The IELTS ( International English Language Testing System assesses the language proficiency of the candidate applying for the test. It is used by many education and professional institutes as a selection criteria. IELTS has launched some of the most reliable leading language assessments which evaluate a person’s English proficiency. IELTS has 4 elements to it-

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing

IELTS evaluates your English proficiency, thus it is important for you to understand each section and practice thoroughly so that no scope of mistakes is left when you are doing the main exam. For mastering this part of the exam, you should make sure that you go through enough IELTS reading passages with answers so that you understand what you are expected to do with these types of questions.

If you are looking for some material to prepare for the IELTS reading section, then you have come up in the right place. Read further for more detailed information.

 IELTS Reading Passage Described

You will find 3 sections within the IELTS. In these 3 sections, you will be having three different IELTS reading comprehension to read and answer the questions that follow. The time that you get to complete this is 60 minutes altogether, this time includes reading all the text given in the three sections and to answer all the questions given below each one of them. While doing practice tests you may notice that there are few types of questions that are given within each section. These questions can be categorized into the following:-

  • Matching Headings
  • Gap filling tasks
  • MCQ( Multiple Choice Questions)
  • short-Answer Questions
  • True and False
  • Diagrams, Charts, and table completion
  • Sentence completion

The IELTS reading passage can also have crop circle answers, as a question type in any passage. While reading

Also Read:- IELTS Reading Practice Test: Fill In The Blank Questions | Depletion of Natural Resources

How many passages in IELTS General Reading?

As mentioned above there are 3 passages in the IELTS Reading section. And these three passages will have 40 questions in total that you need to complete in 60 mins. To complete this section, you need to increase your speed and time your paper well. It is advisable for you to look for an IELTS reading passage with answers, with the help of which you can see where you are making mistakes.

How to Answer the IELTS RC?

To pass this section with flying colours you need to keep in mind various points because this section is not that easy as it looks. You need to be well versed with smart tactics so that you don’t only complete the paper but you also score well on this section. With smart tricks like the method of elimination in MCQs, or skimming through the passage instead of reading it word by word, or leaving behind the status quo of the passage first and then the questions, all these techniques will give you an extra edge of completing this section.

Work on these points to improve your score on reading passage for IELTS-

Also Read: Solve a RC Passage in IELTS In Under 10 minutes With Our 11 Simple Tips

1. Time Constraint

You only have 60 mins in total. That means you need to read and have to attempt all the answers in just 60 minutes. So, start with skimming the passage in not more than 2-3 minutes. Along with reading, underline the keywords. While practising, focus on your reading speed. Try to read the passage as soon as you can. Make sure your speed increases with each attempt you make. This section of IELTS evaluates your speed along with English proficiency, hence, you have to keep each second in your mind so that you don’t lose one.

2. Complex Question

 Here you need to analyze questions and categorize them from easy to complex questions. Categorization will make it easier for you to decide which question is to be done first and which questions can be done later. Try and solve easy questions first and don’t waste more than 1 minute on questions. If a question is taking more than a minute then it indicates that it is complex. Complex questions are to be catered after all easy questions have been completed. This way you attempt all the questions you know and you leave no scope to regret after the time is over, how you could have answered questions that you knew.

3. Reading a Full Passage is not Required

Reading a full passage is not required as it will waste the whole time. Not all question types need you to read the full passage to answer them. Questions types, like “Matching headline” and “Choosing a title” are the only ones that require reading of a full passage. Unless and until you get these types, avoid reading the entire passage. When you read the questions before starting the passage, you get to know what to leave and what to highlight. So, you don’t have to worry about reading the whole passage. But when you are doing the practice for reading passages, you should bring this into the habit so that you don’t face difficulty when you are giving the main IELTS test.

Also Read: IELTS Reading Practice Questions- Finding Information in the Passage | Understanding the Black Hole

4. Reading the Question before or after Reading the Passage?

Beginning a passage with a blank and stressful mind will only trouble you. You will need to go through the passage many times if you start this way. So, it is suggested that you start with going through all the questions, and then starting with the passage. Beginning this way gives you direction to work and on the basis of the types of question given, you can decide whether to just focus on keywords or read the whole passage. This method saves much of your time and you can attempt questions in only one go.

5. Read the Questions Carefully

It is imperative for you to read the questions carefully with all your attention. You need to identify what type of questions you have to answer, is it true or false, is it a sentence completion, is it a gap-filling or an MCQ. Analyzing questions will help you focus on specific parts of the passage which saves you time. In MCQs, you can use the elimination method which not only saves time and helps you choose the right option.

6. Vocabulary

If you think your vocabulary is not good then you must work on it. Make sure you strengthen your vocabulary so, that you can make the meaning out of it easily, if you don’t, then you might have to go through the sentence more than once and more of your mental effort is also invested in it. So, while practising IELTS reading passages make sure to find the meanings of the words you don’t know and prepare a list of words and their meaning.

5 Sample IELTS Reading Passage

  • Sample 1- Light pollution
  • IELTS sample reading passage 2- How much higher? how much faster?
  • IELTS sample reading passage 3- How did writing begin?
  • Sample 4-Is science dangerous?
  • Sample 5- William Kamkwamba

Reading in IELTS is an important section and is considered to be the toughest as well. As in this section, not only one skill is assessed but many aspects are also assessed like- speed, vocabulary, smartness, and analyzing power. All these three are being evaluated. It becomes important for you to practice reading passages for IELTS and to score well on the test.

You can find IELTS reading passage practice tests online and practice as much as you can, because you know very well, that practice makes a man perfect. Nobody can get perfect in getting all the answers correct in this, but you can always try to be better and achieve the maximum. Check and enrol to now to uplift your IELTS game.

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About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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