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The Reading test is more than just a mandatory section of your Academic or General Training IELTS test to get through. It is actually an accurate assessment of your ability to read, process information, analyse and evaluate the ideas and narratives you take in.

Whether you are looking to enter university studying for your dream course or seeking to embark on a new exciting career overseas, reading is a life-long skill that you need to master to reach success!

It is an essential skill that will assist you in your progression and help you become a more competent, professional and analytical individual.

In this article, we will go through what the IELTS Reading test assesses and how it sets you up for success in your career down the road!

4 Core skills being tested in the Reading test

1. Reading comprehension

Reading is one thing but understanding the text and fully comprehending it is another. Because the IELTS test is structured in such a way that you need to simultaneously answer questions while reading, candidates need to swiftly digest and comprehend the ideas and facts being shared.

2. Skimming

Having a strict time limit on the Reading test means that it isn’t possible to take your time reading leisurely. You will need to swiftly skim the information to swiftly get the gist and idea of what the work is about. It involves fast eye movement as well as a strong vocabulary as well to make sense of the text at a fast pace.

3. Information scanning

Scanning is one essential skill being tested thoroughly in the test. Because of the time restriction and various ‘locate and answer’ tasks, you will need to do a lot of selective scanning in order to spot certain facts and find the right information necessary. You’ll know what you are looking for, the hard part is finding it.

4. Reading for details

Reading for details is another core skill the reading test assesses. Unlike scanning or skimming, you will need to read in between the lines and carefully take in both specific information and the entire narrative holistically in order to draw inferences and conclusions. Summarising passages and determining viewpoints all require reading for details.

Two female test takers preparing for IELTS Reading test

How Reading skills helps you in your future career & educational journey

1. It allows you to digest huge amounts of information faster

Whether you are writing a thesis paper or rummaging through business documents, there will undoubtedly be tons of information you will need to digest.

Reading skills will allow you to quickly skim through the information, allowing you to broadly understand the gist and what the stakes are at hand.

2. Enables you to come to conclusions & make decisions better

The ability to quickly skim and read allows you to come to conclusions faster and make better decisions whether you are in school or the boardroom.

This is especially critical when time is of the essence and deadlines are swiftly looming.

3. Allows you to swiftly identify key information during your research

You will undoubtedly be required to spot and locate data, facts and figures whether you are handling a PowerPoint report or writing a term paper.

Reading skills will allow you to scan and locate the critical information necessary.

4. Improved focus and stronger analytical thinking skills

Handling massive amounts of information, documents and readings can take a toll on your concentration.

With a solid foundation in reading skills, you will be able to focus better and also develop stronger thinking and assessment skills that will benefit other parts of your life, from your writing to social skills.

Male test taker preparing for IELTS Reading test

Prepare for the IELTS Reading test with IDP today

Preparing early for your Reading test is crucial. It allows you to get familiar with the format to help you ace it for the band score you desire! 

Take the time to go through our resources and prepare yourself better with our wide range of sample tests at your disposal! 

At IDP, we have a world of resources and IELTS supportexternal icon that you can rely on to help you score better! 

Be sure to check out our IELTS preparation materials here as well as read hand-picked tips on how to prepare and ace the testexternal icon

And once you are ready, you can book your IELTS test hereexternal icon!