IELTS College Students Should Know These Differences Between the Academic and General IELTS Tests

IELTS College Students Should Know These Differences Between the Academic and General IELTS Tests

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IELTS is one of the most globally recognised English language assessments. You may have noticed that there are two types of IELTS exams—Academic and General. When deciding which one to choose, consider your goals in order to determine which one is best for you. Our qualified trainers can then help you along the way, through preparation courses and individual assistance.

Depending on whether you are applying to university, working in a specific field, or living in an English-speaking area where you will simply need to navigate your environment, one will likely be more appropriate than the other. Read on to learn more!

Why Academic IELTS Preparation Might Be for You

Depending on what your plans and goals are, you may be applying to an institution that requires you to write an IELTS exam. In that case, it’s important to check the school’s requirements so that you can be sure which test is appropriate.

If you are applying to a higher education institution or looking to complete professional registration, the Academic IELTS test could be the best choice for you. This test determines your readiness to begin schooling or training in English, with some academic language included in the assessment. Many university students write the Academic IELTS test to assess their ability to receive an education in English.

People who are applying to English-speaking universities may write the Academic IELTS exam
People who are applying to English-speaking universities may write the Academic IELTS exam

Academic IELTS preparation may also apply to people who aren’t going to an English-speaking university, but who are rather entering training for or employed in an applicable field of work. Within the professional world, a large number of medical jobs require an Academic IELTS evaluation. Other fields—such as government, law, and engineering—can require it as well. One big difference regarding Academic IELTS content is that it is geared towards people who will need to use advanced or academic language in their pursuits.

General IELTS Test Preparation May Be more Appropriate in These Cases

The IELTS General Training test evaluates the English language skills that would be required to get by in everyday situations, such as regular social interactions or workplace interactions. This may be the right choice for you if you will only be speaking English at a normal level, without the need for heightened or complex language.

In the UK as well as several other countries, the General IELTS test is used in migration. Some global corporations also require the General IELTS test to be written by their employees, to determine their English proficiency level.

The General Training IELTS exam checks your ability to function in English socially and in the workplace
The General Training IELTS exam checks your ability to function in English socially and in the workplace

How Format Differs Between Academic and General IELTS Testing

An IELTS college with preparatory courses can prepare you for either exam. Both tests are highly respected, but choosing the appropriate one for you is important.

While both Academic and General tests include listening, speaking, reading, and writing sections, there are some key differences between the two. Both tests contain reading materials followed by questions. The General test has 2-3 short texts, followed by 2 work-related texts and a longer general interest text. The Academic test differs in that it includes a wider variety of types of text, such as descriptive and analytical materials. There are also diagrams, graphs, or illustrations included in the Academic test. In the writing portion of the test, the Academic exam asks for analysis of a table, graph, chart, or diagram. In the General test, this task is replaced with one that requires test takers to write a letter. Fortunately, no matter which test you decide to take, the right preparation can help you complete it with confidence.

Are you interested in IELTS test preparation?

Contact UKCE for more information.