IELTS Test Format

Which test format is for you, and how do they differ?

The IELTS test is offered in two formats, Academic and General Training. Not sure which one to take? Read on to find our which test format will suit your needs.

The difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic test has been developed if you wish to study at university or college as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or join or gain entry into a professional institution.

Find our which academic institutions and organisations accept IELTS here.

IELTS General Training

Don’t like taking academic tests? The good news is you may not need to. The IELTS General Training test has been developed to test your English in a practical, real-life situation.

You may need the IELTS General Training test for entry into secondary education, a college or education training centre, or to migrate to an English speaking country.

Test takers taking down notes in lecture hall

Which test do you need?

Before you book your IELTS test, we recommend that you check with your educational institution, workplace or immigration department to check which test format is accepted.

Find out who accepts IELTS

IELTS test format explained

The IELTS test has four components: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

The IELTS Writing and Reading tests are different in the Academic and General Training tests. The Academic test will contain topics suitable for anyone entering university or professional institutions. The General Training test will contain topics based on general interest.

The IELTS Listening and Speaking tests are the same, regardless if you choose to sit IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training test.

Test Format