KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ACADEMIC & THE GENERAL TRAINING EXAMS

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As we know, the reading test is the second part of the IELTS examination which lasts roughly 60 minutes since it consists of 40 questions based on a variety of tasks required. In other words, you will have to go through reading three or four passages roughly about 2,000 – 3,000 words in total. And usually, there are three passages covered in the Academic Reading module while on the contrary, there are three or up to four passages presented in the General Training module.

On the practical basis, the IELTS reading module is basically designed to test a candidate a wide range of reading skills such as skimming, scanning, identifying the main ideas, reading for details, and understanding a certain opinion and attitude. While the typical tasks between the Academic and the General Training module are practically the same, however, the types of reading passages among these two modules are considerably different.

Basically, the Academic Reading module usually contains at least one passage organized as a logical argument while the reading texts in the General Training module on the other hand, are likely to appear rather descriptive or instructive. Perhaps, the organization of non-argumentative texts in the General Training module may vary from one to another in general. However, common organizational themes in the General Training exam are usually presented in form of categories, chronological description and describing a process.

In addition to that, another difference between the Academic and the General training module in IELTS test perhaps is that the Academic module involves three reading passages with one passage per section. Some of the reading texts, in fact, are usually derived from books, magazines, newspaper, and even journals. Although the texts are representative with at least one passage contains a detailed argument, however, the passages of reading requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate students are not discipline specific. In many cases, the reading passages in the Academic module are normally presented in an increasing order of level difficulty.

Meanwhile, the General Training module on the other hand involves three or four passages grouped into three or four sections. Section 1, for instance, usually deals with social survival where it consists of one or two texts that are short but contain a plenty of information. While in the section 2, it focuses on the subjects related to general training and usually consists of two texts in which for example, giving information about a university or college services and facilities provided.


And last but not least, both part of section 3 and 4 consist of one longer text which is connected to the general training module as they involve the common typical reading comprehension on almost any subjects presented.

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