Explore Courses

IELTS General Training Exam: Take Your IELTS GT Test

Updated on 13 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

ielts general training exam

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standard test to evaluate the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers. The test is necessary for students planning to study in countries that have English as a native language. There are two types of IELTS exams - IELTS General Training and IELTS Academic.

Both the exams are different and they serve different purposes. Applicants might get confused about choosing between the two. Therefore, to help everyone out, we have gathered all the details for the IELTS General Training test in this article.

What is the IELTS General Training exam?

The General Training IELTS examination is for candidates applying for below degree level courses, for employment training, for work, or simply for migrating to other countries. The general training exam features questions that occur in our daily personal and work lives. The exam is also necessary to immigrate to New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US.

What are the different Sections of the IELTS General Training Exam?

The different sections of IELTS General Training are:

  1. Listening
  2. Speaking
  3. Reading
  4. Writing

These four sections evaluate different components of the English language that a learner will have to use when they move to countries with English as the official language.

IELTS General Training Test Format

The IELTS General Training test format for listening and speaking sections are similar for both types of IELTS tests. However, the writing and the reading sections are different. The examination lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes. Candidates can complete the speaking section of the general training exam one week before or after the exam.

Here’s the question format and duration of the exams:


No. of Questions





30 minutes

There are four recordings that a candidate has to listen and then answer the questions asked.



14 minutes

The test is conducted in three parts to assess spoken English skills.



60 minutes

This section is designed to test an array of reading skills where the candidate has to read for the gist, main ideas, logical arguments, details, attitudes, skimming, and figuring out the writers’, opinions and intentions.



60 minutes

There are two tasks with topics of general interest. Students have to write an explanation letter for one task and an essay for the other.



164 minutes



Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays


The listening section of the IELTS general training exam is similar to the IELTS academic. There are four different sections in the listening round. Each unit comprises ten questions and the time limit is around 30 minutes. The test consists of a recorded conversation between two or more people and monologues. The first two sections consist of questions from social contexts. Sections three and four deal with training and educational contexts.


The speaking section of the test is the same for both general training and academics. The test lasts around 11 to 14 minutes and consists of three sections. The sections assess the English speaking abilities of applicants and the examiner records each part. In section one, examiners ask general questions including an introduction about the candidate, their family background, interests, and professional or academic life. In section two, candidates have to speak on a particular topic for two minutes. The examiners will then ask questions about the topic in the third and the last part. It continues for a maximum of five minutes.


The IELTS General Training Reading test is not similar to the IELTS Academic exam. This section stretches for at least 60 minutes. It contains 40 questions that test a candidate’s reading skills. The topics include reading for details, gist, main ideas, understanding the writer’s opinion, purpose, and evaluating logical arguments. Section one comprises two or more short texts, while section two includes two text pieces only. Section three has one long piece of text. The questions include multiple-choice questions, sentence completion, table completion, answering short questions, matching headings & features, and identifying the writer’s claims.


The writing section is the last part of the IELTS General Training test. It consists of two tasks that have to be completed in 60 minutes. In the IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, candidates have to respond to a specific situation by writing an explanation letter or requesting information, in 150 words. Please note that bullet points and notes are not allowed. The answers have to be written descriptively. The second writing task is the same as in the Academic Test. Candidates have to write a neutral or semi-formal essay of 250 words representing their point of view or argument on a given topic. 

How is General Training different from IELTS Academic?

As mentioned above, both IELTS General Training and the Academic exams evaluate a candidate’s English language proficiency. IELTS Academic is for candidates applying for higher education, whereas the IELTS General Training  test is for aspirants applying for secondary education, work experience, immigration, and training programs. It is mandatory to appear for IELTS general training to migrate to New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada.

The IELTS General Test format is also different from that of the Academic test. The listening and the speaking sections are the same in both IELTS General Training and Academic tests. Whereas, the writing and the reading sections are different.

IELTS General Training Band Scores

The band scores of the IELTS test range from zero to nine. While the required score varies across institutions and countries, a score of 6.5 – 7.5 is considered average. The individual scores for each of the four English skills (reading, speaking, writing, and reading) are considered equally to arrive at the final band score.

Recommended Reads:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Academic

IELTS Last Minute Tips

IELTS Academic Reading

IELTS Speaking Test format

How IELTS Exam is Conducted

Indian Education System Essay

IELTS Academic Writing Task 1

IELTS Academic Exam

IELTS General Writing Tips Task 2

MBA in Germany Without IELTS

How to Improve IELTS Score from 6.5 to 7

IELTS Speaking Tips


Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

IELTS General Training Tips and Strategies

Some of the tips that can be put to use to perform well in the general training of IELTS are listed below:

  • Avoid monotony
  • Have a study plan
  • Identify one’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Don’t write too much
  • Practice under time pressure
  • Pay attention to spelling and punctuation

IELTS General Training Preparation 

Understanding the test formats and different question types that can be expected in a test are one of the best ways for IELTS General Training preparation. Listed below are the ways in which a candidate can prepare for each section of IELTS. 


