Understand the IELTS Formats / Versions

Understand the IELTS Test Formats / Versions | IELTS Academic vs General:

Test takers who understand the format of IELTS are at an advantage. Make sure you’re familiar with how IELTS testing works. There are two versions of the test, IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Both tests are graded in exactly the same way.  Both versions of the test have the same general format (check out: The IELTS Format: Four Skills, Four Tests). Your English writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills will be tested separately no matter which version you take.

You’ll take the first three parts of the test on the same day, in the following order:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing

There are no breaks between these tests.

Your Speaking test will be held either on the same day or 7 days before or after that, depending on local arrangements.

IELTS Academic IELTS General Training
IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and tests are accessible to all test takers, irrespective of their subject focus. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations.
Listening (30 minutes, plus 10 minutes extra to transfer your answer to your answer sheet)

Four recorded monologues and conversations.

Listening* (30 minutes, plus 10 minutes extra to transfer your answer to your answer sheet)

Four recorded monologues and conversations.

Reading (60 minutes)

Three long reading passages with tasks

Texts range from descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical

Includes non-verbal material such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations

Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from books, journals and newspapers)

Reading (60 minutes)

Three reading passages with tasks

Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts

Section 2 includes two short, work-related, factual texts

Section 3 contains one longer text on a topic of general interest

Texts are authentic (e.g. taken from books, journals and newspapers)

Writing (60 minutes)

Writing task of at least 150 words where the test taker must summarise, describe or explain a table, graph, chart or diagram

Short essay task of at least 250 words

Writing (60 minutes)

Letter writing task of at least 150 words

Short essay task of at least 250 words

Speaking* (11 to 14 minutes)

Face-to-face interview

Includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured decision

Speaking* (11 to 14 minutes)

Face-to-face interview

Includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured decision

Listening and Speaking sections are the same for both versions of the test

– GO TO GRAMMAR & VOCABULARY SECTION