IELTS Reading Overview

IELTS Reading | Overview

Below is a complete overview of the IELTS Reading Test and questions
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  • This test consists of three sections with 40 questions. There are three texts, which are taken from journals, books, magazines and newspapers. The texts are on topics of general interest. At least one text contains detailed logical argument. There are different types of questions, and we’re going to look at some of these. Before that, let’s think about the two most important reading techniques that you’ll need to use.

Skimming & Scanning

  • Skimming means looking over a text very quickly in order to get the gist - in other words, a basic idea of what it’s about. You can do this by looking at the title of the passage, the subheadings (if there are any) and the first and last sentences of each paragraph. The first sentence of each paragraph is especially important as it tends to contain the main idea of that paragraph. Skimming the passage before you try to answer the questions is essential, as it gives you an idea of the topic and of how the passage is organised.
  • Scanning means looking through the text very quickly for a specific piece of information. This could be something like a name or date, or it could be an idea or statement, for example someone’s opinion. It could also be looking for key words or words with similar meanings, as we talked about above. When you’ve read the question and understood what you’re looking for, you’ll then need to scan the text to find the answer. (This will be easier if you’ve skimmed the text first!) Notice that neither scanning nor skimming involve reading the text word for word. Again, it’s important to remember that you’re not supposed to read every word.

The IELTS Reading Academic Band Score

Correct answers Band
39-40 9
37-38 8.5
35-36 8
33-34 7.5
30-32 7
27-29 6.5
23-26 6
19-22 5.5
15-18 5
13-14 4.5
10-12 4

The IELTS Reading GT Band Score

Correct answers Band
40 9
39 8.5
37-38 8
36 7.5
34-35 7
32-33 6.5
30-31 6
27-29 5.5
23-26 5
19-22 4.5
15-18 4
Reading Question Types
  • A variety of question types is used, including: multiple choice, identifying information (True/False/Not Given), identifying the writer's views/claims (Yes/No/Not Given), matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion and short-answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

  • IELTS Academic reading multiple choice questions have about 3-4 options from which we have to choose our answer. This might be in the form of a question&answer type or a choose a correct ending to a sentence type. These answers appear in chronological order according to the passage.

Match Questions

  • There are various types of matching questions in IELTS academic reading tests and each one is different from another.
  • Matching Headings
  • In this type of question, a list of headings will be given and you are asked to match these headings with a paragraph in the passage. You should read the headings before you begin reading the text. To get the correct answer, you have to read the complete paragraph and not just stop with the first few lines of the paragraph. There will also be many other headings that are not related to any of the paragraphs given in the passage, in such cases, try to identify those types of headings too.
  • Matching information
  • Matching Information questions have a list which contains information taken from the paragraphs. You are asked to find out the paragraph from which the information is taken. Sometimes the question may be tricky because the information given might not be in exact words as given in the paragraph instead it will be paraphrased so you need to read the paragraph to understand the meaning/idea behind it to answer these questions.
  • Matching Features
  • In this type of question, there will be a list of items in the box and you need to match these items by reading and understanding some sentences in the passages. The list may be of the name of people or cities. For example, If there is a name of a person in the box of items then the question may be to match the sentence with the person who said them. Like other types of match questions, some of the items mentioned may not be available in the passage. So, to save time read the passage before answering each question.
  • Matching sentence endings
  • In this type of question, you need to connect two halves of the sentences. The first half of the sentence will be already given you need to find out which is the appropriate ending for the sentence from the list given. While choosing from the list you need to keep the following things in mind:
  • There should not be any grammatical errors in the sentence.
  • The ending sentence chosen by you should make sense.
  • The sentence should have the same meaning as the sentence in the passage.

True/False/Not given Questions

  • These questions are very tricky. This question consists of several statements:
  • If the statement is present in the article as it is then you need to mark it as true.
  • If the statement is found to be the opposite of the sentence which is there then it should be marked as false.
  • If the statement given in the question is not at all present in the article then it should be marked as not given. Do not spend a lot of time finding the sentence which is not there.

Yes/No/Not given Questions

  • Similar to the True/False/Not given questions, Yes/No/Not given questions also have various statements. But here you are asked to agree or disagree with the statement based on the opinion of the author.

Note, Table, Diagram and Summary Completion Questions

  • In Note, Table, Summary and Diagram completion questions, you will be asked to complete a set of notes, tables, diagram or a summary based on the information given in the text. Sometimes the question will be to write a short answer and sometimes you’ll have to choose from the list of answers given. Usually, these kinds of questions will only be based on one part of the passage, so you won’t have to read the whole passage to fill the important information.

Sentence completion and Short-answer Questions

  • IELTS academic reading Sentence completion and Short answer questions are almost similar. In sentence completion, you’ll be asked to fill in the blank spaces using the words given in the text. Whereas, in short answers, you’ll have to take words from the given text to write the short answers. It is important to pay close attention to the instructions that are given in the question because in some instructions there will be a word limit mentioned and you may lose marks if you don’t follow it.
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Ali AfsharJan 16, 2024
Hi is it possible to see how you have done your exams? I mean, I,m going to check my answers to the past taken exams, but except the numbers(like:6.5) there is no other option
When the test is finished, you will find the Review button - on the left side of the screen.
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Malika MouslihDec 31, 2023
Very useful and accurate information about the reading section! Thank you!
Our pleasure.
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Nima RostamiJan 05, 2024
I believe there might be an error in the GT reading score. The score seems to be calculated based on the Academic band scores. For instance, I answered 31 questions correctly, but the displayed score is 7. According to the GT reading band scores, my score should be 6.5.
Thanks Nima, for mentioning this bug. We fixed it and everything is fine now. By the way, your band score is 6, not 6.5.
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Masoud KarimiMar 28, 2024
Hello, Is there any way that we would be able to review our answers in both listtening and reading moudles? I know there is a toggle in the left that we can review and tick the questions, but just as i close the test and come back to the test again it wouldn't show my previous check marks and wants me to start the exam all over again. What's the point of putting check marks in the tests if you would not be able to see and review that after a while?
Hello Masoud. The option to save your answers to see them later is not yet available. Currently, you can only review your answers when you get your score, but if you leave the test, you won't be able to review them.
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Mojtaba Khosravi DaneshFeb 10, 2024
How can we highlight the keywords?
You can select the words you want, then right-click on the selection and choose Highlight option, and vice versa if you want to clear the highlight, but here you can choose Clear or Clear All option. That's it.
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Tursunov IsomiddinFeb 01, 2024
Thanks for all
You're welcome.
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Nabiollah FarahmandFeb 18, 2024
Thanks for all!
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Mahshid RashvandMar 26, 2024
Hiihow can i find the Review of the right answers. I want to know what are my mistaken in reading test. thank you
Hello Mahshid. When you submit your answers, a Review button will appear on the left side of the screen. If you can't find it, press F11 on your keyboard to make the page full screen.
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