To prepare for IELTS General Training Listening, students need to practice by listening to recordings that are relevant in everyday context as well as situations that might occur in education or training context. To answer questions based on the recordings, candidates must become efficient in varieties of topics that require them to come up with headings, summaries, notes, tables, diagrams or flow-chart completion,  multiple choice to matching information, features, and sentence endings.


For IELTS General Training Writing Task 1, students need to write prepare writing a letter to request information or explain the situation. On the other hand, for Writing Task 2, they need to write an essay to express their point of view, argument, or problem. Reading newspapers regularly and practicing 3-4 model tests daily are some of the ways to prepare for IELTS Writing


Candidates need to improve their speaking skills to score well in this section of IELTS. They can practice talking about familiar topics like work, family, studies, and hobbies in front of a person who is well-versed in English. Asking the acquaintance to assess the candidate by giving a card with a topic and then asking them to speak on it is another way of preparing for the IELTS Speaking test


To perform well in the IELTS General Training Reading test, aspirants can practice for this section by taking up sections from books, advertisements, magazines, newspapers, company handbooks, notices, and guidelines for Sections 1 and 3 for short text as well as more long and more complex text respectively. For Section 2, they can practice texts from job descriptions, contracts, staff development, and training manuals, as well as pay and workplace condition documents to access their workplace survival skills.

Read More:

IELTS Band Score ChartHow to get 8 band in IELTSValidity of IELTS Score
Average IELTS ScoresIELTS Score for USAStudy in USA Without IELTS
Study in UK Without IELTSIELTS Reading Band ScoreIELTS Bar Graph
Writing Task 1 Line GraphCollocation for IELTSIELTS Reading Tips


Frequently Asked Questions

What is IELTS General Training?

The IELTS General Training exam assesses the English language proficiency of the candidates willing to study below degree level at an English-speaking school or college. The test is taken by students to seek work experience or other employment training.

How to get 7 bands in IELTS General Training?

To score 7 bands in IELTS General Training, candidates should put some of the below-listed tricks:

  1. Set your learning strategy
  2. Define realistic goals but aim higher
  3. Orient themselves with the structure of the test
  4. Read English newspapers, and speak in English for at least 30 minutes each day
  5. Watch TV shows and listen to podcasts
  6. Engage in active conversations in English with team members while playing video games
  7. Recheck the answers

How to write IELTS writing task 1 in the General Training test?

The IELTS general training writing task 1 requires candidates to respond to a common practical issue, by writing a letter to a company, institution, or person. To respond to the question, it is imperative to first identify the type and purpose of the letter - Formal, Semi-formal, and Informal. The letter in Writing Task 1 is divided into four paragraphs - Introduction, Problem/Situation, Solution/Action, and Conclusion.

What is the difference between IELTS Academic and General Training?

The major difference between IELTS Academic and General Training is that the former contains topics suitable for applicants entering university or professional institutions, whereas the latter will contain topics based on general interest. While the speaking and listening sections are common for both the tests, they differ in the reading and writing sections.

How to prepare for IELTS General Training?

Practicing is the key to prepare for IELTS General Training. Spending more time on speaking and writing modules is a must as most candidates make a mistake in these sections. Devoting one hour to each module while practicing, looking out for mistakes and not repeating them are a few things to keep in mind while preparing for IELTS General Training.

How to write a letter for IELTS General Training?

To write a letter for IELTS General Training, a proper format should be followed. Start the letter with a greeting such as Dear Sir/Madam, the main body should consist of paragraphs for each part of the letter, and a closing part such as Yours faithfully, Yours sincerely, Kind regards, Best Wishes, etc.

How much is the fee for IELTS General Training test?

The IELTS test fee for General Training test is INR 15,500 for Computer-delivered IELTS and INR 15,750 for Computer-delivered IELTS for UKVI.

What is IELTS UKVI General Training?

The IELTS UKVI General Training is a Secure English Language Test (SELT) for candidates willing to work, study, or seeking vocational training in the UK and is approved by the home office for visa applications. It is same as the IELTS General Training test in terms of format, content, level of difficulty, and scoring.

Popular Study Abroad Destinations

Study in Canada

Study in Canada

Study in Canada & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Canada
Study in Australia

Study in Australia

Study in Australia & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in Australia
Study in USA

Study in USA

Study in the USA & Save up to 20 Lakhs with upGrad Abroad

Study in USA

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Refer Your Friend & Earn upto ₹15000

Help your friend upgrade to a Global Career and earn rewards together.


IELTS Sample Essay

IELTS Cue Card

IELTS Reading Answer



The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.