IELTS Reading Test

The IELTS Reading test takes an hour and your task is to read passages of text and to answer questions according to what you have read. There are also other types of assignment which I will cover later on.

The IELTS Reading Test

The Reading test consists of 3 text passages and has 40 questions in total. Your job is to read the passages and either answer questions, label diagrams, complete sentences or fill gaps. For every type of task, there are instructions and an example. Passages are taken from books, newspapers, magazines and the topics are very diverse, from scuba diving to space exploration. Passages progress in difficulty, with the first being the easiest and the third the hardest.

  • The Reading test takes 60 minutes and is in 3 sections. There are 3 passages with a combined length of 1500-2500 words and a total of 40 questions.
  • The reading passages become more difficult as you progress through the test.
  • The passages are taken from journals, magazines, books and newspapers. All the topics are of general interest and are not specialised texts.
  • The reading passages may contain diagrams, charts or graphs, and at least one passage will include an argument. If a reading passage contains technical or specialised words, a glossary is usually provided.
  • The questions may come before or after the reading passages in the examination booklet, and instructions and examples are given at the beginning of a new group of questions.
  • You must write your answers during the Reading test on the Answer Sheet provided.

IELTS Reading Marking:

One mark is awarded for each of the 40 questions, and the result is translated into a score on the IELTS nine-band scale.

The tables below indicate the average number of marks required to achieve a particular band score in Academic Reading and General Training Reading.

IELTS Reading Academic Scores

 Correct Answers  Band Scores
 40-39  9
 38-87  8.5
 36-35  8
 34-33   7.5
 32-30  7
 29-27  6.5
26-23  6
22-19  5.5
18-15  5
 14-13  4.5
 12-10  4
 9-8  3.5 
 7-6  3
5-4  2.5


IELTS Reading General Training Scores

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



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