IELTS Reading

IELTS Reading is the second section of the IELTS test. In this section, test takers must read three to four passages and answer 40 questions in 60 minutes. A test taker can mark the answers in the question paper but must transfer them to the answer sheet within the allocated time. No extra time will be provided.

The IELTS reading section in the academic test is more challenging than the general training test. The passages for the former category are selected from a wide range of academic journals, books, and newspaper articles. Whereas the latter will have passages from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines.

Test takers must practice skills like reading for gist, main ideas, and details. They also need to understand the author’s opinion (if any), purpose and attitude. There are 11 different types of questions. Each passage will be followed by 2-3 types of questions.

Different Sections on the IELTS Reading

This section includes three long texts with a total length of 2150-2750 words. The texts are taken from authentic sources like academic books, journals, magazines and so on. Some text may contain nonverbal material like tables, diagrams or graphs. Sometimes the text may also contain technical terms, for which a glossary is provided. The texts are graded from easiest to most difficult. Further, these texts are either descriptive, informative or argumentative in nature. Each text will have 12-14 questions each.

A non-specialist audience can easily understand the texts. Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, test takers entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.

IELTS General Training Test:

It consists of 3 different sections and a total of 40 questions. The sections are related to work or covers a general topic. These include this includes extracts from books, magazines, newspapers, notices, advertisements, company handbooks and guidelines. The level of difficulty increases with each section.

  • Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, e.g. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.
  • Section 2 contains two short factual texts focusing on work-related issues (e.g. applying for jobs, company policies, pay and conditions, workplace facilities, staff development and training).
  • Section 3 contains one longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest. Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines and newspapers.

IELTS Reading Scoring Pattern

Each correct answer receives 1 mark. No negative marks. If a question is left unattended, then there is no score.

Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 0-9 band scale.
Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

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Reading Comparison

Reading Question IELTS MCQ-1

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About Study Abroad


Is IELTS Reading difficult?

IELTS is not difficult. The passages are selected from authentic sources. The questions are straightforward and designed to assess how you use the language.

What type of questions are there in the IELTS Reading test?

There are several types of question like multiple choice questions, matching questions (sentences/information/features/headings), and sentence/note/flowchart/summary/table- completion.

How many reading passages are there in IELTS?

Three passages.

How can I prepare for the IELTS Reading?

Read and read a variety of formats from authentic sources like newspapers, magazines, and journals. Longer forms of literature such as novels or non-fiction books.

How can I improve my IELTS Reading score?

a)  Practice skimming, scanning various types of texts
b)  Focus on the questions and learn techniques to solve them quickly
c)  Synonyms and paraphrasing are important
d)  Manage your time
e)  Practice

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