If you are looking to migrate, work or study in an English speaking country like the UK, you may find that IELTS is a mandatory test that you must take and get a good score!
But before you sign up for the first test you see, you should be clear about your goals for choosing the right IELTS test to take.
Not only are the costs different, but the formats and difficulty levels of the tests can also be very different!
In this article, we will take you through the four different IELTS tests available, what they require and which you should choose!
4 Different IELTS Tests & What You Should Know
IELTS has the following: test type:
- IELTS Academic
- IELTS General Training
- IELTS Life Skills
- IELTS UKVI (Academic & General Training)
While this may seem confusing, don’t worry, we will take you through each of these tests to give you a better understanding of which one to choose!
1. Academic IELTS
Planning to pursue your degree at a university in an English speaking country? Then IELTS Academic Test is the one to choose.
Many English speaking countries from the UK and Canada to New Zealand and Australia all require IELTS as proof of your language proficiency for university and visa applications.
The Academic Test is a thorough examination of the four essential skill sets. These are your listening, reading, writing and speaking abilities.
Compared to the General Training test, the reading and writing sections of the test are different and substantially more challenging. However, the portion of listening and speaking is the same.
If you wish to study abroad at the undergraduate level or for professional registration purposes including becoming a doctor, lawyer or nurse, you will definitely want to take the IELTS Academic test.
2. IELTS General Training
While the Academic test targets students who wish to study for their degree abroad, General Training Test focuses on assessing your English proficiency in a work or social setting.
There are several scenarios where this is a suitable test for you to take:
- Study below degree level (e.g. secondary education)
- Vocational training
- Moving overseas for work or migrating to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK or USA
General Training Tests are usually easier in difficulty compared to Academic tests in the writing and reading segments.
However, you still need to give your best because you will be asked to read passages from various everyday contexts in both the written and the reading sections.
Therefore, it is advisable to prepare well for them by exposing yourself to newspaper articles, advertisements, books and magazines in English.
3. IELTS Life Skills
The A1 Life Skills test is intended for people who need to provide their English speaking and listening skills in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This test is accepted by the UK Department of Visas and Immigration as proof of your English language proficiency.
On the other hand, Life Skills B1 is required for individuals who wish to apply to live in the UK indefinitely or for UK citizenship.
Both the Life Skills A1 and B1 tests assess your English speaking and listening skills. The A1 test will last between 16 to 18 minutes while the B1 test will last 22 minutes.
It is important to note that for both tests, you will be assigned a pass or fail score, there will be no band scores.
4. IELTS UKVI (Academic & General Training)
The UKVI test is a separate test compared to the regular IELTS as it is one of the Safe English Language Tests (SELT) approved by the UK Home Office for visa applications to the UK.
Once again, UKVI Academic Test required for those wishing to study in the UK at degree level or for professional enrollment while UKVI General Practice Test aimed at those who wish to seek vocational training or to work and migrate to the UK.
The difficulty level, content, format and assessment of the two UKVI tests are the same as the regular Academic & General Training tests. However, the UKVI test is only available at test centers that meet the requirements outlined by the UK Home Office.
Prepare & Book Your IELTS Test & Score With IDP Today
Now that you know which IELTS test best suits your needs, the next step is to prepare!
Fortunately, we have plenty of IELTS resources available to guide you through the format and prepare you as best we can.
Remember, practice makes perfect. And once you’re ready, book your IELTS test with us today!