Education

Differences between IELTS Academic and General Training

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. They use this system to test and evaluate students’ abilities in speaking, listening and reading the English language.

They measure your speaking ability, listening ability and reading ability. It does not measure English language proficiency or academic skills. It only measures your ability to speak, listen and read English.

There are two types of IELTS tests: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Let’s understand the differences between both versions of the IELTS.

IELTS Academic

The Academic test aims to measure your ability to do academic work. Academic work could include, for example, reading academic texts, writing essays, analysing data sources in the form of charts and graphs and so on.

The IELTS Academic test is for people applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. It reflects some of the features of academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This approach is widely supported by the institutions that recognise IELTS.

Different institutions consider different band scores as part of a sufficient demonstration of your English skills. For example, an overall band score of 6 or 6.5 will not help you get admission to world-famous universities. Still, the same is more than enough for general, not-so-popular universities.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is for those who are going to English-speaking countries for secondary education, work experience or training programs. It is also required to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.

It is necessary to ensure that you are good enough in English to deal with everyday life at the workplace or out of the workplace. Also, you can communicate in written English using formal and informal tones as per the situation.

The IELTS GT exam is generally considered easier than the IELTS Academic exam because it requires less specialised knowledge and more practical language skills. The reading passages in the IELTS GT exam are also more straightforward and deal with common topics like travel, work, and daily life.

IELTS Academic and General Training – Exam level differences

There are no major differences between the two versions of the tests. However, the reading module is altogether different for both modules. The listening module will be the same. Speaking has no difference. Further, in the writing section, academic candidates will have different types of task 1, which will be a chart, table, graph, process analysis, etc.

On the other hand, GT candidates will get a letter to write based on the given prompts. Writing task 2 in nature and difficulty will be similar; however, the topic may differ.

Which One is More Difficult: IELTS Academic or IELTS GT?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if a person excels in academic writing and reading comprehension but struggles with everyday communication skills such as speaking or letter writing, then they might find the Academic test easier than the General Training exam.

On the other hand, those with strong communication skills but who struggle with complex texts might find the General Training (GT) test easier since it focuses on the practical day-to-day usage of English rather than academic concepts. Ultimately, both tests require preparation and practice to succeed, so candidates should choose their exams based on their personal goals and needs.

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Raj Maurya

Raj Maurya is the founder of Digital Gyan. He is a technical content writer on Fiverr and freelancer.com. When not working, he plays Valorant.

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