The IELTS Academic and IELTS General reading module is the second part of the IELTS. You will be given a question booklet along with an answer sheet. 60 minutes is allotted to complete the Reading module. No time is allotted to transfer your answers at the end. So one must fill in the answers in the answer sheet after reading the given questions simultaneously. A few IELTS Reading strategies will help you improve your IELTS Reading score.


In the reading section of the IELTS, there will be three passages that you have to read and each passage will be followed by a bunch of questions which you have to answer. The topics of the passages are of general interest and are chosen from magazines, newspapers, books and journals. There are 40 questions which have to be answered in total. Each passage is followed by 10-15 questions and 1 mark is allotted for each question which is later converted into a score that corresponds to a band from 1-9. As the test progresses, the level of difficultyof each passage increases. So, one must learn how to manage time and not spend too much time on a single question.

Various types of questions/tasks are given in the reading module-

  • Multiple choice
  • Short answer
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Yes/No/Not given and True/False/Not given
  • Complete the flowchart/diagram/table
  • Matching Lists and Phrases
  • Choosing headings/titles for paragraphs
  • Labelling diagrams


  1. Multiple Choice Questions


There are many kinds of multiple choice questions that arise in the IELTS Reading Test. While few questions have only one possible answer, others have multiple answers for only 1 mark and few others have many possible answers which are allotted 1 mark each.


Multiple choice questions check your global understanding of the text and also look for specific information. You will be asked to identify facts or opinions. By this, we infer that the decision is made by us whether to skim and/or scan the test.


To attempt the multiple choice questions, you first have to read the instructions carefully. Skim all the questions as well as the answer options that are provided. Underline the keywords and try to comprehend the meaning of the passage by reading the questions. If any diagram or illustration is provided, scan it to understand the idea. Once you finish reading the questions, go back to the passage and start looking for answers for one question at a time.Read the relevant part of the text carefully. While answering, eliminate any unlikely answer and move to the next question.


  1. Short Answer Questions


This task usually demands that you answer in “no more than three words”. For these questions you have to apply the technique of skimming and scanning. First, read the instructions carefully and skim all the questions carefully.


Underline the key words to decide what information has to be searched in the passage. Now go back to the passage and read the text to find the answer.


If you don’t understand the meaning of any word, read the complete sentence to understand the context which might help understanding the meaning. The answer should be in less than three words. If you think your answer needs more than three words, then it is probably incorrect.


  1. Fill in the blanks

These questions appear in the same order as the information in the text and require you to complete a sentence. You are supposed to answer in less than three words and use the words in the passage to finish your answer.

For this task, read the instructions carefully and skim through the questions to underline all the key words. Make a note of the information that you need to find in the passage and also the grammatical form as well as the vocabulary that should follow.

Go back to the passage to find the missing words. Look for synonyms and parallel information since the questions will use alternate words. The completed sentence should have a logical as well as a grammatical meaning.

  1. Yes / No / Not Given and True / False / Not Given


This task asks you to locatethe views and claims in the passage. You will be given many statements which will be either facts or opinions and you have to decide if the opinions of the writer of the passage is given or not in that statement and you will also have to decide if the statements are facts and whether they are true , false or not given. The statements will be in the same order as the text in the passage.


In this task, you have to read the instructions and all the given statements carefully to get an idea about the topic. Underline the key words. Go back to the passage to search the part of the text which deals with the fact or the idea. After finding the relevant information in the passage check if the information agrees or disagrees with the writer’s opinion to select yes or no option or if the writer does not have an opinion to select the notgiven option.


If the statement opposes the meaning given in the passage, select false and if there is no mention of the idea, select not given.


  1. Complete the flowchart / diagram / table


This task looks for specific information and requires you to insert a word or a phrase in the middle or at the end of a sentence. It also requires you to write words or phrases that are not in sentences and write a letter that represents a word or a phrase.


You must read the instructions and look at the flowchart / diagram / table carefully to examine the headings and subheadings and also to get an idea of the topic.


Look for information in the passage and fill in the diagram. If the question is in the form of a summary, guess the missing words from the passage.


  1. Matching lists and phrases.


This task requires you to match a list of opinions to the sources mentioned in the text. The sources are numbered and the opinions are assigned a letter. You should write the letter beside the number in the answer booklet. If there are more opinions than sources, you can write more than one letter beside the number in the answer sheet.


To answer this, locate the name of the source in the passage and look for his/her opinions. Look at the opinions list and match the answers.


  1. Choosing headings or titles for paragraphs

The task requires you to sum up the meaning of a paragraph and give it a meaningful heading. You may also be asked to sum up the whole text.

For this you first need to locate the paragraph that has to be summed up. Summarize the paragraph in your own words and look for the best answer from the given options. If you have to sum up the whole text, then summarize the passage and try to give your own heading first. Then look for the answer in the given options.

  1. Labelling a diagram

You will be given a diagram which will have to be labelled with words chosen from the passage. You have to first study the diagram. The information will be given in the same order as the numbers on the diagram. Scan the passage to look for the information and fill in the blanks in the diagram using words from the passage.

March 29, 2018


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