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 IELTS Reading


 IELTS Reading Duration and format

The Reading Module takes 50 minutes. There are 40 questions, based on three reading passages with a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words. Texts and questions appear on a Question Paper which candidates can write on but not remove from the test room. All answers must be entered on an Answer Sheet during the 50-minute test. No extra time is allowed to transfer answers.

IELTS Reading Task Types

A variety of questions are used, chosen from the following types:

• multiple choice

• short-answer questions

• sentence completion

• notes/summary/diagram/flow-chart/table completion

• choosing from a 'heading bank' for identified paragraphs/ sections of the text

• identification of writer's views/claims - yes, no or not given

• identification of information in the text - yes, no or not given/true, false or not given

• classification

• matching lists/phrases

IELTS Reading Academic

Texts are taken from magazines, journals, books, and newspapers. Texts have been written for a non-specialist audience. All the topics are of general interest. They deal with issues which are interesting, recognisably appropriate and accessible to candidates entering postgraduate or undergraduate courses or seeking professional registration. At least one text contains detailed logical argument. One text may contain non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations. If texts contain technical terms then a simple glossary is provided.

IELTS Reading General Training

Texts are taken from notices, advertisements, official documents, booklets, newspapers, instruction manuals, leaflets, timetables, books and magazines. The first section, 'social survival', contains texts relevant to basic linguistic survival in English with tasks mainly about retrieving and providing general factual information. 'Training survival', the second section, focuses on the training context, for example on the training programme itself or on welfare needs. This section involves a text or texts of more complex language with some precise or elaborated expression. The third section, 'general reading', involves reading more extended prose with a more complex structure but with the emphasis on descriptive and instructive rather than argumentative texts, in a general context relevant to the wide range of candidates involved.

Marking and assessment

One mark is awarded for each correct answer in the 40 item test. A Band Score conversion table is produced for each version of the Reading Module which translates scores out of 40 into the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported as a whole band or a half band. Care should be taken when writing answers on the Answer Sheet as poor spelling and grammar are penalized.