Difference Between IELTS Academic Reading and General Reading

difference between ielts academic reading and general reading

It is well known that IELTS has 2 versions in which listening and speaking modules are the same. But the remaining 2 modules are not similar at least difficulty level.

IELTS reading and writing modules are different based on the purpose of the test takers (one being students and the other being skilled professionals).

Now, it’s about reading tests we are talking. If your observation is keen, the IELTS reading module is much more confusing than other modules.

Because you are not provided with proper time to read the questions completely.  The congestion factor is that there is no additional time to transfer your answers as in the IELTS listening module. For this reason, the test taker has to rely on some speed reading techniques.

At once, go through these frequently asked questions we hear a lot.

How should I understand the reading module?

What is the actual difference between IELTS academic and general reading modules?

How could one become successful in the version he choose?

These are the questions commonly heard regarding IELTS reading modules from our students.

Therefore, before knowing the differences, you should know what it is? And what is this each reading version intended for?

What Does IELTS Reading Intend To Check?

IELTS test itself is designed to check the English language proficiency of the test taker. Accordingly, the IELTS reading module is framed to measure your reading skills like your sensing speed and deducing information of as fast as possible.

Either academic or general reading, the IELTS intends to test the applicant’s abilities in the basic aspects of:

  • Over all understanding
  • Identifying information
  • Scan specific information
  • Idea recognition
  • Summarizing

IELTS Reading Module Format:

Always the initial step is to go through the test format. IELTS test reading module extends to 3 sections and have 40 questions.

Total time given is 60 minutes. No additional time given to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

The question sheet spread on many long comprehension passages ranging from 900 – 950 words each. Each section has 13 to 15 questions. But the question patterns differ.

There are many types of questions on the IELTS reading module.

Types Of Questions:

  • Multiple choice
  • Identifying information
  • Identifying author’s views
  • Matching (there are 3 to 4 types in matching)
  • Summarizing and flow charts
  • Diagram label completion
  • Short answer questions

Differences Between IELTS Academic and General Training Reading

Coming to the main theme of this blog, unlike the format, questions in IELTS academic and general reading varies based on some specific reasons.

As we know, listening and speaking is same for academic and general test takers. Because listening and speaking are non – specific in nature. They don’t regard any subject preferences.

Listening module tests the abilities like understanding and following a conversation, gathering views, recognizing links between facts, describing and identifying the facts

However, speaking module is all about communicating views and opinions.

But unlike them, reading test is more specific and it doesn’t deal with everyday topics.

Specific Reason for IELTS Reading Academic and General Difference

Reason for difference between IELTS academic and general reading modules is nothing but the purpose of the test.

Because there are 2 types of people that apply for IELTS, topics covered by the test are also classified.

Academic IELTS is designed for students who apply for admission in a university abroad where English is the communicative means.

General IELTS is designed for professionals and migrants regarding employment and immigration respectively.

If a person wants to work or migrate to an English speaking countries like Canada, the USA, Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. general IELTS is preferred.

[ Also Read: How to Study for IELTS in One Month ]

Which Is Difficult Version: IELTS Academic Reading or IELTS General Reading

The question itself is difficult to answer. Because even if both come under one platform, both academic reading and general reading tests are entirely different.

In addition to this, the academic version appeals the test takers to prove their abilities which are not daily experiences of native English speakers.

Academic test has advanced topics with its respective terminology. The intention is student’s future grad program, the content IELTS prefers is different.

On the other side, general version deals most probably with generic topics. The topic in general reading test is based on day – to – day materials, advertisements, periodicals and newspapers etc. These are most probably easy in vocabulary and complexity.

Difference Between IELTS Reading is all about band Score

For your information 30/40 in general test is equal to 23/40 in academic IELTS. This difference is due to the complexity covered in the academic topics.

Eventually the question is not about easy or difficult. If you choose IELTS general version, then you have to work harder than the candidate who applied for IELTS. It’s that simple.

IELTS Reading Module Sources of the Topics Covered:

According to the official announcement, IELTS academic reading test comprises long text passages collected from books, journals, magazines and newspapers.

These passages are based on description, facts, analysis and move from topic to topic without proper order.

These are not selected for subject specialists but they suit people attempting to enter universities.

IELTS general reading test has long comprehension passages collected from books, magazines, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.

If you carefully observe, all this material regards business and public relations. We find these text materials regularly in an English speaking environment.

Therefore these kinds of low complex topics target skilled professionals and people who want to migrate.

How can you Improve your IELTS Reading Speed?

Speed Reading Formulae

Academic reading module contains passages more authentic than general so one the test taker should carefully read and understand the central idea of the passage to complete the task.

In such congested time span, you cannot go with the regular way of reading. To satisfy this condition, you need to use some specific reading techniques with rapid eye movement.

For your information, we suggest you with most renowned reading tips. They are the best two ways that help you in the required ‘speed reading’.

  • Skimming
  • Scanning

IELTS Reading Technique: Skimming

Skimming: To be simple, skimming is a technique to capture the high – lighted data elements like headings, sub – headings, bold words, italics, numerical like dates and others numbers and significant key words.

Some basic techniques of skimming include:

Read the question carefully to understand it first.

Read the first line of every paragraph to know where the discussion is led to.

If you go through any significant keyword, read the surroundings.

And go through the last paragraph.

These steps will help you understand the overview of the passage in no time. The next technique is scanning.

IELTS Reading Technique: Scanning

Scanning: This way of reading is particularly tiresome for its reasons. A general tendency is that your eyes will wander around and you can’t concentrate properly.

We usually do this, but as per the requirement here, we need to practice this. Here are some basic steps in scanning a passage.

We usually scan in search of answers. So, read the question properly.

You can get the required keywords from the question itself.

Now start scanning searching required keywords and related terms.

Once you find the keyword, read the surroundings and get required answer.

It is factual that these 2 processes take seconds to complete. So practice to become proficient in these.

It is better to skim or scan every time rather than reading once and trying to answer all. There is a chance to miss information.

Think about all the discussion above! This is just an overview.

IELTS academic and general reading modules are classified on the basis of score grading. These classifications deliver you info about overall understanding.

The topics chosen are the major difference. But of course, an academic student or a professional deserves their corresponding topics. So, you can understand more only through your own practice.

To know more tips about IELTS reading module, check out How to improve your score in IELTS Reading

Also check out Strategy To Clear The MCQ Section In IELTS Reading.

To be clear and easy, the IELTS reading modules any version it might be; it requires a precision speed in reading. Right! So go through a lot of practice but plan it before you do.

Every module in the IELTS test has their importance in finalizing band score.

Hence keep practicing and learn more. Reach your goal with effective band score.

Click to Boost your IELTS Score

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