Undersatnd The Reading Test
You will need to read quickly and efficiently, and manage your time
You will be asked to read three different passages and respond to related questions in your IELTS Reading test.
Purpose of the test
The IELTS Reading test is designed to assess a wide range of reading skills, including how well you
- read for the general sense of a passage
- read for the main ideas
- read for detail
- understand inferences and implied meaning
- recognise a writer’s opinions, attitudes and purpose
- follow the development of an argument
The IELTS Reading test takes 60 minutes.
You are not allowed any extra time to transfer your answers, so write them directly on to your answer sheet.
You will need to manage your time during the test because you will not be told when to start or finish each section.
IELTS Academic Reading test
There are three sections to the IELTS Academic Reading test, and each contains one long text.
These are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. They have been written for
a non-specialist audience and are on academic topics of general interest.
They range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical.
Each text might be accompanied by diagrams, graphs or illustrations, and you will be expected to show that you understand these too.
IELTS General Training Reading test
There are three sections to the IELTS General Training Reading test.
The texts used in each section are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines and newspapers.
Section 1 contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be made up of 6 - 8 short texts related by topic, e.g. hotel advertisements. The 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 a job,
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.
There are 40 questions.
A variety of question types is used, and you may be asked to
- fill gaps in a passage of written text or in a table
- match headings to written text to diagrams or charts
- fill in a form
- complete sentences
- give short answers to open questions
- answer multiple choice questions
Each correct answer receives one mark.
Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.
Find out more about how you can to check out your ielts Reading score
Read Tips for Reading Test.