about the ielts reading section
The Reading Section is different for the Academic Reading and the General Reading test.
Total Time: 60 minutes
Tests are assessed for reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, and recognizing writers’ opinions, attitudes, and purpose.
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Three (3) long texts ranging from the descriptive and factual to the descriptive and factual to the discursive and analytical.
Format of Academic Reading
Task Types are selected from a variety of sources including books, journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Passages are selected from a variety of different styles and for different audiences. The styles of the passages may be narrative, descriptive or discursive/argumentative. One text may have a detailed logical argument. There may be non-verbal materials such as diagrams, graphs or illustrations.
While answering the questions, the test takers will transfer their answers to an answer sheet during the allotted time of the test. There will be no extra time provided to transfer the answers. Pay attention to spelling and grammar. If there are grammatical mistakes in your answer then marks will be reduced.
Different Task Types
- Multiple Choice : The multiple choice section is where test takers will choose from the best option from four alternatives (A, B, C, or D). You may need to complete a sentence or complete the best options to answer them. The questions are in the same order as the text.
- Identifying Information : In this section, there will be several statements provided and the test takers will have to select if the information is given in the passage by stating “true”, “false” or “not given”.
- Identifying Writer’s Views/Claims : In identifying the writer’s views or claims, there will be several statements Several statements will be provided and the test taker will answer if the information in the question is provided by answering ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not given.’
- Matching Information : In the matching section, test takers will need to locate specific information within the lettered paragraphs or sections of a text. Some of the other tasks in this section may be matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, or sentence completion. Other forms of matching questions may include short answer questions or completing a summary, note, table, flow-chart or labeling a diagram. There will be a variable number of questions.
- Matching Headings : In the matching headings task, test takers are provided with a list of headings, which refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section of a text. The headings must be correctly matched to the paragraphs or sections the heading refers to. There are a variable number of questions in this section. The focus of the matching headings task is to test the test takers’ ability to recognize the main idea or theme in the paragraph and distinguish it from the other paragraphs.
6 additional IELTS Task Types
- Matching Features : In the matching features task, test takers will be required to match a set of statements or pieces of information to a list of options. The options will consists of a group of features within the text. The focus of the matching features task is to assess recognizing relationships and connections between the facts in the text and recognizing opinions and theories.
- Matching Sentence Endings : In the matching sentence ending task, the test taker must choose the best way to complete the sentence from the options on the list provided. The focus of the matching sentence ending task is to assess understanding the main ideas in a sentence. There are a variable number of questions in the sentence completion task.
- Sentence Completion : In the sentence completion task, test takers will be required to complete sentences in a specific number of words taken from the text. The focus of the sentence completion task is to assess the ability of the test taker to be able to locate any specific or detailed information. There are a variable number of questions in the sentence completion task.
- Summary, note, table, flow-chart completion : In the summary, note, table, flow-chart completion task, the test takers will complete the information drawn from the descriptive or factual passages. The focus of this task to is assess understanding details and/or the main ideas of a section. There are a variable number of questions in the summary, note, table, flow-chart completion task.
- Diagram Label Completion : In the diagram label completion task, the test takers will complete the labels in the diagram relating to a description in the text provided. This task assesses the ability to understand a detailed description, and relate it to the information presented in a diagram. There are a variable number of questions in the diagram completion task.
- Short Answer Questions : In the short answer questions, test takers relate factual information about the details in the text and must write the answers on the sheet. The focus of this task is to locate and understand precise information in the text. There are a variable number of questions in the short answer task.
Three (3) sections in the General Training Reading. There may be two (2) or three (3) short texts in section one, two (2) texts in section two, and one (1) long text in section three.
Format of General Reading
Task types come in a variety of different forms including multiple choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views/claims, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary completion, note completion, table completion, flow-chart completion, diagram label completion, or short-answer questions.
(Please see the detailed description of the task types under the Academic Reading section.)
Section One (1) will consist of texts related to basic linguistic survival and will provide general factual information. Section Two (2) will consist of text focused on the workplace context. Section Three (3) will consist of general reading with extended prose with a complex structure.