Author Topic: “Which version of the IELTS should I take? The Academic or the General Version?”  (Read 771 times)

Komal Chautala

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“Which version of the IELTS should I take? The Academic or the General Version?”

Different study and migration paths require different IELTS test modules and band scores. You should make your own enquiries before deciding on the test that is right for your situation.

 

IELTS Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education
The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test. IELTS Academic may also be a requirement to join a professional organisation in an English-speaking country.
The Academic IELTS exam is the more advanced test. This version is generally used to determine whether candidates are qualified to enroll in undergraduate and graduate academic programs where English is the medium of instruction. Academic – Institutions of Higher and Further Education. The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses is based on the results of the Academic test.The academic IELTS Test is mainly used to test the English of people who want to take further or higher education courses at colleges or universities in a country where English is spoken as a first language.

 

General Training – for school, work or migration
The General Training format focuses on general survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. It is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. People migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand must sit the General Training test.General Training – for school, work or migration. The General Training format focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts. It is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. The General Training IELTS Test is mainly used to test the English skills of people who want to further their careers by working in a country where English is spoken as a first language.   The General IELTS exam is the simpler test. It focuses on basic survival skills in social and educational contexts. It is generally requested for candidates applying for immigration, working in certain professions, or studying at a non-degree level.

You can choose from two versions of the test –  IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training – depending on the organisation you are applying to and your plans for the future. Both versions of the test are made up of four parts – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. IELTS results are graded on the unique IELTS 9-band scale.This is important because the scores are not interchangeable so there’s no point in studying for or appearing for the wrong exam! We strongly encourage you to find out specifically, in your case, which version of the exam you need to do, based on the requirements of your receiving institution.


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Gaurav Rathore

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IELTS - Academic or General

The first question to ask when you discover that you have to do the IELTS exam is:

"Which version of IELTS should I take? The Academic version or the General?"

This is important because the scores are not interchangeable so there is no point in the study to appear for wrong examination . We encourage you to find out specifically in your case, what version of the exam you need to do, based on the requirements of your host institution.

The Academic IELTS test is the most advanced. This version is generally used to determine whether applicants are eligible to enroll in undergraduate programs and postgraduate students where English is the medium of instruction.

General IELTS test is the simplest. It focuses on basic English skills in social and educational enviorments. It is generally requested for candidates who are applying for immigration, working in certain professions, or studying at a non-degree level.

The simple chart below shows the main similarities and differences in the General and Academic IELTS.:

Same
Different

Listening Module

Reading Module

Speaking Module

Writing Module
 

The chart below shows the difference between two moduels:


General Reading
Types of Exercises:
Texts from advertisements, newspapers, instruction manuals, notices, leaflets, timetables, books & magazine
Texts become progressively harder
Details:
3 Sections
40 Items
60 minutes

Academic Reading
Types of Exercises:
General, non-specialist & academic tex
Texts become progressively harder


 
Details:
3 Sections
40 Items
60 minutes

General Writing
Types of Exercises:
2 Tasks
- 1 letter (150 words)
- 1 essay (250 words)
 
Details:
60 minutes

Academic Writing
Types of Exercises:
2 Tasks
-1 descriptive report, based on a graphic (150 words)
-1 essay (250 words)

Details:
60 minutes
 

The detailed chart below shows the requirements of each version of the IELTS exam.

Listening(Same test for Academic and General Versions)Types of Questions:

multiple choice
short answer
sentence completion
notes / diagrams / flow chart completion
Details:
4 Sections
40 Items
30 minutes
Speaking
(Same test for Academic and General Versions)
Live, oral interview of about 11-14 minutes with an examiner.
Details:
3 sections
Section 1 – Candidate asked personal information, like at first meeting
Section 2 – Candidate delivers monologue of 1-2 minutes on given subject
Section 3 – Candidate answers more advanced questions to expand on Section 2

Gaurav Rathore

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What is the difference between the IELTS Academic Exam and the IELTS General Training Exam?

The listening module and the speaking module are the exact same for both exams. The reading and writing modules differ depending on which version you take.





Academic Version

Listening (Same for General and Academic versions) - Four sections, one audio for each section (monologue or conversation), 40 questions, 30 minutes
Academic Reading - Three sections, one long text for each section, texts are taken from real sources, 40 questions, 60 minutes
Academic Writing – Two tasks, Task 1 (describe a graph, chart, diagram, or table) at least 150 words, Task 2 (short essay – usually responding to an argument) at least 250 words,  60 minutes
Speaking (Same for General and Academic versions) -One on one interview, three sections (answering short questions, talking about a general topic, and a discussion), 11 to 14 minutes


Which version should I take?

Usually universities and academic institutions require the Academic version. Professionals such as doctors and nurses might also have to take the Academic version to work in an English speaking country.

Immigration authorities usually require the General Training version. The General Training version is for people looking to gain non-academic work experience or training. It is also used for people wanting to immigrate to an English speaking country.

These are just generalizations though. Test takers should confirm which exam they should be taking before they prepare for and take the test.

Gaurav Rathore

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What do you want to do?   The version you need
I want to:study at university at undergraduate or postgraduate level; or
join a professional organisation in an English-speaking country


You should take IELTS Academic

Gaurav Rathore

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I want to:
train or study at below degree level
work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country
emigrate to an English-speaking country



You should take IELTS General Training

Gaurav Rathore

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Choose IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training

IELTS offers a choice of two versions of the test, to serve both academic and non academic purposes.
The version of the test you take – and the score you need – will depend on both your visa requirements and the requirements of the institution where you plan to study or work.
Both versions of the test include the same Listening and Speaking components and different Reading and Writing components.
The distinction lies in the subject matter of the Reading and Writing components as shown below.

Gaurav Rathore

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IELTS Academic

IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to anyone, irrespective of their subject focus.

The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in a university that teaches in English at undergraduate or postgraduate level, or institutions of higher and further education.

Many professions (e.g. medical, nursing, accounting, engineering) also require an Academic test result for registration purposes in many countries.

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ELTS General Training

IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations.

The General Training version of the test is typically for those who are going to English-speaking countries to do secondary education, work experience or training programs. This version of IELTS test is also often a visa requirement if you are planning to migrate to English speaking countries including Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

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Should you choose IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training?

Each university, employer and immigration department sets their own IELTS requirements. You have to check which version of IELTS is accepted by your chosen organisation and to find out what IELTS score will be required.

Step one: Check the requirements set by your visa.

Step two: If you are planning to study or work abroad, you must also check the IELTS score required by your chosen institution, professional registration body or employer. Their IELTS requirements could be higher than the requirements of your visa.

Step three: You must check the IELTS score you need. Thousands of organisations all over the world accept IELTS. For an idea of their IELTS score requirements click here. Please note: you should also contact the organisation directly, in order to confirm that these are the latest, up-to-date requirements.

 

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