There exist two types of IELTS: IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training.
The IELTS Academic is intended for those applying for higher education or professional registration in an English-speaking environment. It features mostly academic language and assesses whether you are ready to begin studying or training. This test is widely accepted by educational institutions around the world.
The IELTS General Training is for those who are going to English speaking countries for secondary education, work experience, or training programs. It is also a requirement for migration to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK. The test focuses on basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.
Both types of the test feature the same sections and are of the same length. However, the Listening and Speaking sections are identical for both Academic and General Training tests, whereas the Reading and Writing section differ. See our IELTS page for more information about this.
If you are not sure which test type you should take, contact the educational institution or the organization that requires you to take IELTS for more details.
Is IELTS a paper-based or a computer-based test?alex2020-02-17T16:40:54+01:00
The IELTS is administered as either a paper-based test (as its classic form) or as computer-delivered test (since recently).
This difference concerns only the first three section of the test: Listening, Reading, and Writing. The Speaking section is always administered as an interview with a professional IELTS examiner.
Both versions of the test take place in an official IELTS center and are scored identically. The only technical difference is the length of the test: the computer-delivered test is 10 minutes shorter, as there is for need for the answer transfer time in the Listening section.
The choice of the test administration is up to the test taker and usually depends on the seat availability at the IELTS center in a particularly region.
In terms of IELTS preparation, there is no difference between the paper-based and computer-delivered tests.
Isn’t IELTS primarily a test of British English?alex2020-02-17T16:43:10+01:00
No. IELTS features a variety of native English accents (British, American, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand) in its Listening section. For the written responses, both British and American spelling variants are accepted as correct.