Difference between Academic and General IELTS | IELTS International

Difference between Academic and General IELTS | IELTS International
Sharing Is Caring

One of the most searched query on the internet while taking IELTS exam by international students for academic and general is that they want to know the basic difference between Academic and General IELTS. This way they have a crystal clear idea of how to prepare for IELTS general/academic and what are the main areas to focus. In our previous posts, we discussed other subjects relevant to IELTS such as IELTS coaching centers in various cities of India/Canada, IELTS books, IELTS exam preparation and a lot more. Today, we are giving the basic idea of how IELTS general is different from IELTS academic.

IELTS General vs IELTS Academic

difference between ielts general and academic

IELTS general vs IELTS Academic

Other IELTS related Links

It is always a good idea to do research on the format and content of the exam and browsing some IELTS website to get some tips on how to score good bands in the exam. Moreover, below is information regarding similarities and differences between IELTS general and IELTS academic. To make it easy and understandable, we are providing the table format showing basic differences between both considering all the 4 modules.

Note: Always check visa requirements while taking IELTS Academic ( as a student )  and IELTS general ( while applying for PR )  so that you know your goals and can plan accordingly.

Difference between IELTS General and IELTS Academic

Type     IELTS  Academic IELTS  General
PurposeCandidates take this exam when are planning for higher studies in foreign university/college, therefore, this version of IELTS  evaluates our readiness for academic studying.If you are going to migrate to an English speaking country or planning to apply for PR ( either from your home country or if you come as a student in that country ) you have to take IELTS general.

These English-speaking countries include  Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the UK.


Writing ModuleIt has 2 tasks. Task 1 is a minimum of 150 words and Task 2 is a minimum of 250 words.

Task 1 is describing or analyzing any pictorial representation such as a chart, table, graph,  or diagram whereas Task 2 is an essay.


In General, same as Academic, we have 2 tasks. First being a minimum of 150 words and the second is a minimum of 250 words.

Task 1 is letter writing and Task 2 is an essay writing.

For a letter , it is either one of the given 3 possibilities.

Formal (to someone you do not know)

  • Semi-formal (to someone you know formally)
  • Informal (to friend or family member )


Writing Module DurationFor Task 1 – the time allotted it 20 minutes

Task 2 time – 40 minutes

For Task 1 time allotted is 20 minutes

Task 2 time – 40 minutes


Reading Module

Reading the section, in general, is easier as compare to Academic.

Academic reading has long paragraphs and is usually from journal articles or textbook extracts. Paragraphs cover the topics related to science, history, sociology


In general, paragraphs are shorter, much more general and are usually advertisements, notices, job descriptions, employment letters, general texts from newspapers, magazines, travel brochures, etc.


Similarities in IELTS general and IELTS Academic 

  • Both of them come with 4 modules – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • For both versions, the listening module time is 30 minutes. Moreover, both exams come with four recorded listening sections.
  • Speaking modules in both forms of IELTS is about 10- 15 minutes and the pattern is almost the same as it includes introducing yourself, the short presentation, and the discussion on general topics.
  • Duration for the Reading section in both is 60 minutes with three readings.
  • The writing section is 60 minutes for both the IELTS Academic and General Training exams.
  • The reading task in both is of one hour and includes  40 questions in total.

For more queries related to IELTS and how scores in both decide you bands, stay tuned. In our next post, we will discuss the direct relation between IELTS scores in all the 4 modules and how the band varies in IELTS general and IELTS academic.

Below are some of the recommended books to score good bands in IELTS.

IELTS 5 Practice Tests, General Set 1: Tests No. 1-5

IELTS Prep Plus 2019-2020: 6 Academic IELTS + 2 General Training IELTS + Audio + Online

Sharing Is Caring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.