IELTS READING

The Test Format

The IELTS General Training Reading Test has 3 sections

You have 60 minutes to complete the test.

There is NO extra time at the end of the test to transfer your answers to the answer paper (you get 10 extra minutes in the listening test only);

Your answers must be on the answer paper at the end of the 60 minutes.

The test has 40 questions based on a series of texts.

The total length of all the texts put together will be between 2000 and 2750 words.

Reading Test gets progressively harder through the paper.

Possible formats of texts could be: notices, advertisements, newspapers, instruction manuals, leaflets, timetables, books and magazines.

Section 1

Section 1 will normally have 2 or maybe 3 “texts” with 13 or maybe 14 questions to answer in 2 or 3 sets of differing formats.

Section 1 tests the candidate on “social survival” in an English speaking country.

The questions usually involve the candidate finding and providing factual information from a variety of texts

Texts in section 1 are relatively short and there may be a number of “mini texts’ to look through, eg: a series of advertisements on similar subjects.

Section 2

Section 2 again usually has 2 texts with 13 or maybe 14 questions to answer.

Section 2 concentrates on the context of training and welfare in an English speaking country.

The texts here will be more complicated using more intricate language and structure.

Section 3 
Section 3 will have 1 text with 13 or maybe 14 questions to answer.

Section 3 tests candidates’ ability to deal with longer pieces of writing.

The reading passage will again involve more complex language than the 2 previous section.

There are 40 questions in the IELTS General Training Reading Test and 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer.

There are no half marks.

Your final mark out of 40 is then converted to a band from 1 – 9 using a converting table and this band is then averaged with the other 3 parts of the test to give your final IELTS band.