IELTS – Reading (General Information)

IELTS Examination – Reading

Reading comprehension is one of the areas that IELTS examination is assessing. Aside from that, in this test you need to consider how fast you can grasp the idea of the topic presented.

Test Duration

The reading component is allotted one hour to complete the 40-item test. For one hour you will be reading three passages with a total of about 1000-1500 words. Unlike the listening test where the last 10 minutes is allotted for transferring the answers, in the reading module after 60 minutes all items should be marked and answer sheets are submitted. Meaning to say, it is up to you to budget your time.

Difference in Academic and General Test

The duration of reading module test is the same for both versions of IELTS. There are also three passages and 40 questions. However, the topics and possible sources of the subject are different in each category. For Academic Reading Test, general interest subjects written for an overall audience will be included. Possible sources of these are journals, books, newspapers and magazines. For the General Training Reading Examination, passages will focus on training topics and general interest using basic social English. Thus, this is easier than the other type of test. The subjects are mainly taken from flyers, newspaper articles, manuals, instructions, schedules and documents.

Cause and Effect Question Type

In a battle, a greater chance of defeating the enemy and winning is being aware of their fighting techniques, methods, strengths and weakness. The same principle can be applied in successfully passing an examination. Several question types are used in the Reading component. One key in passing a test is having an idea of what kinds of question will you be dealing with. You should be acquainted with these types and develop techniques on how to answer it correctly at a minimum time.

Sample of Yes/No/Not Given Question

  • Matching headings to paragraphs
  • Multiple-choice
  • Summary completion
  • Table, flowchart or note completion
  • Matching cause and effects
  • Locating data or information
  • Sentence completion
  • Short answer questions
  • True, False, Not Given or Yes, No, Not Given (by identifying points of view or the writer’s claim)

The last type of question is usually where most examinees often get a wrong mark. The main reason is not due to difficulty of the questions presented but with the inability to follow the direction. Following directions are always reminded by the examination proctors but still many are negligent with this question type. Candidates frequently use true and false for yes and no choices and vice versa. Keep in mind that even if True and Yes may suggest the same idea, still it is always mark wrong once you accidentally interchange the two.

General Tips

Most candidates are voicing out apprehensions that they might not pass the exam. Though they finished the exam many still feel there was not enough time to complete the reading module with better answers. If you are planning to take the IELTS examination or have already filed for application of the test, start reading a lot now. Read daily news in the papers and be sure to understand them. Hone your vocabulary by jotting down unfamiliar words and knowing their meanings later on. And when taking the test, don’t fail to keep track of that precious time.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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