What does the IELTS test involve?

To cater for the specific language requirements of different institutions, IELTS comes in two modules – Academic and General Training.

Both the Academic and General Training modules cover the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking components. There are different Reading and Writing components for the Academic and General Training modules.

Listening

  • Time: approximately 30 minutes

Academic Reading

  • Time: 60 minutes

General Training Reading

  • Time: 60 minutes

Academic Writing

  • Time: 60 minutes

General Training Writing

  • Time: 60 minutes

Speaking

  • Time: 11–14 minutes

Academic and General Training modules

The Academic module is for candidates wishing to study at undergraduate or postgraduate levels, and for those seeking professional registration.

The General Training module is for candidates wishing to migrate to an English-speaking country (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK), and for those wishing to train or study at below degree level.

Both modules are graded using exactly the same criteria, so there is no difference in the level of English. The distinction lies in the subject matter and type of vocabulary used. The General Training module is not designed to test the full range of formal language skills required for academic purposes.

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