IELTS Reading Test

Here you can find tips, exercises and a complete guided test to prepare you for the IELTS reading assessment.

We also have a ​free Reading Course worth $10 for new students.

The Basics

The IELTS reading test is 1 hour long. There are 3 reading passages and a total of 40 questions to answer.
The types of questions you need to answer include:

  • Matching Headings Questions.
  • Categorisation Questions.
  • Matching Sentence Endings.
  • Table Completion.
  • Flow Chart Completion Questions.
  • Diagram Completion Questions.
  • Short Answer Questions.

You can learn more about the IELTS reading test format below.

Timer

The reading test is 60 minutes long, with 3 reading passages. This means that you should spend no more than 20 minutes on each passage.  If you wish to time yourself for each passage, use the timer below. For skimming, use the 3 minute skimming timer.
00:00:00

Go through the lessons below to learn how to approach the different questions in the IELTS reading test.

 

Reading Tips

These lessons are an introduction to the IELTS reading test.

Reading Test Question Types

Suitable for academic and general candidates, this series of free IELTS reading lessons give you lots of practice with the different test question types. They are all interactive, so you get instant feedback on your answers, and they all contain answer guides that help you understand your reading strengths and weaknesses.

A Complete Reading Test

These exercises below use a complete reading test from takeielts.britishcouncil.org. We are going to look at how to deal with all the different types of reading questions which can be found on the reading paper. First you will see tips and then the questions themselves. Follow the tips and see if you can answer the questions for yourself.

This reading test has three passages.

Passage 1 “Making Time for Science” Contains the question types

True/False/Not Given
Multiple Choice

Passage 2 “The Triune Brain” contains the question types

Matching Lists
Sentence Completion

Passage 3 “Helium’s Future Up in the Air” contains the question types

Matching Information/Headings to Paragraphs
Identifying the Writer’s Views (Yes/No/Not Given)
​Summary Completion

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