Should you take IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training?

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ielts training

IELTS or the International English Language Testing System is a renowned English language proficiency exam for international students. The IELTS exam syllabus test four main English skills: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. IELTS syllabus and pattern are offered in two versions – Academic and General Training. IELTS is scored on a range of 0 – 9 band score. The total time taken to complete the exam is 2 hours 45 minutes.

IELTS Indicator is a recent launch by the conducting bodies to enable online testing from the safety of the home. IELTS indicator score is accepted by selected universities.

  • The IELTS Academic exam is taken by candidates who wish to pursue either undergraduate or postgraduate courses.
  • IELTS General Training exam is opted by the candidates who are planning to migrate to English speaking nation for either studies or work-related.
  • The General and IELTS academic syllabus follows a similar scoring pattern
  • Listening, reading, and writing tests are conducted on the same day on a continuous basis(without any break)
  • Speaking test is scheduled either on the same day afternoon or within seven days before or after.
  • The IELTS exam fee is Rs. 14,000
  • IELTS registration can be done online via website or offline by visiting the conducting authority office

What is the eligibility to take IELTS?

The IELTS exam doesn’t have any strict eligibility requirements. Though there are a few eligibility criteria that candidates need to meet to take the exam:

  1. Minimum IELTS Score: Every university has its set IELTS cutoff score depending on the program type. It can be a 6.5 IELTS band score or a 7.5. Candidates need to keep a watch on the admission page to get information about the required scores.
  2. Age Criteria: Anyone 16 years of age or above can take the IELTS exam. There is no upper age limit.
  3. Passport: Candidates should have a Passport as ID proof

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS syllabus pattern of Academic and General is different for writing and reading. Below mentioned is an illustrated IELTS exam syllabus:

Test Timing Number of Questions
IELTS Listening

(Same for Academic and General Training)

30 minutes 40 questions
IELTS Reading

(Different for Academic and General Training)

60 minutes 40 questions
IELTS Writing

(Different for Academic and General Training)

60 minutes 2 tasks
IELTS Speaking

(Different for Academic and General Training)

11-14 minutes 3 parts

IELTS Listening Test

IELTS Listening is the same for both Academic and General Training modules. The candidates are asked to listen to four recorded texts, monologues, and conversations by native speakers and then write answers to the questions asked. The questions test the candidate’s ability to understand ideas and detailed information, opinions and attitudes of the speaker, etc.

The Listening test consist of 4 sections:

Section 1 Conversation between two people about everyday life Conversation in an accommodation agency
Section 2 A monologue set in an everyday social context Speech about local facilities
Section 3 Conversation between 4 people either in educational or training context University tutor and a student discussing an assignment
Section 4 Monologue on an academic subject University Lecture

IELTS Reading Test

IELTS Reading tests the aspirant’s understanding and interpretation skills. The questions test the candidate’s ability to grasp the main idea, understanding logical argument, recognize the writer’s purpose and attitude, etc.

IELTS Academic Reading Section:

The IELTS Academic syllabus of reading consists of:

  • 3 reading passages
  • 40 questions
  • 60 minutes
  • sourced from books, magazines, journals, and newspapers
  • These texts are selected for a non-specialist audience but appropriate for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses
  • Every question is worth 1 mark

IELTS General Reading Section:

The IELTS General Training exam pattern of reading consists of:

  • 3 sections: section 1 may comprise 2 -3 short texts or numerous short passages, section 2 consists of 2 texts, and section 3 of one long text
  • 40 questions
  • 60 minutes
  • Texts are related to ‘social survival’, ‘workplace survival’, and ‘general reading’
  • Sources are taken from newspapers, advertisements, journals, company guidelines
  • Every question is worth 1 mark

IELTS Writing Test

The IELTS syllabus and pattern are different for both Academic and General Training.

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1:

In the IELTS Academic Writing test, two tasks are given to candidates. The topics asked are of general interest and are suitable for anyone entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

The two tasks asked in the IELTS Academic Writing Test are:

  1. IELTS Academic Writing Task 1: The candidates should describe, explain and summarise the information in their own words from the given graph, table, chart, or diagram.
  2. IELTS Academic Writing Task 2: The candidates are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, argument, or problem. Responses should be written in a formal style.
  3. IELTS General Writing Task: In the IELTS General Training Writing test, two tasks are given to the candidates. The topics asked are based on general interest. The two tasks asked in the IELTS General Writing Test are:
    • IELTS General Writing Task 1: The candidates are given a situation and are asked to write a letter either requesting information or explaining the situation. The letter can be personal, semi-formal, or formal in style.
    • IELTS General Writing Task 2: The candidates are asked to write an essay in response to point of the problem or argument. The essay can be more personal in style.

IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS Speaking Test is a face-to-face interview and is designed in such a way as to test the candidate’s use of spoken English. Every test is recorded. The test is delivered in such a way that it doesn’t allow candidates to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The IELTS Speaking tests consists of 3 tasks:

  1. Task 1: The candidates are asked to answer general questions about themselves and other familiar topics like home, family, studies, and interests
  2. Task 2: The candidates will be given a card and they will be asked to talk about a particular topic. They are given a minute to prepare. The examiner can ask one to two questions on the same topic.
  3. Task 3: The candidates are asked for further questions based on task 2. These questions help candidates to discuss abstract issues and ideas.

What is the IELTS Score and Band Score?

Candidates receive their IELTS scores within 3 to 5 days of taking the test. IELTS is scored on a band score of 0 – 9. Each of the four IELTS sections gets individual IELTS band scores. The IELTS score report shows the average of all the individual sections.

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