IELTS : General v/s Academic
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a written test that examines proficiency of people in the English language. It is designed for people who wish to study or work in an English-speaking country.
There are two kinds of IELTS:
Lets see what are the differences between these two types:
For who? : Broadly, the academic IELTS is meant for people who wish to study or get a training in universities, institutions and colleges in an English-speaking country. Based on their IELTS scores, students can get admission in their respective courses. In addition, IELTS is also needed by some professionals if their organization requires them to take it to work in an English-speaking country.
IELTS general is mainly for people wanting to pursue secondary education or work or migrate to an English-speaking country. It is a broader form of the IELTS and is meant in social and workplace contexts. People migrating to Australia, Canada and New Zealand need to take the IELTS.
Format of Listening and Speaking: There are four sections in both types of the IELTS: Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening. The format of Listening and Speaking section is the same for both the exams.
Format of Reading section:The reading section is different in both. In the Academic IELTS, the reading section has three long reading passages with around 13-14 questions each. There are a total of 40 questions to be completed in one hour. The passages are academic. The general IELTS has three sections for an hour. The first section has two or three texts and they are on subjects that test a candidates to operate in an English environment. Section two is on training or work topics and there are also two texts. Section three has one longer text. The number of questions in the texts is the same as those of academic.
Format of Writing section:Both the academic and general training writing tests have two sections to be completed in one hour. In the academic writing test, section one asks candidates to describe the information (more than 150 words) presented in some kind of graphic or image. In section two academic, candidates have to write a short essay (more than 250 words) on a topic of general interest. However, in the general writing test, section one asks candidates to write a short letter (more than 150 words) in response to some information presented. Section two is very similar to the academic, and requires them to write a short essay (more than 250 words) on a topic of general interest.
Scoring: The IELTS Academic and General tests are scored in a similar way. Nobody fails an IELTS test. Test takers receive IELTS scores based on each for the four skills on a scale of 1 – 9, and are awarded an overall band score. They may score whole (e.g., 5.0, 6.0, 7.0) or half (e.g., 5.5., 6.5, 7.5) bands in each part of the test.
Which of these IELTS tests is applicable to you will depend upon the purpose of visiting an English-speaking country.