IELTS Reading Test Structure

How long does the IELTS reading test take?

60 minutes (no extra transfer time).

How many questions are there in the IELTS reading test?

There are 40 questions.

What are the question types in the IELTS reading test?

  • Multiple choice
  • Identifying information (true/false/not given)
  • Identifying a 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
  • Short-answer questions

What should I expect in Academic module in the IELTS reading test?

There are three sections. Each section contains one long text.

Texts are authentic and are taken from books, journals, magazines and newspapers. Texts may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms, then a simple glossary is provided.

What should I expect in General module in the IELTS reading test?

There are three sections.

Section one contains two or three short factual texts, one of which may be composite (consisting of 6-8 short texts related by topic, e.g. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.

Section two contains two short factual texts focusing on work related issues (e.g. applying for jobs, 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.

 What is assessed in the IELTS reading test?

A wide range of reading skills are assessed, including:

  • Reading for gist
  • reading for main ideas
  • Reading for detail
  • Understanding inferences and implied meaning
  • Recognising writer’s opinions, attitudes and purpose
  • Following the development of an argument.

How is marking in the IELTS reading test?

Each correct answer receives 1 mark.  Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Read more here.

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