IELTS Reading Practice Test - Find IELTS Reading Topics, Questions and Samples Here

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Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 5:47 PM IST

If you are confident in your preparation for this section of the test, then you can take the IELTS reading practice test to gauge your proficiency in the language and your skills as well. Before attempting the test, it is important to understand that there is a significant difference between the reading sections of IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training, therefore, attempt the questions accordingly.

On this page, you will be able to find the IELTS Reading practice tests, sample questions and topics that you can use to evaluate your skills. However, before attempting these IELTS reading practice test questions, we recommend that you go through the entire page and understand how you can better prepare yourself for the section and obtain a higher band score in the IELTS reading section.

IELTS Reading Practice Test: Overview

To assess the English language skills of study abroad aspirants, taking the IELTS exam is one of the most popular ways. As it is already known that the exam has four sections, among which the reading section is a major one. Therefore, IELTS reading abilities like understanding the text fast or deducing the required information are tested through the reading test. The IELTS reading practice test is a way to find out how well the student is prepared for the exam and their projected scores.

The IELTS reading section consists of forty questions spread across three sections. The total time allocated for the same is 60 minutes. No additional transfer time is given in the exam to transmit responses to the answer sheet. However, the IELTS reading test for Academic and General Training is slightly different in its test objectives. While IELTS Academic is meant for overseas admission to colleges where the primary medium of instruction is English and IELTS General Training targets professionals migrating abroad.

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IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Reading Test

Before discussing the IELTS reading practice test let us check out the differences between the reading sections of both types of IELTS:

IELTS Academic Reading Test

The IELTS Academic Reading test helps to fulfil the aspirations of overseas students who want to study at a university in English speaking country. The reading test here is more difficult as students’ reading, analytical and critical thinking skills for studying at the university level are assessed. The test checks out how effectively one shares ideas. 

The test sections consist of long and detailed paragraphs to read and they are picked from a variety of academic writings, publications, newspapers and magazines. The passages are suited for the university level and are quite higher than the knowledge required for the General Training test.

IELTS General Reading Test

The IELTS General Reading test is specifically targeted at students who want to further their education or get specialised training programs or those who wish to gain work experience. 

The IELTS General Training Reading test passages do not tend to assess higher-order thinking skills or critical reasoning that is required at the university level. It checks on the level of communication and fundamental comprehension which is required to survive and get accustomed to new circumstances and experiences.

The passages and sources of the text are those that one generally encounters in daily life such as advertisements, newspapers, books, magazines and company handbooks.

IELTS Academic Reading Practice Test

Now that we are quite familiar with the overview of the IELTS Reading module and the slight difference between the two types of IELTS Reading modules, we can now shed some light on the IELTS Academic Reading practice test: 

  • The Academic IELTS Reading practice test lasts 60 minutes.

  • There will be three portions, each with a lengthy text of up to 2,100-2,750 words.

  • The texts included in the exam are taken from journals, newspapers, and periodicals. These topics are intended for non-specialist audiences and will be of wide interest.

  • The texts or passages provided are relevant or to the point, and they are intended for an audience of bachelor's, master's or doctoral students, as well as those pursuing professional registration in foreign countries such as teachers, doctors, and so on.

  • You may be asked descriptive, discursive, analytical, or factual questions based on the text provided.

  • The provided material in the IELTS Reading practice test may additionally include nonverbal components like as graphs, tables, diagrams, and so forth.

  • If the text contains jargon, a separate vocabulary is provided for it.

  • Depending on the text, many question types are available, such as multiple-choice, matching information, matching sentence, flow chart completion, table completion, and so on.

  • There will be 40 questions, with each correct answer worth one mark. Scores out of 40 are transformed into 9 bands, which are then assigned as full or half bands.

IELTS Academic Reading Test Samples

Here are some of the IELTS Reading tests samples for IELTS Academic that you can definitely use for practice:

IELTS Reading Sample 

IELTS Reading Samples

IELTS Reading Samples

IELTS Reading Practice Test Questions

IELTS Reading Practice Questions

IELTS Reading Practice Questions

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IELTS General Reading Practice Test:

Post knowing about the Academic IELTS Reading practice test, here is everything to know about the IELTS General Reading practice test:

  • The IELTS General Reading practice test will similarly last 60 minutes and will assign you a topic to read and respond to.

  • The topics and content will be taken from newspapers, periodicals, magazines and journals, among other sources.

  • The questions will be of many varieties, including matching information, sentence completion, flowchart completion, graph completion, and table completion, among others.

  • There will be three parts in the module with distinct topics covered in each.

    • Section 1 will include three real texts from everyday life.

    • Section 2 will include two factual books about workplace issues.

    • Section 3 will include a more comprehensive paragraph on general subjects will be included.

  • Each section will have 40 questions, each with 1 mark, which will be transformed into 9 bands, which will be provided in the form of a full or half band.

IELTS Reading Practice Test Question Types

When taking the IELTS Reading practice test, you should be in the mindset of taking the genuine IELTS Reading test. The IELTS Reading task consists of three passages that assess your analytical abilities, reading comprehension, and ability to effectively and efficiently read for the general idea, the principal point of view, inferential analysis of the passages, writer's viewpoint and inclination, and so on. 

