Academic and General IELTS – What’s the difference?
There are two versions of the IELTS exam: Academic and General. Here’s a quick guide to the differences (and similarities) between them.
Both versions of the IELTS exam have four sections: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The Listening and Speaking sections are the same in both versions, but the Reading and Writing sections are different.
For both versions, in the Listening section, you listen to a total of four monologues and conversations, and answer a variety of different questions on them. You only listen once and the test is approximately thirty minutes.
For both versions, in the Speaking section, you answer questions on familiar topics, speak continuously for one to two minutes on a topic, and answer questions on more abstract topics. You do the speaking exam individually with one examiner. It’s eleven to fourteen minutes long.
For Academic Reading, you read three longer texts and answer a variety of questions about them. The texts are more academic in nature. You have one hour to complete the test.
For General Reading, you also read three texts and answer a variety of questions on them, but these texts are more related to work and general interests. This test is also thirty minutes.
For Academic Writing, you write two pieces of writing. The first is a summary of information. You might be asked to summarise information from a chart or graph, a table, or a diagram showing a process, objects or maps or plans. The second piece of writing is an essay. You have one hour in total for both Writing tasks.
For General Writing, you also write two pieces of writing. The first task is a letter and the second task is an essay. The length of the exam is also one hour in total for both Writing tasks.
Now you know a little more about the difference and similarities between Academic and General IELTS.
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