To read this article in Italian, click here.

Are you aware that there are actually two IELTS exams? The two types of the exam are known as the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. While they are actually two different tests that serve for two different purposes, there is actually quite a lot of overlap, and some parts of the exam are actually identical! Let’s have a look:

The Purpose: Academic IELTS vs. General Training IELTS

Academic IELTS

As you can guess from its name, the Academic IELTS is an exam meant to test your ability in the realm of universities or instructional programs, especially if you are applying to a master’s program in English. But it doesn’t stop here: many professionals and job applicants also use this exam as a positive note on their resume.

Unlike the general training IELTS exam, the academic IELTS exam asks you to demonstrate some reading and writing skills that you may not encounter on a daily basis if you were in an English-speaking country. You will encounter things like describing graphs, charts or diagrams, and analyzing very particular texts about research and discoveries.

General Training IELTS

When it comes to test takers looking for immigration and foreign employment, the general training version is requested in order to obtain visas to enter Canada, USA, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and other English-speaking countries. For example, if you are trying to obtain a visa to go to Canada for a new job, the General Training IELTS is requested in order to prove that you have the language assets to survive in this country.

With that being said, the test doesn’t just stop at immigration. Companies could request the General Training IELTS exam to evaluate the English ability of their workers. So test-takers can use their score report to get a job, in some cases.

So what’s on the test?

Both the IELTS Academic and the IELTS general run on the same general format. Your skills in English writing, reading, listening, and speaking are tested separately in both exams. As a matter of fact, both the listening and speaking sections are the same, meaning the same topics and questions can will be seen both for IELTS academic and the general test.

With regards to the writing versions, both versions have 2 writing tasks, while both reading sections also have 40 questions. When we start getting down to the content and tasks, we see some differences, which will be details below.

Content: IELTS Academic vs. IELTS General Training

University students and professionals must be equipped with English reading skills that are strong enough for texts in professional and academic journals, textbooks, and relevant magazines and newspapers. As such, the Academic IELTS uses texts taken directly from these kinds of sources to test comprehension skills. Similarly, the writing tasks specific to this version use sample topics that would be relevant in academic and professional settings. English writing skills will be assessed to make sure they are strong enough to write college-level essays.

Those taking the General Training IELTS, on the other hand, will encounter the kind of language that would appear in advertisements, guidebooks, magazines, notices, or what working people might encounter in employee manuals. A test taker’s written English will be tested on general tasks such as letter writing or basic essay writing.

IELTS General and Academic Score Comparison

Perhaps the biggest difference between these two versions of the test is the way that they’re scored. Granted, IELTS Listening, Speaking, and Writing are scored the same way on both exams. But IELTS Reading, which represents a full 25% of your score, is rated very differently on IELTS academic vs. IELTS general training.

For example, suppose you get 30 out of 40 answers correct in IELTS Reading, also known as a raw score of 30. In general training reading, that’s an IELTS Band of 5.0. But 30 out of 40 gets you a 6.0 in academic reading. Your raw scores have a totally different meaning depending on whether you’re looking at the IELTS academic or general test!

To read this article in Italian, click here.

Are you aware that there are actually two IELTS exams? The two types of the exam are known as the IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. While they are actually two different tests that serve for two different purposes, there is actually quite a lot of overlap, and some parts of the exam are actually identical! Let’s have a look:

The Purpose: Academic IELTS vs. General Training IELTS

Academic IELTS

As you can guess from its name, the Academic IELTS is an exam meant to test your ability in the realm of universities or instructional programs, especially if you are applying to a master’s program in English. But it doesn’t stop here: many professionals and job applicants also use this exam as a positive note on their resume.

Unlike the general training IELTS exam, the academic IELTS exam asks you to demonstrate some reading and writing skills that you may not encounter on a daily basis if you were in an English-speaking country. You will encounter things like describing graphs, charts or diagrams, and analyzing very particular texts about research and discoveries.

General Training IELTS

When it comes to test takers looking for immigration and foreign employment, the general training version is requested in order to obtain visas to enter Canada, USA, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and other English-speaking countries. For example, if you are trying to obtain a visa to go to Canada for a new job, the General Training IELTS is requested in order to prove that you have the language assets to survive in this country.

With that being said, the test doesn’t just stop at immigration. Companies could request the General Training IELTS exam to evaluate the English ability of their workers. So test-takers can use their score report to get a job, in some cases.

So what’s on the test?

Both the IELTS Academic and the IELTS general run on the same general format. Your skills in English writing, reading, listening, and speaking are tested separately in both exams. As a matter of fact, both the listening and speaking sections are the same, meaning the same topics and questions can will be seen both for IELTS academic and the general test.

With regards to the writing versions, both versions have 2 writing tasks, while both reading sections also have 40 questions. When we start getting down to the content and tasks, we see some differences, which will be details below.

What you will encounter: IELTS Academic vs. IELTS General Training

You’ll find pretty intense academic readings from journals, textbooks, magazines and newspapers when it comes to the reading part. This means that your ability to analyze real-life text will be judged in great detail on the IELTS exams. The IELTS writing part also takes into consideration these heated academic topics, which take on both classroom and professional settings. To get a solid score, your writing abilities have to be as high as real college-level standards, as they will judge your IELTS writing on lexical, grammatical, and structured criteria.

In terms of the General Training IELTS, on the other hand, test takers spend more time discussing advertisements, magazines, notices, emails and guidebooks that you may come across if you are actually living in a country. Letter writing or basic expression is something you definitely need here.

IELTS General and Academic: Scoring

Scoring is not uniform among the two IELTS tests, as one may imagine. All parts are always 25% of your total IELTS score. As we mentioned above, the listening and speaking, being the same exact IELTS exam, are naturally scored the same way. The IELTS reading, however, has a much different scale than the academic IELTS reading: you need to get more correct in the general exam to get the same score.

Is that all clear? Are you still confused about which exam you have to take? Scrambled Eggs English School in Milan is always ready to help! Be sure to drop us an email for any questions: hello@scrambledeggsinglese.itR

Ready to take the test? Have a look at our IELTS preparation courses in Milan, and open new doors in your career!