IELTS Academic Reading Test


The test is for one hour.  There will be 3 passages and 40 questions. You should attempt all questions.  There is no minus mark for incorrect answers.

You do not have time to read the passage and answer the questions.  So NEVER TRY TO READ THE ENTIRE PASSAGE.   Following are some strategies you can follow.

Step 1. Skimming – taking a quick look
First skim the passage.   What is skimming?  Skimming is taking a quick glance at the passage.  For this, read the title and the first sentence of all the paragraphs.  This will give you an overall idea of the text.

Step 2. Focus on the question
After skimming, read the instructions for each set of questions. Read the question and focus on the key words.

What are the key words in question?
Key words are the nouns and verbs that carry the information.

Step 3. Scanning – searching for answers
Scanning is looking for the answer in the passage. Look for the same or synonyms of key words in the question.

Looking for synonyms and paraphrasing:
When you search for the KEY WORDS in the passage, you may not always find the same words as in the question.  So, you need to look for synonyms and paraphrasing.

synonym (n) = a word that has the same meaning as another.

paraphrase (v) = to express the meaning in different words. In IELTS Reading Test, most questions will be paraphrases of sentences from the passage.

Writing the answers Can I write in all capitals? In the listening Test, you can write in small or capital letters, but in the Reading Test, you are copying a word or words form the passage.  So, copy the word/ words exactly as in the passage.

How scores are calculated: (approximate)

Band Correct Answers
4 9
4.5 12
5 16
5.5 19
6 23
6.5 27
7 30
7.5 33
8 35
8.5 37