IELTS: Academic or General, Which Test Should I Take?

There are two different IELTS tests you can take (IELTS Academic or General Training). Which one you choose to take will depend on what you need it for. For example, work or for study. Different organisations, such as workplaces,immigration offices or universities, will require different IELTS tests, so it is worth checking with yours beforehand which test you need. To help provide some extra clarification on which one is right for you, we have stated the differences between the two tests below.

IELTS Academic or General Training?

IELTS Academic

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. Some organisations 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.

Find out more about the IELTS Academic test here.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is typically taken by those who wish to move to Canada for work. It is accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s numerous immigration programs, such as Express Entry.

Find out more about the IELTS General Training test here.

What are the similarities between the IELTS Academic & IELTS General Training tests?

Whilst the two versions of the IELTS test have different purposes, they also share many similarities:

  • Both can be taken on paper or on a computer.
  • Both assess your skills in four key areas: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
  • Both have the same scoring criteria.

Book your IELTS test today

Book your IELTS test today

  • Free access to IELTS Ready Premium: A comprehensive e-learning and online assessment tool. It is your best possible online preparation and practice resource. Download sample tests, practice interactive activities and get expert advice.
  • Convenient locations: With 80+ test locations across Canada, you can find a test centre near you easily.
  • Five extra Test Report Forms for free: Upon completion, British Council will quickly send your Test Report Form to your desired institutions (e.g. colleges, Universities, immigration offices etc.)

Take your IELTS test on paper or on computer

IELTS on paper

IELTS on paper is the standard test format in Canada. If you prefer to take exams in the traditional way, IELTS on paper might be the preferred choice for you.

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IELTS on computer

IELTS on computer is the same test as IELTS on paper, with exactly the same questions. It is still taken inside a local test centre, but your answers are submitted on a computer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of IELTS exam I can take?

Which IELTS exam should I take?