IELTS Reading tips – Simply IELTS

IELTS Reading Tips

IELTS Reading test with IELTS Reading tips

IELTS Reading Tips
IELTS Reading Tips

In this article from, you will find all information about IELTS Reading test with IELTS Reading tips and tricks.

IELTS reading Test

There is difference in General IELTS exam and the Academic IELTS exam. The main difference between the Academic and General Reading Modules of the IELTS is in the language of the passages while the General Module has easy texts the Academic Module includes more complicated texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from academic sources.

In terms of timings both Academic and General Reading Modules last for one hour, Academic Module contains 3 passages and 40 questions while General Module Reading test may have up to 5 passages.

Please note unlike Listening Module there is no extra time allowed to allow for transfer of answers on Answer Sheet.

How Scoring is done in IELTS Reading Section?

In both the General Reading and Academic Reading Modules, one mark is awarded for each correct answer. Then a score table depending upon the analysis made by IETLS conducting organizations converts the Reading scores out of 40 into a band score on the IELTS band scale. You may receive a whole band or a half band depending upon your score.

Your overall score is the average of the band scores you receive in the four modules. This final score itself may be represented as a whole band or a half band.

Types of Reading Tasks

There are various types of questions that you may face in both the Academic or General Reading Module, the following types of questions usually are part of reading module :

  • Paragraph headings
  • Short-answer
  • Sentence completion
  • Multiple choice
  • Tables, diagrams, flow charts
  • Multiple matching
  • Summary completion
  • Locating information
  • Yes/No/ Not Given Identifying writer’s views
  • Classification of Paragraphs
  • Matching


Remember that you have three reading passages and forty questions to answer in only one hour. Also, the three passages become increasingly more difficult. Divide your time into three 20 minute segments, or as suggested below :

  1. 17 minutes on section 1
  2. 20 minutes on section 2
  3. 23 minutes on section 3

If you’re having difficulty with a particular question, mark it for your attention, move on to the next question and come back later. If you finish early, use the time to review.

IELTS Reading Tips

You need to work through a number of practice tests in order to identify exactly what you need to do and to understand how to correctly answer each type of question. After doing a few tests, analyze your answers. Doing so will help you recognize which types of questions are easier for you and which types cause more difficulty. Consult your teachers or specialized IELTS guidebooks to learn strategies to help you with ones that are more challenging.


To do well in the IELTS reading test, you need global as well as macro reading skills. This means you should to be able to do the following :

  • Grasp the big picture as well as the minor points.
  • Distinguish facts from opinions and attitudes
  • Identify the overall purpose of the passage
  • Follow the main arguments in a written text
  • Locate specific details and relevant information
  • Summarize the key points
  • Represent written information in graphic form
  • Infer meaning
  • Use accurate spelling and correct grammar

Specifically, three key reading skills will help you do the above most effectively :

  • Skimming
  • Scanning
  • Reading for detail

The first two strategies, skimming and scanning, involve reading very quickly, but each strategy has a different purpose. Skimming means reading quickly to get the main idea of a text. Scanning means reading quickly to look for a specific piece of info or specific words. The third approach, reading for detail means reading every word in order to really understand the message of the text.

On the IELTS, you will need to use all three techniques at different stages. For example, you may start by skimming through the entire text to get a general idea of the passage.

Next, you may look at the questions to see what kind of information is required. Then, you may scan the text for a specific piece of information or read a particular section in greater detail to discover the information you need to answer the question correctly.

If you are weak in these areas or read slowly, there are a number of excellent general ESL and specific IELTS books which can help you strengthen your reading techniques, so you can complete the Reading test correctly and successfully within the one hour time limit.

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