IELTS Reading Test Question Types


IELTS Reading Question Types

There is no difference in question types that are asked in the IELTS Academic and General Training Reading tests. In both exams, a total of 40 questions need to be answered in a duration of 60 minutes. However, in the Academic Reading paper, passages are lengthy and academic in nature compared to what comes in the General Training paper where the topics are more general and related to work. Furthermore, the marking criteria for Academic Reading are lenient than that of General one i.e. 32 correct answers in the Academic Reading test earns a candidate a band 7 score whereas to achieve the same band score in the General Training Reading exam 34 correct answers are required.

Following are the major question types that are asked in the IELTS Reading exam:

Short Answer Questions

Short Answers
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

In this type of question, a candidate has to write answers to questions in words (two, three, or more as per instructions). If the candidate exceeds the mentioned limit of words, the answer would be considered incorrect.

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple Choice Questions
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

In this type of question, there would be a question with multiple options and a candidate has to select the correct option after reading the passage.

Sentence Completion

Sentence Completion
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

In this type of question, a candidate has to write missing words to complete the sentence. Pay close attention to the words before and after the blank to locate the correct answer.

Summary Completion

Summary Completion
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

In this type of question, a summary will be given. Candidates have to write missing words but have to follow maximum words limit instruction for answers to be considered right.

True, False, Not Given

True False Not Given
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

This is a type of question where most candidates struggle to choose the right option. There would be a question statement, candidate have to read the passage and decide whether it is True, False, or Not Given. The tip is if the information in the passage is as it is given in the question statement then it is True. If the information contradicts then it is False, and if it is not mentioned in the passage or out of scope of the passage then it is Not Given.

Labeling a Diagram

There would be a diagram with some areas labeled and some missing, candidate has to read the passage and label the remaining parts.

Matching Ending of Sentences

Match ending of sentences
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

Here a list of incomplete sentences would be given as questions and candidates have to match them with a list of endings. Be mindful of synonyms as the information is not generally written as it is in the passage.

Matching Headings To Paragraphs

Match headings to Paragraphs
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

This question type is quite similar to the previous one. You just need to pick the most suitable heading from the list of headings and match it to the paragraph. There would be some extra headings just to confuse, so carefully select the most relevant heading to the paragraph. One heading can match to more than one paragraphs.

Matching Information To Paragraphs

Matching Information To Paragraphs
Source: Cambridge English IELTS Book

In this kind of question, aspirants are required to match the information given in the question to the given paragraphs. Look for the key information mentioned in the questions to find relevant paragraph.


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