Here we introduce IELTS reading test briefly, from test structure, question types, to answer tips. Last but not least, we collect lots of resources to help you practice IELTS reading online. We maintain the web page as an informative hub of IELTS reading test and its materials, and hope it can give you right answers about IELTS reading section. If you have any confusion regarding to IELTS reading test, IELTS Official Website
may help you out.
Reading is an important module in IELTS test. Unlike speaking and listening share same test for both General and Academic versions, reading module has separate test papers for each version. The reading objects are different: the General module uses easier texts from social, school, and work contexts, and the Academic module chooses more advanced texts, usually around college level, from academic sources.
So, test takers must know the difference and prepare right version. If working on wrong version, the effort wouldn't be rewarded as expected.
If ignoring the reading objects, the Academic and General tests are similar in many ways. Both should be finished in 60 minutes, contain 3-4 passages and 40 questions, and are scored in the same way. In two versions, test takers must answer all questions to the answer sheet in one hour, both have no extra time to fill in answer sheet.
In both General and Academic modules, one mark is awarded for each correct answer. A special table converts your actual score, possibly out of 40, into a band score on the IELTS band scale, such as 6 or 6.5. The primary scoring rule is same for both General and Academic tests, but actual converting tables are different among various test papers, because reading contents may not be in same difficulty, the converting table adjust the final IELTS band to compare with other test papers. If you did 20 questions right on two test papers but got different IELTS bands, the reason is the converting table is different.
Question Type There are more than 10 question types in reading test module. General and Academic tests share these question types.
As a matter of fact, question types are very flexible and updated from time to time. One test paper usually doesn't include all types. In reading test, you may see some of them, or even find new question types.
Although we cannot predicate all question types, practice and familiarize some common ones helps very much to speed up your reading and answering in test day. When you exercise, pay attention to these question types:
- Multiple Choice:Letters
- Short Answer:Words
- True/False/Yes/No/Not Given:Words
- Matching Information/Features:Letters
- Paragraph Headings:Numbers
- Sentence Completion:Words and/or Number
- Summary, Note, Table, Flow-chart Completion:Words and/or Number
- Diagram, Label Completion:Words and/or Number
- Identifying Views or Claims:Words and/or Number
- Classification:Words and/or Number
Lots of practices can help you to familiarize with common question types. Based on these practices, you can find which types are easier and which types are not. Try to pay more efforts on shortcomings, it will improve your IELTS reading test efficiently. Some common question types
are shown here.
Test structure and Time IELTS reading is the biggest one in all 4 modules, lasts 60 minutes. The reading objects are totally 2500 words around. If you cannot finish all answers in one hour, you have little chance to pass the test.
A normal IELTS reading test paper has three passages and forty questions. Test takers should read and answer all of them in only one hour. In most cases, the three passages become increasingly difficult.
Because the sections aren't equivalent in difficulty, suggest to start from easiest one. If you're confused with a particular question, move on to the next and come back later if possible. If you finish early, review difficult questions.
High score hunters should arrange more time on difficult section in order to complete all questions with high quality. E.g.
- 17 minutes on section 1
- 20 minutes on section 2
- 23 minutes on section 3