Which IELTS test should I take?

by IDP IELTS — December 11th, 2019

IELTS Academic or General Training. How do you know which IELTS test is right for you?

There are two IELTS modules: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. The organization where you plan to work or study sets the requirements and decide which IELTS test you need. That’s why you need to check which one is right for you before booking your IELTS.  The test you choose should be based on what it is you want to do. IELTS Academic is usually used for applications to educational institutions in domestic and abroad, while IELTS General Training is usually used for immigration and job applications.

IELTS General Training

IELTS General Training tests your English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and tests reflect both workplace and social situations. IELTS is the only English test that provides General Training for migration purposes.

Take IELTS General Training if you want to:
  • Migrate to Australia, New Zealand or another English-speaking country
  • Get another job in your own country.
  • Study or train below degree level
  • Work in an English-speaking country

Learn more about IELTS General Training

IELTS Academic

You should do IELTS Academic for an academic environment. For example, studying at University. This test measures whether your level of English language proficiency at an academic level. It reflects aspects of academic language. Also, it helps to assess if you’re ready to begin your studies.

Take IELTS Academic if you want to:

Book IELTS Academic


The IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is the IELTS test you must take to work or study in the UK or to immigrate to the UK. If you are going to study prep or receive a scholarship at an educational institution in the UKV, your institution may ask you for IELTS UKVI.

IELTS Academic UKVI and IELTS General Training UKVI are designed to meet the requirements set by the UK Home Office. IELTS UKVI is the same as IELTS in terms of content, examiner, test format, difficulty level, and marking. Only the Test Result Form will be slightly different as it will indicate that you have taken the exam for the UK.

The IELTS Life Skills, a UKVI exam module, is an English test prepared for people who must prove their speaking and listening skills are at A1 or B1 level under the common European language Reference Framework (CEFR). The test is designed to meet immigration requirements for specific UK visa categories and immigration.

Computer Delivered IELTS

You can do your IELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, IELTS Academic UKVI, and IELTS General Training UKVI tests on a computer. This is the same test as paper-based IELTS. But, instead of writing your answers on paper, you type them on a computer. So, why would you do IELTS on the computer?

  • Results in 2-5 days
  • More test days
  • Face to face Speaking test
  • Turkish and English keyboard options
  • Word count
  • Headphones for Listening section*

* Whether paper-based or computer-delivered,  IDP provides headphones for Listening section.

Search organizations that accept IELTS scores                           How does computer-delivered IELTS works?

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IELTS Speaking exam
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Two test to chose from

IELTS academic or general training, which do you need? So, you know you need to take an IELTS test. You are probably wondering, which test should I take. IELTS offers an academic and non-academic version, that’s called general training. Everyone’s situation is different but here are a few tips to help find out which test is right for you.

IELTS Academic

IELTS academic could be the right test for you, if you are planning to study at university or you’re applying for professional registration. Whether you’re a doctor and engineer or teacher in training, it assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training in an environment where English is the language used.

IELTS General Training

IELTS general training might be the choice for you if you are going to an English-speaking country to do secondary education, work experience or a training program. It focuses on everyday language that you might use in the workplace or in day-to-day conversations. And finally, remember, every organization that you’re applying to, sets their own arts requirements. They decide, if they will accept academic or general training results and the level of English or band score that you need to demonstrate. So before booking your test, it is a good idea to contact them directly and ask which tests you need to be enrolled in.

Whichever you choose, from me to you, all the best for your IELTS test. You can find out more about the two types of IELTS tests here.

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