IELTS Reading Test Beginners Guide – Pattern & Tips

Do you know most candidates get confused in the IELTS Reading test? Well, the Reading section is still a puzzle for many candidates.

In this article, we will delve into the IELTS reading test format with some useful band 9 strategies.

Yes! you heard it right, BAND 9 is achievable.

IELTS Reading Test Pattern

IELTS reading examination has 3 sections (40 questions, 60 minutes), which are designed to test candidate’s English reading proficiency. However, these sections differ for both IELTS Academic and General Training modules.

Types of IELTS Reading test
Types of IELTS Reading test

In Academic IELTS, the Reading section consists of 3 long paragraphs with texts extracted from magazines, newspapers, academic journals etc. On the other hand, in General Training Reading, the 3 (short to medium length) sections are focused on jobs, career and everyday living with texts extracted from newspapers, company handbooks, business documents, online resources etc.

The test is divided into the following parts :

Reading Passage 1Questions 1 to 13
Reading Passage 2Questions 14 to 27
Reading Passage 3Questions 28 to 40

Reading Passage 1 Sample

Questions 1-5

Do the following statements agree with the information provided in the paragraph ?

Write True/False/Not Given

TRUE – if the statement is in agreement

FALSE – if the statement is in contradiction

NOT GIVEN – if there is no information available in the passage

1. The earliest domestic clocks were developed with an aim of providing household routine.

2. Medieval clocks stayed on the property when the homes were sold by the owners.

3. Pulling the weights on wall-mounted clocks need specific skillset.

4. The spring placed inside a watch allows it to move around.

5. The firstly used spring-driven clocks had problem keeping the right time.

Question 6-10

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the paragraph for every answer.

6. Weight-driven clocks were made of ……………………………….

7. Decorated clock cases fixed to the wall with the help of ……………………………….

8. Spring-driven clocks were initially produced at ……………………………….

9. Spring-driven clocks had problems keeping ………………………………. even.

Questions 10-13

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the paragraph for every answer.

10. What does a fusee appears like ?

11. The spiral groove on a fusee is joined to what ?

12. What object is needed to wind the spring on the fusee ?

13. The gradual reduction of the fusee groove ensure what ?

Reading Passage 2 Sample

Questions 14-21

Choose the correct heading for each passage from the headings given below.

i.    A lack of information about what is inside trash
ii.   A change in attitude of the public
iii.  The uncertainty involved in trash destination
iv.   A typical present action of householder
v.    Formulating the extraordinary rubbish solution
vi.   Selection of Centres for recycling
vii.  A method to locate what happens to rubbish
viii. Details of the research process
ix.   Variations in the effect of trash on surrounding area
x.    Potential future sources of useful materials 
xi.   Network coverage for telecommunication devices

14. Paragraph A – ………………

15. Paragraph B – ………………

16. Paragraph C – ………………

17. Paragraph D – ………………

18. Paragraph E – ………………

19. Paragraph F – ………………

20. Paragraph G – ………………

21. Paragraph H – ………………

Questions 22-23

According to the writer, which TWO of the following things must happen ?

A. Household awareness regarding waste-sorting process

B. Find out the quantity of waste in the system

C. Know more about the types of waste thrown outside

D. Business and factories must adhere to the set guidelines

E. We should find and reuse valuable resources

Questions 24-27

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the paragraph for every answer.

24. Which rubbish item does the author use as an example to demonstrate the rubbish dealing ways ?

25. Which metropolitan city is involved in the two stages of research ?

26. What people have already tried to get products reach consumers ?

27. What general term is used to cover a wide array of different types of rubbish ?

Reading Passage 3 Sample

Questions 28-32

Which SECTION contain the following information?

28. Animals cause problems for a member dominating in their group.

29. Young birds make use of their skills without any parental assistance.

30. Animal species and humans may descend from same origin.

31. Animals’ skills may develop as a consequence of spending time with humans.

32. Birds display dishonest conduct.

Questions 33-35

Choose the correct letter – A,B,C or D.

33. The writer mentions the dogs domestication so that …

A) to show how different they are from other animal species

B) to explain why they are easily researchable

C) to show their quick learning

D) to argue that they are suitable domesticated animals

34. A western scrub jay has shown …

A) an ability to deceive other birds

B) a talent to imitate other birds

C) a skill at hiding sticks

D) aggression in the presence of other birds

35. Kacelnik’s research has demonstrated that …

A) captive birds lacks knowledge of stealing from other birds

B) birds can use their memories at later moments

C) monkeys can remember the past events

D) primates are affected by their surrounding connections

Questions 36-40

Write Yes/No/Not Given

YES – if the statement is in agreement with the writer

NO – if the statement is in contradiction with the writer

NOT GIVEN – if there is no information available in the passage

36. Scientists forecasted primate ability to make use of implements.

37. Chimpanzees had surroundings that urge them to hone their skill.

38. Chimpanzees display that they love problem-solving.

39. Wild observations show that crows learnt by imitating.

40. Complex thinking processes may be shown by western scrub jays.

Tips to get band 9 in the IELTS Reading Test

  • To improve your Reading proficiency, first make sure that you are familiar with variety of English texts. This will help you develop the ability to skim the text quickly.
  • Read each question carefully before starting to read the passage. Underline the keywords that indicate the required information.
  • Remember to keep an eye on the clock and divide your time accordingly into three sections.
  • The Reading passages always have the information you look for. Just act like Sherlock Holmes throughout the exam.
  • Don’t leave any blanks, it’s better to guess an answer as there is NO negative marking.
  • The IELTS Reading test 2022 may sometimes include complex questions based on overall understanding of the passage. For instance, the question may require you to find the central idea of the passage. Highlight keywords in that case and build general idea around the topic.
  • Make sure that your responses do not exceed the WORD LIMIT (i.e. one, two, three and/or a number)
  • Remember to look for paraphrases and alternate words or ideas in the passage. They are there in the passage to test vocabulary of the candidate.
  • Stay Calm as a monk and concentrate on the exam. Don’t panic if you are unable to answer any question, leave them for a while and come back later.
  • Take care to write your answers in the appropriate box on the answer sheet.
  • In paper-based IELTS, you must write down your responses on the answer sheet in the given time frame (60 minutes).

Final Thoughts

Candidates frequently ignore the Reading portion of the test, and as a result, a lack of practise could be problematic in the future.

To summarise, never ever approach the IELTS Reading test like a bowl of duck soup; practise thoroughly to learn synonyms for often encountered vocabulary structures.

Wish you best of luck in your examination.

Happy learning !!


Rajit Kaushal is the co-founder and an active blogger at 'CIC Talks'. He is best known for his rich expertise in IELTS & Canadian Immigration🇨🇦. You can reach out to him at Instagram & Twitter.

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