The most frequent question for IELTS test takers: What is the difference between IELTS General and IELTS Academic?
A lot of people doing the IELTS test aren’t sure of which one to take, hence the never-ending IELTS Academic vs IELTS General confusion.
The short answer: It depends on why you are taking IELTS.
If you are doing it to get into an English-speaking university or professional registration, then you will need to do the IELTS Academic. If you are doing it for migration purposes, then you will need to do the IELTS General.
Hello from the E2 Test Prep team!
Many test-takers aren’t sure which IELTS test they need! E2 has prepared over 1.5 million students for various English proficiency exams, and there is no better advice we can give than for students to invest their time in getting to know the structure of the test they want to take.
Let’s break down the basics of both IELTS types so you leave with a clear answer to the question: What is the difference between IELTS General and IELTS Academic?
The IELTS test has 4 parts:
Writing Task 2, Listening and Speaking are the same for both IELTS Academic and IELTS general.
In the Speaking test, you will be interviewed by an examiner. This test includes 3 parts: the interview, a short presentation, and a discussion. It lasts between 11-14 minutes. Be prepared with our ‘Understanding IELTS speaking in 9 minutes‘ video.
So, how are IELTS Academic and General different? The answer is writing task 1 and the type of text you’ll find in the reading section.
Let’s compare IELTS Academic and IELTS General: Writing Task 1
Describe and analyse data in one of the following:
- Bar chart
- Line graph
- Pie chart
Write a letter in one of the following styles:
- Formal (to someone you do not know)
- Semi-formal (to someone you know formally)
- Informal (to friend or family)
You have 20 minutes to complete Writing task 1 in both IELTS Academic and General. You must write at least 150 words.
Let’s compare IELTS Academic and IELTS general: Reading task
IELTS Academic reading task
- 3 long passages increasing in difficulty
- Academic style texts (journal articles, textbook extracts)
- Texts related to academic topics such as science, history, sociology
IELTS General reading task
- 4 short passages increasing in length and difficulty
- More general /everyday style texts
- Workplace environment (job descriptions, employment contracts etc.); general texts (newspapers, magazines, travel brochures etc.)
You have an hour to complete the whole reading task of both IELTS Academic and IELTS General.
Pro time management tip: Use 50 minutes for reading time, write notes if necessary, use the last 10 minutes to transfer the answers into your answer sheet/select your answers (computer-delivered IELTS test).
Between IELTS Academic and IELTS General, which is best for you?
As we mentioned above, it depends on your reason to take the test. Here are the stories of some of our successful students that have used E2 Test Prep to achieve their goal scores in both IELTS tests:
Ahmad is applying to get into university in Australia. He wants to study a Master of Business at the University of Melbourne. Although he has graduated from an English-speaking university in Egypt, the University of Melbourne has requested an IELTS test with a minimum overall band score of 6. To be considered for acceptance into the Master’s program, Ahmad will need to complete the Academic IELTS.
Jaspreet is on a Working Holiday visa from India. She has applied for a job with an IT company in London. The company has asked for evidence of Jaspreet’s English ability. Jaspreet should complete the IELTS Academic.
Gabriela is a dentist from Brazil. She now lives in Sydney and wants to apply for registration with the Dental Board of Australia. In order to do so, Gabriela will need to complete the IELTS Academic.
Juan visited Ontario last year and met the love of his life. He now wants to migrate to Canada to be with her. As part of his application for immigration, Juan passed the IELTS General.
By the way! – We have a whole video about IELTS Academic vs IELTS General with IDP, the company behind the test worldwide.
If you are unsure even if you should be taking IELTS, you might find this article useful: Why IELTS may be right for you!
How to pass IELTS Academic or General?
Preparing for IELTS has never been easier, as E2 Test Prep has online test preparation packages to guide you through every step of the way.
- You can get started today for FREE.
- Learn online at your own pace, anywhere.
- Get feedback from CELPIP expert tutors and book 1 on 1 tutorials.
- You’ll join Live Classes with real-life teachers and other students.