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Types of IELTS Exam: Know About Different Types of IELTS Exam to Study Abroad

Yocket Editorial Team

IELTS, introduced in 1989, is one of the most well-known and broadly accepted standardised English language proficiency tests. It is for non-native English speakers who want to work, study or migrate to countries abroad. Many international students wonder which types of IELTS exam will be good. Well, to make it simple, there are two types of IELTS:

  •  IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

This examination is acknowledged universally and by many universities and companies crosswise the globe. The testing process of IELTS focuses on a student’s competencies to understand and use English in real-life situations. So, to help you in knowing what are the types of IELTS exam? We have detailed below all the required information for IELTS.


Table of Contents

What are the Different Types of IELTS Exam?

International students who want to study or work in any foreign country with English as the primary communication medium have to appear for this test. Both the exams IELTS academic & general training exams assess the test taker’s English skills in reading, writing, listening & speaking. The IELTS test is conducted jointly by the IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English & British Council in over 140 countries crosswise 1,600+ test centres. There are two types of IELTS exams in India:

  1. IELTS General Training
  2. IELTS Academic

Let’s discuss these IELTS categories in detail:

1. General IELTS Exam

The IELTS general training exam is applicable to students who are applying for secondary education, professionals looking for work experience and seeking immigration in some countries like New Zealand, Canada, Australia and UK. IELTS General Training can be taken in a test centre on a computer or paper. The test features everyday English language skills students need in a social and workplace atmosphere.

2. IELTS Academic Exam

IELTS Academic exam is for students who want to study for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in any English-speaking country. This test measures whether your English language proficiency level is acceptable for an academic environment. Students can take IELTS Academic on paper, on a computer or online at home or another suitable location. The IELTS Academic test is a bit more complicated than the IELTS General Training test.

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Why Different Types of IELTS Exams are there?

The different types of IELTS exams are needed for migration and academic purposes abroad in English-speaking countries. The British Council and IDP global timetable for test dates is 48 days per year. It is acknowledged in 100% of universities in UK and Australia. Also, it is recognized in more than 11,000 organisations in 140 countries. IELTS is the only English language proficiency test accepted by UK Visas and Immigration for visa applicants applying both outside and inside  UK. Through this exam, you need to display a good understanding and strong English language knowledge, which is why overall IELTS scores are so essential.

Important Update:

IELTS is introducing one new feature, “One Skill Retake”, from March 2023 in India. Through this feature where test takers will be permitted to appear only for the module in which they scored less. So, they need not repeat all four modules of the IELTS exam.

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What are the Similarities Between two Types of IELTS Exam?

The IELTS type of exam focuses on contexts, similar matters and themes such as classroom conversations, university lectures, and course material. There is a comparable listening and speaking tests and diverse reading and writing tests. A student won’t get any discontinuity between reading, listening, and writing tests. On the other hand, a student can finish the speaking section one week before or after the other tests. Furthermore, there is a similar time frame and test format, such as 4 sections, assessing speaking skills, reading, listening and writing for 45 minutes. The registration process for both tests is similar.

The test outline for Academic and General Training is quite similar. Here is a tabular brief providing information about each test section:

IELTS Test Sections (General & Academic Exam)




Students have to answer 2 tasks- a 150 words summary and a 250 words essay.

They will be providing with charts and graphs, illustrations based on which they have to frame the responses.

60 Minutes 

2 tasks


It contains 3 long passages. Students have to answer questions based on these passages. The text can be factual, analytical, descriptive or broad with graphs and illustrations.

60 Minutes

40 Questions


Students have to answer questions on the base of 4 pre-recorded audios.

30 minutes

4 questions


It is a one-to-one interview with an IELTS examiner containing short questions, planned discussion and speaking on a provided topic.

11-14 minutes

3 sections

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Which Type of IELTS Exam is Right for you?

Now that we are known how many types of IELTS exam are there? We need to understand which IELTS is best for students. If education is the main goal, students must take the IELTS academic exam, and if a student wishes to move to another English-speaking country, they should go for IELTS general training exam. To help you decide proficiently which IELTS exam to take, we have tabulated below some information for better understanding:


Types of IELTS Exam to be Taken

Undergraduate Degree

IELTS Academic Exam

Post-Graduate Degree

IELTS Academic Exam

Doctoral Degree

IELTS Academic Exam

Post- Doctoral Level

IELTS Academic Exam

Below Degree Level Course

General IELTS Exam


General IELTS Exam

Work or Training

General IELTS Exam

Permanent Residency

General IELTS Exam

Professional Organization

IELTS Academic Exam

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Depending on your determination, you must take a specific IELTS exam. If you want to know more, we are here to help you with the types of IELTS exams. You can connect with our Yocket Professionals and clear all your doubts easily.


 Also Read:

Best IELTS Books

Study in Australia Without IELTS

IELTS 5.5 Band Universities and Colleges in USA

How to Prepare for IELTS at Home


IELTS 6 & 6.5 Band Universities in USA

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of IELTS Exam

What is the age limit to appear for the IELTS exam?

What is the IELTS exam fee in India?

How long is IELTS score valid?

Is passport required for IELTS?

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