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If you’re planning to migrate to an English-speaking country, you’ll be opening up a world of opportunities to launch or better develop your career. 

However, before you successfully move there, you’ll be required to provide proof of your English language ability as part of your application. 

This comes in the form of your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score, which would indicate to the immigration authorities that you have proficiency in the English language. 

Before you book your IELTS test, it helps to take a closer look at the different test types available so that you choose the option most aligned with your goals.

The different IELTS test types

There are two types of IELTS tests: Academic and General Training

Once you have a clear idea of what it is you plan to do, you’ll then be able to choose the more appropriate test. 

The Academic test is usually meant for those who are planning to go to university or pursue higher education. 

For those looking to sit for the IELTS for migration purposes, the General Training test would be a better choice. 

Having said that, it helps to take a closer look at the requirements set by the organisation where you plan to work or study at, so as to be certain and ensure you book the right test. 

To give you a better general idea of which test is more suitable, we’ve put together a few different scenarios so you can take a look to see which one is more relevant to you.

4 things to consider when choosing your IELTS test For immigration

1. Are you planning to simply migrate to and work in the country?

For those who have plans to relocate and work in an English-speaking country, the IELTS General Training test is the better choice. 

With a focus on assessing you for everyday language that you will use in your daily conversations and at work, passing the General Training test ensures that you have the ability to communicate effectively while abroad.

2. Are you planning to study in the country and obtain professional registration?

If you intend to further your studies overseas, then you should opt for the IELTS Academic test, which can help assess your level of proficiency in English at an academic level. 

On top of that, it would play a part in helping you to secure your student visa, which is essential for every international student.

3. For Australia immigration purposes

In the case of Australia, only certain skills assessment bodies such as the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC), CPA Australia and Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) require an IELTS Academic score. 

This is something important to note especially if you’re looking to call Australia your new home. 

Depending on the career you are pursuing there, you may have to undergo a skills assessment to ensure that you have the skills to meet the standards set to work in a relevant occupation. 

However, in the event you’re just migrating there, an IELTS General Training test would be enough to show your proficiency in English.

4. For migrating to the UK

If you’re planning to move to the UK, you’ll have to sit for an IELTS for UKVI test

Like the other IELTS tests, IELTS for UKVI assesses your English language skills across listening, reading, writing and speaking in an academic and everyday setting. However, the difference is that it is approved by the UK home office for study, work or migration purposes. 

There are three different types of IELTS for UKVI tests: 

- Academic for UKVI  

- General Training for UKVI  

- Life Skills for UKVI  

Depending on your visa type, you’ll have to sit for one of these three tests. 

The Academic for UKVI is suitable for you if you intend to study in the UK or apply for professional registration. 

If your plan is to work, migrate or seek vocational training in the UK, the General Training for UKVI is the best option. 

The Life Skills for UKVI is designed for those who need to prove English speaking and listening skills at Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Levels A1 or B1. 

IELTS Life Skills A1 and B1 only test your skills in listening and speaking. Hence, you’ll be tested for your ability to obtain and gather information, communicate and engage in discussion. Instead of a band score, you’ll be given either a pass or a fail.

Take the next step towards living abroad

Now that you have a clearer idea about the different IELTS test types and the best one to choose according to your individual needs, are you ready to get closer to living in the country of your dreams? 

At IDP, we can give you an extra boost when you’re preparing for your test – through our range of tools and resources – so that you feel confident on test day and pass with flying colours. 

With decades of experience in helping students prepare for the IELTS, we’re certain we can do the same for you too. 

Take your IELTS test with us today!