• January 4, 2022

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an international test that has been designed for evaluating a student or working professional that aspire to migrate to an English speaking nation. The test is effective in checking the readiness of the individuals so that they can communicate efficiently at the new destination. Communication is extremely important to express views and opinions to others. Through effective communication, individuals transfer their thoughts and can relatively understand the opinions of others. 

IELTS exam has been developed for the students that desire to migrate to countries like Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Canada, and the UK. The test comprises of evaluation of listening, reading, writing and speaking skills of the candidates. It is owned by the IELTS Australia, Cambridge Assessment English and British Council. It is necessary to appear for the IELTS test as English ranks as one of the most spoken languages in the world. Near about 379 million people all around the world speak English therefore the immigrants must be proficient English speakers to integrate with the community. IELTS is a widely recognised test by 11,000 schools, employers, organisations, and universities. 

What is the difference between Academic and General?

IELTS has two versions- IELTS Academic and IELTS General. IELTS Academic has been designed for the students that desire to migrate to a new place for educational or professional purposes and IELTS General has been designed for the people that want to migrate to a new English speaking destination. The test consists of four main subjects Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking. Academic IELTS and General IELTS differ in the Writing task 1 and Reading tests only. 

IELTS Academic and General Test similar sections

Section  Test Contents  Duration 
IELTS Writing Task 2 Essay of 250 words 40 minutes
IELTS Listening Test 4 Audio clips and 40 questions  30-40 minutes
IELTS Speaking Test One-to-one interview 

Short presentation 


10-14 minutes 


IELTS Academic and General Test sectional difference

Section  Academic Contents  General Contents  Duration 
IELTS Writing Task 1 Analysis of pie chart, bar graph, tables, diagrams, line graph. Letter wiring in formal, informal and semi-formal styles.  20 minutes
IELTS Reading Test  3 long passages with higher difficulty levels. 

Texts from academic journals and books. 

Science, sociology and history related extracts 

4 small passages with a lower difficulty level. 

General and daily used texts extracts.

Social texts such as notices, pamphlets, job advertisements, newspaper cuttings, brochures and others. 

60 minutes


How to do an IELTS test and what band is required to clear the Test?

Individuals aspiring to appear for IELTS Test can register for the test on the official IELTS website. The organisation has established 1600 IELTS centres in 140 countries thus providing easier access to the applicants. Candidates may fill the form and pay the fees at the test location or through an online payment. The identity document provided by the candidate during IELTS registration is mandatory during the test. Applicants get a written confirmation of the test after the booking is done. 

IELTS exam does not consider any minimum score to pass the test. The IELTS organisation has set certain band values for the tests according to which the institutions, professional bodies or others decide the language proficiency of the candidate. Universities or employers may expect varied IELTS scores from their applicants as per the educational or job requirements. Therefore, there is no minimum score for the test. However, candidates must pass with a score of at least 5 to get a good opportunity. 

Is it that IELTS and PTE are similar, why choose IELTS and why not PTE?

IELTS and PTE tests are similar as both the test scores are used to evaluate the English language proficiency of the candidates migrating to English speaking countries for educational or professional purposes. English Test applicants can give computer-based or manual tests under IELTS however, PTE is a completely computer-based examination. Machines may face issues in deciphering the accent of different students. Additionally, PTE is still not accepted by many reputed universities. 

IELTS is a globally accepted English language test that provides a separate test approach for people that want to migrate to a foreign country. A formal interview is conducted under IELTS which is a more professional approach that makes the applicants ready for a new world.  Additionally, individuals comfortable in writing than computer-based tests prefer IELTS Test. The frequency of IELTS tests is more as compared to the PTE test which offers the candidates a great chance to evaluate their skills. Result generation is a speedy process and the candidates do not have to wait longer for obtaining their scores. Students in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA appear for IELTS and the examination is widely accepted in these nations. 

Why do job seekers or immigrants prefer IELTS General? 

Job seekers or immigrants prefer IELTS General over Academic test as they do not need to be experts in the English language. Immigrants need to understand English just to communicate with others. IELTS Academic consists of extracts from academic books, journals and higher-level textbooks. Immigrants or job seekers do not find it relevant to answer higher-level English language questions as they will not need such proficiency. However, candidates that aspire to migrate for an educational purpose need to appear for the IELTS Academic test as it is based on academic content. The academic IELTS test consists of lengthy passages with increasing difficulty levels. It is specially designed for the pupils to evaluate their expertise in English so that they can grasp the higher-level educational content during their further studies. This is not the case with the immigrants and job seekers, as they will be using moderate level English further. The general IELTS Test consists of short passages that have a considerably moderate level of difficulty level. Additionally, the analysis section under the Writing Task 1 is not included in the General Test rather types of letter writing is given more preference. The General IELTS test consists of social extracts such as television broadcasts, advertisements, brochures and others that are needed for understanding the environment. As the General IELTS test is based on the social and daily life of the individuals, immigrants and job seekers prefer appearing for it. IELTS preparation can be done through frequent IELTS practice tests provided by the IELTS organisation.