The IELTS General Training test is typically taken by those who wish to move to Canada and is accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s numerous immigration programs, such as Express Entry.
IELTS Academic is for those who are looking to study at a university or college or join a professional association where English is a prerequisite.
Every organisation sets its own entry requirements, and some may even accept both versions of IELTS. If you are unsure of which version to take, you should check with your organisation directly to see what version of IELTS they accept.
Both tests assess the four same areas of your English language abilities: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, but there are some minor differences to the test content in the Reading and Writing sections.
The Speaking and Listening sections are exactly the same for both tests. You can find out more about these two sections of the test here.
The Reading and Writing sections differ slightly in content, depending on whether you take the General Training or Academic test.
IELTS Academic Reading content
The Academic Reading test includes three long texts which are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. You will then be asked around 40 questions on these texts. You do not need any specialised knowledge on the subjects, but the content will be tailored more towards people entering a university course.
The General Training texts include three sections, which you will again be asked 40 questions on.