The Reading test takes 60 minutes. There are 40 questions, based on three reading passages containing a total of 2,000 to 2,750 words, Texts and questions appear on a question paper that you can write on but cannot remove from the examination room. All answers must be entered on an answer sheet during the 60-minure test. No exrra time is allowed for transferring answers.

Task Types

Multiple Choice

  • single answer-choose one of up to four options
  • multiple answer-choose more than one answer from a list of options

Short Answer Questions

  • direct answer
  • lists

Completion Tasks

  • note completion
  • table completion
  • flow chart completion
  • summary completion
  • sentence completion

Labelling a diagram

  • Label a diagram with words from a passage


  • match items in two lists
  • match text or visual information to each other or other texts

True/False/Not Given

  • compare statements to information in the passage and decide if they agree, disagree, or the information is not given.Highlight subjective ideas.

Yes/No/Not Given

  • compare statements to information in the passage and decide if they agree, disagree, or the information is not given.Highlight objective facts.


  • place words or statements into given categoties



Multiple-choice questions may focus on main ideas, details or the writer’s opinion. There are multiple-choice questions with a single answer and multiple-choice questions with multiple answers.

In the single-answer type, you are asked to choose one answer from up to four possible options; in the multiple-answer type, you are asked to choose more than one answer from a longer list of
possible options. In this case, your answers do not have to be in alphabetical order. For example, D, A, C and A, C, D are both considered the same.

Multiple-choice questions always follow the order of the information in the passage, and may cover one section of the passage, or the whole passage. The options, on the other hand, do not necessarily follow the older of information in the passage. The questions and options are usually paraphrased information from the passage.


In the IELTS Reading module, short-answer questions usually focus on factual information. The questions reflect the order of information the text, but the answers may be widely spaced in the text, so you need to use key words in the questions to help you scan the text quickly. Your answers do not need to be complete sentences and must not exceed the stated number of words. You do not usually need to include words like articles or auxiliary verbs.

You should study the questions and identify the relevant parts of the text, then scan each of these parts for possible answers. You must not change the form of the words or use different words—the answers must come directly from the passage.



In sentence and summary completion tasks, the questions reflect the order of information in the text. The sentences and the summary will focus on key information from part or all of the passage. There are two kinds of sentence and summary completion tasks. You may be asked to complete a sentence or summary by taking words directly from the text or by choosing from a list of options.



Note completion tasks usually focus on the main ideas of part or all of the text. They may include headings, subheadings and numbers or duller points. In note completion tasks, you may have to complete gapped notes by using a bank of answers in a box.

The words provided in the box might not be the same as the words in the text. You should look for parallel meanings in the text, for example, ‘political unrest’ in the notes could be ‘political events’ in the text. Notes might not follow standard grammatical rules or layout; there may be articles or auxiliary verbs missing. Some of the information might already be written in the note.


You are required to complete gaps in a table using the stated number of words from the passage. Some of the information may already be provided to help you. As with other completion tasks in the IELTS Reading module, the questions reflect the order of information in the text.

In this task, you are often tested on your knowledge of synonyms and paraphrases. For example, Question 12 below asks if experience is ‘necessary’ for each of the jobs. In the text, it may say that experience is ‘essential’.


Flow charts are used to summarise the different steps in a series of events or a process. Although the information will be given in chronological order in the flow chat t, it might not follow the order
of the information in the text. You need to study the flow chart carefully and use the keywords to identify the relevant parr(s) of the text. While reading the part(s) carefully, you should reconstruct the chronological order in which the events happen and complete the flow chart.


Passages that describe mechanical devices or processes may include a diagram-labelling task (example provided on next page). A diagram-labelling task may relate to one section of the text or to several paragraphs. This task requires you to read the paragraphs carefully and study the diagram at the same time. Some labels may already be provided to help you.

You should pay particular attention to locating specific words that form part of the labels in the diagram and be careful to copy the words you need accurately from the passage. It is helpful to keep in mind that labels on the diagram are generally ordered in a clockwise direction, which will not necessary reflect the order in which the information appears in the text.

Task Type 8:MATCHING

There is a wide variety of matching tasks used in the IELTS Reading module. You may be asked to match pieces of textual or visual information to each other or to sections of a text. In the Academic Training module, these sections will be paragraphs from a single passage. In the General Training module, you might have a selection of shorter texts rather than a single passage. For example, you might be asked to match pictures or statements to advertisements.

Questions that ask you to locate information in paragraphs focus on details within a text and can include opinions, discoveries, theories, and so on. These details may have to be matched, for example, to the names of people in the text, The numbered items are not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the text. Sometimes there are more options than questions, and you must choose a different option for each question. Sometimes there are more questions than options, and you will see the instruction: ’NB You may use any letter more than once.’ The words in the questions or in the box may be paraphrases of words in the passage.

You may be asked to choose suitable heading for some paragraphs or sections of the passage,which will be labelled alphabetically (A, B, C, etc.). For each paragraph a different heading must be chosen (example provided on next page). When matching paragraph headings, you need to choose the heading that best summarises the main idea of the paragraph. When this task is used, it is
often the Crest task for a particular passage, and the headings are given before the passage. There are always more headings than paragraphs.


These questions focus on factual information. They ask you to read statements and compare them to the information given in the passage. You need to decide whether the statement agrees with or contradicts the information in the passage, or whether there is no information about the statement. The questions follow the order of information in the passage. The answers follow this order, but they may be grouped together in one part of the passage or spread across the passage.

If the statement relates to information given in the passage, but the passage does not actually agree or disagree with the statement, you need to select ‘Not Given’. If you cannot find the relevant part of the passage, it probably means that the statement is Not Given. If you cannot find the answer to one question, you should leave it and come back to it later. You should remember that you must base their answer on what is in the passage, not on your own knowledge or what you thinly is likely to be true.


Task Type 10:YES / No / NOT GIVEN

You need to decide whether the statement agrees with or contradicts the writer’s v‘iews ot claims, or whether there is no information relating to the statement in the passage. This task is different
from True / False / Not given, which tests your understanding of factual information. However, the approach to the two question types is the same. Many passages include the writer’s opinion (views or claims) on a topic as well as providing factual information.

Once you have located the relevant section, you should read it more carefully to decide if the writer agrees, disagrees or does not state an opinion. If you cannot find an answer in the passage, ii is possible that the text has no information about this question, and therefore the answer to this
question is ‘Not Given’. If all parts of the statement agree with the writer’s opinion in the text, you should choose ‘Yes’. If all or some parts of the statement contradict the writer’s opinion, you should answer ‘No’.


In classification tasks, you will see a list of categories and a number of statements. You need to match the statements with the correct categories according to the passage. The statements will be paraphrased—they will have the same meaning as the information in the text, but they may be worded differently. The categories, usually three or more, are all of the same type, for example, periods of time, countries or opinions. The categories will be listed in a logical order, for example, alphabetically. They might not match the order in which they appear in the text. Sometimes the number of categories is the same as the number of statements, but not always. You should skim the passage to decide which section of the passage each category refers to and then scan the sections of the passages you identified to find the ideas that have the same meaning.