IELTS test information

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IELTS Reading Test

The IELTS Reading Test is the second part of the exam. It lasts 60 minutes and the test format consists of 3 sections and a total of 40 questions.

There are different reading tests for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training:

Academic Reading Test

There is one long text in each section. The texts are authentic and are taken from books, magazines, newspapers and journals, written for a non-specialist audience on topics of general academic interest. Texts are appropriate for university students and professionals and range from descriptive and factual to discursive and analytical.

General Training Reading Test

Section Number of texts Type of texts*
1 2 or 3 Short, factual texts, one of which may consist of 6-8 mini texts (e.g. hotel advertisements). Topics are relevant to everyday life in an English-speaking country.
2 2 Short, factual texts focusing on work-related issues (job applications; company policies; workplace facilities; staff conditions/training etc)
3 1 Longer, more complex text on a topic of general interest.

*The texts are taken from a variety of authentic sources such as notices, advertisements, company handbooks, official documents, books, magazines and newspapers.

A variety of question types is used used, chosen from the following:

I got 7.5 in Speaking and 7.5 in Reading, which were the two modules I needed to improve. The results are very satisfying and over my expectations actually. I´m also very grateful for all the help and feedback I got from my iPass course which enabled me to get these results!

Karin, Sweden

Improve your skills in all 4 modules of the IELTS test to get your desired results by enrolling on one of our successful online training courses

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the IELTS test completed in one day?
The Listening, Reading and Writing components of the test are always completed immediately after each other and in that order.

What can I bring into the examination room?
Only pens, pencils and erasers. Mobile phones must be switched off and placed with personal belongings in area designated by the test supervisor. You also need to bring the same identification documents that you provided when you registered for the IELTS test, as they will be checked by the test administrator and the Speaking examiner and must match the information on your application form.

Is there time at the end of the Reading test to transfer answers?
No. The Reading test is one hour, and you must write all your answers on the answer sheet within this time.

Can I use a pen for the Reading test?
No. You must do it in pencil. The answer sheet is scanned by a computer which cannot read pen.

Can I make notes on the Reading question paper?
Yes. The IELTS Examiner will not see your question paper.

How is the Reading test marked?
Each correct answer receives 1 mark. Scores out of 40 are converted to the IELTS 9-band scale. Scores are reported in whole and half bands.

Academic Reading Test Conversions

Score out of 40 15-18 19-22 23-26 27-29 30-32 33-34 35-36
IELTS band score 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8

General Reading Test Conversions

Score out of 40 23-26 27-29 30-31 32-33 34-35 36 37-38
IELTS band score 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8

How can I get a higher band score in reading?

Sign up for IELTS Lite, IELTS 7 or IELTS Express which all include interactive self-access exercises and practice tests to help you improve your IELTS reading skills.


Sadia - Bangladesh

Sadia - Bangladesh

​I’ve got the result of IELTS test I took on 18th March: listening 8; speaking 7.5; reading & writing 7; overall 7.5.

I needed 7 in each band to register as a doctor in Canada, but I was struggling with my writing skills. Fortunately, I have now got 7 in writing, exactly what iPass scored me on the IELTS Writing course.

Thank you so very much for your suggestions and feedback which really helped me to improve my writing and get the desired score.

I’ve already recommended iPass to some of my friends!

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