The difference between the Academic and General modules

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Generally speaking, the Academic version of IELTS is harder than the General version. Listening and Speaking are the same for both tests, but the subject matter of the Reading and Writing sections differs depending on which test you take.


General Reading:

The Reading section of the General module includes text related to everyday life in an English-speaking country, work-related issues (e.g., applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions, workplace facilities, staff development, and training), as well as more complex text on a topic of general interest. Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines, and newspapers.

Academic Reading:

There are three long authentic texts taken from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers. They have been written for a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest. Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.


General Writing:

General Writing Task 1:

Candidates are required to write a letter of correspondence where they demonstrate their ability to communicate using English letters to various audiences, including friends, family, colleagues, their manager, or even unknown people.

General Writing Task 2:

There are only minimal differences between IELTS writing task 2 General and Academic.

Academic Writing:

Academic Writing Task 1:

Candidates should write a report identifying the most important and relevant information and trends using the facts or figures presented in a chart, graph, and tablesor a combination of such graphics. It is also possible that you will instead be given a diagram of a machine, device, or process and be required to explain how it works.

Academic Writing Task 2:

There are only minimal differences between IELTS writing task 2 General and Academic.