As you will recall, there are 40 questions in the IELTS Reading task or the IELTS Reading practice test (whether IELTS Academic or IELTS General), and these questions are spread across a range of questions.

The following are the various types of questions that are commonly asked in the IELTS Reading test and the IELTS Reading practice test:

  • Multiple-choice questions: These questions need you to select the correct answer from a list of possibilities. Depending on how many options are provided, you may have to choose between 4,5 or more and respond with the letter corresponding to which the correct option (as per your choice) is mentioned, such as A, B, C, D, E.

  • Sentence/note completion: In these types of questions, you must finish an unfinished sentence within the word limit. You are not required to write the sentence or paraphrase the facts on your own. You only need to locate the sentence that contains the question and complete it as specified in the text.

  • Complete the table: In these types of questions, you must complete a table provided within the word limit. You simply need to locate the section from which the table's questions are posed and then fill in the term that you believe is most appropriate to be typed in order to correctly complete the table.

  • Matching the sentence endings: In these types of problems, you must match the first phrase of a sentence to its most relevant ending. Reading the question and paraphrasing the wording should be the first step. This makes selecting the appropriate ending much easier.

  • Match the features: You must match the most relevant elements of one column to a category in another. It could be a particular quality mentioned in a passage of a specific group or a feature of a device, for example. To tackle these types of questions, you must carefully read the passage.

  • Match the heading: You must match the most relevant elements of one column to a category in another. It could be a particular quality mentioned in a passage of a specific group or a feature of a device, for example. To tackle these types of questions, you must carefully read the passage.

  • Short answer questions: In these types of questions, you must submit a brief response to the questions posed. You are not required to submit a detailed response. Simply respond in a short and concise manner within the word limit. The requirement for such questions is a thorough understanding of the passage while having the question(s) in mind.

  • Label the diagram: In the diagram labelling questions, you must finish the diagram with appropriate terms based on the situation. For this, you must first comprehend the context of the passage and then fill in the blanks with acceptable words after searching the paragraph(s) from which the question is taken.

  • Complete the summary: You must match the paragraphs in one column to the relevant heading in another column in these types of matching questions. Para A and B, for example, might include headings such as malnourishment, essential nutrients, and so on. So your job is to match the paragraphs to the appropriate titles. If you understand the core idea of the texts, the task becomes much easier.

  • True/false/, given/not given or yes/no: You must comprehend the writer's viewpoints and respond appropriately while keeping the writer's viewpoints in mind. To comprehend the writer's viewpoints, you must first comprehend the writer's point of view and attitude. These questions become much easier to answer if you understand the writer's goal and predisposition.

How to Improve your IELTS Reading Speed?

The IELTS Academic Reading module includes more real passages than the IELTS General Training test. As a result, in order to achieve this, you must thoroughly read and comprehend the passage's essential topic. 

You cannot read in the traditional manner in such a pressed time frame. You must employ specific reading strategies with quick eye movement to meet this condition. Here are the top three methods for achieving the required 'speed reading’: 

  • Skimming

  • Scanning 

  • Summarising 

IELTS Reading Test Tips and Tricks for Band 9

Now that you all know everything about the IELTS Reading practice test, mentioned below are some of the important IELTS Reading test tips and tricks for achieving a band 9 in the IELTS exam:

Read Everyday 

First and foremost, you must read. You must read from a variety of sources. Online articles, newspapers, novels, and journals are excellent places to begin. Try not to read intentionally and instead simply follow the flow of the words. Read with curiosity and for pleasure. I cannot emphasize this more. This will improve your reading stamina, vocabulary, and reading speed. If there was ever a magic bullet for passing the IELTS, it is this tip of reading something every day. It could be for 30 minutes or 45 minutes, but make sure you read.

Read the Question First 

When it comes to the IELTS, this tip is a game changer. You have 60 minutes to respond to 40 questions based on three texts. Because time is of the essence, you cannot read the book completely and at your leisure. First, read the questions in your IELTS Reading test. This will help you save time by telling you what to search for when you get to the passage. Second, you should go over the questions again and make sure you understand them. Seriously, even a minor misunderstanding of what the inquiry wants might set you back a long distance. Read the questions carefully.

Scan, Skim and Summarize

This tip will work wonders if combined with Tip 1. Skim the passage and look for primary concepts, comprehend the layout of the text, highlight keywords and salient elements, and try to understand what the passage is about. This is essential for acing the IELTS Reading test.

Lookout For Keywords

The IELTS Reading test requires a significant amount of research. You will be asked to look for specific information and fill in/choose the correct answers to questions. While skimming, make a point of highlighting keywords such as dates, places, themes, numbers, and so on. With practice, you will be able to identify them.

Familiarize Yourself With Different Question Types

Another important pro tip to ace your IELTS Reading test is to make yourself familiar with different types of questions that are asked in the Reading section. IELTS Reading practice tests are a great way of doing so. These will assist you in becoming acquainted with the IELTS question types and ensuring that you have appropriate practice.

