Generally, the Academic module is designed for individuals who are planning to study in higher education or those seeking professional registration. For example, nurses who want to practice their profession in Australia. The Academic module evaluates how ready the candidate is to begin studying and working in an English-speaking environment. The General Training, on the other hand, measures ones fluency in practical, everyday English context. These candidates usually wants to study or train in secondary education or migrate to an English speaking country.
What are the differences between the two modules?
When it comes to listening and speaking, the content for both modules are the same. The listening consists of four different sections with four separate recordings. A total of forty questions is given for the candidate to finish in thirty minutes. The challenge with the listening section is that audio recordings are only played once. Listening skills and note-taking skills are essential to get a good band score in this subtest.
The speaking section for both modules is a one-on-one interview. It is composed of three different tasks. The speaking test is expected to last for only ten to fourteen minutes. The first task is more of an introduction as the examiner asks very familiar questions to the examinee. In the second task, a cue card is given to the examinee where he or she has to make a response based on the given question. The final task is a conversation where the examiner throws questions related to the topic in the previous task.
The difference in the two modules is in their reading and writing sections. The academic reading is composed of three long reading passages with about fourteen questions each. There are forty questions to be answered in an hour. Candidates taking the academic reading should expect academic topics in this part of the test.
The General Training has three sections to be completed in an hour as well. Like in the academic reading, there are about fourteen questions in each test. The reading passages are quite easier since their ability is measured on how well they operate in an English environment on topics concerning work and training.
The writing section of both modules has two different tasks. The candidates are given an hour to complete writing an essay as a response. In academic writing, task 1 asks the candidate to describe information presented in graphs, data or process diagram. The candidate has to come up with an essay with at least 150 words. The general training writing task 1 requires the candidate to write a letter in response to a given situation or information. The number of words in this task is the same with the academic. Both task 2 focus on writing an essay based on a topic of general interest. A 250-word essay is expected from the candidate.
Candidates taking the IELTS examination should be aware on which module to take for their visa applications. Further, practice on the different skills in English is essential to hit the candidate’s score requirements.