This section tests students’ abilities to read English texts and give answers based on the information provided. This ensures that students can interpret English text pieces and understand facts and ideas.

The IELTS reading test has 40 questions and lasts for 60 minutes.

What are the sections?

There are two types of IELTS reading tests that students can take.

 

IELTS Academic Reading

There are three sections to this exam. The first part is usually an article describing an educational or scientific topic with 10 to 15 questions.

The second passage is usually a similar article with about 10 to 15 questions.

The third passage is another article with labeled paragraphs that correspond to 10 to 15 matching questions.

 

IELTS General Training

There are three sections to this exam too. The first is often two procedural pieces with a total of 10 to 15 questions.

The second part is made of two texts - often workplace or school policies - with 10 to 15 questions.

The last portion is an article with labeled paragraphs for 10 to 15 matching and fill-in-the-blank questions.

 

What questions will be asked?

For the academic IELTS reading tests, question types include:

  • True/false questions
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Fill-in-the-blank questions
  • Summarising —i.e. ‘The main theme of this reading was…’

For the general training IELTS reading tests, question types include:

  • True/false questions
  • Matching terms from the text with the appropriate descriptions
  • Matching text information to specific paragraphs
  • Fill-in-the-blank questions

Marking and Scoring

Like the listening test, scoring on the IELTS reading exam is a bandwidth taken from the 40 question score.

For IELTS academic reading, the approximate bandwidth to score relationship is:

Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 39-40 37-38 35-36 33-34 30-32 27-29 23-26 19-22 15-18 13-14 10-12 8-9 6-7 4-5

For IELTS general training, the approximate bandwidth to score relationship is:

Band Score 9 8.5 8 7.5 7 6.5 6 5.5 5 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5
Score / 40 40 39 37-38 36 34-35 32-33 30-31 27-29 23-26 19-22 15-18 12-14 9-11 6-8

 

Find more IELTS reading tips on our blog.