Whether you take the IELTS Academic or General Training Test, one of the sections will test your reading skills. The IELTS reading section is used to assess a wide range of reading skills through its various question types. The IELTS reading section has 3 sections with 3 reading passages and 40 questions to be answered in 60 minutes (1 hour).
There are 14 question types in the reading section. You have to read the passage and answer the question with the content taken from the passage. To crack the IELTS Reading Test with a high score, you must have familiarity with the question types and learn the tricks and tips to solve these questions.
These are the question types you may get in the Reading Test:
- Question type 1 – Matching headings
- Question type 2 – Locating information
- Question type 3 – Summary completion
- Question type 4 – True false not given
- Question type 5 – Multiple choice questions
- Question type 6 – Matching sentence endings
- Question type 7 – Matching features
- Question type 8 – Sentence completion
- Question type 9 – Note completion
- Question type 10 – Yes no not given
- Question type 11 – Table completion
- Question type 12 – Short answer questions
- Question type 13 – Flow chart completion
- Question type 14 – Diagram labelling
Question type 1 – Matching headings
In the matching headings question type, you are given a list of headings and then asked to match the heading to the correct paragraphs or sections.
- Read the heading and try to get the idea behind the heading.
- Use your summarizing and paraphrasing skills to understand the heading.
- You must follow the instructions carefully to give the correct answer format.
Question type 2 – Locating information
The locating information question is to check your ability to locate the specific information in the reading passage. In this task, you will be given a set of information taken from the passage. You have to read the information and answer the question by writing a paragraph letter.
- Don’t spend too much time scanning for the information
- Search for the keywords in the reading passage. It may be in a synonym or paraphrase format of the keyword.
Question type 3 – Summary completion
You will be asked to complete the summary using appropriate words, which will be given to you in the passage.
- Scan the text well and understand the supporting points.
- You can have the option to make use of the different forms of the same word.
Question type 4 – True, False, Not Given
You will have to decide whether the information given is true or false. It is also possible that you may not find the information anywhere in the passage. In such cases, you will have to answer as “Not Given.”
- If the information given is opposite to what is being said in the passage, then it will be marked as “False.
- If you do not find the information anywhere, it will be marked as “Not Given.
- You can paraphrase the question if you would like to search if the information given is true or false.
Question type 5 – Multiple choice questions
In this question type, you have to find out the main idea to choose the correct answer among the possible options.
- Paraphrase the information in the question and options
- Locate the precise information in the passage
- Answers come in order
- Answers are usually letters (A, B, C, or D)
Question type 6 – Matching sentence endings
In this question type, you will have to complete sentences by matching the start of the sentence with the correct ending given in a list.
- The completed sentence must be grammatically correct
- Sentence beginnings follow the order of information in the passage
- Answers are usually letters (A-G) – read instructions carefully to check
- There are usually more endings given than you need
Question type 7 – Matching features
You will see specific features like names and facts and match them with the information in the passage.
- Skim the passage to find the keywords
- Think about the synonyms to answer the questions
Question type 8 – Sentence completion
You have to complete sentences by filling in the gap with words from the passage. Scan for specific information, select appropriate words and understand the information in the passage.
- The sentences must be grammatically correct
- Choose the right word for the gap
- Check how many words can be used for each answer
Question type 9 – Note completion
Note-completion questions test your ability to understand details and/or the main ideas of a section of the passage.
- Quickly study the notes and identify keywords
- Remember that the answers don’t necessarily occur in order in the passage.
- Remember that all of your answers must be words from the passage.
Question type 10 – Yes no not given
You have to decide if the information or writer’s opinion in the question statements can be found in the passage.
- Understand the meaning of each answer
- yes / true = the same information is found in the passage
- no / false = the opposite information is found in the passage
- not given = the information is not found in the passage
Question type 11 – Table completion
In this question type, you must complete a table using the correct word from the passage. Skills that will be tested here are how you can locate specific information in the passage, choose appropriate words, and understand details.
- Read the column headings in the table
- Answers are often located in a specific part of the passage
- Check how many words you can use for the answer
Question type 12 – Short answer questions
Short answer questions test your ability to quickly skim the text for the general meaning, identify keywords, scan for specific information, and recognize synonyms and paraphrasing.
- The answers will be in order in the text.
- Don’t go over the word limit stated for your answers.
- Use only the actual words from the text for your answer.
- Most questions will contain synonyms.
Question type 13 – Flow chart completion
In this question type, you will see a process or sequence of events presented as a flow chart. Your task is to identify the sequence and fill in the missing information by reading the text.
- Notice the arrows, dates, verbs or action words, or adverbs to go to the required information in the passage.
- The statements in the flow chart may not be in passage order. So, be prepared for that.
- Read the instructions carefully so that you do not exceed the word limit.
Question type 14 – Diagram labelling
In this question, you will be given a diagram or a plan. You are required to label specific parts with words from the text or a word list.
- Don’t panic if the diagram looks complicated.
- You need no prior knowledge of the subject in order to complete it.
- The information in the text that contains the answers will very likely include synonyms so be on the lookout for them.
Now that you know what are the different question types that you will get in your IELTS Reading Test, it’s time to start practicing and book your test date in advance.
Visit the IELTS AOLCC website to select the ideal dates for your IELTS Test. You can book the IELTS test centres in Kingston, London, Brampton, and Mississauga.
If you need more time to improve your reading skills and practice all question types mentioned above, you can send your special requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.