic

3.

Doctorate

ILETS Academic

4.

Post Doctoral

IELTS Academic

5.

For Professional organization

IELTS Academic

6.

Below degree level

IELTS General

7.

Migration

IELTS General

8.

Work or training

IELTS General

9.

Another job in own country

IELTS General

10.

Permanent Residency

IELTS General

What are the fees for IELTS Academic and IELTS General?

Why IELTS Academic and why IELTS General?

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System. It has been designed for the students to check the language ability. IELTS is required for entry to universities in the UK and other english speaking countries.

There are many things for the aspirants to do before writing the IELTS exam, searching for the format, syllabus, content of the test, communicating with others who have taken the exams, taking an online or face to face prep course and more. Another thing to take into account is which version of exam you need to take IELTS academic or IELTS general training.

Being a test taker you have the options to choose which exam to write on depending upon the needs like personal,educational and professional goals. Another option is for visa requirements for some english speaking countries.

The IELTS academic version assesses a student’s readiness for academic studying or training in English.

The IELTS general training is taken if you are migrating to an English speaking country, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand or UK. 

The Academic version of IELTS is harder than General training. 

Also read latest IELTS syllabus 2020

4 Major difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General

Both the academic and general training exams have four parts they are listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Major difference between IELTS Academic vs general

Listening

  1. The IELTS Academic and general training has the same listening part and duration would last for 30 mins.
  2. There are four recorded listening excerpts on both the exams each with 10 questions.
  3. Section 1 and Section 2 consist of everyday social contexts.
  4. Section 3 and section 4 consist of educational and training.

Speaking

  1. The IELTS speaking test is the same for academic and general training and duration would last for 11-14 minutes.
  2. Both the versions have face to face interviews with the certified IELTS examiner.
  3. The module consist of short and long questions where students need to talk about the topic
  4. There is also a discussion round on the related topic.

 Reading

  1. The reading section for the IELTS academic and IELTS general would last for 60 mins.
  2. Both academic and general training includes three sections.

Writing

  1. The writing section for IELTS Academic and IELTS General would last for 60 mins.
  2. Each includes two tasks. Task 1 is a minimum of 150 words and task 2 is a minimum of 250 words. 

However, the difference lies in the reading and writing part of IELTS Academic and IELTS general training.

Major Differences in IELTS Academic and IELTS General(Reading and Writing)

  1. In IELTS academic reading part has a variety of text to read, the text might be descriptive, factual and analytical. It also includes charts, graphs and diagrams.
  2. The first section in IELTS general reading has two or three short texts. The second section has two short texts. And the last section includes a long text about a general topic.
  3. The IELTS Academic writing part includes a write up about a table, graph or chart. And an essay for task 2.
  4. The IELTS General training exam writing part has a letter writing for task 1 and an essay for task 2.

Q. What are the tips to help with IELTS writing tasks?

How IELTS test score is calculated for IELTS Academic and IELTS General

The test score for IELTS exam ranges from 1 to 9 for each part of the test - Listening, Reading, Writing and speaking. The overall band score is the average of the four component scores rounded to the nearest whole or half band.

If your average score ends in .25, the overall band score is rounded up to the next half band and if it ends in .75 the overall band score is rounded up to the next whole band.If the average of four components ends in a fraction the score is rounded down.

Writing tasks for IELTS

9 Band Scale

Both the IELTS Academic and general training IELTS test are subjected to a 9 band scale. For each section in writing, reading, speaking and listening the test has a band score from 1-9. The average score of the four sections will be your overall IELTS band score which ranges from whole numbers(e.g. 4,5) or half(e.g, 6.5,7.5). Here is the explanation of knowing the band scale for IELTS academic vs general scores.

The below table shows how your test is marked.

IELTS BAND SCORE

LEVEL

DESCRIPTION

9

Expert

You have full operational command of the language and excellent fluency with a complete understanding.. 

8

Very good

You handle complex argumentation well and misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations.

7

good

You handle complex languages well and understand detailed reasoning.

6

competent

You have effective command on language. You can use complex words.

5

modest

You make many mistakes and could handle basic communication.

4

limited

Difficulty in understanding and using complex words.

