A Choice of Two Tests

IELTS offers candidates a choice between two versions of the test: Academic and General Training.

Before registering to take IELTS, it is very important to decide which version you will take. Your choice between Academic or General Training depends on your reason for taking IELTS.

The Academic module is for candidates who wish to attend an institution of higher education (such as a college or university) which uses English as its language of communication. Many professional organizations also require an IELTS Academic score for membership.

IELTS Academic Reading and Writing sections use material from journals, newspapers, and textbooks oriented towards assessing a candidate’s ability the with type of academic English found at a university, college, or other higher education institution.

The General Training module is for the purpose of immigration, secondary education (high school) in an English-speaking country, or employment at a company which requires workers to be proficient in English.

IELTS General Training’s Reading and Writing sections focus on basic survival skills in everyday situations like your home, community, or place of work. As with the Academic, the General Training module does not require a candidate to be familiar with any specific country’s culture or lifestyle.

When beginning to study for the IELTS, be sure that you are using practice material for Reading and Writing that coincides with the version of the test that you will be taking. Below are links to free IELTS practice tests on the IELTS Canada website by IDP:


Scores are accepted by over 10,000 organizations worldwide
IELTS recognises both British and American English in terms of spelling, grammar and choice of words.
The IELTS approach is recognized as being fair, reliable and valid to all candidates.
IELTS has been developed in close consultation with academics, professional bodies and immigration authorities

After graduating from university in Russia I applied to a large company in North America for a position that required English language proficiency. With my IELTS score I was able to prove my true-to-life ability to communicate in English for my first international employment opportunity. I have since worked in Bermuda and now live in Singapore, working for one of the most famous hotel brands in the world. With the invaluable experience that I have gained working overseas, IELTS has made a priceless contribution to progress my career and my life.

~Yulia Chelyakova, Conference Services Floor Manager, Singapore~

IELTS has been growing steadily for 20 years because it works. It’s good to know that IELTS has been the choice of millions of people over the years. IELTS stood out immediately because it tests all four skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening, giving a well-rounded assessment of my English.

~Arnik Surasarang, Bangkok, Thailand~