Trouble with IELTS Reading? Here’s All You Need to Know

The IELTS Reading section can feel overwhelming and mysterious — it’s difficult to know where to begin! This guide is for you if you’re feeling hazy and stressed out. It outlines the specific steps, strategies, and resources you’ll need to prepare for the exam. This guide provides a high-level overview of both the Academic and General Training versions of the test.

Learn About the IELTS Reading Section

Academic or General Education? There Are Two Kinds of IELTS Reading Sections

First and foremost, it is important to note that the IELTS Readings section is divided into two categories: Academic and General Training. Before you sign up for the IELTS Tests, double-check that you’re signed up for the correct version of the IELTS test. If you are unsure which test you must take, contact the IELTS training institute requesting the results, and they will direct you to the correct one.

Academic passages, in general, deal with more specialized, academic topics and closely resemble articles found in a newspaper or magazine. The General Training Reading section addresses more general, day-to-day issues or is related to work in some way.

There are several similarities and differences between the Academic and General Training versions, depending on whether you are taking the Academic or General Training version:

SimilaritiesDifferences
The Reading section is divided into three parts.The vocabulary’s difficulty
60 minutes to answer all 40 questions   A word of caution: This hour includes the time it takes to transfer your answers to the separate answer sheet; you will not be given additional time for this step.The number of questions/items in each section.   Please keep in mind that the total number of questions will always be 40!
Each question/item is worth one point/mark.The following items can be found in the General Training Reading section:   Part 1 consists of 14 questions/items.   Parts 2 and 3: 13 questions/items each.
The passages and questions are arranged in descending order of difficulty.The Academic Reading section includes:   Parts 1–3: 12–14 questions per section
The IELTS Readings band descriptors are used in both cases.

IELTS Academic Reading Section

Academic IELTS Readings passages range in subject matter from environmental science to economic history. It is critical to emphasize that you do not need to be a subject expert to perform well. You will need a large vocabulary; IELTS test-takers with a large vocabulary have a significant advantage. Academic IELTS Readings passages may include technical terms as well as visual materials like charts and graphs. Passages from professional and academic journals, textbooks, reports, and newspapers are frequently used in IELTS Exams.

There are three passages in the Academic Reading paper. You will answer 10-14 questions for each one. Here are some sample Reading passages and questions from the British Council (the makers of the IELTS exam) so you can see what Academic Reading passages and questions look like. Try to answer the questions and see how you do!

  • IELTS Readings Section General Training

General Training Reading, like Academic Reading, includes articles from journals, newspapers, and magazines. The majority of the passages, however, are much shorter and use simpler vocabulary. Furthermore, the topics are generally relevant to everyday life. Some passages in the General Training Reading paper, particularly near the beginning, are taken from advertisements, guidebooks, magazines, notices, or employee manuals.

While each version of General Training IELTS Readings may differ slightly, you can generally expect the exam to become increasingly difficult from start to finish. Section 1 will contain 2 to 3 very short (and relatively simple) articles about everyday life topics. There will be two short texts in Section 2. These are frequently work-related in some way, such as a job application or company handbook. Finally, Section 3 will include a longer text that will discuss a more academic or abstract topic. This is the most difficult article on the General Training Reading test.

Here are some reading sample tests for the General Training IELTS test from the British Council for practice. Try answering the following questions and see how you fare: Sections one and section two, as well as Section three.

Question Types (With Sample IELTS Practice Tests) adapted by IELTS Institute Surrey

There are several basic IELTS reading question types with which you should become familiar. Here’s a quick rundown of them, with practice exercises linked below:

How Can You Improve My Reading Skills for The IELTS? Techniques and Hints used by best IELTS coaching in Surrey?

With a firm grasp on the various versions of the IELTS test and question types in hand, we’re now in a good position to discuss tips and strategies. Here’s a rundown of some of the key strategies you should be looking for regularly:

  • Reading Strategies for the IELTS
  • IELTS Reading Techniques
  • Should You Take Notes on IELTS Reading?
  • Identifying Writers’ Points of View in IELTS Reading
  • IELTS Reading: How to Understand Long Sentences
  • IELTS Reading Signal Words

How to Get a Good IELTS Reading Score?

While moving up one or more IELTS Reading bands is not always possible, it is certainly possible! It will take time and commitment, as well as a slew of excellent resources. But, at the end of the day, don’t give up! Slow and steady wins the race, as the saying goes.

Here’s how to get a good IELTS Reading score.

  • Practice skimming and scanning techniques to help you move through the test more quickly
  • Increase your vocabulary in English
  • Learn about the different types of IELTS reading questions
  • Recognize the Reading band descriptors
  • Read IELTS-level material to practice reading

Now that you know how to get a good IELTS Reading score, you may be wondering how to improve your score in the other sections of the IELTS Tests. Search for institutes that provide best IELTS training in Surrey. Best wishes, and happy studying!

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