IELTS can help you move forward with a variety of life choices, from improving your English language skills to relocating abroad to study or develop your career.

The two main IELTS tests available are:

  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS General Training

The right test for you will depend on whether your main goal is to study or to work in your chosen country.

Book your IELTS test

If you need help deciding which IELTS test is right for you, some key differences are outlined below.

IELTS Academic

The IELTS Academic test is designed to measure your English language proficiency and to assess if it is suitable for an academic environment. The test reflects aspects of academic language and evaluates whether you’re ready to begin training or studying in English.

Take IELTS Academic if you want to: 

  • study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level in an English-speaking country
  • apply for Student Route visa (Tier 4) to study at a UK university that is a Student Route (Tier 4) Sponsor
  • work for a professional organisation in an English-speaking country.

IELTS General Training

The IELTS General Training test is designed to measure your English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The test reflects both workplace and social situations.

Take IELTS General Training if you want to:

  • train or study below degree level
  • work or undertake work-related training in an English-speaking country
  • emigrate to an English-speaking country
  • get another job in your own country where a recognised proficiency in the English language is required.

Ways to take your IELTS test

Depending on your preference, you can now take your IELTS test either on paper or on a computer at over 800 official IELTS test centres. 

If you take the IELTS Academic test, you can also take your test at home or anywhere with a stable internet connection and a private space.

Find out more about how to take your test

IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration

If you are taking the IELTS test to support a UK visa application to study, work, or live in the UK - other than to study at a UK university that is a Student Route (Tier 4) Sponsor -you may need to take a specific version of the test, called IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

You can take the IELTS for UKVI test in either Academic or General Training. Alternatively, you may need to take the IELTS Life Skills test.

IELTS for UKVI and IELTS Life Skills are both Secure English Language Tests (SELT) approved by the UK Home Office for visa applications to the UK.