In the IELTS Reading test, there is a variety of question types you can receive. It is important to have a look at these so you don’t have any surprises when you sit your test.
a) True, False or Not Given
This type of question looks at factual information in the text. The statements provided can be True (where the article supports this), False (where the article contradicts this) or Not Given (where there is no evidence in the article to support whether it is True or False. The answers usually appear in order in the text.
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
1. Second language acquisition was not encouraged at primary school.
b) Yes, No or Not Given
This kind of question is very similar to True, False and Not Given ones, but the difference is that the statements look at the opinion of the writer of the article rather than fact. These answers also normally appear in order in the article.
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writing in Reading Passage 1?
YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
6 Learning a second language is good for children from monocultures.
a) Single answer
This is a commonly used task type where you choose one option from a list of 4 to match a question or complete a sentence.
A they are worried about the negative effect on their first language
B it takes too much time away from core subjects
C their speech might develop more slowly
D the added cost of lessons
12 The list below gives some of the advantages of learning a third language.
Which TWO advantages are mentioned by the writer of the text?
A having a better understanding of how languages work in general
B using more effective and practised learning strategies
C increased confidence in your own ability
D having a larger working memory capacity than monolinguals
b) Multiple answers
In this particular case, you would often have to choose two or three answers from a list of options. The list you select from normally has more than 4 choices. While multiple choice answers appear in order in the article, the options may be seen in a mixed order.
Choose TWO letters, A-E
Write the correct letter in boxes 11-12 on your answer sheet.
Which TWO of the following are reasons why parents are reluctant to let their children learn a third language?
A They are worried about the negative effect on their first language.
B It takes too much time away from core subjects.
C Their speech might develop more slowly.
D The added cost of lessons.
E It can create additional stress for the learners.
The articles in the IELTS Reading test are organised into paragraphs or sections. In this type of task, the headings have been removed and presented in a jumbled order. Also, extra headings are provided which do not fit any of the paragraph or sections. When the article is arranged in sections, there are often multiple paragraphs in each of these. The headings summarise the main point or idea in the paragraph or section.
List of Headings
i An increasing acceptance of mobile phone use in classrooms
ii Stumbling blocks for teachers
iii Not a completely unusual approach
iv Adapting to change
v Research uncovers unusual findings
vi A radical transformation on the horizon
vii Parents and teachers on the same page
14 Paragraph A
15 Paragraph B
16 Paragraph C
17 Paragraph D
18 Paragraph E
b) Locating information in paragraphs
This is similar to matching headings, but instead of summarising a paragraph, the statements are particular items which can be found inside it. The answers are found in a mixed order in the article.
Reading Passage 2 has five paragraphs, A-E.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 19-23 on your answer sheet.
19 an explanation of the benefits of mobile phones in classrooms
20 a rejected proposal about mobile phone use by students
21 a suggestion of how future classrooms can be run
22 an example of some of the drawbacks of technology for students
23 a reference to the new job opportunities that would be created
c. Statements to people or things
In this type of matching question, you are normally asked to match a list of statements to a list of people. Sometimes, the statements can relate to particular items that are not people (e.g. places, names of books, etc.). The answers can be found in a mixed order in the text. Also, note that there may be an instruction that indicates you can use the same letter more than once (e.g. one person can be used to match more than one statement).
Look at the following statements (Questions 24-27) and the list of researchers below.
Match each statement with the correct researcher, A-C.
Write the correct letter, A-C, in boxes 24-27 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
24 Flooding in the last decade has increased in frequency.
25 Prolonged drought was as common in the last millennium as now.
26 The accuracy of weather measuring instruments needs to be reviewed.
27 Rainfall intensity in tropical zones has weakened.
List of Researchers
A John Smith
d) Sentence endings
In this type of task, you are presented with sentences that are incomplete, where only the first half is given. To complete the sentences, you have to use the multiple choice options that are the ending part of the sentences. The questions can’t be answered by simply matching the right grammar, because all of the options are grammatically the same.
Complete each sentence with the correct ending, A-D below.
Write the correct letter, A-D, in boxes 28-31 on your answer sheet.
28 In the more tropical regions, climate change
When classifying a list of statements, you have to match them to what particular group or division they belong to. Answers are normally in a mixed order and it is possible to use an option more than once. Sometimes a choice can be when something belongs to two of the categories.
A Australian primary schools
Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet.
32 The use of collaborative tasks among students was useful.
How to prepare for IELTS
Achieving a great IELTS score takes time and planning. You can’t just book and take your test in a matter of days – no matter how strong your English skills are. Successful test takers create a schedule to help them study everything they need to know before they sit an IELTS test. They make time to practise all four English skills – Listening , Reading , Writing and Speaking – as the format of each part of the test is different.
If they have trouble with a topic, they attend a FREE Masterclass with an IELTS expert who can teach them how to improve. When they’re almost ready to take IELTS, they will complete as many practice tests as they can find.
So, when there are hundreds of resources to help you study, where do you begin? Click here to access your go-to guide to IELTS preparation. All of our most important materials – both free and paid – are listed here, divided by category.