Improve Your Vocabulary

While utilizing flashcards and learning a large number of words may appear to be the best way to increase your vocabulary, reading from a variety of sources on a variety of topics will prove to be the superior technique. Read, learn the unfamiliar words, and keep reading. This will be significantly more effective than memorizing 7000 new terms for the IELTS. Make a point of going back and learning the words you did not know in your practice tests.

Remember to Paraphrase

Because the language in the question may differ from the language in the text, you must improve your reading skills (which you can only accomplish by reading every day) so that you can paraphrase the question and derive its meaning.

Grammar is Key

When answering Short Answer Questions or any other Question Type in the IELTS Reading tests that requires you to write the answer, be sure there are no grammatical errors. Grammar intuition, spelling, and sentence structure are all crucial.

To summarise, any version of the IELTS Reading module necessitates a high level of precision and practice. As a result, by using the IELTS Reading practice test and samples, you may easily ace your IELTS Reading test and obtain a better band in the Reading module.

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FAQs on IELTS Reading Practice Test

How can I practice reading in IELTS?

Here are some amazing tips and ways to practice reading in IELTS and ace your IELTS Reading test with flying colours:

  • Develop skills for each type of question in reading
  • Practice skimming and scanning thoroughly 
  • Develop your reading speed skills
  • Never try to understand the whole passage 
  • Develop vocabulary 
  • Underline important words, facts and sentences in the passage 
  • Look for keywords and highlight them 
  • Get used to difficult passages and do not panic
  • Keep practising

Why IELTS Reading Practice test or mock test is important?

It is usually preferable to take as many IELTS Reading Practice tests and mock tests as possible in order to ace your Reading exams and obtain a high band in the IELTS exam in the very first attempt. Most IELTS experts believe that taking an IELTS mock exam can help you attain your goal band score more quickly, easily, and affordably. These tests expose you to the test format and provide you with the opportunity to be evaluated by qualified examiners.

Are IELTS practice tests harder?

Yes, IELTS Practice tests are considered to be designed more difficult for aspirants than the real IELTS Reading test. Obviously, the exams differ slightly from one another because it is impossible to make them identical to the main IELTS Reading test. The goal is to highlight the necessity of practice among aspirants to score well in the main exam. 

Should I read the questions first in the IELTS reading practice test?

Yes, you should always start with reading the questions first in the IELTS Reading Practice test and in the main Reading test also. Go through the questions and underline the keywords in the questions that will help you in scanning the answers in the passage. This will indeed help you in saving your time in the IELTS Reading section.  

How much time should I spend on each question in the IELTS Reading Practice test?

Ideally, you should not be spending more than 1 minute on each question in the IELTS Reading Practice test and in the main test too. Given that you will need up to fifteen minutes of reading time, you will have 45 minutes to answer 40 questions. It is best to spend no more than one minute answering each question. More challenging questions can always be revisited later.

What are the reading passages all about in the IELTS Reading Practice test?

Just like in the IELTS Reading test, the reading passages can be based on anything in the IELTS Reading Practice test. Moreover, they will usually be informational in the General Training IELTS module: the type of information you might expect to read in a pamphlet, newspaper, or magazine. The passages in the Academic IELTS module will cover three different academic themes. You do not need any prior knowledge of these topics to take the test. 

How much time should I spend skim-reading each passage in the IELTS Reading Practice test?

You should not be spending more than 5 minutes skim-reading each passage of the IELTS Reading Practice test. It is not necessary to understand all of the intricacies at this point. You should only read each paragraph for the primary idea. If you find yourself reading a single piece for more than five minutes, stop and begin working on the questions.

What are the 5 basic reading skills in IELTS?

Enlisted below are the five basic reading skills that aspirants must know about. The National Reading Panel has highlighted these five important elements that should be at the heart of any good reading teaching program.

  • Phonemic awareness

  • Phonics

  • Vocabulary development

  • Reading fluency, including oral reading skills

  • Reading comprehension strategies

What is the difference between the General Training Reading practice test and the Academic Reading practice test?

The difference between the General Training Reading practice test and the Academic Reading practice test is indeed in the difficulty level of the questions asked. The reading passages and questions in the IELTS General Training practice test and main test are easier. However, you need to get a higher number of correct answers to achieve the same band score as someone taking the Academic practice test.

How are IELTS reading questions different from that of TOEFL reading section questions?

It is true that the IELTS reading questions are different from that of the TOEFL reading section questions. Unlike the TOEFL, the IELTS exam consists of more than just multiple-choice questions. Match headings to paragraphs, complete sentences or a summary, or opinions to people referenced in the text may be required. There are also True/False/Not Given questions that necessitate a thorough comprehension of the content. Each passage will be followed by an average of 13 questions, with three to five different types of questions.

What IELTS Reading score is required for university entry?

The IELTS reading score that is required for university entry varies for different countries and universities of course along with the level/degree of the program you choose to pursue. It differs from university to university, and many do not state a need for each module. If you plan to study at an English-speaking university, you should strive for an IELTS Reading score of at least 6 (23-29 correct answers). Some foundation and presessional English courses may accept a band score of 5 (16-22 correct answers).

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