Taking the IELTS exam can have a great impact on your study opportunities, career success, and the likelihood you will be permitted to work and settle in Britain or most English-speaking country (e.g. New Zealand, Canada, Australia or the U.S.). having a high IELTS score increases your chances of you studying at a top university. This special exam will also make your CV look appealing, especially if you are looking for a job within a multicultural environment.
Differences between the Academic and the General Training test
IELTS Academic is great if you want to pursue a bachelor’s or a postgraduate degree programme or seek professional registration in the UK. Professional registration means you will gain certified recognition for your profession. You will be entitled to use qualification titles, such as engineer (Eng.) or technician (Tech.).
IELTS General Training is probably best for you if you want to study below degree level, or you want to work and/or emigrate to the UK or another English-speaking country.se?
Before knowing about the different categories of IELTS, we should know what IELTS is?
What is IELTS?
IELTS- International English Language Testing System is an English language proficiency test for non-English language speakers. IELTS is jointly managed by British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
IELTS is taken to examine the Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing eligibility. These are the four modules of IELTS. IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9.
Why take IELTS?
The leading experts build the structure of language assessment, and it is taken to evaluate a student’s efficiency to study, live and work in an English-speaking country. Obtaining a high IELTS score will help students enrol in a reputed international university or institute. Besides, the career gaining will also add up benefits in the career. A student can get the dream job, and a good score also standardized the CV.
Types of IELTS
Usually, there are two types of IELTS tests available. They are- IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. However, there is also an IELTS test named IELTS life Skills available for people who want to settle with family in the UK. Let’s know about them.
IELTS Academic is for students who want to take higher studies in an English-speaking country. For professional registration purposes, this IELTS Academic test can be taken. Basically, those who want to pursue graduation, post-graduation, or higher degrees should take an IELTS Academic test.
IELTS General training
IELTS general training is for you if you don’t want to pursue higher education or go to an English-speaking country for migration or working purposes. It is a little bit easier than the IELTS academic. Besides, if you want to take a course below degree level, the IELTS general training course is probably best for you.
IELTS Life Skills
IELTS Life Skills is an English language test through which a person can prove their English speaking and listening proficiency based on the CEFR- Common European Framework of Reference levels A1, A2, and B1. By taking this IELTS test, a person can apply for a visa extension, citizenship, and a “Family of a settled person visa.”
If you are applying for a “Family of a settled person visa,” then the Life Skills A1 test is for you.
For extending a “Family of a settled person visa,” then the Life Skills A2 test is for you. ( It is noted that the IELTS Life Skills A2 Speaking and Listening is only available in the UK. The partners or the parents of the family route visa will need to pass a speaking and listening test at level A2 after two-and-a-half years of staying in the UK for the five-year partner or parent route settlement.
The IELTS Life Skills B1 test is for you if you are applying for UK citizenship.
After reading about the types of IELTS, I hope you get the answer to which IELTS test you should choose.
Difference between IELTS Academic, General Training, and Life Skills
The difference between IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training is in its features. The two of the four sections- Reading and Writing, are different here. On the other hand, the listening and speaking sections have no changes.
The Reading Test of the IELTS Academic exam needs to read three longer and more complicated texts. On the other hand, IELTS General Training has four or five simpler and shorter texts.
The speaking and listening section is the same in both sections.
IELTS Life Skills is a Secure English Language Test version of IELTS approved by the UK government. In this test, the candidates only prove their speaking and listening efficiency.
If you are applying for a family or spouse visa from UK Visas and Immigration, then IELTS Life Skills A1 is for you.
If you want to apply for citizenship in the UK, IELTS Life Skills B2 is for you.
Difference between IELTS and UKVI IELTS
There is no remarkable difference between IELTS and UKVI IELTS. The IELTS and the UKVI IELTS are quite the same with the same option. Both have IELTS Academic, General Teaching, and Life Skills available. The basic difference between IELTS and UKVI IELTS is the test location. To participate in the UKVI IELTS Test, a student must sit for the exam authorized by the British home office.
The UKVI test is a little bit more expensive than the Standard IELTS.
Advantages of taking an IELTS test
If you want to study abroad or flourish in your career, the importance of having a good IELTS score is tremendous. Let’s see some benefits shortly.
IELTS is a test that is globally recognized.
Having a good IELTS score will allow you to apply to the top universities in English-speaking countries.
IELTS will develop your English language skills and help you in better communication.
You can have a great job in your home country with a good IELTS score.
How can I prepare for an IELTS test?
A great way to prepare for an IELTS test is given below-
Standard and UKVI test versions
The non-UKVI and the UKVI test have the same options: General Training, Academic, and IELTS Life Skills. However, they involve different anti-fraud measures at the test location.
The IELTS test for UK visa purposes which is designed to meet certain administrative requirements that are specified for individuals who wish to study, work, or live in the United Kingdom. You can still have the choice between the IELTS Academic, General Training or IELTS Life Skills for UKVI tests, but you must ensure that you sit the exam at a centre authorised by the British Home Office.
Around 10% of the almost 1,000 standard IELTS test locations are UKVI-approved test centres. IELTS tests for UK Visas and Immigration are managed by the IELTS SELT Consortium, which includes the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment. After you have taken the UKVI test, you will receive an IELTS Test Report Form which shows that you have taken your test in line with the UKVI requirements.
The UKVI test is slightly more expensive than the standard IELTS test. There are also different test dates for the two versions, depending on the SELT testing centres available.
Ask the institution providing the test for detailed information about test dates and exam types
Q. How can I learn my strength and weakness in IELTS?
Ans: To learn about the strength and weaknesses in IELTS, you have to practice a lot. Only practising will help you to identify where your weakness lies.
Q. Can I be proficient by taking a course in IELTS?
Ans: Yes, taking a course from a well-known and experienced institute will help you have proficiency in the IELTS modules before sitting for the final one.
Q. Can I retake the IELTS or IELTS Life Skills exam?
Ans: For IELTS, there is no restriction on retaking the IELTS test. But in terms of IELTS life skills, the rule is different. If you pass the IELTS Life Skills exam, you cannot retake it for two years. On the other hand, if you fail the exam, you can retake it anytime.
Q. How often does an IELTS test happen?
Ans: Usually, IELTS tests are offered 4 times a month and 48 times a year.