W’s of IELTS Reading and Preparation Sources  

One must have come across the IELTS exam and thought, what is it? IELTS is an English language proficiency test that opens options for study and job opportunities for individuals. It has four different sections; reading, speaking, writing and listening. Familiarity with the IELTS exam format can help candidates to avail advantage over others. This article is all about IELTS reading and its aspects. Thus, the question arises, what is IELTS reading? IELTS reading is an assessment same as the one we as kids used to solve in English exams. However, the twist here are the topics. The topics might be associated with everyday happenings, general knowledge and several other topics. Remember solving questions from unseen or comprehension passages, IELTS reading is one such assessment based on defined topics. The IELTS exam is conducted by the British Council every year.


One must be thinking why should I appear for the IELTS exam? To be brief, IELTS scores will help avail a wide range of options in fields of study and job opportunities. Candidates with appropriate IELTS scores can apply for jobs or study abroad in any given part of the world. IELTS as an English language proficiency test is recognised by approximately 9,000 organisations globally which includes government, academic and employment institutions.

What Are The Types in IELTS Reading?

If IELTS reading offers both the opportunity to study abroad and jobs, which option is to be availed by the candidates? The IELTS reading is divided into two different sections; IELTS academic and IELTS general training. The question types in each of these sections remain the same; however, the reading texts are different. IELTS academic reading test is meant for candidates that want to enrol for studies in English-speaking nations. IELTS general training is meant for candidates that want to enrol for job opportunities abroad.

The extracts are taken from below mentioned materials:

  • Newspapers
  • Advertisements
  • Handbooks
  • Notices
  • Books
  • Journals
  • Magazines

It is conclusive from the above texts that one needs to be a keen reader of all these mentioned sources. Lacking knowledge with respect to daily happenings will lead to downfall in this section.

What Are The Types of Questions in this Section?

Now, candidates must be curious, what question types they might face. Since in school examinations, candidates used to get questions like choose the correct answer and fill in the blanks mostly. The questions in this section range from matching headings to short answer questions. Mentioned below are the question types in IELTS reading:

  • Matching Headings Question
  • True, False, Not Given/ Yes, No, Not Given
  • Matching Paragraph Information Questions
  • Summary Completion Questions
  • Sentence Completion Questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • List Selection
  • Choosing a Title
  • Classification Questions
  • Matching Sentence Endings
  • Table Completion
  • Flow-Chart Completion Questions
  • Diagram Completion Questions
  • Short Answer Questions

Quite a number of question types are there in IELTS reading. However, with the presence of appropriate reading skills, candidates can ace the exam.

Duration and Number of Questions in IELTS Reading

Candidates might be concerned regarding the number of questions they might face in the exam. Moreover, what is the time limit to complete this section in IELTS exam? Well, be rest assured that this section comes with a total of 40 questions. Three different texts are presented and the 40 questions in total are divided across these three sections in the examination. However, the reason that might concern few is the duration of the test. The test is 60 minutes long. So, technically, aspirants get 20 minutes for each of the texts. This will give you 16-17 minutes to read and answer the questions and 3-4 minutes to transfer and check your answers. By now, it must be clear that time-management skill is a necessity for this examination. Go through the tips available over the internet as they will ensure you practise these tests in the right manner.

IELTS Reading Practice Test

The practice stage is regarded to be the critical one in preparation of this test. So where can you find the practice tests from? There are a number of IELTS reading practice tests available over the internet from which candidates can practice. These practice tests will help with understanding of the type of texts and questions that they might face in the IELTS academic and general training sections. The practice test will prepare candidates for the difficulty levels that they will encounter in the IELTS exam. Moreover, it will allow the candidates to work on their time management skills.

IELTS Reading Books

Aspirants willing to appear for the IELTS reading tests can study from a wide range of sources. The most important of these are the IELTS reading books that can be availed by candidates from online sources or they might consider buying hard copies of it. The most popular IELTS reading books are mentioned below:

  • Barron’s IELTS Superpack
  • The Official Cambridge Guide to IELTS
  • Cambridge IELTS 14 Academic Student’s Book with Answers with Audio
  • Official IELTS Practice Materials
  • Road to IELTS

Each of these books come with sets of practice papers that can help aspirants with effective preparation. Moreover, few of the books might have audio CDs that will help candidates with an idea of the overall structure of the exam.

IELTS Reading Preparation From Apps

The final question arises that what are the reliable resources to ensure a potential preparation? Candidates can find a number of applications that can help them with the preparation for the IELTS reading section. These apps are offered by a number of ventures such as; BritishCouncil, Sam McCarter, BBC and several others. Each of these apps have their own sets of features. Mentioned below is a list of some of the potential apps for preparation:

  • IELTS Prep App
  • IELTS Test Pro 2019
  • IELTS Skills
  • IELTS Word Power
  • BBC Learning English
  • IELTS Vocabulary
  • Learn English Podcasts
  • English Radio IELTS/ TOEFL
  • IELTS Flashcards App by Magoosh

Candidates can avail a number of features such as practice tests, new words, new lessons, strategic approach to practise and several others. Make sure you undertake potential practice as these will ensure the necessary skills you’ll need for the IELTS exam.

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