Everything You Need To Know About The IELTS Reading Section!
Understanding that you've come to read this blog shows that you might be planning to take the IELTS test. We guess you want to tackle the IELTS Reading Section and achieve your dream score, isn't it? Yes, we will share all about the IELTS Reading section, the difference between the IELTS Reading Format for General Training and Academic Test, and much more. As you will read, you will have authentic information about everything and also tips to make the challenge of 'IELTS Reading' easy!
Whether you have taken the test before or attempting IELTS in the future will be your first time, this comprehensive guide will help you with the knowledge you should have about the IELTS Reading section. Apart from that, delve more and by the end of the blog, you'll know how to excel in this important section of the IELTS exam.
IELTS and IELTS Reading Section
IELTS will test your ability to speak, write, listen, and read English as you've decided to go to English-speaking countries to study, work, or live. you have the option to give either the IELTS General Training or the IELTS Academic Test type. This standard exam (both modules) has four sections- Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Talking about the Reading section, it is a 60-minute test where you will have to answer 40 questions. Although the time and number of questions are the same, the format, the questions, sources of the questions, evaluation, etc., differ in IELTS General Training Reading and IELTS Academic Reading Tests. Do not worry if you are confused, we will share the details of all this as you read ahead.
Which IELTS Reading Test should you take- IELTS Reading General Training or IELTS Academic?
The reason you're to go abroad in countries like the UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia, or any other defines the IELTS test type you should select. If you are applying for undergraduate or postgraduate studies or professional registration purposes, you will need to take the IELTS Academic Reading Test. As studying in degree courses requires a higher level of English proficiency, IELTS Academic is necessary. Whereas, if you are going overseas for work or immigration purposes, you will need to take the IELTS General Training Reading Test. IELTS Reading tests only English at a basic level required for everyday conversations.
Why are reading skills important for IELTS and going abroad?
When you go abroad, you will have to talk to people who have English as their native language. Be it in colleges, offices, or everyday routine, you will come across texts in English, which you should be able to understand. In the IELTS exam, equal weightage is given to reading, so reading skills are crucial. The section will assess your ability to comprehend various types of written material, including academic articles, news reports, and advertisements. If you have strong reading skills, it will enable you to understand information accurately, identify the main ideas of texts, and know the author's purpose and viewpoint in the examination text.
What is the format of the IELTS Academic Reading section?
The IELTS Reading section in the Academic test is 60 minutes. You will have 40 questions to answer. The main sources of the texts are books, magazines, newspapers, and online sources. Each topic asked in the examination is suitable for students in college. The reading passages may be telling a story, describing something, or arguing a point. Some passages may have a detailed logical argument. They might also include pictures or graphs for comprehending and answering accordingly. If there are difficult words (technical terms), there's a simple definition for your help. You have to write your answers on a separate answer sheet during the reading test. You don't get extra time for transferring your answers. Be careful with spelling and grammar because you can lose points for mistakes. Each question is of 1 mark and the good part is the test has no negative marks!
What is the format of the IELTS General Training Reading section?
Similar to the Academic test, you will get 60 minutes for completing the Reading section of the IELTS General Training test. Although the topics are general, the 3 sections get a bit harder as you go along. In the first one, the passages are about everyday things, like what you see in notices, ads, etc. It's the kind of reading text you'd need to understand if you were in an English-speaking country. The second part talks about work things, like job descriptions and training information, suitable for people going to work abroad. The last part is general to everyone. It's longer and more complicated, with lots of details. The writing style is descriptive and tells you the way or process of something. These passages are from newspapers, magazines, books, and online data available. As you will do in the academic test, you have to write your answers on a sheet without any extra time for this. Make sure to be perfect in spelling and grammar. You will be given 1 mark for every correct answer and no marks will be deducted for wrong answering.
|Aspect||IELTS General Training Reading||IELTS Academic Reading|
|Purpose||Assesses everyday reading skills for work and daily life||Evaluates academic reading skills for study purposes|
|Text Types||Includes extracts from notices, advertisements, newspapers, company handbooks, etc.||Features extracts from academic journals, books, articles, and more complex texts|
|Task Types||3 sections with various task types, such as multiple-choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary/note/table/flow chart completion, diagram label completion, and short-answer questions||3 sections with various task types, such as multiple-choice, identifying information, identifying writer’s views, matching information, matching headings, matching features, matching sentence endings, sentence completion, summary/note/table/flow chart completion, diagram label completion, and short-answer questions|
|Topics||Everyday topics related to work, social issues, and general interests||Academic topics covering a range of disciplines such as science, arts, and social sciences|
|Vocabulary and Style||General, non-specialized language||Specialized and academic language|
|Scoring||Scored based on the number of correct answers. Band range 0-9.||Scored based on the number of correct answers. Band range 0-9.|
|IELTS Academic Reading Scoring|
|Raw score (out of 40)||39-40||37-38||35-36||33-34||30-32||27-29||23-26||19-22||15-18||13-14||10-12||8-9||6-7||4-5||Band score||9||8.5||8||7.5||7||6.5||6||5.5||5||4.5||4||3.5||3||2.5|
|IELTS General Training Reading Scoring|
|Raw score (out of 40)||40||39||37-38||36||34-35||32-33||30-31||27-29||23-26||19-22||15-18||12-14||9-11||6-8||Band score||9||8.5||8||7.5||7||6.5||6||5.5||5||4.5||4||3.5||3||2.5|
What are some tips to follow for IELTS Reading improvement?
You should develop a habit of reading if you don't have one by reading several texts from various sources. It will improve your reading speed also.
Read new texts and note new words, their meanings, synonyms, and antonyms to expand your vocabulary and develop accuracy in spelling.
When you attempt the questions in the IELTS Reading section, start by reading the passage quickly (Skim the text) to have a general idea of its theme. Once you go to the question, you will remember in which paragraph its answer could be.
In the next reading, scan the passage to find keywords, details, and specific information (make a note or mark on the screen) that could be useful in answering the questions.
Always give many practice tests before and work on your weaknesses after evaluation from expert IELTS educators.
Make yourself accustomed to the given time limit and get your skills in time management up! You must complete your test as leaving any question will impact your overall band score.
Now you have an idea about the IELTS Reading section, its format, types of questions in IELTS Reading Academic Test and General Training, scoring, and tips to improve your reading skills. If you struggle to prepare by yourself, then worry not! Get in touch with certified IELTS teachers at a coaching institute and learn from them to improve your score in the IELTS Reading test. Madhavi's British Academy is one the leading IELTS Coaching in Ahmedabad, conducting regular IELTS batches both online and offline. You will benefit from the extra classes, grammar sessions, and more once you join a batch.