Not sure which IELTS test to take? We can help!

There are different types of IELTS tests you can take. IELTS can help you study abroad, get the job you've always wanted or just demonstrate that you have improved your English. The test you should choose, depends on what you want to do.

Before booking the test, make sure to check which test you need with the organisations/institutions you are applying to. 

IELTS Academic

Choose the IELTS Academic test if you plan to:

  • pursue undergraduate or postgraduate level study anywhere in the globe.
  • apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa at an educational institution that is a Tier 4 Sponsor in the UK.
  • work in an English-speaking nation for a professional company.

Find out more about the IELTS Academic test

IELTS General Training

Choose the IELTS General Training test if you plan to:

  • study or train below degree level
  • work or commence business-related training in an English-speaking nation
  • migrate to an English-speaking nation
  • qualify for another vocation in your homeland.

Find out more about the General Training test


IELTS Academic and General Training overview

The IELTS test consists of four test types; Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The complete length of the test is 2 hours and 45 minutes. IELTS Listening, Reading and Writing tests are conducted on the same day, with no breaks. The Speaking test can be scheduled seven days before or after the Listening, Reading, Writing test.

IELTS Speaking test - Speaking test is the same for both Academic and General Training. Test duration: 11-14 minutes (Your speaking test can be done via high-definition Video call or In-person).

  • Part 1- Introduction & interview - The examiner introduces him/herself and asks you to introduce yourself and confirm your identity.
  • Part 2 -Individual long turn- The examiner gives you a task card that asks you to talk about a particular topic and that includes points you can cover in your talk.
  • Part 3- Two-way discussion -The examiner asks further questions which are connected to the topic of Part 2.

IELTS Listening test - The listening test is the same for both Academic and General Training. Test duration: 30 minutes. In Paper-based, you get extra 10 minutes to transfer the answers to the answer sheets. However, in computer-delivered test answers are typed directly on a computer and you will be given 2 minutes to check your answers. 

  • Part 1- a conversation between two people set in an everyday social context.
  • Part 2 - a monologue set in an everyday social context.
  • Part 3- a conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context.
  • Part 4- a monologue on an academic subject.

IELTS Reading test - Reading test is different for both Academic and General Training. Test duration: 60 minutes. You get no extra time to transfer your answers to the answer sheet in both the test formats (paper-based and computer-delivered).

IELTS General Training Reading - Your test will have three sections. 

  • Section 1- Two or three short factual articles relevant to everyday life.
  • Section 2- Two short factual articles focused on work-related issues.
  • Section 3- One longer, more complex article based on a topic of general interest.

IELTS Academic Reading - Your test will have three sections, each with one long article.

IELTS Writing test - Writing test task 1 is different for both Academic and General Training, and Task 2 is the same. Test duration: 60 minutes. (Write at least 150 words for Task 1 and 250 for task 2.)

IELTS General Training Writing

  • Writing Task 1 – you are asked to respond to a given problem with a letter (formal, semi-formal, informal) requesting information or explaining a situation.
  • Writing Task 2– you are asked to write an essay in response to a point of view, an argument or a problem.

IELTS Academic Writing

  • Writing Task 1 – you are asked to describe, summarise, or explain the information in the graph, table, chart or diagram in your own words.
  • Writing Task 2– you are asked to write an essay to express your opinion on a topic. An argument or a problem.