3

Extremely limited

You have difficulty in communication

2

intermittent

You have difficulty in understanding the words.

1

Denied

You didn’t have the ability to use the new words.

0

Did not attend

You did not answer the question.

Sample calculation of your IELTS academic and general score.

Example 1

Sections

Score

Listening

6.5

Reading

6.5

Writing

5

Speaking

7

Average

6.25

Overall

6.5

Ends in .25 so round up to the next half band. Overall band score =6.5

Example 2

Sections

Score

Listening

6.5

Reading

6.5

Writing

5.5

Speaking

6

Average

6.125

Overall

6.0

Ends with a fraction below .25 so round down to the next whole band. Overall band score =6.0

Example 3

Sections

Score

Listening

3.5

Reading

4.0

Writing

4.0

Speaking

4.0

Average

3.875

Overall

4.0

Ends with a fraction above .75 so round up to the next whole band. Overall band score =4.0

To pass the IELTS exam you need a minimum overall score of 6.5 and minimum score of 6.0 in each category. The scores varied according to the institution requirements.

IELTS speaking, listening and writing are scored in the same way for both the versions.But IELTS reading, which occupies a full 25% of your score, is rated very differently on IELTS academic vs IELTS general training.

For example, if you have secured 30 out of 40 in the reading section in general training reading, the IELTS band is 6.0. But in academic reading if you score 30 out of 40 it’s 7.0

Chart for IELTS Academic Reading

Raw Score

Band Score

39-40

9

37-38

8.5

35-36

8

33-34

7.5.

30-32

7

27-29

6.5

23-26

6

19-22

5.5

15-18

5

13-14

4.5

10-12

4

8-9

3.5

6-7

3

Chart for IELTS General Training Reading

Raw Score

Band Score

40

9

39

8.5

37-38

8

36

7.5.

34-35

7

32-33

6.5

30-31

6

27-29

5.5

23-26

5

19-22

4.5

15-18

4

12-14

3.5

9-11

3

Q. How to score top in IELTS?

What are the exam fees for IELTS Academic and IELTS General?

  • The exam fees for IELTS Academic and IELTS General are the same. Inorder to complete your IELTS test registration you need to pay 14,000rs.
  • 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 authorised bank.

Also read latest IELTS syllabus 2020

Which is easier to crack? IELTS Academic or IELTS General

Generally IELTS is the easiest exam than any other. The questions are designed to examine how well you can use your english. There is no pass or fail in IELTS. You can write the exam as many times as you can till you reach your dream score. High number of scores you get, you’ll get placed in a top university. All you need is a thorough preparation. 

Academic version is conducted to test your level of comprehension. When coming to IELTS Academic vs General difficulty. Compared to IELTS academic IELTS general training reading is quite easier. Even the scoring format is different as well.

Exam dates for IELTS General and IELTS Academic

Both the IELTS exams general and academic are conducted by the british council, cambridge and IDP IELTS India across major cities in India. Those who are in need of writing the exams can check out the official websites for the exam dates and can book the IELTS test on your convenient date with preferred location.

IELTS exam dates are available throughout the year according to your convenient dates. IELTS test dates are available up to 4 times a month which is 48 times across the year. The IELTS exam dates vary for the IELTS academic and IELTS general training exams.

IELTS exams are usually held on Thursdays and saturdays.IELTS test date may not be the same near your IELTS test location as it is in another city.

The IELTS reading, writing and listening test take place on the same day whereas either the IELTS speaking test is conducted 7 days before or 7 days after your IELTStest date.During the peak, tests can fill up one month in advance. So registering for the IELTS date early is a very important task.

Computer delivered IELTS test is available three times a day in all days a week. And a paper based IELTS test is available four times a month.

Steps to book IELTS exam date and location

  1. Visit the british council official website and click on register.
  2. Click on ‘Find Test Date’ and enter the month city and module of your choice.
  3. You’ll be redirected to the IELTS application- check test availability page.
  4. Candidates are required to select the convenient date and click apply. 

steps to register IELTS Acadmic or general

For Engineering what exam should I take? IELTS General or IELTS Academic?

