Top tips for the IELTS Reading test

Top tips for the IELTS Reading test


Do you need to take the IETS test to go to university in the UK? Are you worried about the Reading test? Let us give some top tips to pass the Reading test. It takes 60 minutes and consists of 3 factual passages of between 1200 and 1400 words, covering a wide range of non-specialist topics taken from magazines and online sources. Candidates need to answer questions and complete tasks covering factual information of views and opinions expressed in the texts.

There are 13 types of task used, though some of them are very similar to each other, and you can expect to have 2 or 3 different tasks for each text. Let’s take a brief look at each task:

Type 1. True, False or Not Given. Candidates read a passage and decide if the statements about the information in it are the same as in the text, the opposite or if there is no information about whether they are true or false;

Type 2. Note, Table, Flow-chart Completion and Diagram Labelling. Candidates complete notes or a table, etc. with information from the text;

Type 3. Short Answer Questions. Candidates write short answers of up to 3 words to questions about the passage;

Type 4. Matching Headings. Candidates choose headings from a list that describes the main ideas in the passage;

Type 5. Matching Information. Candidates choose statements that describe amin ideas of each paragraph;

Type 6. Matching Features. Candidates match statements to an option.

Type 7. Multiple Choice. Candidates choose 2 statements out of 5 options that match information in the text;

Type 8. Sentence Completion. Candidates complete sentences with information from the passage;

Type 9 and 10. summary Completion. Candidates complete gaps in a text the summarizes the passage;

Type 11. Matching Sentence Endings. Candidates choose the endings of sentences about the passage from a list of options:

Type 12. Multiple Choice. Candidates choose the answer to questions about the text form 4 options;

Type 13. Yes, No, Not Given. Candidates decide if statements about the text agree, disagree with views expressed in the text or are not stated.

How to Prepare

– Read a wide range of factual articles from magazines or online sources, such as the BBC;

– Build up your vocabulary by recording any new words you find when reading these texts;

– Learn to skim read to get the general ideas from a text and to scan read for specific details;

– Improve your reading speed so you can read the passages and answer the questions in the time required in the test;

– Take an IELTS course taught by an experienced IELTS teacher who can help you develop these skills, such as those offered by UKCE.

On the Day of the Test

– Read the instructions carefully so you know exactly what is required for each task;

– Read the text quickly to get a general idea;

– Read the questions carefully and underline the key words then scan the text to find the area where the answer is located;

– Be careful not to choose an answer because it contains words included in the text;

– Make sure the answer you choose is the best one by ruling out other possibilities;

– Do not leave any questions unanswered. If you’re not sure, make a guess from the options available.


That’s all for the Reading Test. Hope you like our top tips to pass the Reading test. Next time we’ll take a look at the Writing Test!



Laura Villa
Laura Villa