Two types of IELTS

Two types of IELTS

IELTS is available in two types – Academic or General Training – depending on the educational or professional aspirations, or visa requirements of each test taker. Both types consist of four separate components, providing a valid and accurate assessment of the Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking skills in English.

How are the two tests different?

IELTS Listening and Speaking parts are the same for both tests. IELTS Reading and Writing are different. Find out more about the format for each test.

General

Speaking

30 mins

Face-to-face interview without disruptions or distractions. Structured discussion on a familiar topic.

Reading

60 mins

5-6 texts taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books and newspapers.

Writing

60 mins

Write a letter (150 words) and a short essay (250 words). Semi-format style.

Listening

60 mins

4 sections, each with 10 questions. The first two deal with everyday social contexts. Sections 3 & 4 deal with educational and training contexts.

Academic

Speaking

30 mins

Face-to-face interview without disruptions or distractions. Structured discussion on a familiar topic.

Reading

60 mins

3 long texts taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.
Selected for a non-specialist audience.

Writing

60 mins

Describe a table, chart or diagram (150 words) and write a short essay (250 words). Formal style.

Listening

60 mins

4 sections, each with 10 questions. The first two deal with everyday social contexts. Section 3 & 4 deal with educational and training contexts.

Each organisation has its own entry requirements, although in some cases both types of the test may be accepted. It should be noted that professional organisations normally require an Academic test result for registration and migration purposes.

Please, contact the organisation you are applying to in order to check whether IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training is required.

Information for Test Takers

Guide for Teachers