Writing the IELTS exam plays an important role in your study opportunities, career success and the likelihood of getting a permit to work and settle in Britain or an English speaking country like New Zealand, Australia, Canada or USA.

Securing high scores will help in making you get admission into a top university. This exam will also help you to build your resume if you’re looking for a job in a multicultural environment.

There are two versions of IELTS, one is IELTS Academic and other one is IELTS General. Many get confused on taking up the versions according to their need i.e IELTS Academic or IELTS General.

IELTS academic would be the perfect one if you want to pursue a degree programme or seek professional registration in the UK. Professional registration means you will gain certified recognition for your profession. Once done, you can use qualification titles such as engineer or technician.

For a Job , what exam should I take? IELTS General or IELTS Academic?

Having a proof of your ability in language skills is an important step in obtaining a visa so that you can work abroad. Language skills play an important role for career success and are meant to be an asset in addition to all the other requirements of any job. If you’re a work visa applicant, you have to be prepared for more than basic conversational english.

  • To work in UK, applicant must score 6.5 in each sections(Reading, speaking, writing and listening)
  • To work in Australia, a test score of 5 is considered to be a vocational english level. A person can be a competent english speaker on a score of 6. 
  • If you need to work in New Zealand you must gain a score of 4 or higher in the IELTS General or academic.
  • In Canada, applicants should check with the organisation they want to apply to for an IELTS score. Employers and institutions have their own requirements.

The General training version of IELTS examines english language proficiency in a practical, everyday context and the tasks and texts which reflect both workplace and social situations.

Your score depends upon your chosen occupation. For some professions, applicants must achieve score 6, whereas for teachers you need a minimum of score 7. IELTS not required countries for jobs are more in number than IELTS requiring countries.

Which IELTS is suitable for Canadian PR? IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

Many prefer to study or work in Canada. If you intend to study and then work in Canada, you should undergo the process of getting permanent residency there. To ensure you have good communication skills you need proof of your language skills to gain a visa. 

We get confused in IELTS academic or general training for Canada immigration/ Canada PR.The Canadian express entry program is a faster way for immigrants to get permanent residence in Canada. There are three types they’re,

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

To apply through Express Entry for permanent residency you need to have a minimum language proficiency of CLB(Canadian language benchmark) 7 and a minimum score of 6.0 in each section of IELTS. 

For express entry, you must take the IELTS General training exam. Express Entry profile is valid for 12 months. Make sure that your language test results are valid for the same time period. Incase if your test results expires you need to take the IELTS test again and update your express entry profile with your new test results.

Which IELTS is suitable for IT analyst? IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

Definitely not IELTS general. If you want to work abroad as an IT analyst you need to apply for IELTS academic.

But there are many countries which don't accept IELTS and the best for jobs are Poland, Hungary, France, Greece, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia. But they go the other way about challenges in languages and mutual understanding. Just prove that you can handle the job and you are hired.

Additional Information

Introduction on IELTS Academic and IELTS General

IELTS, International english language testing system, is a globally accepted test. It is conducted to examine english proficiency of candidates seeking international education, training or work in english speaking countries. The score ranges from 0-9. Band nine indicates the highest marks in the test. There are two versions of IELTS, IELTS academic and IELTS General training. 

Both the versions provide a valid and accurate assessment of four language skills- listening, reading, writing and speaking.IELTS treats all test takers with the utmost fairness and respect by actively avoiding cultural bias and accepting all standard varieties of native speaker english, including north american, british, australian and new zealand english.

IELTS academic is harder than IELTS general training. The IELTS fee for academic and general training is INR 14,000. And the duration of the Ielts exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

You can choose between paper based or computer delivered IELTS exam. Both test formats will take place at your preferred location. If you are applying to a UK university, that has requested you to take an IELTS for UKVI(Visas and Immigration).

IELTS and IELTS for UKVI certificates are the same in the format, syllabus, scoring and level of difficulty. However, the Test Report Form which contains your results is different inorder to show you have taken IELTS for UKVI location approved by the UK home office. 

Also a point to note is that there is not much difference when it comes to IELTS academic vs general training. 

