IELTS Reading Skills Day 1

How much do you know about the IELTS Reading Test?

Take this quick test to find out.

How much time are you allowed for the Reading Test?

60 minutes. This INCLUDES transferring your answer to an Answer Sheet.

How many questions are there?


How many different Reading texts are there?

Academic – 3 texts.

General Training – 5 texts. (2 in Sections 1 and 2, 1 in Section 3).

How much time should you spend on each section?

20 minutes maximum.

(Though there are  other options if you find Section 1 easy – keep reading).

Be very strict about time management. If you can’t find the answer, move on to the next question.

Do the texts get more difficult?

Yes, they do. 

Some people choose to leave more time for Section 3 e.g.

Section 1 – 18 minutes 

Section 2 – 19 minutes

Section 3 – 23 minutes

Practice doing this before the test if you wish.

What kind of texts are they?


1 – ‘descriptive’ (factual, chronological stories)

2  and 3 – ‘discursive’ (theoretical, with problems, solutions research and evidence)

General Training

1 – leaflets about everyday topics e.g. train timetables, job adverts

2 – leaflets about the workplace e.g. health & safety, pensions

3 – ‘descriptive’ (facts and stories)


Do you write your answers in pen or pencil?

Pencil only

Can you write in capital letters?

YES! I recommend it if your handwriting is not clear.

Can you use a highlighter pen?

No, but you can write on the Question paper with a pencil. I 100% recommend doing this (the main reason why it’s better than the computer-based test).

How many correct answers do you need to get Band 7?

Academic 7 : 30 – 32

General 7 : 34 – 35

How can you improve your score?

It takes a lot of time and hard work to improve your Reading score, especially if you don’t normally read long academic texts (Academic Test) or even magazine articles (Academic Section 1; GT Section 3).

Vocabulary will help you a LOT – this is an area you MUST work on to improve your speed and understanding.

There are also strategies for finding information quickly – we will look at these in the course.

Finally, you need to get used to the different types of questions and how they work. We will cover all of these in this course.



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