IELTS is a language proficiency test which is required, to get admission in English Speaking countries for higher studies or Permanent Residency. It is not about Academic or General Training being difficult or easy, the requirement for studies and getting a PR requires either Academic or General Training tests. For you Permanent Residency you require General Training Test whereas for study abroad option the former is required. Basically both the formats test your English proficiency level but there is a slight difference in these two modules of the test.
Firstly, both Listening and Speaking are similar in both the types and the marking is from 9 bands. Minimum 6 band is required in both for the Academic Tests, where as for immigration the score requirements are determined by the candidates other criteria like, work experience, age, educational qualifications etc. for example, majority of students applying for a Canadian P.R. require 8 band in Listening and 7 each in Reading, Writing and Speaking Modules.
Now coming to the difference between both the test format. In Academic Test, the reading is lengthier and more difficult as compared to the General Test Reading. The number of test questions are same i.e. 40 but the former requires a good level of vocabulary and reading speed. Also the marking criteria is different. For example, if you score 23 out of 40 in Academic Module you get 6 band where as in General the same band score would require 30 answers correct. Moreover the content in the General Training Module is easier as compared to the Academic Training Module. Moving further, to the writing Module, in General Training a candidate has to write a letter in Task 1, where as Academic Test requires a student to write a report based on a graph in Task 1. The word and time limit is same for both the types i.e. (150-180 words) and 20 minutes are given to pen down your answers. Task 2 in both the formats, requires a student to write an essay for about (250-280 words) for which 40 minutes are assigned to a candidate. The marking criteria is same for both the formats.
So, in the end, I would like to conclude by saying that it is not about the test format being easy or difficult, it is about your requirement of the test. For this join Masterprep, one of the leading institutes for Preparation of IELTS General or Academic Module.