ielts reading

To improve your performance in the Reading test you need to practise reading a variety of English texts. This will help you develop the ability to read quickly as is required under test conditions.

The texts included in the Reading test always contain the information you need to answer the question. You won’t have to use your own knowledge of a topic.

You need to do either the General IELTS exam or the Academic IELTS exam. But what's the difference, anyway? The difference is in the Reading and Writing modules only. The Listening and Speaking modules are the same for all.

In terms of reading, the main difference between the Academic and General Reading Modules of the IELTS lies in the content of the passages. The General Module includes easier texts from social, academic, and work contexts. The Academic Module includes more advanced texts, at an undergraduate or graduate level, from academic sources.

Yet, the Academic and General Reading Modules are also similar in many ways. Both last for one hour, contain 3 passages and 40 questions, and are scored in the same way. In both cases, you must answer the questions and transfer your answers to the answer sheet all in one hour. Other overlapping areas that apply to both modules are scoring, tasks, skills, and time.

General Reading

Section 1 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 2 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

Texts are authentic and are taken from notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines and newspapers.


In both the General and Academic Reading Modules, one mark is awarded for each correct answer. A special table converts the scores out of 40 into a band score on the IELTS band scale. You may receive a whole band or a half band. 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.

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