Essence of IELTS Reading

The IELTS Reading test is a 60-minute exam and consists of 40 questions which test a wide range of reading skills of the students. The skills that are tested through these questions include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical arguments, and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes and purpose.

IELTS Format

The IELTS Reading section consists of 40 questions, all of which are included to test a wide range of reading skills.

IELTS Academic test – consists of three long texts varying from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical. The questions are asked from books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Task types: A variety of question types are used, including multiple-choice, identifying information, matching features, identifying the writer’s views/claims, similar information, headings’ matching, sentence endings’ matching, sentences and summary completion, completion of notes, completion of tables, diagram label completion of and short-kind of questions, etc.

Answering: The test takers have to transfer their answers to an answer sheet within the given time. No extra time is allowed for transfer. The students must take extreme care while writing the answers on the answer sheet as wrong spelling and grammar result in marks deduction.

Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.

IELTS General Training Reading: Format

The IELTS general training reading section consists of 40 questions which include extracts from books, notices, magazines, newspapers, advertisements, company handbooks, and guidelines. The texts are taken from the sources which we experience regularly in an English-speaking environment.

IELTS General Training Reading description

Paper format: It consists of 3 parts. Section 1 consists of 2-3 smaller texts while the next section comprises of 2 texts. The last section has a huge text.

Kind of Tasks: A variety of questions are chosen from the types including multiple choice, identifying information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, etc.

Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.

Answering: The students have to transfer their answers to an answer sheet during the time allowed for the test. No extra time is allowed for transfer. The students must be very careful while writing answers on the answer sheets.

Marks: Each question is worth 1 mark.

IELTS Academic and General Training Reading: Key Differences
IELTS Academic IELTS General Training
Duration The test lasts one hour
Questions It consists of 40 questions and 3 readings. It will have a total of 40 questions and 3 sections
Section All the questions have the same difficulty level, and each reading is almost 800 words. Section one and two are a combination of short factual texts, like adverts or texts on work-related issues.
Text Taken from The text is taken from different publications. The texts are taken from magazines, newspapers, notices, ads, company handbooks, and books.
About the Assessment Factors

The IELTS reading test is included to evaluate a wide range of students reading skills including –

  • Efficiency of students in grasping the general sense of a passage
  • The students must be quick in reading
  • How well the students can understand the details
  • How well they are able to understand inferences and implied meaning
  • Identifying writer’s opinions, attitude, and purpose
IELTS Reading: Comparison Table

To help students understand the IELTS academic score band, we have presented the conversion from raw score to band score needs to be studied. The marking pattern is different for Academic and General Training test takers:

The details concerning the same are highlighted below:

IELTS Academic Reading Score Raw Score
5 15-18
6 23-26
7 30-32
8 35-36
9 39-40
IELTS General Training Reading Score Raw Score
5 23-26
6 30-31
7 34-35
8 37-38
9 40
IELTS Academic Reading Band Score Descriptors

Each IELTS band descriptor refers to a particular performance level. The candidates getting a score of 8 or more have a very good knowledge of English as compared to the ones scoring 5.

Mentioned below are the Academic IELTS reading band score descriptors:

IELTS Academic Reading Band Score Score Descriptors
Band Score 9 Expert
Band Score 8 Very Good
Band Score 7 Good
Band Score 6 Competent
Band Score 5 Modest
Band Score 4 Limited
Band Score 3 Extremely Limited
Band Score 2 Intermittent
Band Score 1 Non-user
Band Score 0 Did not attempt

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