General IELTS vs Academic IELTS – Modules, Format and Duration

IELTS is a worldwide recognized test that is used to determine the candidate’s English skills that they would require when coming to either study or work in an English-speaking country. There are four components to an IELTS test so that the candidate’s English skills can be determined in different ways. 

What is the main difference between Academic and General IELTS? 

Academic IELTS: This test is required for those students who want to further their education like getting an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in an English-speaking country or want to work in an experienced country. 

General IELTS: This test is taken by those looking to either find a job or live in an English-speaking country. In this case, they are tested on simple English skills which would be required by them when communicating with people. 

  1. Reading: 

There are a few differences between the Academic and IELTS Reading sections, some of these include:

Academic: The Academic IELTS has three sections; however, the information that is given in each of the long passages is taken from books, magazines, and journals. 

General: The General IELTS also has three sections; however, the information for the passages is taken from brochures, advertisements, and documentation. Moreover, section one contains a series of short texts whereas section two has two longer texts and section three contains one lengthy passage. 

  1. Writing: 

Both tests have two tasks they are required to complete. 

Academic Task 1Academic Task 2
You would be given information in a visual form like a map, diagram chart, etc, and would have to describe the information that you see in the formal writing of a 150-word report. This section is the same as General IELTS. You would be asked to write an essay and the situation given in the question would require you to talk about a problem or give your views on a topic. 
General Task 1 General Task 2
This is a relatively easier task as compared to the Academic IELTS. You will be required to write a letter. This could be to a friend or relative, an example includes inviting your friend over for the summer and planning out your holidays. Moreover, the letter could be in a formal or informal tone and you could be asked to give a request, complaint, or recommendations. This task is completely identical to Academic IELTS Task 2. You will be asked to write a formal essay but since this is the general IELTS the topic would be a common one. 
  1. Listening: 

This section is identical for both Academic and General IELTS but the only difference is the type of lectures. Let’s have a look at them below. 

Academic: Although the format for the listening test is the same for Academic IELTS, the content that is given to the candidate is different. This includes mostly academic-based conversations, lectures, and discussions. 

General: As the same suggests, the content that is given to the candidate to listen to is mostly focused on general and common topics that the candidate would have heard of before. 

  1. Speaking: 

This section is identical for both the Academic and General IELTS however, the type of content is different. 

Academic: The content that will be used for this section will be related to the academic sector. 

General: The content that will be used for this section will be related to life and more common situations. 

Scoring system for Academic and General IELTS:

The scoring system is the same for Academic and General IELTS. All components of the IELTS test are calculated from 0-9. A mean is taken of all the components and rounded off based on the number to calculate the overall band score.

Test duration for Academic and General IELTS? 

The test duration for Academic and General IELTS is identical, which is 2 hours and 45 minutes. 

If you are confused about which IELTS exam to take then you can always confirm it from the institution that you are applying for. IELTS by Next has a wide range of resources and qualified tutors who can help you prepare in the best way for your IELTS test so that you can excel in an English-speaking country. 

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