Are you planning to attend a Foreign University for your higher studies?

Great, this can boost your Career. But for getting admission to a foreign university you will have to pass an English proficiency exam. There are several proficiency tests.

If you are planning to choose IELTS you should get ready for the preparation. Better scores increase your chances of getting your application accepted.

Nervous, don’t be. Wondering what is the IELTS reading test? ? Or  If you are scared about the IELTS reading section of the Exam here is a guide for you.

In this article, we will explain to you everything about the reading section of IELTS Academic.

Why do You Need to Take the IELTS?

If you want to apply for Foreign Studies, you will have to pass a compulsory English exam. Better exam scores increase your chances of being accepted by a Foreign University.

Types of IELTS

There are generally two types of IELTS: Academics and General Training.

# IELTS Academics: This is a test that students take who want to apply for higher education or professional expertise from a foreign university.

# IELTS General Training Program: It is a test which candidates take who want to work in a foreign university.

Time Allotted

The total Time allowed for exams is 2 hours 45 minutes.

IELTS scores its candidate on the Band Score System. The scores are given from the 1-9 range. 9,8,7 are considered as good band scores in IELTS reading.

IELTS Format

The format of the exam is Reading, writing, listening and speaking.


Reading is an important part of English skills evaluation. A person should be able to read English sentences. As in a foreign country, every document or book will be in English.

The main purpose of the reading test is to evaluate the candidates reading skills.

This includes efficiency in grasping the general meaning of the passage in a frequency of reading the passage, able to read every detail, and ability to understand the meanings and identifying the writer’s opinion, attitude, or purpose

Also Read: How to Practice for the IELTS Reading Test? Here’s Some Online IELTS Reading Test Preparation Tips

Academic Reading Test

IELTS Academic Reading test is divided into three sections. Each section consists of a paragraph. The difficulty of the Para increases considerably with each Para.

Three long sentences will be given to you to read these sentences are taken from books, journals magazine, newspaper and other university level papers.

These long extracts that are descriptive, or factual discursive or analytics, extracts, appropriate for anyone who wants to apply for higher education or seeking professional registrations.

Time allotted – You will be given 60 minutes.

Number of the question – 40 questions.

IELTS Reading Test Format

There will be 3 sections, each section will contain a long passage. This passage is taken from Newspapers, Journals, Magazines, Academic Texts, and other University level Papers.

The difficulty of passage increases from one to the third passage.

Types of Questions

Multiple choice questions, fill in the Blanks, Matching the correct options true/ false, sentence completion, summary, short answers, etc.


Each correct answer will give you one marks. These marks will be converted into a band scale later on.

Also Read: 10 Must-Follow IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Band Score

General Training Reading Format

IELTS general reading, the reading test includes three different extracts from different types of documents, books, magazines, newspaper that a person will encounter on daily basis in English.

Time Allotted – 60 minutes.

Number of questions – 40.

Types of Question

Multiple choice questions, fill in the blanks, match the headings to the written text, complete sentences, summary, short answers, etc.


Each correct answer will give you one marks. These marks will be converted into a band scale later on.

How can I Prepare for the IELTS Reading Test?

Here are some useful tips which will help you to score better in the IELTS reading section:

Time Management

You will have to be better at time management to answer each and every question.

Fill in the answer sheets, before the exam begins. This will save you a considerable amount of time.

Answer Easy Question First

You should answer the questions which you know well before the questions, then you should answer difficult questions.

Read Questions first, then Passage

You will have to first start reading the questions and then start reading the whole task in this way you will. In this way, you will save time.

Read the Task Carefully

Always these the in reading the entire instruction and examples carefully so that you don’t do some mistakes.

Get better Scanning

Scanning is a reading method that allows you to capture information faster.

When scanning you won’t be reading the whole paragraph but only reading. Thus, only reading the important parts of the paragraph. This will save your time, as well as you won’t be reading unnecessary information

Learn Vocabulary

Increase your vocabulary by learning every day.

Improve Your Reading Skills

There is nothing that can increase your reading skills, except Reading.

Read every type of text such as novels, comic books, magazines, journals, newspaper and get improve with the readings.

Also Read: IELTS Reading Passage for Practice: List of Important Reading Passage Topics 2021

Which is Easy- IELTS General Training or IETLS Academics?

The only difference between IELTS General Training Reading and Academic Reading is the level of difficulty.

You can score better in IELTS General Training than IELTS Academics. Why?

Because the passages of IELTS General Training is taking from daily life. These passages are taken from the day-to-day activities of a normal\ office going, person. This includes newspaper, advertisements, contracts, documents, etc.

But the Academic reading section consists of extracts from University level papers and therefore it is harder to understand comprehend.


I hope this article has helped you to understand the reading section of the IELTS exam. If you want to take your preparation to the next level visit IELTS Ninja. Here you will find everything about IELTS.

If you have any query let us know in the comment section below.

Content Protection by

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.

View All Articles