Own preparation or professional guidance for writing IELTS general exam

The IELTS general exam is quite easy when compared to IELTS academics.Own preparation sounds too risky to hit the top score. You need to understand the test format. Once the format is familiar to you, you need to review the content of the test. 

Next step would be to practise so many tests by yourself by downloading a few questions from the net. The practise would last till you get satisfied with the score. Manual progress check plays an important role to score high on the next practise test for you.

You need to practise your speaking section by talking with your friend on various topics and ask them to give feedback.

But all these difficulties were not seen while opting professional guidance for writing IELTS general exam. At Kanan international, we have examiners to assess your speaking and writing tests. You can improve your skills by attending master class.

We even help you in the visa and immigration process. Seeking professional guidance always helps you to achieve your dream.

Own preparation or professional guidance for writing IELTS academic exam

Preparing on your own for the IELTS academic exam might have a drop in your score. Number of practise sessions and mock tests from professional guidance would help you to score high.Performing well on the academic test requires more advanced english reading and writing skills.

You need to know the IELTS academic test format before writing the exam and it is essential to download IELTS academic book and material.Choosing a right test center at affordable cost plays an important role over here.

You can only achieve your dream college by the help of professional guidance. Bottomline is whether you prepare on your own or join any professional coaching institute, you need to prepare with a lot of practice exams. (IELTS academic practice test if your goal is higher studies, or IELTS general practice test if your goal is immigration) 

Time required to prepare IELTS general exam

Once you have booked the slot for the IELTS and you are now waiting for the exam.Then,that would be the right time for you to start preparing for the exam. You will not find a way to answer the questions smartly if you have not spent time in preparation for the IELTS exam. IELTS preparation shall be your first priority.

It is one of the common mistakes which most of the test takers commit. They do not focus on exam preparation and before gathering more information about the test, they just book the test.If you are highly proficient in English, you just might be able to prepare for the IELTS in a month or less.

Time required to prepare for the IELTS general exam is quite the same for the preparation time for IELTS academics.

If you allot 5 hours a week for IELTS study, raising your IELTS score would take 2 or 3 months of preparation.

Time required to prepare IELTS Academic exam

The amount of time required for studying for the test depends on your ability to learn and absorb the training. Some people are fast learners while others require more time to prepare for the IELTS academic exam as it is quite difficult when compared to IELTS general exam. 

Students are recommended to spend at least 6-8 weeks preparing for the IELTS exam focusing on basic grammar, vocabulary, reading speed and writing skills. You need to ensure you fully understand as the IELTS exam is different.

The best way to overcome stress while writing the IELTS academic exam is to manage time and tasks accordingly. Create a schedule for listening, writing, reading and speaking.Don’t squeeze your study schedule in just a few weeks if you have months to prepare.

Slowly ease yourself into the habit of studying and things will come to you naturally. Spend some time everyday practicing your academic writing, listening and speaking skills. Find out the difference between academic writing and general writing and create a writing preparation plan for your chosen exam. 

You can write a blog or do podcasts to improve the skills. Your preparation time is dependent upon how much you need to learn and how quickly you pick up new things. Practicing more would help you to score more. IELTS will help you open doors to knowledge and opportunities that exist in countries where English language is spoken.

Fees for IELTS general exam

In India, IELTS test fees in India 2020 are Rs. 14000, payable at the time of registration. You can pay IELTS exam fee in India INR by means of a demand draft.

Candidates required for TRF ( Test report form) have to pay additional TRF postage charges of Rs.400. Candidates will only receive one copy of their TRF, unless applying to citizenship and Immigration Canada(CIC), or United Kingdom Border Agency(UKBA) in these cases, the candidate can receive two. Proof of application to both must be provided by the candidates.

You can pay your IELTS exam fees in the following ways,

  1. You can pay the fees online using net banking, E-wallets or Card(Visa, master card)
  2. You can pay the fees at any branch of ICICI bank by filling the payment slip with no extra cost..
  3. You can also make payment through Demand Draft(DD) drawn in favour of educational consultant name payable at Delhi. You will be pushed to pay the extra charges for DD along with the fees.
  4. Once the payment is done, candidates who have registered and paid through online payment mode doesn’t required to send any documents.
  5. Candidates who have registered through online and paid the fees through DD should send the copy of application acknowledgement and the evidence of payment as per British Council.
  6. Candidates who have registered through offline and paid fees through DD should send the evidence of payment as per British Council.

