DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ACADEMIC AND THE GENERAL TRAINING IELTS TESTS

All candidates take the same Listening and Speaking tests. However, there is a choice between Academic and General Training in the Reading and Writing tests.

GENERAL TRAINING READING TEST

The texts are based on the type of material you would be expected to encounter on a daily basis in an English-speaking country. They come from newspapers, notices, official documents, booklets, leaflets, timetables, advertisements, instruction manuals and books, and test your ability to understand and use information.

The first section contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks that mainly require ability to retrieve and provide general factual information. The second section focuses on the training context—for example, the training programme itself or students’ welfare needs. The third section involves reading a longer descriptive text with a more complex structure.

ACADEMIC READING TEST

There are three reading passages with tasks. Texts are taken from books, magazines, journals and newspapers, Al written for a non-specialist audience. They may contain visual materials such
as diagrams, graphs or illustrations, and deal with issues that are appropriate and accessible to candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses. At least one text contains a detailed logical argument.

GENERAL TRAINING WRITING TEST

The first task requires you to write a letter of at least 150 words either asking for information, or explaining a situation. For the second task, you need to write a short essay of at least 250 words in response to a statement or question on a given topic of general interest. You are expected to demonstrate your ability to:

•discuss issues
•provide general factual information
•describe a problem and present a solution
•present and possibly justify an opinion, assessment or hypothesis
•present and possibly evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence and arguments

ACADEMIC WRITING TEST

The first task requires you to write a description of at least 150 words. This is based on material found in a chart, table, graph or diagram, and demonstrates your ability to:

•present information
•summarise the main features of the input

For the second task, you are required to write a short essay of at least 250 words in response to an opinion or question. The issues raised are suitable for and easily understood by candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate studies. You are expected to demonstrate your ability to:

•discuss abstract issues
•present a solution to a problem
•present and justify an opinion
•compare and contrast evidence, opinions and implications
•evaluate and challenge ideas, evidence oi- an argument

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