The official IELTS by IDP app is here! Download it today.


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.  

Questions 1-5 

 Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? 
In boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet, write

               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. 

2. More children in urban areas were bilingual compared to rural areas.

3. Etc. 

 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. 

Questions 6-10 

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writing in Reading Passage 1? 

 In boxes 6-10 on your answer sheet, write 

               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. 

7     Learning 3 languages at school does not have a negative effect on personality. 

8     etc. 


Multiple Choice

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.  

Questions 11-13  

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write the correct letter in boxes 33-35 on your answer sheet. 

11     Why might parents be 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 


12     Etc. 

 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.  

Questions 11-12  

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. 



a) Headings 

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.   

Questions 14-18

Reading Passage 2 has 5 paragraphs, A-E. 

Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below. 

Write the correct number, i-vii, in boxes 14-18 on your answer sheet.         


                                                      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. 

Questions 19-23 


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 
B      Sally Brown 
C      Sarah George  

 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.

Questions 28-31  


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 
29     The drier region of the country 
30     The national authority’s response
31     The increased hydropower input to the national network 

e) Classification 

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. 

Questions 32-35 
  Classify the following statements as referring to

        A     Australian primary schools 
          B     Australian secondary schools 
          C     Both Australian primary and secondary 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. 
33   Visual material for demonstrations helped to have more participation. 
34   Peer correction was mostly met with positive responses. 
35   Printed lesson material was deemed to be more valuable. 

The A to Z of IELTS

Find the list of related articles you need to improve your speaking, writing, and reading skills. Now, prepare and aim for a high band score