There are two varieties of IELTS exams, General Training and Academic Test. Every IELTS aspirant appears for the same Speaking and Listening Tests. However, Reading and Writing Tests differ from each other. All the sections of the IELTS exam take place on the same day, except for the Speaking test. The speaking test usually takes place seven days before or after the other IELTS exams. The period for the IELTS exam is 2 hours plus 45 minutes.

In this article, we will talk about the Reading Test in the IELTS exam. Along with that, we will also take a look at Right and Left Handedness in Humans, which is one of the important passages in the IELTS reading exam.

IELTS Reading Exam

The reading test is the second section of the IELTS exam. You will have 60 minutes to solve 40 questions. The maximum number of marks that you can score in this segment is 40.

The Academic and General Training Test differ a bit from each other. If you want to take admission to foreign colleges or universities, you must go for the Academic Test. However, if you are trying to migrate or get a job in another country, you must opt for the General Training Test.

There are many different question types in both the IELTS Reading Tests. For instance, MCQs, recognise the required information, rectify the author’s opinions/perspectives, match the required information, complete a summary or sentence, fill the tables or flowchart, label the diagrams, and short-answer questions. Similarly, the reading exam tests your ability to comprehend the given information and your eye for detail, something you must remember while attempting IELTS reading answers.

Here is one of the sample passages to help you practise writing IELTS reading answers.

Also Read: Matching Heading Type of Questions in IELTS Reading: Here’s How to do It

Sample Passage: Right and Left Handedness in Humans

Part A

Why only humans among all living species display such a distinct characteristic of left or right-handedness? As per Psychologists, such asymmetry didn’t even exist in our ancestors (apes). Considering the entire population that has lived on Earth, 90% of them have almost always been right-handed. According to Bryan Turner, a professor at Deakin University, who is a subject matter expert on this subject, left-handedness is related to sidedness.

9 out of 10 people are right-handed while eight of the same number are right-footed. He calls this different asymmetry a systemic point in the human population. Humans tend to categorise things. Right or left, up or down, black or white, it’s a system of signs which allows humans to create a pattern out of things that are more ambiguous in nature.

Part B

Several types of research over the years have proved that there is a sort of inheritance or genetic element to the handedness in a person. The results of various researches have shown that around six per cent of the offspring created by two right-handed parents are left-handed. But, for two left-handed parents, the possibility of the offspring being left-handed is around 40 per cent. Around 15 to 20 percent of the off-springs are left-handed with one left and one right-handed parent.

The astonishing results lead to the conclusion that there is simply more to left-handedness than just genetic. Researchers, most notably French anthropologist and surgeon Dr Paul Broca found out that patients who had suffered a stroke and lost their ability to speak have had right-side paralysis. He pointed out that the left side of the brain controls the right and vice versa. So the damage must be on the left side.

Part C

This led to the psychologists believing that around 95 per cent of the total right-handed people have their language ability controls on the left side. And the remaining five per cent have it on the right side. The pattern is not followed by left-handed people as the majority of them have their language controls on the left side of their brain.

Dr. Brinkman, a brain researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, has proposed that the history of speech has paralleled the history of right-handedness. According to Brinkman, as the brain evolved, one side became specialised for fine motor control, and this evolution resulted in right-hand preference. According to Brinkman, most left-handers are dominant in the left hemisphere but have some capacity in the right hemisphere.

Part D

It is not surprising that left-handed people who are forced to do activities with their right hands usually develop a stammer. This is because they lose their freedom of expression. However, the opinion of people towards left-handedness is taking a positive turn as more and more researches are taking place. When the champion tennis player, Ivan Lendt was asked about the one thing he would like to change in order to improve his game, he mentioned that he would love to be a lefthander.

(The above is just an extract from the whole passage)

IELTS Reading Questions & Answers 8-10

Complete the table below using the information in the given passage. Write your answers in boxes 8 to 10 on your answer sheet.

Percentage of children left-handed
One parent left-handed, one parent right-handed 15-20%
Both parents left-handed 40%
Both parents right-handed 6%

IELTS Reading Questions & Answers 11-12

Choose the appropriate option and write them in boxes 11-12 on your answer sheet:

#11 A study of monkeys has shown that:

# Monkeys are not usually right-handed.

# Monkeys display a capacity for speech.

# Monkey brains are smaller than human brains.

# Monkey brains are asymmetric.

Answer: D)

#12 According to the writer, left-handed people:

# Will often develop a stammer.

# Have undergone hardship for years.

# Are untrustworthy.

# Are good tennis players.

Answer: B)

The exam may have many similar question formats that require answers to left-handed vs right-handed type questions or What makes a person left-handed or right-handed? The passage practice can help you with the same.

Also Read MCQ Type of Questions in IELTS Reading Exam: Here’s How to do It


We hope that the sample content on the IELTS Reading Passage “Right and Left Handedness in Humans” helped you get a clear idea of what type of question you might encounter, and how to tackle them. This was a small introduction to how you should prepare for the IELTS reading test.

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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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