Make the most of your Reading test:

  • look out for the title, headings and any special features such as capital letters, underlining, italics, figures, graphs and tables

  • make sure that you understand the questions and follow instructions carefully

  • pay attention to timing; do not spend too long on one passage or question

  • do not try and read every word; remember, you are reading for a purpose

  • if you do not know the answer to a question, attempt it but do not waste time; move quickly onto the next one

  • do not panic if you do not know anything about the subject of the text; all the answers can be found in the text

  • the word(s) you use must be taken from the Reading text; you must not change the form of the word(s) in the text

  • do not worry if there is a word that you do not understand – you may not need to use it

  • check your spelling

  • be careful to use singular and plural correctly

  • focus precisely on what you are asked to do in ‘completion’ type questions

  • if the question asks you to complete the note ‘in the…’ and the correct answer is ‘evening’, just use ‘evening’ as your answer; note that ‘in the evening’ would be incorrect

  • pay attention to the word limit; for example, if you are asked to complete a sentence using no more than two words, if the correct answer is ‘silk shirt’, the answer ‘shirt made of silk’ would be incorrect

  • attempt all questions; there are no penalties for incorrect answers, so you have nothing to lose

  • check your answers

The reading test is different for IELTS Academic and IELTS General candidates 
3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes

  • Each section contains one long text.

  • Texts are authentic and 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.

  • Texts are appropriate to, and accessible to, candidates entering undergraduate or postgraduate courses or seeking professional registration.

  • Texts range from the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided.

  • There are three texts and 40 questions.