IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks 2022: Types of Questions & Answer Strategies


5 mins read42.7K Views
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on May 11, 2022 12:13 IST

Reading section of IELTS consists of three or sometimes four reading passages of increasing difficulty, and there are a total of 40 questions to answer. The IELTS Reading section is designed to assess the reading skills of the candidates. It is designed in such a way that it tests whether a candidate understands the main idea, recognize the author's opinion, and can analyse the same. In this article, we will give you IELTS Reading tips that will ensure high scores and help in improvising reading skills and techniques such as scanning and skimming.

A variety of question types is used in order to test a wide range of reading skills. These include reading for gist, reading for main ideas, reading for detail, skimming, understanding logical argument, recognizing writers' opinions, attitudes, and purpose.

Time Allotted: 60 minutes

Total Questions: 40

Is the Reading section of both IELTS Academic and General same?

The Reading skills (to find specific information and identifying opinion) required are the same for both the tests. The styles of questions like sentence completion and multiple-choice are also the same. However, the text will be different. In the Reading section of the IELTS Academic test, there will be three long academic texts.

IELTS Reading Academic:

There are three long texts that are taken from books, journal, magazines, and newspapers. These texts are suited for students who wish to apply to universities in English-speaking countries.

IELTS Reading General Training:

The format of three texts is as follows:

  • ‘Social survival’ is related to notices, advertisements, and timetables
  • ‘Workplace survival’ is related to job descriptions, contracts and staff development and training materials

‘General reading’ is related to newspapers, magazines, and fictional and non-fictional book extracts

Question Types - IELTS Reading Section

Question Types

Answer Strategies

Matching Information

Candidates are required to locate specific information within the sections.

Matching Headings

Candidates are required to recognise the main idea or theme of the text

Matching features

Here, a candidate has to recognize opinions and the connections between the facts within the text

Matching Sentences

Here, a candidate has to complete the sentence within a specified number of words.

Look for the best conclusion from the passage.

Multiple Choice Questions

Here, one MCQ can be a Reading Comprehension and one involves sentence completion with the best option to choose from

Identify the author’s views

Here, a candidate has to confirm whether a set of statements agree with the information within the passage. A candidate has to select between true/false/not given or yes/no/not given

Diagram-Label Completion

The description will be there in the text. A candidate has to label the given diagrams

Flow-chart Completion, Tables

Candidates must pay attention to the details provided. They also have to recognize the main ideas of the text

Short Answer Questions

Find information in the passage. Paraphrase vocabulary in questions and give an answer within the given word limit

IELTS Reading Tips

These IELTS Reading Tips and Tricks for Band 9 will help you in preparing better for the IELTS Reading section.

  • Do not try to read each word in the IELTS Reading passages

Every time looking at a dictionary is not possible, so, you can look at the words and sentences around and try to get the meaning. It is not important to understand the meaning of every word, you can just have the gist of the sentence and go with it. No one is familiar with each and every word specially tough words.

  • Go through the questions first

This can be very helpful when it comes to scoring a good band score in the IELTS reading section. With a time constraint of 60 minutes, you have to solve 40 questions and solve 3 passages. Here, time is of great importance and you do not have the bandwidth to read each and every line of the text. When you read the questions first, then you will have an idea of what to look for in the passage and this will ultimately save your time.

  • Skimming and scanning

One should be able to skim and scan passages to get a good score in the reading section of IELTS. Reading a passage and get a general idea is skimming. You should be able to get the main idea of the passage and understand the key points. This will give you an edge to score more in the reading section.

  • Work on your vocabulary

Vocabulary is a significant factor in improving your scores in the IELTS reading section. Learning a new word does not mean that you have learned it, learning the usage of the word will be key here. Read articles from different genres, this will help you in learning new words and enhances your knowledge.

  • Answer all the questions

At last, a very important point to remember is that IELTS does not have negative marking, so, attempt all the questions. Apart from the IELTS reading tips you also, need to go through the IELTS reading preparation tips and IELTS reading practice papers to get a fair idea about the actual questions you are going to face in the test. In addition, you can go through the IELTS reading practice books to develop a deeper understanding and improve your reading skills.

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Things to Keep in Mind

  • Pay attention to the grammar structure. You may see various types of grammar structures, but try to understand them all; they will be helpful for your writing. Most of us have limited vocabulary, but if you are weak at grammar, you will not know what the text refers to. Because of this, you may lose the main idea.
  • You must have known that skimming and scanning are two essential tools in reading. Both rely on an understanding of the main ideas. Therefore, if you cannot grasp the main ideas in a short time, you will lose time. This can be learned by reading various articles.
  • Another way to practice reading is speed-reading. However, reading as quickly as possible is NOT the key. If you read so fast that you have to read again, there are no benefits gained from this practice. The key here is picking out the main ideas, and the finer details. Besides understanding all the main points, you should try to remember as many details as you can.
  • Reading intensively is also important in the IELTS test, especially to understand tough questions. With some questions or particular sentences, you need to read and try to understand every single word. Especially with true/false/not given (or yes/no/not given) questions, a single word can change the whole meaning.
  • After finishing the reading practice test, you must check all the wrong answers, try to explain why you were wrong, and think of another way to answer those questions faster. You will gain the necessary experience by doing this before the real test.
  • In the IELTS exam, though you can mark and write on the question paper, you must enter your answers on the Reading Answer Sheet, and be aware that no extra time is given for transferring your answers from the test booklet to the Reading Answer Sheet.
About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio



Sir I am read in 6 th class . Can I give ielts test

Reply to Sehajpreet kaur


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hi Sehajpreet, IELTS score is valid for two years, please complete your schooling first then you can go for it.


Mohd Danish

4 years ago

hii sir i m interesting in ielts please give the guidline and also give me paper for practice

Reply to Mohd Danish

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