The Reading paper has three sections and texts containing 2,150-2,750 words. Test takers must be cautious when writing down their answers as they will lose marks for wrong spelling and grammar.


Texts in IELTS Academic


  • Three reading texts, which come from books, journals, magazines, newspapers and online resources written for non-specialist audiences. All subjects are of general interest to students at undergraduate or postgraduate level.


Texts in IELTS General Training


  • Section 1 consists of two or three short texts or quite a few shorter texts, which deal with everyday topics. For example, timetables or notices – things an individual would need to understand when living in an English-speaking country.
  • Section 2 includes two texts, which deal with work. For example, job descriptions, contracts, training materials.
  • Section 3 includes a long text about a topic of general interest. The text is generally descriptive, longer and more complicated than the texts in Sections 1 and 2. The text will be taken from a newspaper, magazine, book or online resource.
Question types

In each section, you have to do several different tasks. These include:

  • Answering multiple choice questions
  • Writing short answer to questions
  • Completing sentences, notes, a summary, a flow chart or a table
  • Labelling a diagram
  • Classifying ideas into different categories
  • Matching (e.g. headings to paragraphs or people to ideas)
  • Deciding if ideas or opinions are correct, incorrect or not given

The questions test a variety of reading skills including your ability to do the following:

  • Identify the writer’s overall purpose.
  • Follow key arguments in a text.
  • Identify opinions and attitudes.
  • Locate specific information.
  • Distinguish main ideas from supporting details.
  • Extract information from a text to complete a diagram, summary, table or set of notes.
Skills Tested
In IELTS Academic, you are mostly being examined on your ability to V academic and educational passages. General Training has more of a mix of skills. Academic reading ability is also evaluated in IELTS General Training. But IELTS General Training reading also tests “life reading,” the ability to read bulletins about matters like shopping and travel, and the ability to read work documents. Learn more in our IELTS Reading app, and find your baseline score in this free IELTS Reading app. Besides, you can use IELTS Vocabulary Flashcards app to improve your IELTS vocabulary. IELTS Vocabulary Flashcards is the app that covers the most important words used for the real IELTS exam and help you to achieve your goals.