NOTE: Few consultants don't accept cash, credit/debit card payment at their offices. The IELTS exam fees in India differs as per the test type you are going to choose.

Fees for IELTS academic exam

Fees for IELTS academic exams remain the same as fees for IELTS general training. The IELTS test fee in India differs as per the test type. The types include computer delivered IELTS, IELTS for UKVI, life skills and pen and paper based IELTS. If you want to choose the computer delivered IELTS or pen and paper based IELTS check out the link below for the fees.

VISIT : IELTS exam syllabus 2020 to know more on fees.

Eligibility for IELTS general

The IELTS general training test is used for immigration visas in many countries. In the United Kingdom, the scores required depend on the type of visa sought. Applicants must have the band score of 7.0 for Tier1 general visa. Applicants should have 7.0 in each section.

For other types of Tier 1 visas such as exceptional talent and entrepreneur visas you need to score only 4.0 on each section. This sounds to be easy when compared to the first one.

For Canada, if you have applied for the Federal Skilled Worker Program we need to meet the requirement of CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) of 7 in either language English or French. 

For Visa applicants choosing former language, you need to secure 6.0 or higher on each section. The english benchmark for canadian federal skilled trades program is 5, which equals the IELTS score of 5 in each section.

IELTS is required for Australia General skilled.migration visas with the minimum score dependent on your profession. In order to get qualified you need competent or vocational english skills. Where competent is subjected to IELTS score of 6.0 or more while vocational english is defined as IELTS score of 5.0 or more on each section.

If you have applied for skilled migrant visas in New Zealand you need to secure an IELTS score band of 6.5.

Eligibility for IELTS Academic exam

The minimum age for writing the IELTS exam is 16. You really need to hold a passport for writing the test and it can also be used for registration purposes. There are no score limits in IELTS academics as the score varies from university to university. If you hit the top score you get admission to a top institute. Apart from this you don’t have any eligibility criteria for IELTS academics.

Difficulty for IELTS general exam

We also think which would be difficult in the IELTS version. To get clarity on it here is IELTS academics vs general difficulty below,

Many would feel difficulties when it comes to the IELTS exam. When it comes to the IELTS general exam we would fall into a writing task.

You can avoid it by organizing it. The best way to do it is splitting each paragraph. It should cover one dot point on the task card. Avoid mixing your paragraph which everyone would do. Allot few hours to perform IELTS general practice test everyday. 

You can watch webinars and many youtube channels which tell us the best ways to structure paragraphs.

Difficulty for IELTS Academic exam

In the IELTS academic exam we again struggle at writing tasks. Where over here we face difficulties in comparing relevant datas. You can overcome it by comparing two aspects in the graph.

For e.g, you can compare men and women or x and y. Be specific and make sure to include percentages, numerical symbols or other data. 

We might also get stuck at the listening part by misunderstanding the question types. You can overcome it by knowing the question types. Have time to do the IELTS academic practice test. 

Another common difficulty we face is speaking part. In this section we need to talk on a relevant topic for 2 minutes. Unknowingly repeating the same story is a common speaking mistake in the test. We generally talk about the topic for 30 seconds and then repeat it again and again.. 

The best way to tackle IELTS speaking is to choose the past, present and future. By using this you can tell different stories and can extend the topic for 2 minutes.

IELTS difficulties can be diluted with the right amount of preparation and understanding. Remember your score is much important to get admission to your dream universities. Penultimate point, many students ask us if the IELTS Academic score is interchangeable with IELTS General. The answer is no. You cannot change IELTS academic score to IELTS general. 

With that being said,from this blog on knowing IELTS Academic vs General - What is the difference between IELTS academic vs IELTS General, the general training IELTS is probably easier than the Academic IELTS. No matter if you’re sitting for the IELTS academic or general test.

On knowing the difficulties it’s not like you can use academics in general. You need to choose the correct version according to your needs. No matter how hard it would be. Choose the correct version and achieve the goal. 

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