IELTS, which stands for the International English Language Testing System, is one of the most popular and widely accepted tests to check English proficiency for higher education and migration. Having been developed by English language assessment experts, the IELTS exam tests the entire range of English skills needed by an individual. There are two types of IELTS exam: IELTS Academic and IELTS General.In IELTS Academic, your English proficiency for an academic environment is tested. In IELTS General, your English proficiency for everyday life-situations is tested.

Which exam should I take: IELTS Academic or IELTS General?

The IELTS test evaluates your English Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking skills and abilities.
The IELTS General and IELTS Academic tests are different; the IELTS General test being easier than the IELTS Academic test.

IELTS Academic Test

The IELTS Academic test is for those candidates who want to get admitted to an English- speaking university or institutions for higher education. In English-speaking countries, admission to undergraduate and postgraduate programs is based on your socres in IELTS Academic test.

IELTS General Training Test

Whereas, the IELTS General training test is for people seeking permanent residency in English speaking countries. A good score in the IELTS General training test will open your way for job opportunities abroad. The test focuses on your English proficiency levels for social and workplace contexts.

“The syllabus for both the exams is the same. The main difference is in the writing section. In the academic test, the writing part is focussed more on college level interactions, academic letters and essays. Whereas, in general training, the writing part focuses on writing letters related to general day-to-day scenarios.”

How is the overall Band Score calculated?

The IELTS score ranges from 0 to 9. A candidate will get a band score for each of  the following skills-
Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Also, an overall band score will be declared for the candidate.
The total band score is calculated by averaging the individual scores obtained in all the four skills.

Band 9

A band score of 9 depicts that the candidate is an expert in the English language. He or She has good command over the English language and uses accurate & appropriate vocabulary with proper grammar.

Band 8

A band score of 8 depicts that the candidate has a reasonably well command over English. He or she rarely makes errors and is capable of expressing complex situations & have a detailed conversation.

Band 7

A candidate scoring 7 is a good user of the English language. He or she makes some grammatical errors or uses inappropriate vocabulary occasionally.

Band 6

A candidate scoring 6 is a moderate user of English. He or she has partial command over the English language & makes errors. However, the overall meaning can be somehow understood, and he or she can use complex language in familiar situations.


What skills are tested in IELTS exam?
A total of four skills are tested in IELTS exam, which are Listening, Writing, Speaking and Reading.
Which one is better for IELTS- IDP or British Council?
There is absolutely no difference in the IELTS exam conducted by IDP and British Council. Also, the marking scheme and the examiners do not differ. IDP, British Council and Cambridge English Language Assessment are owners of IELTS.
Is American English accepted by IELTS?
Yes, American English is accepted by IELTS. As an international test of English language, it accepts American English. However, while writing, you can either use American spelling or UK spelling. You cannot mix both of them.
Which sections can I attempt on the same day?
Reading, Writing and listening sections can all be taken on the same day. The speaking section can be taken a day before or after the other three sections are attempted.
Will there be a break between the reading and writing sections of the test?
No, you will not get any break between the reading and writing sections of your IELTS test. The total duration of these two sections is 2 hours and 40 minutes.

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