Which IELTS Test should I take? There are two different versions of the IELTS Writing test – the Academic Paper and the General Paper.
The Academic Paper is designed specifically for people who want to study in university. This means the topics are usually relevant to or interesting to potential university students.
The General Paper is designed for people who need to show their level of English e.g. someone who wants to move to the UK will need an IELTS score to support their visa application.
The length and timing of the two verions of the IELTS test are the same and they are marked the same way. They are also the same level – the General paper is not easier than the Academic paper and the Academic paper is not easier than the General paper.
However, there is a difference in the tasks you are asked to do. The biggest difference is in Task 1.
Academic Task 1 - You need to describe some data that is shown in a chart, graph or table. You may have to describe a process or a map. See how to approach this task. General Task 1 - You need to write a letter in response to some information provided. You may have to write a formal or informal essay See how to approach this task. Academic/General Task 2 You need to write an essay on a specific topic. You will be given an argument, situation, opinion or problem to discuss. See how to approach this task.