The IELTS Reading test consists of 40 questions that cover a wide range of reading skills.
- reading for gist
- reading for main ideas
- reading for detail
- understanding logical argument
- recognising writers' opinions, attitudes and purpose.
There are two versions of the Reading test – one for General Training and one for Academic. Our preparation materials can help you develop your reading skills for both versions.
Below you’ll find more information about the test format and scoring, as well as top tips, free videos and blog articles, and other resources to help you understand the Reading test and achieve a high score.
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The Reading Test has 40 questions and lasts 60 minutes.
IELTS Academic contains three long reading passages ranging from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. These are taken from books, journals, magazines or newspapers and have been written for a non-specialist audience. IELTS General Training has three sections: Section 1 contains several shorter texts; Section 2 contains two texts; and Section 3 contains one long text.
Write your answers carefully on the answer sheet during the test – there’s no extra time at the end and you can lose marks for poor spelling and grammar.
Each question is worth 1 mark.
Your score is calculated by the number of correct answers you have out of 40 questions in the test. You won’t lose points for incorrect answers.
1. Read English language articles and newspapers as often as you can. Our blog content is a great reading resource.
2. Aim to skim-read 100 words in 30 seconds. (Did you know ... you can read about 100 words in 20 seconds in your own language?)
3. On test day, read the instructions carefully and make sure you follow them, especially instructions on the maximum number of words.
4. Timing is really important! Try to finish each section in less than 20 minutes. You can write on the question paper but you must copy your answers onto the answer sheet within the 60 minutes, so allow time to do that.
In the IELTS Reading test, you will have one hour to answer 40 questions.
If you’re worried about running out of time, find out what you can do on exam day to save you valuable minutes when you’re taking the test.