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The first and perhaps the most important point to consider is which version of the test you should take - Academic or General Training?

As a test taker, you can choose the type of test you want based on your personal goals and needs. Apart from this, another important point is to know what the visa requirements of some English-speaking countries are.

So which test will you take?

There are several important points to consider when deciding to take the IELTS Academic or General test. In addition, knowing the content of the test to find the most suitable format for you will make life easier.

IELTS Academic: This test is for those who are planning to study in higher education (university, college, etc.) or want to start a career in a professional field.

IELTS General: If you want to study, work, or immigrate to an English-speaking country such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, you should take the IELTS General Training. Candidates taking the IELTS General Training are assessed on their daily use of the language using questions that are based on workplace and social life contexts.

Similar and different aspects of the test

Both versions of tests consist of four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.


• The total duration of the Listening module is 30 minutes for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training tests.

• There are four sections to the listening test in both tests.


• The Reading section lasts for 60 minutes for both the IELTS Academic and General.

• Texts used in both the IELTS Academic and General Reading test are based on authentic material which has been taken from books, newspapers, magazines, or journals.


• The Writing section lasts for 60 minutes for both the IELTS Academic and General Training tests.

• In both versions of the test, there are two tasks: In Task 1, you must write at least 150 words, and in Task 2, you must write at least 250 words.

• In IELTS Academic Writing Task 1, you are given visual information such as a graph, table, or diagram, and you are asked to summarize, describe, or explain the information you see. So, be sure to structure your answer into three main parts: introduction, overview, and key points supported by data taken from the chart. Task 2 is an essay.

• A letter is written in IELTS General Training Task 1. Task 2 is an essay.


• In both test types, a face-to-face interview with a certified IELTS Speaking Examiner is conducted.

• The Speaking Test takes between 11 and 14 minutes and includes a structured discussion.

Before deciding which IELTS test to take, it is helpful to do research to help you meet your personal, professional, or educational goals. Knowing the requirements of educational institutions, employment or immigration organisations as well as having a clearer plan is essential to achieving your goals. With this is mind, come and join us for IDP's free online MASTERCLASS. Not only will you get great advice about the IELTS Test format, question types and useful IELTS Test tips, but you can also benefit from our IELTS Assist packages that will help you in your IELTS preparation process.

We wish you success in the IELTS test!